Granny (Mum's mum) was born in Poland but lived her adult life in Brussels, where Mum was born, and then Sydney. I don't remember her cooking us anything. All I remember is her peeling an apple with a knife before eating it. We loved to watch one long peel come off the apple with no breaks.
However, Mum used to make this recipe of her Mum's a lot and I loved it. As much as I have sweet tooth, I always loved any salad with as much vinegar as possible. The recipe below was given to me by Mum orally and I wrote it down as she spoke.
I decided to take a photo of a cucumber to go with this blog post, then decided just to make the salad for dinner tonight (one of my sons, Gil, has inherited my taste for vinegar and pickles), so here it is:
Mum's version of Granny's cucumber salad
1. Slice a cucumber VERY finely.
2. Sprinkle salt through it, put it in a bowl with a plate over it and a heavy weight on the plate so that the cucumber is squashed down (whatever's on the plate will get its bottom wet so wrap it with glad wrap our use something that can take it).
3. Leave it for an hour or so - or longer if you want - then pour off the liquid, drain it well.
4. Pour over the dressing:
The original dressing, from memory, was:
1/2 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar - heated and boiled a few minutes, then cooled & when cold pour over cucumber.
Mum did not measure exactly & used less water and less sugar. Experiment! It is always easy enough to add a little sweetener later if not sweet enough or some extra sugar melted in a little water. Better made well before you need it to let it all soak through.
Gil enjoying his late great-Granny's cucumber salad