Sour Cream Cucumber Salad

My sister Charlene emailed the other day.  She wanted my mom's Sour Cream Cucumber Salad recipe.   Its not the first time someone has been asking for that salad lately.  Almost all the kids are home right now and everyone has put in their order for the good stuff!  So, nature is hinting that its a must on the menu tonight or tomorrow (along with a special strawberry cake for a special girl - which we will post as well).

Its interesting to me that at times of stress or anxiousness, we long for the things that bring us a sense of home and family - peace and comfort.  I mean it's a duh - that's why they call it comfort food.  It's security, familiarity, all of that.  They also make us feel special.  When someone goes out of their way to make us something that is comforting a a taste of home, it brings us a feeling of being important.    I know that's what cooking with my mother Arlene brought to me.  The kitchen was a place where I could set aside the differences and tensions of our mother-daughter relationship.  We had a common ground and a place to relate that helped me to see her in a different light.  Her love of food was not about eating - it was about helping those around her feel comfortable and at home.  It was her way of showing love. 

My sister Charlene will be sharing this recipe and others from her home, garden and heart, on Thursday,
June 28th, Coulee  Region radio WIZM La Crosse, Wisconsin at 10:00 AM.   If you are in earshot - take a listen. 

Here is the recipe:

Arlene's Sour Cream Cucumber Salad

4 med cucumbers
1 sweet Vidalia onion (small to medium)
1 -2 T salt (Rock or Sea Salt – Coarse)
½ c sour cream
3 T white vinegar
1 T sugar

Slice the cucumbers about ¼ inch thick.  Put into a bowl.   Slice onions in thin ½ rings.  Put into bowl with cucumbers.  Sprinkle onions/cucumbers with salt.  Add 1-2 c of ice to the cucumber/onion mix. 
Weight the cucumber mix down with plate, so that the cucumbers and onions are compact under the plate. 

Place in fridge for at least two hours, overnight is even better.  As the ice melts, the cucumbers will lose the retained water.  The ice will keep the cucumbers crisp.  Occasionally drain the water from the bowl to avoid the cucumbers and onions soaking in the liquid.  

Remove the cucumbers from the fridge.  Drain any remaining water and remove any remaining ice cubes.  

Mix the sour cream, vinegar and sugar in a separate bowl.  Use this ratio of cream to vinegar to sugar for additional dressing. 

Pour the dressing into the cucumber/onion mix.  Mix thoroughly. 


I sometimes use red onion instead of the Vidalia onion or when a sweet onion is not available.  It adds color to the dish.  Make sure the water and ice are completely drained. 

Leaving extra water or just one ice cube, can make the dressing become runny and thin. 

Add some fresh dill for added flavor.  2-3 T, depending on your preference