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Cool as a cucumber

FRESH CUCUMBER SOUP
Šviežių agurkų sriuba

4 cups prepared broth or bouillon
2 to 3 medium cucumbers
1/2 lb. smoked ham
1 medium onion, sliced
2 cloves
1  Tbsp. flour
1  Tbsp.  butter
1 cup heavy or medium cream
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup cooked barley
Salt and pepper
Chopped fresh dill, for garnish Place broth in pot to heat. Peel half of the cucumbers, slice and cook in salted water till soft. Drain, rinse with cold water, and place into soup tureen. Clean and slice remaining cucumbers, place in a separate pot together with the ham, onion and cloves.  Saute  1  tablespoon flour in butter. Add to broth and cook. When cucumbers and onions are soft, remove ham and cloves  (cut ham into strips to return to soup later); force cucumbers and onions in broth through a sieve or food mill. Beat broth and cream with the egg yolks. Add cooked barley and strips of ham. Add salt and pepper to taste. Heat the soup, but do not boil, and add to soup tureen. Sprinkle with fresh dill before serving. Makes 5 servings.

STUFFED CUCUMBERS
Kimšti  agurkai
6 to 8 cucumbers (medium sized,
all of even size)
Thin bacon strips to cover
1 cup strong bouillon
1/2 tsp. Maggi or similar extract
3 oz. Madeira or sherry
For stuffing
1h medium onion, grated
1 1/2 tsps. butter
1/2 lb. ground veal, raw or leftover roast, or 1/2 lb. raw boned ham
1 stale white roll, moistened in milk and mashed (or bread crumbs)
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and pepper

Peel cucumbers and cut in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Blanch in boiling  salted  water.  To  make  stuffing, brown onion lightly in butter. Combine all of the remaining stuffing ingredients, mix thoroughly and fill cucumber halves. Arrange tightly in a deep sauce pan, cover with bacon strips and add bouillon. Simmer, tightly covered, until transparent and completely done, about 30 minutes. Brown flour in a dry skillet, taking care not to burn. Dilute with a little of the sauce, add Maggi extract and Madeira, and pour over cucumbers. Allow to boil up. Makes 4-5 servings.

CUCUMBERS WITH SOUR CREAM
Agurkai su grietine
2 medium young cucumbers
1 small onion,  chopped
2 green onions,  chopped
2 Tbsps.  vinegar
1  Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup or more of sour cream
1 tsp. dill weed, chopped
Salt and pepper to taste

Wash and dry cucumbers and cut into slices (older cucumbers should be peeled). Put into a dish and combine all ingredients. Cover and refrigerate before serving. Oil may be used instead of sour cream.

DAD’S FRESH  DILL PICKLES
Šviežiai  rauginti agurkai
3 lbs. small cucumbers
8 cups water
1/2 cup coarse salt
3-4 bunches of fresh dill (best with stems and seeds intact)
Several very large preserving jars
Clean and wash canning jars thoroughly. Wash cucumbers and trim tips. Fill the jars with cucumbers, alternating them with large sprigs of dill, cut roughly into 4-inch lengths. Boil 8 cups of water with the salt. Pour boiling water over cucumbers and dill in jars. Let cool; refriger­ ate. Depending on the size of the cucumbers, they will be ready to eat in a day. (Note: This recipe courtesy of Treasures of Lithuanian Cooking by Virginia Mikėnas and Ramunė Jonaitis.)

DILL  PICKLES
Rauginti  agurkai
5 lbs. small cucumbers
Fresh dill stalks
5-6 qts. boiling water
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup water
5 peppercorns
1 clove garlic –  optional
1/4 onion
5-6 whole allspice
Scrub and wash cucumbers. Cut off both ends of each cuke. Soak cucumbers in ice water at least an hour. Tie spices, onion and garlic in a clean cloth, place in water,  salt, and vinegar,  and bring to a boil.  Rinse dill.  In a clean crock, place the cucumbers and dill in alternating layers. Pour the boiling water and vinegar over them, making sure that the water more than covers the cucumbers. Put the spice bag in crock. Place a plate with a weight on it on top of cucumbers to keep them under brine. Cover crock with cloth. Place in warm spot. Ready to eat in 3-4 days. Chill pickles before serving. If preferred, spices may be omitted.

EDITOR’S  PICKLE
Redaktoriaus  rauginti  agurkai
Don’t want to go through all that work? Then try our editor’s recipe: Buy a large jar of Clausens Kosher Pickles. Eat the pickles, but save the liquid. Get 4-5  small pickling cucumbers. Wash them, trim the ends and cut them lengthwise into 5-6 sections. Place them into the jar with the liquid.  Refrigerate for about a week, and try them. Delicious!