Tag Archives: cucumber

Typically my Monday and Friday mornings consist of 20 minutes of playground duty. Most of these mornings lately are blustery, cold mornings noted with me standing in one spot jumping around to stay warm and counting down the minutes until the bell rings. Or most recently trying to manage the sledding penguins students as they play on the glaciers on the playground. 

But every morning I find it so interesting that our students play football every day; wind, rain, snow, sleet, and sun. They even find a way to play when they can’t even see the goal lines because they are covered in snow mounds. The only time there is not a football game in play is when the game gets banned by school administration for previous problems or disputes on the playground. 

Now with this game, comes controversy, disagreements, but also a great sense of sportsmanship is created in every game played. Even though I think our teachers find that sportsmanship hard to see at times, it is there embedded in the snow covered goal lines on our playground. Sportsmanship encompasses fairness, ethics, and fellowship. Each morning our students organize themselves and play the game, most often refereeing the game themselves too. They foster respect for their younger peers and teach them the game as well. It has created a fellowship in our community, that in return has created state championship quality football programs. 

I actually overheard a students say today, “I hope our new student tomorrow is good at football.” 

With Superbowl LI right around the corner, I always hope that this same small town mentality of sportsmanship is demonstrated at the biggest event for football in America. As we all know last year there was much controversy with cheating in the NFL. It really saddened me, because I know how many of my young students look up to these career athletes and I think this type of play is the epitome of poor sportsmanship.

As parents and educators I think it is our job to help continue to foster those beliefs of playing fair, including others, and becoming a good winner and loser. It is these values that carry through to many other areas of our lives; school, friends, and family. Sportsmanship is a vital attribute to understand in order to be successful in life. How will you share good sportsmanship with your family?

So while we are watching with the rest of America this Sunday, remember sportsmanship and what it means. While you are doing that let’s enjoy some yummy food! I have to admit I am not a huge football fan myself, but I do love the array of Super Bowl recipes that popup this time of year. This year during the Superbowl I am striving to create recipes that aren’t too filling, but also one that would satisfy the typical football food feast. 

Behold cucumber salsa! This salsa is amazing. It is refreshing, light and perfect for your game day spread this year. I actually like this salsa the next day because after it sits in the refrigerator for a day or so the flavors really mesh together nicely. Cheers to a fair, honest game of football for Superbowl LI! 

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Cucumber Salsa

INGREDIENTS
2 cups finely chopped seeded, peeled cucumber
1/2 c. finely chopped seeded tomato
1/2 c. finely chopped red onion
2 T. minced parsley
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped (Leave seeds in if you like it HOT!)
5 t. minced cilantro
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 c. reduced fat sour cream
1 1/2 t. lemon juice
1 1/2 t. lime juice
1/4 t. cumin
1/4 t. salt
Tortilla chips

GUIDANCE
Combine cucumber, tomato, red onion, parsley, pepper, garlic, cilantro in a small bowl. In another bowl whisk sour cream, lemon juice, lime, juice, cumin and salt. Pour liquid mixture over cucumber mixture. Serve with tortilla chips. 

 


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Growing up I was considered a “picky eater.” I pretty much survived on grilled cheese, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and pizza. It wasn’t until my 20’s that I started trying new foods and boy I was really missing out. I tried watermelon, corn, strawberries, raspberries, asparagus, cucumbers, tomatoes, mashed potatoes, broccoli, pretty much every vegetable possible and I loved them all! But my one true love that I have encountered in my taste testing has been pickles. My relatives at family gatherings would devour pickles and I never understood what all the fuss was about. Once I tasted the crunchy sweet and sour taste of the dill pickle, I understood all at once. What was I thinking, it makes me so sad that I missed out on this glorious creation for the first 20 years of my life. 

The definition of venturesome is willing to take risks or embark on difficult or unusual courses of action. This has definitely been true for me as I have learned to try new foods, it has been a risky endevour. In embarking on this unusual journey of food I have learned so much and been able to experience so much more about the tastes of the world. Being venturesome doesn’t just play into tasting food, it can apply to any new conquest you embark on when trying something new. If it’s trying a banana (I still don’t like these) or trying a new sport or craft, putting your whole heart into something new can be exciting and exhilarating. Jumping into new activities can invoke a change that can shift the boring, same old mentality that lingers for many. Life begins at the end of your comfort zone. 

So take a risk, try that food, bake that really difficult recipe, try that exercise class, or get into whatever inspires you. I always ask my students, “what’s the worst that can happen?” We can try it, if it doesn’t work, we will change things up. You will never know until you try and if you never try you will never know. 

Like I mentioned before, these pickles are the BOMB.  They are so crunchy and best made with small garden cucumbers. If your cucumbers are jumbo, you can cut them into spears and slices to get the same crunch effect. We can these pickles so we can enjoy them all year long. FDR said it best, “Above all, try something.” Try these pickles, you won’t regret it!

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Dill Pickles

INGREDIENTS
3 quarts cold water
1 quart vinegar
3/4 c. canning salt
1 head dill per jar
1/4 t. alum per jar
1 clove garlic per jar
1 T. pickling spice

GUIDANCE
Pack cucumbers in quart size jars with dill, alum, garlic, and picking spice. Boil cold water, vinegar, and canning salt. Ladle hot liquid over cucumbers, leaving 1/4 inch headspace. Remove air bubbles and adjust two piece lids. Process quarts for 15 minutes in a boiling water canner. 

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