If you like cucumbers and have never had them fried, you are missing out on something special.

With summertime comes two constants, fresh garden vegetables and mowing grass. One being something I look forward to and the other, not so much. I guess the reason I don’t look forward to mowing is because I can’t remember a time that I wasn’t mowing? I started mowing at elementary school age, learning on my parent’s yard. The first mower I remember using was one of those rotary blade mowers with a wooden handle you pushed. We then upgraded to a power mower, a light green colored Lawn Boy. This was when I decided to branch out and earn a little income for myself around the neighborhood. I would mow for others for a $1.00 a yard. For a $1.50 a yard, I would also pull weeds and grass by hand out of the fence row and around the house. Business was booming, but I later eliminated the weed pulling, when an elderly lady called for me to come back and redo her fence rows for free, when she felt I didn’t get every blade of grass pulled out of the fence. Nonetheless, I was picking up more business all the time, and even landed a huge paying job of mowing the yard of our family doctor, Dr. John Highland. He must have liked me, because he would pay me $3.00 to do his yard over on the corner of West Central and H Northwest.

If there is one plus side to mowing, besides making your place look neat and clean, is you have plenty of time to think. Whether I am pushing or riding a mower around a yard, I am always thinking. Once, while mowing my yard, I got to thinking about how many times over the years, I had probably mowed that grass. I figured that I averaged mowing it about 22 to 24 times a year over a 40 year period, putting it roughly in the neighborhood of 920 times I have mowed the yard where I live. I also think about more constructive things as well. I think a lot about the past and the people who lived in the surrounding homes when I first moved to the neighborhood, now all deceased. I think about the man that lived next door to me on the south and the garden he used to raise each year. This guy could grow red onions like no one else. They would be large, sweet, and delicious. He was retired and I can remember, he would sometimes just sit in a chair in his backyard and look at his garden. He took a lot of pride in it. I remember after he passed away, his wife bringing me a 5 gallon bucket half full of baseballs, which somehow ended up in his yard from mine, over the years.

Speaking of gardens, I was never very good at gardening, but would always plant tomatoes every year, and sometimes some onions. Most of my garden vegetables, in the past and still today, came from relatives or farmer’s markets. I just love those fresh veggies in the summer and can make a meal of them, with NO meat included. Some of my favorites are the fried okra, fried yellow squash, and my very favorite, fried cucumbers. If you like cucumbers and have never had them fried, you are missing out on something special. My grandma used to make these and that is where I first acquired my taste for them. Also it seems, the simpler you keep it, the better they are. Of course, as with eating cucumbers any other way, you don’t want them bitter! They say you can cut the ends off of a cucumber, then rub the ends on the remaining cucumber and draw a lot of the bitterness out. I have tried it, and it seems to work some?

Fried Cucumbers

Ingredients

3 to 4 cucumbers sliced 1 to 1 ½ cups cornmeal (you can mix 1 cup cornmeal and ½ cup flour) Salt to taste Vegetable oil

Directions

Salt the sliced cucumbers and roll in the cornmeal. Heat vegetable oil in skillet, add the cucumbers and fry until golden brown. Drain on paper towel and serve. Simple and delicious.