A recipe seems to be one of those things that families hang on to, not just because it’s traditional, but because it is tried and true. One family recipe that is sure to become an heirloom recipe in our family is– believe it or not –Iranian Cucumber Salad. (No, I’m not Iranian.)
When I was a baby, my father taught English as a Second Language at a university in Iran. My mother learned to make several Iranian dishes during the two years we lived there. For years and years when I was growing up, my parents would periodically invite friends over for Iranian Night. They would show slides and talk about what it was like to live in Iran in the 1970s. And my mom would make her Iranian dishes. I loved Iranian Night!
One of my favorite dishes was, and continues to be, Iranian Cucumber Salad. It’s very simple to make, although you need 24 hours to do it. It’s healthy, and the cucumber-dill combination is absolutely delicious. My kids LOVE it and always wish we had leftovers.
fresh, light dish that's easy to make
- 9-10 cucumbers
- 3-4 green onions
- 2 tsp. dried dill (or 2 Tbsp. fresh dill, chopped)
- 2-3 Tbsp. plain yogurt, mayonnaise, or sour cream
Peel cucumbers. Slice in half length-wise and scoop out seeds with a spoon. Grate cucumbers. (A food processor is quickest.)
Chop green onions. Place cucumbers and green onions in a colander. Sprinkle with salt. Allow cucumbers to drain for about 24 hours in the sink (or use a bowl underneath to catch the liquid).
After about 24 hours, place cucumber/onion mixture in a bowl. Mix with dill and mayonnaise or sour cream or yogurt. Serve immediately or chill if desired.
Simple recipe, but it requires sitting for 24 hours.
What recipes are your family favorites? Which have the potential to become heirlooms, something passed down through generations? If you haven’t shared the recipe with your family yet, here are a few of great ways to do it. What I love about these options is that you can include photos, too! These examples are fully editable, too–so if you don’t have campfire recipes but have a collection of grandma’s recipes instead, you can change things around however you want. I love how personal these are:
- a simple 4×6 card
- a little 6×6 wirebound book with a plastic cover and thick pages
- a 6×9 wirebound book
Explore your family stories and family history through heirloom recipes. Which ones might make a really fun dinner on New Year’s Eve?