Eat Your Vegetables Day
Other Scottish Country Dances for this Day
Today's Musings, History & Folklore
"Why cucumber sandwiches? Why such reckless extravagance in one so young? Who is coming to tea?" ~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
Cool as a Cucumber
A vegetable with both famous historical devotees and detractors, the cooling cucumber has inspired its own phrase, "cool as a cucumber" first recorded in 1732 in John Gay's comic ballad "A New Song of New Similes" and a namesake dance.
Some interesting historical facts about cucumbers include the following:
Ancient Egyptians enjoyed a drink made from fermented cucumber.
The great mathematician Pythagoras favoured a cucumber salad with raisin-coriander vinaigrette
The Roman Emperor Tiberius grew cucumbers in carts; he used his slaves to wheel them around to catch the sun.
Ruralia Commoda, a manual written in Latin between 1304 and 1309 suggested that cucumbers shake with fear at the sound of thunder!
In 1775, Dr. Samuel Johnson published his "Journey to the Western Isles of Scotland," which recorded his visit with his friend James Boswell. A lover of good food, he claimed whilst in the Hebrides, "A cucumber should be well sliced and dressed with pepper & vinegar & then thrown out, as good for nothing."
And if like Dr. Johnson, cucumber salad (or even cucumber sandwiches) is not to your liking, click the Cucumber Mint Sparkler for a cool drink made with lime juice, Prosecco or champagne, vodka, cucumbers and mint syrup, the Cucumber-Mint Sparkler.