Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Grandpa's Yum-Yum (Summer Recipe)

This is quite possibly the weirdest recipe you'll ever try.

If you even decide to try it. (It's that weird.)

I'll give you an idea - Cucumbers. Milk. Vinegar.

Scared yet?

I promise it's deliciously amazing. This is one of my VERY favorite summer side dishes (particularly when we have dinner from the grill). It's sweet, refreshing, interesting, flavorful - SO GOOD.

I'm sure it has an actual name - somewhere? And it's probably more appropriate to call it something like "Cucumber Salad" or, "Cucumbers in Dressing". But, there's a reason it why I call it "Grandpa's Yum-Yum".

I think this might be a Polish recipe. I think.

Both of my Grandpas are Polish, and they both made this every summer. Being that they never communicated, I can only assume it was passed on from one Polish generation to another. (I don't think either of them were the "look up recipes" type.) And judging by the milk & vinegar combo, I'm gonna say it's a pretty safe guess. When my Grandpa C died, my dad held a small "Polish feast" after his memorial service, serving all Polish dishes, and Yum-Yum was on the menu.

This recipe is actually an adaptation from my Grandpa C's, but it's my Grandpa D who calls it Yum-Yum. I thought it would be fitting to name it "Grandpa's Yum-Yum", kind of giving them both credit, so I can pass it on to my little ones.

Each Grandpa had(has) their own variations - Grandpa C used to add tiny thinly sliced onions in it. Grandpa D puts tomato slices in his. Try 'em both, if you'd like!

You need:
1 cucumber
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup mayo
1/4 cup white vinegar
2 tbspns sugar
1 tspn salt
1/4 tspn pepper
Dill to taste (optional)

Mix everything together in a bowl, except for the cucumber. Slice up your cuke (or cukes if you want to double the recipe for guests) and put them in the bowl you'll serve your Yum-Yum in. Pour the dressing over the cucumbers & stir. Pop it in the fridge for about 2 hours to fully chill (it's best suuuper cold).

That's it!

It doesn't look that scary, right? Try it!


  1. Looks good to me! Refreshing. I love cucumbers but they make me burp. For some reason the English ones don't though.

  2. It's kind of like a coleslaw with cukes huh? Sounds good to me.

  3. Actually, I'm not polish - I'm 100% PA Dutch! (which is a muddled up German) My area is mixed between cultures (eastern PA), but PA Dutch seems to be a prominent background here. So I don't/didn't really know how those recipes originated, but it's a popular dish here year round! Another popular thing is "pepper cabbage". It's made similar to the non-creamy cucumber salad, but you use finely diced up green bell peppers and cabbage instead of cucumbers and onions. Ask your Grandpa if he knows that salad! :) BTW - I said it before, but I love your blog!

  4. This sounds delicious. I will have to try it. We are about to get a ton of cucumbers from the garden and I always get tired of eating them the same way. Thanks for sharing. :)

  5. My grandma always made this! OMG I love this, thanks for posting the recipe :) (PS, this is Kelly, Matt's sister)

  6. Love this salad. Born and raised in PA, grandparents are PA Dutch, and I make it all the time, just throw in some onion and add lots of fresh ground pepper. YUM!

  7. My grandmother was Polish and this was a favorite side dish for meals at their house.