Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad; More Joys of Moving

Cucumber Salad

When we moved to Ireland from the U.S. we I packed our airline tickets.

Determined to have a smoother, calmer, move from Ireland to Andorra I tried to think of all contingencies.

Once again, our stuff was going in a large container by boat.  

Once again, we were going by plane and would be homeless for awhile.

Planning was obviously important; but different country; different plans.

I was working for a U.S. company at the time and wanted to be very, very, very certain that my phone and internet were not disconnected prematurely.

I wanted a smooth move.

I also knew that if we didn't give proper notice we would be charged for another full month (or 2).

Doing the only logical thing: I asked for help (poor, little stupid me).  I went, in person, to the phone company office.

I asked the Powers That Be how I could best accomplish this goal.

I was told to come in person (again) and fill out the proper forms with the proper agent in the office. I would sign the form, verifying the correct dates and that was that.  Simple.

At the suggested time, I met with the said proper person, did as I was told and was assured all was well.

We were leaving on a Friday.  The phone was to be disconnected late morning of that day.

At 8:00 on the Monday of that week the phone worked.

At 8:05 it didn't.

It was disconnected a full 5 work days early.

I called the phone company on my mobile.

They were very nice, apologized for the mistake and said there was nothing they could do.

I demanded that they reconnect it.

They said they would be happy to put in the work order and it would take 4 weeks…. And it wouldn't be the same number…. And I would have to sign up for the internet again…

I explained.  I argued.

They hung up.

I called back.

Same conversation with a different person.

I patiently explained that they obviously disconnected me by throwing a switch.  Throw it back. 
It was their fault; fix it.

They said they couldn't.

I argued.

They hung up.

I called back.

We did this for about 3 hours; the conversations getting somewhat less pleasant on my part with each phone call.  But, as I kept getting different people, I tried to be polite, hoping that I could get someone to see reason and help me.

The last time I called back, I realized what a small office I was calling.  After I identified myself, the person shouted: "It's that damn Yank again!" 

My perseverance finally paid off – or I had sufficiently irritated enough people.

They decided to turn the phone back on…. With the same number…. And the internet connection….

They flipped the switch back.  It took less than 5 minutes from the time they said they would do it until it was done.

Three hours of arguing: 3 minutes of work.

What really pissed them off was having to acknowledge that their world wasn't as complicated, difficult and/or technical as they wanted everyone to believe.

There is nothing complicated about a good Cucumber Salad.

I posted a Creamy Cucumber Salad (made with Greek Yogurt) a few weeks ago for Weekend Herb Blogging.Cuke

This is my mother's recipe, as made by her ..

I'm not repeating myself: in that post I was emphasizing the chives; this one is about the cukes.

French cucumbers are different – at least to me.
(Like so many other things about life here.)  This is the first year I have bought them, always planting the more traditional kind in my own garden. 

As you can see, they are very long and skinny.  This one is about 20" (50cm) and it is far from the longest I've seen.  They can get lots longer but not any fatter – which can make them a bit of a challenge for slicing… They wobble ;-))

This variety is known as English Cucumber.  They have fewer, smaller seeds and a less tough skin than the traditional American 'Slicer'.  There is also a variety called a Mediterranean Cucumber that looks more like the American, but still with a more tender skin.  It's the Mediterranean that I have grown in the past, here, but it's never for sale in the markets and (I have learned) the locals don't eat it, considering it to be nothing but an overgrown gherkin!

I will admit I am now a convert to this long, skinny beauty…Wonderful flavor, and never a hint of bitterness.

Cucumbers are in the same family as zucchini (also in the photo) and have many of the same health benefits.  They also contain silica, which is a component of connective tissue and can contribute to healthy, glowing skin; both by eating and applying topically (like slices over the eyes to cool).

Cucumber salad is a summer staple in our house.  I make a big bowl every few days.  It keeps well and tastes better with time.  This is a more traditional recipe, submitted to Weekend Herb Blogging, founded by Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen and hosted this week by Kelly, of Sounding My Barbaric Gulp.  Visit her blog on Monday for all of the wonderful recipes!

This is so simple… I'm almost embarrassed to post it… 

Cucumber Salad

Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad

2 English cucumbers or 3 – 4 slicers
1 tbs salt
2 tbs sugar
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1 tbs fresh chives, snipped
1/2 tsp pepper

Peel cucumber (if you want) and thinly slice using a slicer, mandolin or food processor,  Layer with the salt in a large bowl.  Cover with a plate, add a weight of some sort and let sit for 30 – 60 minutes.  Drain, rinse lightly and squeeze dry.  Add remaining ingredients, mix well.  Serve.  This is better the next day.

I understand that here in France one must send a certified letter 30 days in advance to terminate both electrical and  phone services.

30 days.

How scary is that!!!!

19 thoughts on “Old-Fashioned Cucumber Salad; More Joys of Moving”

  1. I had a similar thing happen last fall when we moved from V-town to the gîte. I had written the date three times in the letter, in bold and in caps, and they still shut it off the day they received the letter (ie. a month early). Which doesn’t even make any sense since they require one month’s notice!! After much arguing and insisting they couldn’t turn it back on, they finally magically did.
    And funny story re: the cucumbers – the mom wanted me to make a cucumber salad for the kids as the starter, so I did. But they refused to eat it because there was sugar in the sauce, and cucumbers aren’t supposed to be sweet!

  2. Katie, best of luck on the move and hopefully nothing untoward will happen. Fingers are crossed here for you.
    Thanks for another lovely recipe!!

  3. Moving is traumatic enough without the added challenge of dealing with the utility people! I hope it will go at least fairly smoothly when you do move. The cucumber salad sounds great. I think these are the ones that are sold in Costco here; they call them “European cucumbers.” I agree they are great, but when I look for cucumber plants I never see that type. Right now I have so many cucumbers from the garden that it’s becoming a challenge to use them all!

  4. Katie – Hopefully the French utility company will be more efficient than the Irish. Hopefully being the operative word here….Good luck with that!
    But whatever the glitches, when it’s all over and done with, I’m willing to be that you’ll be SO happy in your “new” home! Especially when you eat that simply beautiful cucumber salad. Cucumbers are on sale right now, and I think that I’ll be eating lots and lots of them!

  5. Good luck with everything, that sure was one drama you didn’t need. Hope you didn’t mind that I chuckled at your story. Funny about all the different names for your cucumber, here in Oz it’s called a Lebanese cucumber. We eat cucumber salad all the time too, except my wife prefers a sour cream dressing.

  6. Sam, I remember reading about your problems… That’s why I’m worried!
    Pat, thanks, I can use all the crossed fingers available!
    Kalyn, it’s so funny how the names change from country to country… Here, a kitchem with ‘cabinets’ is an ‘American’ kitchen.
    Toni, thanks… we’re hoping… But I think I’ll have lots of stories!
    Bren, I may have been nice in my memory than reality, too ;-))
    Neil, that’s the great benefit of time… Now it’s funny!
    Katie, mine, too! We eat lots and lots in the summer.
    Zoomie, always…in retrospect!
    Sophie, will do :-0

  7. That salad might be simple, but it looks really delicious! And I totally hear you on the phone company madness…I don’t think it matters what country you’re in, or moving to, or moving from…I always dread the whole connect/disconnect bit.

  8. Lydia, you are so right – I must get braver!
    Genie, it so frightening… I know it’s not that difficult, but the control those people like to wield…
    Val, it’s summer… Must eat cucumbers!
    Baking Soda, mine, too, now…
    Tigerfish, oh but they will! You can hire people to come and do it all… Of course, then you can’t afford to live….

  9. Oh I hate telephone companies – they are *all* the same!! And my sympathy with the move, I do so detest the upheaval of a move…
    Love the salad though – it sounds so cool and refreshing! I’ll be trying this for our big summer BBQ in September.

  10. I love your blog so much, and there are just some differences with others’. Hope there will be more wonderful things in your blog. Happy every day!

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