I scrutinized meat before taking a bite, I was wary of vegetables and dishes with chunks, and I hated condiments (except for ketchup). And one time, I did put broccoli down my shirt instead of in my mouth when my Mom told me that I couldn’t leave the table without eating it. It felt disgusting.
Meet the new and improved, grown-up Melissa. The one who doesn’t gag anymore when she smells mustard. Well, most of the time . . . and, I do eat and enjoy tons of vegetables now (thank goodness for gardening, grilling and roasting!). I can credit this change in my palette to one specific dish that made me feel more brave about trying new foods. The year was 2002 and it was just a few months before college graduation.
I went home with my roommate, Erin, for dinner. I loved Erin’s family and home. It was warm and cozy and I felt like I belonged. Her Mom prepared Rice Crispy Chicken, stuffing, some sort of vegetable (eh, forgive me for neglecting to remember the vegetable – I wasn’t reformed yet!), fresh lemonade, and Soured Cucumbers. Everything was so delicious, but then they noticed that I hadn’t tried the cucumbers.
The details of the conversation that followed are a little foggy, but it ended with me trying the cucumbers. Then I tried them a second and third time just to make sure, and Erin and I brought some back to our dorm room to try again later.
SOURED CUCUMBERS by Anne Q. of Rochester, NY
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/4 cup of vinegar
- 1/4 cup of water
- salt (as much as needed)
- cucumbers (as much as needed)
1. Peel and thinly slice cucumbers.
2. Add salt and let them sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Drain the salt water.
3. Add equal parts of sugar, vinegar and water. Stir.
4. Put the cucumbers into jars and store in the refrigerator.
5. Eat, eat! We enjoy Soured Cucumbers as a side dish with sandwiches or any good cookout food. Keeping plenty in the refrigerator is a must!