When I was once an 11 year old girl, l had a friend who always hosted the slumber parties. Her house was eerie. It was cold; shiny faux marble floors, sparse white walls, sharp corners, and foamy eggshell pleather furniture. There was absolutely no coziness factor. The carpet had fresh vacuum trails and most noticeably, every surface was spotless- not a crumb on the counter or fleck of dust on the floor. To say there was a case of OCD would be, well obvious.
But it would get stranger as the sun went down. Why? Because they wouldn't turn on any lights. Like, anywhere. Ok, not anywhere....the entire two story house was lit by multiple low-volume televisions and a dirty 100 gallon fish tank (take that for irony) that held throne 6 feet opposite of the front door.
In that budget horror movie ambiance, we were normal tween girls and did as normal tween girls do:
We haphazardly drew on make up and over-tweezed our eyebrows. We gossiped about the boys at school and judged the girls. We had seances (um, hello, The Craft- normal) and gave ourselves facials using toothpaste and sliced cucumbers.
Those were the days, the dog days of junior high...a time I try to repress.
Nowadays, I actually use cucumbers for food. I merrily slice them, then toss in a simple lemon-herb vinaigrette.
They remind me a little of the spa and a tiny bit of the excruciating times of being in 7th grade. But then I take a bite and invitingly feel the relief of the present.
INGREDIENTS: (makes 6 small sides)
- 2 medium cucumbers, shaved into ¼” disks on a mandolin
- ¼ of a medium red onion, shaved thinly on a mandolin
- 2 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon of sugar
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- cracked black pepper, to taste
- 1 tbsp. chopped dill
- 1 tbsp. chopped mint
-On a mandolin (you can use a knife), thinly slice the cucumbers into a medium bowl and set aside. (If you plan on making this salad ahead of time, slice the cucumbers into ½” pieces so they don’t get too mushy).
-Also on a mandolin or by knife, thinly slice the red onion (so you can see through them) and place them into a bowl of ice water. Let sit 5 minutes then drain and reserve.
-In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, sugar, salt and pepper.
-Add the cucumbers, onion, dill and mint and toss to coat.
-Season to taste with salt, pepper and sugar.