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Friday, October 12, 2012

Cooking with "The Help"

The novel, “The Help” by Kathryn Stockett had a great impact on me. It opened up feelings and thoughts that had never surfaced before. I am thankful that it was written and that I read it.

I never saw the movie version but understand that it received great acclaim and was vastly popular. Parts of both the book and the novel revolved around food. Food is one of my favorite subjects no matter what (in case you haven’t figured that out yet). In that light, I am giving you one of the recipes from “The Help”. It is for Cucumber Rye Tea Sandwiches, a delight of the genteel southern woman of the times.

The recipe is easy, simple, and good and doesn’t cost much. My criteria for a recipe has been met - what about yours?

One ingredient is a Persian cucumber. I have never heard of this and where I live there is no way it would be available. I used more of the seedless cucumber to top it off.



Courtesy of The Help. © DreamWorks II Distribution Co., LLC. All Rights Reserved





Cucumber Rye Tea Sandwiches from The Help

                 1 large seedless cucumber, peeled and cut into 3-inch lengths
                 3 tbsp cider vinegar
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
36 slices party rye or 18-36 slices of rye bread
12 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 scallion, finely chopped
1 Persian cucumber, thinly sliced
Freshly ground black pepper

You will also need

2-inch cookie cutter (if you can't find party rye)

Total Time:30 Minutes 

Using a box grater, coarsely grate the cucumber lengthwise, stopping when you get to the seedy center. Transfer the cucumber to a bowl and stir in the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt. Let stand for 15 minutes.

If using rye bread slices, use a 2-inch-round cookie cutter to cut out 36 rounds from the bread. Cover with a slightly damp towel.

Transfer the grated cucumber to a colander to drain; squeeze out the excess liquid. Return it to the bowl. Stir in the cream cheese and scallion.

Spread the cucumber cream cheese on the bread rounds.Top each with a Persian cucumber slice and arrange on a platter. Sprinkle with pepper and serve.

Make Ahead: The cucumber cream cheese can be refrigerated overnight. Return to room temperature before spreading.

This and other recipes can be found at The History Kitchen
Not to diminish this fine recipe in any way but I have a much easier way of making these.

Forget the grating of the cucumber. Forget the vinegar, lemon juice, sugar and salt and scallion. Combine the cream cheese with one package of Four Seasons Italian Dressing Seasoning, spread on the rye bread and top with a slice of cucumber and a pinch of dill. These are wonderful. I am always asked for this recipe. Also, if you can’t find party rye don’t bother with the cookie cutter stuff - just cut the bread in quarters. Same effect with less work.

Bon appetit!

Keep it simple, folks.

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