DON'T SQUASH THE CUCUMBERS
DEAR MELBA: You shared a squash recipe, so I decided to tell you my squash story. Recently, I noticed some good-looking zucchini squash in the store and bought four. I washed, peeled, chopped them and put them in a pan to cook.
My son came in and asked what I was cooking. I said, “I'm cooking some zucchini squash.” He said, “Well, it smells like cucumbers.”
Yes, I was cooking cucumbers! I'm not signing my name, because I wouldn't want readers to read it and say, “Who would do such a thing?”
NO NAME PLEASE
DEAR NO NAME: Next time you shop, choose cucumbers purposely, and make Refrigerator Pickles. This recipe was shared by Dave Farrington, Midwest City.
8 cups sliced cucumbers
1 cup diced bell peppers
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced onions
1 jar (4 ounces) pimientos, drained
2 tablespoons salt
2 cups sugar
1 cup white vinegar
1 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon mustard seed
In large bowl, combine cucumbers, peppers, celery, onions and pimientos. Sprinkle with salt and let stand 3 hours.
In medium mixing bowl, mix sugar, vinegar, celery seed and mustard seed. Drain vegetable mixture and add sugar-vinegar mixture. Stir well. Pour into container, cover and refrigerate. Makes 1 gallon.
DEAR MELBA: Here is a recipe for Shoney's Beef Cabbage Stew requested by a reader.
SHONEY'S BEEF CABBAGE STEW
1 pound ground beef
1/2 head cabbage, sliced 1/4-inch-thick or chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 medium onion chopped
1 can (16 ounces) chili beans
1 can (16 ounces) ranch style beans
1 can (28 ounces) chopped tomato stew
28 ounces water, use stew can to measure
4 beef bouillon cubes
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt
Salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
In large soup pot, brown beef; drain. Add remaining ingredients. Bring to boil, simmer 1 hour or until vegetables are tender.
To serve, garnish with grated cheese.
SUE MIKAWA, Oklahoma City
DEAR READERS: I had a note from a reader questioning the Easy Strawberry Cake recipe we published recently. So, I decided to share my mother's recipe.
EASY STRAWBERRY CAKE
1 box (18 ounces) strawberry cake mix
1 box (3 ounces) strawberry gelatin
4 eggs, beaten
2/3 cup cooking oil
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup sliced fresh strawberries
Ignore directions and ingredients listed on box. Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9-by-13-inch pan. In large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients. Bake in prepared pan 35 minutes.
1/2 cup sliced strawberries
In medium bowl of electric mixer, beat strawberries with enough confectioners sugar to make a glaze. Spread on cake and return to oven until glaze melts. Serve warm. Refrigerate leftovers.
If you have a problem other readers might help solve or an idea you'd like to share, write to Melba's Swap Shop, Box 25125, Oklahoma City, OK 73125 or via email, email@example.com. Please include your name and address.