Several cucumbers, sliced thick
chopped onion (optional)
1/2 c. vinegar
2 tbs. butter
1 tbs. flour
Cut your cucumbers into thick slices, add some chopped onions, if liked, and some salt; let them simmer over a slow fire, till done enough; then pour off a large portion of the liquor [water in which vegetables cooked], and add a little vinegar, pepper, butter and flour; let them stew a few minutes longer, and serve them up with the sauce.
From The Carolina Housewife by Sarah Rutledge, 1847
Comment: Rare indeed today is the notion of cooking a cucumber. The vast majority, of course, are made into pickles, and the remainder doomed to decorate restaurant salads from which they are quietly picked off and ignored or pushed down to drown under the dressing.
Boiled or stewed cucumbers were recommended to those who suffered digestive upset upon eating the vegetable in its raw state. Considering what else people ate in those days we doubt that cucumbers were the main culprit in the epidemic of “dyspepsia” which ravaged the populace, but it couldn’t have helped either.