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Wildfood.info • View topic - Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Out of the main bustle of the Coffee shop this is where people gather to share recipes and tips/tricks.

Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby earthmaiden » November 27th, 2016, 11:36 pm

There is a page on Facebook where people post pictures of things from the 50's and 60's which is quite fun as it brings back many forgotten memories.

Recently, someone posted a picture of something floating in a pretty glass dish. It invited a lot of excited comment as many people remembered thinly sliced cucumber and onions in vinegar being a special part of 'Sunday tea'. Not only the excitement of eating it but the memory of mother or granny carefully preparing it earlier and leaving said items to soak in the vinegar.

I have to say that this was a new one on me, I had never heard of it before. Am I the only one? Was it a regional delicacy? Does anyone still have it?
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby miss mouse » November 28th, 2016, 5:31 am

A mystery to me as well.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Busybee » November 28th, 2016, 7:21 am

It could be a version of Yorkshire salad, which in addition to the cucumber and onion also included lettuce and mint. It was always served on a Sunday.

Dad was the only person in our house who liked it, mum a Londoner refused to make it so he would make it himself. It was a very seasonal dish , you used the salad veg from your own garden so it was anticipated much like asparagus is now.


Or it could be something totally different. :lol:

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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Gruney » November 28th, 2016, 8:01 am

That takes me back a bit - about 65 plus years! My granddad used to make cucumber, lettuce and onions in vinegar on Sundays - and also samphire ( it was known locally as samkin ) in vinegar. Memory Lane or what?
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Suelle » November 28th, 2016, 8:25 am

My mother did cucumber in vinegar, but without the onions. She also added sliced raw onions to her beetroot in vinegar. It was more than just dressing a salad with vinegar - the vegetables would be steeped for several days.

I think it was a crude version of pickling, used to preserve salad veg and help things keep longer when there wasn't a fridge, as I remember my mother just adding more vegetables to the bowl of vinegar during the week.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby StokeySue » November 28th, 2016, 10:01 am

Really surprised anyone would not know this one

Always served with leftover cold meat at tea or supper and often with bread and cheese - sometimes the veg would be drained and added to a sandwich

Just cucumber sliced into a bowl, onion added to taste (or not) and salt and pepper, drowned in malt vinegar and left an hour or two to mellow

My Dad often made it on Sundays, but I knew other people did too
My Nan made cheese & onion sandwiches, the onion was given the same treatment without the cucmber.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby smitch » November 28th, 2016, 10:37 am

We always had sliced onions and cucumber in vinegar with our Sunday dinner. Being from Yorkshire, we had our Yorkshire puddings as a starter and it was always accompanied by the onion and cucumber mix. Ours was never steeped for a few days, just sliced and vinegar poured on. We also had mint sauce and lettuce quite often too, not had that for ages. It was chopped lettuce with jarred mint sauce (or chopped mint from the garden if available), with extra vinegar
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby earthmaiden » November 28th, 2016, 11:15 am

So interested in this! Certainly sounds like a Yorkshire tradition with the Londoner mother refusing to make it! I suspect that Suelle is right and that it originated as a way to make the veg last a bit longer, perhaps cooked veg such as peas as well (?). We only ever had salad veg when it was in season and it was eaten long before it went off, usually with salad cream or pickle as an accompaniment. It seems as though people from other parts had something similar as well, I'm, surprised my MIL didn't do it, she was from Somerset so perhaps it wasn't a tradition there.

Does anyone still make and enjoy similar concoctions?
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby StokeySue » November 28th, 2016, 12:02 pm

My family not from Yorkshire, Black Country (actually Nan was from Sheffield, but all the Black Country family apparently made it long before she turned up )

I don't personally think it was anything to do with preserving the veg, as they are always eaten on the same day in my experience being kind of sodden by day 2, I think it was to do with favour, if you didn't have any pickles or chutney

Certainly soaking raw onions in vinegar and salt mellows them a bit
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby suffolk » November 28th, 2016, 12:29 pm

I'd never come across it before I joined this board and have never eaten it.
The nearest thing we ever had when I was a child was cucumber sandwiches when the cucumber had been sprinkled with vinegar first.
We also had jars of what we called 'Mixed Pickle' which I've not seen in the shops lately (or perhaps I've not been looking). These were the same veg as piccalilli but just in vinegar like pickled onions, no turmeric/mustard etc. More recently I've seen something called 'Bread & Butter Pickle' in jars, and that seems to be pickled cucumber and sliced onion - a bit like Scully's Cucumber Relish which some of us have been making this year, but not quite - plainer.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby StokeySue » November 28th, 2016, 12:39 pm

I remember mixed pickles
Oddly I've always thought of Bread and Butter pickles as American, as I first encountered them in a book of American recipes, and I've only encountered them home made, never seen them on sale
Agree though they are basically a similar thing to the sliced fresh cucumber and onion but made to last in a jar.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Gruney » November 28th, 2016, 12:43 pm

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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Cinnamon Sally » November 28th, 2016, 1:03 pm

I had something very similar in Berlin last week as part of a German food platter. Never had it as part of sunday lunch here though, which makes me either too young or too Scottish :lol: We did, however, have "hot peas in vinegar" as a regular accompaniment to a fish tea (and often as an accompaniment to other things or even just on their own with some bread and butter - my mother was addicted) which I suppose must have been similar. My grandmother's neighbourhood was visited by a fish and chip van which served particularly good hot peas in vinegar in a little polystyrene cup. We used to douse them liberally with white pepper too.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby suffolk » November 28th, 2016, 1:42 pm

When I was young I remember Ma opining that 'eating vinegar is heathen' ... apparently this had something to do with the Roman soldier offering Jesus a sponge soaked in sour wine during the crucifixion :rolleyes:

Fortunately Pa's great love of pickles overcame her reluctance to serve anything with vinegar, and although she didn't like pickles herself they did take their place on the tea table with cold meats and cheese. :chops:
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Seatallan » November 28th, 2016, 2:21 pm

New one on me- Dad's lot were East Anglian and Mum's family were from Dorset. will have to ask OH if it rings any bells (he's a Yorkshire man). Piccalilli definitely (I was very nervous as to how his family would react to mine- thankfully it went down well :) ) but I don't recall him ever mentioning veg in vinegar as is described in this thread.

Dad made pickles and chutney- his pickled onions were wonderful. I think I inherited the pickling/preserve bug from him. :D
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby StokeySue » November 28th, 2016, 2:26 pm

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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby miss mouse » November 28th, 2016, 2:45 pm

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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby aero280 » November 28th, 2016, 2:58 pm

The veg in vinegar was something served by my landlady when I was at uni in Sheffield. I have never seen it since.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby PatsyMFagan » November 28th, 2016, 5:21 pm

I too have had this and have spent a few minutes racking my brains where ... :? then I remembered when I was 19 spending a lot of time with a girl I worked with. I was just married, but my (then) hubby was on a tour of duty on HMS Kent ... J lived with her parents in Hayes along with her grandma, (Nana) and they were all northerners but from where exactly I don't know .. however, this was where Nana had prepared cucumber in malt vinegar for Sunday tea along with pork pies heated in the oven :o
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby suffolk » November 28th, 2016, 5:25 pm

I've just asked OH whose family is from Cheshire whether any of these 'salads' ring a bell ....... nope. :)
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby karadekoolaid » November 29th, 2016, 11:29 am

My dad used to make the same thing - cucumbers and fresh onions from the garden, in malt vinegar.
We`re from Kent!!
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby nursemimi » December 1st, 2016, 2:14 pm

Cucumbers and onions in vinegar salt and pepper and a touch of sugar served often here :hungry: :hungry:
With lettuce and tomatoes added it is called wet salad.

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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Herbidacious » December 5th, 2016, 9:02 am

We frequently had a bowl of sliced cucumber and onion floating in a soup of malt vinegar on the slab in the pantry - no other embellishments. I used to like it but I think it would make me cough now. Not sure if this was my mother's (she's from Blackburn originally) or if she got the idea from daddy/grandma. (Grandma was brought up in West Yorkshire, but her family came from the Isle of Haxey, Lincs.) I suspect it's a Yorkshire thing.
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Busybee » December 5th, 2016, 9:44 am

Herby, how lovely to see you posting again. You have been missed :hug:

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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby suffolk » December 5th, 2016, 11:36 am

“I am not lost, for I know where I am. But however, where I am may be lost.” —Winnie-the-Pooh
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Re: Cucumber with Onions in Vinegar

Postby Herbidacious » December 5th, 2016, 4:22 pm

Thank you. That's very nice of you both :)
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