I love it when I get to save someone’s day. However, whilst sitting at my desk coding things to automate coding something, I got a somewhat panicked phone call; a person (who shall remain nameless) was stressing out over an upcoming company potluck / Friendsgiving lunch.
They are culinarily challenged, (to the point they have burned a pot of water), but needed to produce something that was vegetarian, vegan, and passingly kosher dietary compliant. It did seem that they were in quite a pickle.
(Yes, I get that a rabbi has to supervise the cooking for something to be called kosher, but so long as I’m not sauteeing this in bacon grease, and dairy, we’ll just not call it kosher, and call it good enough.)
Over the years, I have graduated from grazing these events (having contributed two dozen donuts) to actively contributing (from a 5-gallon pot of Texas Red to a full smoked rack of prime rib, including the rite of culinary passage that a 30 lb smoked turkey represents), to orchestrating a packed sit-down potluck lunch for a company of 70.
Still, I digress; I know the panic that can ensue in these things, particularly if one is culinarily challenged. Yes, people notice what you bring, and did you buy it or make it?
So let’s keep this simple, easy to prepare, and not involve large amounts of attention. And let’s select something that does not include a national debt level of expense or a military rank of hardware and coordination.
This sounds like a job for the old church potluck supper standby, the cucumber salad. However, this is a quick pickle salad. The only mildly challenging portion of this can (slicing the vegetables into very thin, consistent slices) be automated using a mandolin or v-slicer. When presented with the need to produce consistent, to-spec, items, I find automation is best. I will strongly recommend, the use of either a kevlar glove or the slicing guard to protect the delicate fingertips and avoid unwanted protein in the salad.
The rest require minimal expertise, and attention; patience, and planning; however, are mandatory.
Ice Box Cucumber Salad
- 1 half gallon mason jar Or other acid resistant container ~ 1/2 gallon
- 6 ea Medium Cucumbers Washed, sliced very thin
- 1 ea Red Onion Large, peeled, sliced as cucumbers
- 1 ea Bell Pepper Large, Washed, Seeded, sliced as above
- 1 1/2 cups Sugar
- 1 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 tbsp Salt
- 1 tsp Mustard Seed
- 1 tsp Celery Seeds
- 1 tsp Chili Flake
- In a medium glass bowl or a half-gallon mason jar, toss together cucumbers, onions, peppers, and salt and set aside.
- Combine vinegar, sugar, mustard seed, celery seed, and pepper flakes in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, remove from heat and let cool
- Pour vinegar mixture over cucumbers. Cover and store in the refrigerator. If the liquid does not cover the veggies, add additional vinegar to just cover them.
- Pickle (store in the icebox) for at least 12 hours, or up to 2 months
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