Is there any use for over ripe cucumbers?

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

I have a lot of cucumbers that are over ripe..(they were hiding..) is there anything they are good for? Sure hate to throw them away..

Thanks for any help..


Wichita, KS(Zone 6b)

They work fine for relish.

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

Great, thanks...


Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Try peeling and seeding them...just using the hulls or 'meat' part for the relish..

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

MIL like to make a ripe cucumber pickle using the same spices you would use for a watermelon rind pickle.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I'll put a watch on this thread and try to locate my mom's recipe for "Slip Downs" this weekend... a ripe cucumber pickle that's sweet but less sweet than watermelon pickles...

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

I really appreciate all this advice..this is my first year of trying to make pickles (or anything) out of all the cucumbers I am getting...

Thanks, Kris

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Lots of good ideas here. I'd be interested in the pickle recipes too.

Kris, isn't that a funny feeling when you spot that monster sized cuke hiding down there ? I always wonder how in the world I managed to miss that long enough for it to grow that size.

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

Peggie, yes, I am always amazed to find usually not one, but several very large ones that were overlooked and grew to enormous sizes...makes me wonder if I should be getting my eyes checked...LOL


Benton, KY(Zone 7a)

Welcome to the world of veggie gardening....

Something else that bothers me is okra that gets too big to eat. You harvest it every day and somehow you'll miss some that are 6" long before you see them. I've found they make great pods for dried arrangements. Florists are supposed to love them....but here in the heart of okra country, it's hard to find a florist who considers okra decorative.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

OK, I'm back home, and I've got my recipes in front of me.... :-)

Slip-Down Ripe Cucumber Pickles

The pickles got their name because it's easy to eat a lot of them; they just slip right down! My mother liked these so much as a child that she would "accidentally on purpose" miss seeing some cucumbers in the garden when she was sent to pick, ensuring that there would be some huge, ripe cucumbers for this recipe.

My grandma and my great-aunt Olga made similar pickles, but Grandma's were sweeter. My great-aunt Erna made slip-downs that were downright sour, using proportions of 1 c. cider vinegar, 1/4 c. sugar, and 1 Tbsp. pickling salt for her brine. You can vary the spices according to your own tastes and preferences... I added a bit of onion and pepper, a tablespoon of mixed pickling spice, a teaspoon each of mustard seeds, cinnamon bits and dried cracked ginger (or just put a slice of ginger root into each jar), and I left out the whole cloves.

Grandma's Slip-Downs makes 7 pints

12 large, ripe cucumbers (about 7 or 8 pounds)
1/2 cup pickling salt
2 quarts plus 4 1/2 cups water
6 cups sugar (Great-Aunt Olga used 4 cups)
4 cups white vinegar
2 Tbsp. yellow mustard seed
1 Tbsp. whole cloves
1 stick cinnamon (3 inches)

Cut cucumbers in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Peel them. Quarter them into spears or cut them into chunks.

Let the prepared cucumbers stand overnight in a brine of 1/2 cup salt to 2 quarts water. Drain well. (I rinse then drain again, but my grandmother's recipe said not to rinse.)

Put sugar, vinegar, and remaining 4 1/2 cups water into a large, nonreactive pot with the spices. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the cucumbers and bring back to a boil. Cucumbers should look somewhat translucent but still be crisp.

Ladle the hot cucumbers and liquid into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Close with hot 2-piece caps and process jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Slip-downs will be ready to eat in 3 or 4 weeks (2 weeks if you're as impatient as my mother was as a child).

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

And here's a similar recipe from one of my very favorite cookbooks, The Joy of Pickling by Linda Ziedrich. Although I haven't used this particular recipe, I've used her ice-and-salt brining technique on other pickles, and it works well.

Honeyed Sunshine Pickles

7 pounds ripe lemon or pickling cucumbers
1 pound onions, halved and sliced
1/4 cup pickling salt
21 thin slices fresh ginger
3 1/2 cups cider vinegar
1 cup water
1 cup honey
1/4 cup seeded and minced chile peppers
2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
1 teaspoon celery seeds
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 cup golden raisins

Peel, halve, and seed the cucumbers. Cut lemon cucumbers (which are round) into crescents, pickling cucumbers into 1 inch chunks. Toss the cucumbers and onions with the sale, and cover them with ice cubes from 2 ice trays. Let stand 3 to 5 hours.

Drain the vegetables. Rinse them in cold water, and drain them well again. Put 3 ginger slices into each of 7 pint mason jars.

In a large, nonreactive pot, bring the remaining ingredients to a boil, stirring to dissolve the honey. Add the drained vegetables, and slowly bring the mixture to a boil. Ladle the hot vegetables and liquid into the jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Close the jars with hot two-piece caps.

To ensure a good seal, process the jars for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Store the cooled jars in a col, dry, dark place for at least 3 weeks before eating the pickles.

Makes 7 pints.

Claremore, OK(Zone 6a)

Awesome recipes ! I can't wait to try them. They appear easy enough...that maybe even I could make them. lol

Rowlett, TX(Zone 8a)

I am also anxious to try them out...thanks for sharing..


Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

You're welcome! It's especially fun to pass along family recipes.

Campobello, SC(Zone 7a)

You can also make Tzatziki, the yogurt-cucumber sauce used on gyros.

1 large cucumber grated
16 oz yogurt
2 teaspoons of crushed garlic
1 teaspoon of vinegar
2 tablespoons of olive oil
salt and pepper and dill weed to taste


Shred cucumber (easy with cheese grater). Drain liquid.
Mix all ingredients until blended. Allow a few hours in fridge for flavors to blend.
I've also frozen this successfully. It's very good with burger browned with onions and garlic and put into a pita, topped with tomato and lettuce. Or with chicken or steak with veggies wrapped in a tortilla wrap (yes, I know I'm mixing my nationalities :-) And good on hamburgers. Possibilities are endless...but then I'm part Greek and grew up on this stuff.

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I saw "Greek Yoghurt" in the organic market this afternoon... and I wondered if it would be very different than, say, plain Dannon yogurt. Next time I make Tzatziki, should I make a point of getting the greek style stuff?

Campobello, SC(Zone 7a)

no idea what "Greek Yogurt" would be...check the ingredients? maybe they added something and are calling it Greek? I just buy organic yogurt with the active cultures in it...the same brand I buy the flavored kind of...just plain ole regular, but plain, yogurt.
I will say, living in the middle of hicksville, some days I have a hard time just finding pita bread around here. I just gave my mom my shopping list of stuff to bring with her when she comes to visit me in 2 weeks and have a friend in California, where we moved from last Oct., who ships me stuff I can't find here, overnight. You may not want to mention what the ingredients are in that yogurt...I may be begging you to get some dry ice with it and ship it to me :-)

Cochise, AZ(Zone 8b)

I think it is a thicker yogurt but I could be wrong??

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

They also carried goat's milk yogurt, and there may have been a sheep's milk one too... but the "Greek style" yogurt I am pretty sure was cow's milk. And for something entirely different, there was an Australian style yogurt (the label said something about it being extra creamy and mild). Now I am curious... I'll have to get a selection and compare them!

Campobello, SC(Zone 7a)

My boss is from Turkey and we compare recipes/foods all the time. I know his family eats yogurt with almost every meal and they make it, using some from the previous batch for the new batch...sounded a little like pea's porridge in the pot, 9 days old to me.

Deep East Texas, TX(Zone 8a)

That would make sense. By doing so, they keep the culture going. Sounds just like a good sourdough starter.

Waterville, VT(Zone 4b)

It must be a regional thing. I grew up in Vermont eating the ripe Cucumber pickles called Grandma's Slip-Down Pickles talked about in this thread, but they were always called Tongue Pickles. They were called Tongue Pickles of course because they look just like tongues. They were delicious, but I have to admit that Slip-Down sounds so much better. I've never been able to get my wife to try a Tongue Pickle. Maybe she'd eat a Slip-Down LOL!

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

"What's in a name?" LOL A Tongue Pickle by any other name would taste as yummy.... but it might just Slip Down more readily!

I think my nephew would happily eat "Tongue Pickles." Thanks for letting me know they have another name!

Tucson, AZ

Here's my mom's recipe for Refrigerator Pickles. I make these with the cucumbers that get too big to eat fresh. They're delicious.

Refrigerator Pickles Mom

6 cups cucumbers, unpeeles and thinly sliced
1 cup white onion, thinly sliced
1 tbsp. Salt

Mix salt with cucumbers & onions. Refrigerate for 2 hours. Drain.

1 cup cider vinegar
2 cups sugar
1 tsp. Celery seed

Mix this together and stir well. The sugar will dissolve over time and you can shake it up to really mix it in.

Pour this over the cucumbers and refrigerate. Will keep for some time in the refrigerator.

Clay Center, KS(Zone 5b)

I've seen large cucumbers, seeded and spiced similar to spiced apple rings. Don't have a recipe. Has anyone else seen these? Sounds somewhat like the "slip-down" pickles, but these were tinted red and looked like spiced apple rings when they were canned.

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