Thursday, March 27, 2008

Cucumbers and Crocodiles

The English Cucumber

I have always hated cucumbers. I felt they were tasteless, rubbery, and never really settled well on my stomach - that is until I met what is called the English Cucumber. Granted, there are more than just two types of cucumbers, most are for pickling and the rest round out the only two types of cucumbers I know of, the common cucumber and the English cucumber. When we first moved up here to Montreal, a friend took me to an indoor vegetable market. She picked up two cucumbers wrapped in plastic and I did the same. When I returned home, I sliced them up and tried one - surprisingly they were really good. When Craig came home, he took out the salt and sprinkled it over the cucumbers. What? It had never occurred to me that you could flavor something like this - I did, and from that moment on - I became a cucumber fan. Strike that - English Cucumber fan.

From what I can gather outside of my own personal opinion, the English cucumber comes wrapped in plastic allowing it to retain it's water, making it less waxy and not necessary to peel. It's more easily digested, and it's seeds are smaller. The nutrition facts are few, as it's low in calories - 60 calories for one cucumber. Nutrients include Vitamin A,K, and C and some folate. Outside of all of this information, they are crisp and can on some days seem like you're eating chips, instead of cucumbers! And, if you don't want to eat them you can...

do this!

Today I had the opportunity to volunteer at the girls school. Something unheard of at their old school, so I was very excited to be included! My job was to help each of the students in the girl's class paint egg cartons green. I was surprised at how adventuresome they are with their projects; giant paper mache panda bears and egg carton crocodiles. If I was their teacher, I don't think I would be that ambitious.

We are on our way this weekend to enjoy some relaxing time at our Acorn Cottage! One thing I am changing from the last times we've visited the cabin is having a more organized playtime. My girls just don't understand the word "relax" and I've already made the mistake of not bringing enough things for them to do! I am determined to find some "me" moments this weekend.

To help them pack, I made a picture list of what they needed to bring and they packed their own bags! I had them talk to each other about what they wanted to do or play with at the cabin and what they came up with is in the photo list below. I am taking this with me during those moments when there is "nothing to do". Hopefully this will help them come up with their own ideas. Last resort, we hop in the van and take a drive! Scratch that, Craig take the girls for a drive and I take a nap!

Do you like cucumbers?
Do you use cucumbers for puffy eyes?
Do you volunteer at you child's school?
How is everyone!??


Nicole said...

We are all cucumber fans here. Never had an English cucumber though. It looks a little like the picture of an Armenian cucumber that we planted in our garden this week. Never had an Armenian cucumber but it looked like it could be good. Always up for trying new things.

Joanna said...

wow, I'm honestly surprised that you had never tried and English cucumber before! I totally agree that they are SO much better, we eat a lot of cucumbers around our house.
I just came across your blog recently:)

Chrissy, said...

Beautiful new header. That was a great idea to plant it inside. We like cucumbers here. I like them from my garden it the summer time the best. I like to slice them and put them in a bowl of cold water. We just set them on the table with sliced tomatoes on a plate with dinner in the summer soooo good! I love to volunteer at the girls school. It makes them feel good and I like to get to know the teacher and kids they spend everyday with. I hear that children do better in school when the parent volenteers. I just sign up to day to go to the SLC Zoo with the 2nd graders. I have to pay a 10 dollar background check fee. I think is good but just new to me. Do you guys have that there?

linda said...

We love cucumbers, especially my hubby. He loves to slice them then pour a good italian dressing over them...yummy!

So glad you were able to help out in the girls class. I helped out weekly (or more) and wouldn't trade those times for anything. I became such good friends with the teachers and knew all of the other kids by name. Fun times for sure.

Jennfer said...

How do I not know about English cucumbers? I don't think I've ever seen a cucumber wrapped in plastic at the store. I'll have to look closer.
Have a fun weekend

jenny said...

I am not much of a vegetable fan (gasp I know) but my husband loves them in salad so I normally buy them and don't eat them unless dipped in tons of ranch. I always thought the eye thing was a myth I just may have to try it!

You are always so good about doing stuff with your girls and helping out!

Megan said...

Hey you! Finally got caught up on your blog. Your Organization projects turned out SO cute! Love cucumbers too...not sure if I have ever had English cucumbers. But, Costco's are wrapped in plastic. Hmmmm. love the little picture idea page for your girls. You are so creative! I have loved working in my kids classes too. I'm finding now that Loren is in 3rd grade that the teacher isn't as interested in parents coming into the classroom but maybe doing things on the side like correcting papers. I love k-2nd though because the teachers need all the help they can get & the kids just love it. My kids LOVE when I'm in the class. They feel so important! Well, take care! Love, Meg

michelle said...

I love cucumbers! Have you ever tried them in Italian dressing? I cut up a few cucumbers, and drizzle them with Italian dressing, and salt, and pepper...yum! :)

Have a wonderful weekend at the cabin! We are headed up to ours this afternoon too. This is the longest I haven't been there before. It's been about 1o weeks!

Carrie and Troy Keiser said...

I love cucumbers, but they don't love me... heart burn big time!
Have a great weekend at the cottage.

crystal said...

I love cucumbers, especially with salt or vinegar sprinkled over. If I were to try using them for puffiness, I'd have to slap them over my entire body right now. It's the pregnant puffy thing.

Not a pretty picture.

I go into Isabelle's class once a week.

Marie said...

I am completely baffled that you've never had an English cucumber before or that in her comments Jennifer hadn't heard of them either. They are so far superior to regular. So yummy.

The crocodiles looked like a fun craft, and your activity chart was a great idea. Have fun at Acorn cottage!

Monica M said...

I love cucumbers with salt on them. You could also add a good tomatoe sliced and toss with oil and vinegar, and salt and pepper. By the way, do you like the bunk beds that you got, are they sturdy? , I have three girls and two bedrooms and I can't decide if I should get bunk beds or a queen.

Barb said...

Love the new banner!
My dad just gave me a hyacinth that he grew himself, and I am loving the spring presence it gives my home.
Have fun at the cottage!

Amanda :-) said...

What on earth?? English cucumbers? I just thought cucumbers were cucumbers. As I'm in the UK, I only really know the plastic-wrapped ones, so perhaps I am already familiar with the better type - but for me, I can still only eat cucumber if it is sliced paper-thin, so you can virtually see through it!

I don't volunteer as E's school, because Isla's only just turned 2. It'd just be impossible, and I'd never leave her with anyone.

Sorry I've been absent for so long. I'm so disorganised. I'm really thinking I'll HAVE TO reinstate my blog links onto my blog so I can quickly click to you all. Right now I'm only hopping on the PC so that I can log onto RTE Liveline's podcasts, and listen to the week's shows while I make thank you cards for the British troops! Thanks to Craig again for that wonderful idea!

Natasha said...

I'm no fan of cucumbers, not at all but this is such a clever post!

Looks like I have some catching up to do with all of your posts.

I like the girls' bunkbeds and the idea of more space - hooray for all of the organizing you have been doing!

Jennfer said...


Amanda said...

Love the english cucumbers. I don't mind the "regular" ones as well, but the english ones are superior in my view. Never used them on my eyes.

Your new banner is so great. I wish it was scratch and sniff!