Cucumber  (Cucumis sativus ). The common cucumber is distinguished by heart-shaped leaves, which are rough with hairs approaching to bristles, and oblong fruit. It is a native of the middle and south of Asia, and has been cultivated from the earliest times. Its fruit forms an important article of food in its native regions, the south of Europe, etc., and an esteemed delicacy in colder countries, where it is produced by the aid of artificial heat. Many varieties are in cultivation, with fruit from four inches to two feet long, rough, smooth, etc.

Vegetable Marrow  (Cucurbita ovifera ) is closely allied to the cucumber, and is supposed to have been originally brought from Persia. Like the cucumber it is a tender annual, but succeeds out of doors in summer in this country.

Many other members of the cucumber family are cultivated as esculents, notably in the warmer parts of the world. Of these the chief are Pumpkins, Melon Pumpkin, Water Melon, Chocho, Bottle Gourd, Squash.

Of Cucumbers

How to keep Cucumbers

Take a kettle big enough for your use, halfe full of water, make it brackish with salt, boyle therein ten or twenty Cucumbers, cut in halves, then take the raw Cucumbers, being somewhat little, and put them into the vessell wherein you will keep them, and when your liquor is cold straine so much of it into them, as may keep the Cucumbers  alwayes covered.

To keep boyled Cucumbers

Take a kettle of water, put salt to it, boyle it well, then take your raw Cucumbers, put them into it, and keep them with turning up and downe very softly, till they be as it were per-boyled, then take them out, and lay them aside till they be cold, then put them up in the vessel you will keep them in, and when the liquor is cold, straine it into them, till they be all covered.

To Pickle Cucumbers to keep all the yeare

Pare a good quantity of the rindes of Cucumbers, and boyle them in a quart of running water, and a pint of wine Vineger, with a handfull of salt, till they be soft, then letting them stand till the liquor be quite cold, pour out the liquor from the rinds, into some little barrel, earthen pot, or other vessel, that may be close stopped, and put as many of the youngest Cucumbers  you can gather, therein, as the liquor will cover, and so keep them close covered, that no winde come to them, to use all the year till they have new; if your Cucumbers  be great, 'tis best to boyle them in the liquor till they be soft.