Cucumbers and Trout. (Bit of Salamanders, too.)

Sandra Neily here.

Before we get to cucumbers and trout …. For the past few years, I’ve weighed in on garden issues. Here’s a blog from the past: “Weird Gardening. Ticks. Slugs, Beetles.”

Here’s this year’s veggie drama. What’s eating the green beans this year? The leaves look like lacy skeletons. It’s not Japanese Beetles this time.  (These bean leaf beetles are moving north.) I am using the bug repellant tip below, and I also made up a dish soap spray. (And I replanted some that were eaten to the ground.)

OK! Onward to fish and cucumbers.

Fish and cucumbers. It’s not such a stretch. Well, yes it might be. We just returned from a week camped on the Penobscot River during the the big caddis fly hatch when we all look like an L.L. Bean fly fishing advertisement. (That’s the pictures. Note: a tent without a fly on top makes a great place to sit away from bugs. When they got really bad (and they did), I worked inside the camper writing and researching salamanders. It might be weird but they are essential in my next Mystery in Maine novel, “Deadly Attack.”)

While our small camper has a great fridge, lettuce cannot last. Long, wrapped cucumbers do. Here’s a list of how I use cucumbers while camping … or anytime.

Sliced extra thin for chicken or ham sandwiches (good crunch). Chopped fine and added at the last minute to Ramen soup (with a bit of soy sauce). Sliced long for veggie dips. Chopped a bit coarser and added to cooked packaged rice dishes (along with celery). Chopped (again with celery and bit of Parmesan cheese) and added to omelets just before they are done. Sliced thick and salted for happy hour. Chopped large and added to bit of packaged (undressed) coleslaw and handful of raisins, adding a quick dressing made of bit of mayo and balsamic dressing. Dipped into warm peanut butter for a snack. Thick slices tossed to Raven our dog, when the biscuits run out. (She’s not sure about that but recognizes desperate treat times.)

And while we are on this vegetable: this woman seems to have the ultimate magic cucumber list. I don’t think much of the cellulite tip, but I am open to all the rest.

 Cucumbers… I didn’t know this... and to think all these years I’ve only been making salads with the cucumbers…

  • Cucumbers contain most of the vitamins you need every day, just one cucumber contains Vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B6, Folic Acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium and Zinc.
  • Feeling tired in the afternoon, put down the caffeinated soda and pick up a cucumber. Cucumbers are a good source of B vitamins and Carbohydrates that can provide that quick pick-me-up that can last for hours.
  • Tired of your bathroom mirror fogging up after a shower? Try rubbing a cucumber slice along the mirror, it will eliminate the fog and provide a soothing, spa-like fragrance.
  • Are grubs and slugs ruining your planting beds? Place a few slices in a small pie tin and your garden will be free of pests all season long. The chemicals in the cucumber react with the aluminum to give off a scent undetectable to humans but drive garden pests crazy and make them flee the area.
  • Looking for a fast and easy way to remove cellulite before going out or to the pool? Try rubbing a slice or two of cucumbers along your problem area for a few minutes, the phytochemicals in the cucumber cause the collagen in your skin to tighten, firming up the outer layer and reducing the visibility of cellulite. Works great on wrinkles too!!!
  • Want to avoid a hangover or terrible headache? Eat a few cucumber slices before going to bed and wake up refreshed and headache free. Cucumbers contain enough sugar, B vitamins and electrolytes to replenish essential nutrients the body lost, keeping everything in equilibrium, avoiding both a hangover and headache!!
  • Looking to fight off that afternoon or evening snacking binge? Cucumbers have been used for centuries and often used by European trappers, traders and explores for quick meals to thwart off starvation.
  • Have an important meeting or job interview and you realize that you don’t have enough time to polish your shoes? Rub a freshly cut cucumber over the shoe, its chemicals will provide a quick and durable shine that not only looks great but also repels water.
  • Out of WD 40 and need to fix a squeaky hinge? Take a cucumber slice and rub it along the problematic hinge, and voila, the squeak is gone!
  • Stressed out and don’t have time for massage, facial or visit to the spa? Cut up an entire cucumber and place it in a boiling pot of water, the chemicals and nutrients from the cucumber will react with the boiling water and be released in the steam, creating a soothing, relaxing aroma that has been shown the reduce stress in new mothers and college students during final exams.
  • Just finish a business lunch and realize you don’t have gum or mints? Take a slice of cucumber and press it to the roof of your mouth with your tongue for 30 seconds to eliminate bad breath, the phytochemicals will kill the bacteria in your mouth responsible for causing bad breath.
  • Looking for a ‘green’ way to clean your taps, sinks or stainless steel? Take a slice of cucumber and rub it on the surface you want to clean, not only will it remove years of tarnish and bring back the shine, but is won’t leave streaks and won’t harm you fingers or fingernails while you clean.
  • Using a pen and made a mistake? Take the outside of the cucumber and slowly use it to erase the pen writing, also works great on crayons and markers that the kids have used to decorate the walls!

We were all packed. Raven: ” No way I’m going. Everything I need is here: sticks, wading anytime, big water bowl, squirrels, lots of spilled picnic food. Bye. See ya.”

Sandy’s novel “Deadly Trespass, A Mystery in Maine,” was a finalist in the Maine Literary Awards, a recipient of a Mystery Writers of America national award and a national finalist in the Women’s Fiction Writers Association “Rising Star” contest. Her second Mystery in Maine novel, “Deadly Turn” is in Sherman’s Books and on Amazon in Kindle and paperback. She lives in the Maine woods and says she’d rather be “fly fishing, skiing remote trails, paddling near loons, or just generally out there.” Find more info on her website.




About Sandra Neily

Sandy’s novel “Deadly Trespass” received a Mystery Writers of America award, was named a national finalist in the Women’s Fiction Writers Association “Rising Star” contest, a finalist in the Mslexia international novel competition, a runner- up in Maine’s Joy of the Pen competition, and recently, an international SPR fiction finalist. Sandy lives in the woods of Maine and says she’d rather be “fly fishing cold streams, skiing remote trails, paddling near loons, or just generally out there—unless I’m sharing vanishing worlds with my readers. "
This entry was posted in Sandra's Posts, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Cucumbers and Trout. (Bit of Salamanders, too.)

  1. John Clark says:

    Great list, most of which I never knew, so thank you.

  2. Brenda Buchanan says:

    This post is a riot! Thank you for all the tips!

  3. judy says:

    Thanks for the list of benefits from cucumbers…I did not know most of them. And, I am intrigued by the salamander research for your book.

    • sandra neily says:

      Hi Judy….I am also intrigued with the salamander research. Not normally a “charismatic” kind of wildlife like moose or tigers….but I plan on upping the stakes. Thanks!

  4. Helen White says:

    I thought I was the only person to substitute cucumbers. My husband loves them ad a substitute for lettuce or celery.

Leave a Reply