Chap. 178. Of Cucumber Garden
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I. The Names, It is called in Arabick, Chatty 6? Chethete: in Greek, siw ημ*ς& : in La* tin, Cucumis & Cucumer Sativus: in English, Garden Cucumber.
II. The Kinds. Of these we make four several brts, viz. 1. Cucumis vel Cucumer vulgaris, The Common Garden Cucumber. 2. Cucumis Anginuus, The long Snake-like or Serpentine Cucumber. 3. Cucumis vel Cucumer Piriformis, Pear-fashioned Cucumber. 4. Cucumis vel Cucumer Hispanicus, The Spanish Cucumber.
III. The Descriptions. The first has a Root which is long and white, with divers Fibres adjoining to it, from whence spring forth many trailing rough green Branches, lying on the Ground ; all along whereof grow several heaves, which are rough, broad, uneven at the edges, and pointed at the ends, with long crooked twisting Tendrels or Gaffers, coming forth at the same Joint with the Leaf, but on the other side thereof. Between the Stalks and the Leaves, at the Joints, come forth Mowers J eve rally, each standing on a short Footstalk, opening it self into five Leaves, of a yellowish' color ; at the bottom of which gnus
the Fruit, long, and green at first; but when it is it >rough ripe,, a lit lie yellowish, having many burrows an.l uneven Bunchings out the whole length of it, with long yellowish white fiat Seed, lying dispersed in Rundles as it were, and very regularly thro* its wholeSubfjancc. The inward Pulp or Substance is dear or through shining, which together with the Seed is eaten a little before they be fully ripe ._· of this Cucumber there is the shorter, which is of an equal bigness in tie body thereof; and the longer, of an unequal bigness at both ends ; and a very long one, which is near a foot in length: there is also the earlv. kind, called the French kind, which are the worftof 'ally and the Dantisk kind, which bears but small bruit, growing on short Branches or Runners, of which kind the Cucumbeis we usually Pickle are.
IV. The second, or Long Serpentine Cucumber, has a Root much like the former, having long trailing Branches, Tendrels and Leaves, (tho lesser) much like the former. The bruit, Jays Gerard, if very long, (and something twining, like a Serpent or Snake ) which (Jays he) were at first ?nade by Art and Manuring, and were afterwards sο brought forth by Nature : for at first, when the bruit was small and little, it was put into some hollow Cane, or other like thing made ej purpose, in which the Cucumber did grow, and that in length according as the Cafe it was enclcfcd in would permit it. It grew long by reason of the narrow Hollowness in which it was enclosed, which being filled up, it encreased in length. The Seeds of this kind of Cucumber being sown, bring forth not such as it were before this Application of Art; but such as these are which Art has jramed, which now of their own Growth are long, and oftentimes very crookedly turned; whence came the Name Anguini, or Long Cucumbers.
V. The third, or Pear-like fashioned Cucumber, has a fibrous or thready Root, from whence come many trailing Branches, lying jlat upon the Ground, rough and prickly ; whereon do stand at each Joint, one rough Leaf sharp-pointed, and of an over-worn green color : among which come forth clasping Tendrels, and also slender boot-stalks, on which do grow yellow Star-like Flowers : the bruit is at first green and long'ifk, which coming to its bignejs, jorms it self much like to a Pear, greenish on one side, and of a whitish green on the other, and is much about the largeness of a great Warden : the Seed is long, fiat and whitish, like the other.
VI. The fourth, or Spanish kind, ( which were brought out (j Spain first to Strasburgh, and from ι hence to ι/s J is a rare and beautiful Cucumber: it has a fibrous Root, from whence come forth rough and hairy trailing Branches, Jet with very large rough Leaves, sharp-pointed, in Form like unto the Leaves of the great Bur-dock, but more cut in or divided : among which at the Joints come forth upon tender footstalks, fair, naked yellow Flowers; the which being past, the Fruit comes in its place a foot in length, green on the side towards the Ground, and yellowish on the Sunny part, ft raked 'with many Spots and Lines of divers colors, whose Pulp or Meat " hard and soft, like that of our Melon or Pom-pion.
^_· Yttces. These Cucumbers all grow in Gfrdens) not only in England, but in most parts of the World, especially in all the more Southern Countries, where the Heat of the Sun makes them to grow and nouriifi admirably well.
VIII. Ί he Times. They are planted in April, and they are fit for eating in June, July and August ; and the Seed is fully ripe about the latter end of September.
IX. An Observation about Planting then. About
the middle of April, or something loouer, (it the Weather is warm J you must make a Bed or Bank of hot and new Horle-dung, taken from the Stable, and not trom the Dung-hill, of an Ell in breadth, and two feet and half in depth, but of what length you pleale, accordingly as it may hold the quantity ot numbers of the Seed you intend to use : this Bank you shall cover with Hoops or long slender Sticks, lb bent and bowed, that you may cover the whole Bank or Bed with Mats or some other warm Covering, Straw, or the like, to keep it from the Injury of cold irulty Nights, that the Seeds which are planted or sown, may not be nipt : then shall you cover your Bed over with the bell and fattest Earth, finely lifted thro' a Wire Sieve, that it may be half a foot thick, in which you shall set or low your Seed : this being done, calt your Straw or other Coverture over the same, and lb let it rest without looking upon it, or taking away of your Covering, for the space of seven or eight days at moil _·, tor commonly in that space ot time they thru It themselves tliro' the Earth. Then must you call upon them, in the hottest time of the day, some Water which has stood in the House or the Sun a day before, or Water of which the Cold is just taken of t} ior otherwise, if the Water cast upon them is just taken forth out of the Pump or Well, it will lb cool and chill them, being brought forth and nourished in such a hot place, that presently, even in one day, you will have kill'd all your Plants; your Plants will not only be kill'd, but your Bank also will be chill'd and loose its Heat.
X. Observ. 2. This is also to be noted, That the young Plants must every day when the Sun shines warm, be opened and exposed to its Beams, and at Evening every Night they must be covered a-gain _·, this must be done from time to time, till the Plants have four or fix Leaves apiece, and that the Danger of the cold Nights and nipping Season is past _·, then they must be replanted with a great deal of Care, taking each Plant up with the Earth flicking to its Root, and they must be placed as near as may be in the most fruitful and tat Soil , and in that part of the Garden which is most sheltred from Cold and piercing Winds, and where the Sun shines warmest. Now, you must also observe, That upon this Replantation, you must covet them with some thin Mats or Wifps of Straw, propped up with forked Sticks or some such-like thing 5 and this thing is to be done every Night, to keep them from the Cold of the Night, and sometimes in the Daytime, to keep them from the too great Heat of the Sun ; otherwise, tho' you have brought your Work thus far on, all your Labor may be loft : for they cannot, whilst they be young and newly planted, endure either over-much Cold or over-much Heat, till they be well rooted and fixed in this their new Habitation.
XI. Observ. 7. Sometimes it falls out that some Seeds are more forward than the rest, and therefore do commonly rise up very nakedly, with long Necks, not much unlike to the Stalk of a small Mushroom of a Night old. This naked Stalk you must cover with the like fine Earth, even up to the green Leaves : you must also have that regard to your hot Bank, so to place it, that by its Situation it may be defended from the North, North-East and East Winds. If these Instructions be carefully observed, you never will have cause to complain that your Seeds were not good, nor your Clime too cold or intemperate, by reason of which you should be frustrated in having of Fruit , but if your Seed is hard, plump, firm and good, it will certainly pr°ve fruitful, tho' in the most Northern parts ot Scotland.
XII. The Qualities. They are all cold and moist in the second Degree: Aperitive, Diuretick, Stoma-tick, Alterative, and highly Antiscorbutick.
XIII. The Specification. It cures the Scurvy, and prevails against Heat of Urine.
XIV. The Preparations. You may have therefrom, 1. A liquid Juice of the bruit. 2. An Essence of the same, 3. The green Fruit 4. Pottage. 5. A Lotion orWafh 6. A distilled Water 7. The tjced. 8. Pickled Cucumbers, 9. Pickled after the Mango fashion.
XV. The liquid Juice, It is expressed from the Cucumber, either ripe, or almost ripe, or unripe, as they are most fit to be eaten. It opens, is cool and cleansing, provokes Urine, and opens the Obftru&i-ons of the Brest, Lungs, Liver and Reins, and takes away Inflammations of those Parts. It helps Heat, Sharpness and Scalding of Urine. Dose from 1 to 3 ounces twice a day. Outwardly applied, it makes the Skin smooth arid fair: and being taken for some considerable time, it perfectly cures the Scurvy in a hot Habit of Body.
^ XVI. The Essence, It has all the Virtues of the former, but not full out so cold _·, for which Reason this may be taken by it self, from 1 to 3 ounces or more * whereas the other ought to be taken mixed with Ale or White Port Wine. It is an excellent Stomatick, very much pleasing and gratifying the Viscera, if inflamed or over-heated.
XVII. The green or unripe Fruit, It is first pared, then iliced thin \ after which it is seasoned with Pepper, Salt, Vinegar and Oil, an Onion or two being afro thin diced and Hired, and put thereto. It is grateful to the Stomach above all other Sallets * it cools the Heat thereof as also the Inflammation of the Lungs and other Viscera. It cures the Scurvy in a cold Habit of Body, nor is there a greater Antiscorbutick in the World, and may be freely eaten two or rhree times a day, and in large quantities too, without any danger or hurt to the Stomach and Bowels, tho' some ignorant People may affirm the contrary. God and Nature has replenished all the hot Regions and Countries of the World with them in a very ample manner $ and it is my Opinion, that they are a great means of the Preservation of Life in all those lultry hot Parts of the Earth, and a singular Preventive of Diseases, especially of all such as proceed from Inflammation, violent Heat and Fevers, of what kind soever. It was not without some Reason that the Children of Israel lulled after them in the Wilderness: Numb. II. 5. We remember ( said they ) the Fish which we did eat in iEgypt freely, the Cucumbers, and the Melons, and the Leeks, and the Onions, and the Gar-fat And by this it appears also, that Aegypt was very well ftored with them. m XVIII. The Pottage. Take the Fruit, cut it in pieces, and chop it as Herbs to the Pot, and stew the same in a finall Pipkin (or Stew-pan) with a Piece of Mutton, (Bee__ Veal, Lamb, or other *kftO adding in the ftewing fine Flower of Oat-Meal, to give ft the Consistence of Pottage : Gerard. This may be made favory with a little Salt, and if you f0 please you may also add to it the Juice °f an Orange, to make it grateful, of which you ***ϊ eat from half a pint to a pint, or a good ror-5??δ«γ full every Morning to Breakfast, as much at ~!nner, and the same again at Supper. Eaten'in ^V^nner for the space of three Weeks together, without IntermiiTion, it will perfectly cure all man-
aS°!jkltpuftles> and coPP«or red Faces, red TO nery mining Notes, (the? as red as red Rofcs)
tho' the Skin is filled with Pimples, Rubies, Scurrf, Morphew, Herpes, Tettars, Ringworms, and other like Breakings out.
XIX. The Lotion or Wain. $t strong White Wine Vinegar a quart, Juice of Cucumbers a pint, Orrice-Root in fine flower or pouder, Flowers of Sulphur, or* Sulphur in fine pouder of each an ounce: Camphir in fine pouder half an ounce, beaten with four blanched Almonds-, Juice of eightfowreLimons,eightOak-apples cut thro'the middle: put all these into a strong double Glass,shake them together very strongly, and set it in the Sun or an equivalent Sand beat for 12 or 14 days. This does not only help red and fiery Faces, but also takes away Pimples, Rubies, Freckles, Lentils, yellow Spots, Scurrf, Morphew, Herpes, Tettars, Ringworms, Tanning, Sun-burning, and all other Deformities of the Face and Skin. The Face or Skin ought first to be washed pure and clean with fair warm Water, to open the Pores thereof and then to be dried with a Cloth _·, and then as soon as that is done, this Wash is to be used and laid on4 and so to be suffered to dry in of it self, without wiping away. It is to be used Morning arid Nighty and always during the whole time of eating the above prescribed Pottage.
XX. The distilled Water. It is good to cool the hot Distemper of the Liver and Blood, to quench thirst, cool the Heat of Fevers, and take away the Dryness and Roughness of the Tongue. It is good against the Heat of the Reins, as also the Sharpness, Scalding and Stoppage of Urine. Outwardly used, it cools Inflammations, helps Blood-shot and Red-ness of the Eyes, clears, cools and smooths the Skin, and is good against most Deformities thereof being often applied thereto.
XXI. The Seed made into an Emulsion with tht distilled Water. It wonderfully cools the Heat of the Reins, and takes away the Scalding and Sharpness of Urine * and that Pain which is caused by the Application of Cantharides in Epifpaft/cks i or Blistring-plasters, which sometimes, by their lying on too long, cause phTing of Blood, and almost the greatest Extremity _·, these ill Accidents this Medicine suddeniy and easily cures, &c.
XXII. Pickled Cucumbers* There are various ways of pickling Cucumbers, which we have taught in our Doron Medicum lib. Ί. cap. ly.fetf. 14, 15, and other ways in some other of our Books j but this following is beft. Take a thousand English Cu-* cumbers, wipe them very clean with a dry Cloth, and lay them in a Stone Pot or Jar, with Fennel and Dill, and Cloves of Garlick, lay upon lay : upon which put boiling hot this Pickle. Take the best White Wine Vinegar four Gallons fait Brine (rriadef so strong as it may bear an Egg) fix quarts choice Brandy or Sugar Spirits three quarts; white Pepper bruised thre# ounces _·, Cloves flit, Mace, of each half an ounce: having ftood a day, flop them elofe up 5 and they will be fit to eat in about a Weeks time. After three Weeks or a Month draw of f or decant the Pickle, which boil, fcum and put to the Cucumbers again, and so keep them for use. This is the usual Method. But Experience has told me 1. That there is no need of drawing of f, and boiling the Pickle at all, for the Brandy or Sugar Spirits are a fufheient rrefervative of it. 2. That the first adding of the Brandy or Spirits ought to be after the boiling of the Pickle, when you are just a going to put it upon the Cucumbers. These pickled Cucumbers excellently strengthen the Stomach, refill the Scurvy, and cause a good Appetite*
XXIII. Pickled Cucumbers after the Mango fa* Jhion. Take Cucumbers which are pretty large, but such as are very hard and green; wipe them dean, flit them on one side, and take out all the Seeds and
middle Pulp , and put in, in the place thereof, three or tour or more Cloves of Garlick, a llice of Ginger, and half a dozen or more of Pepper Corns, only crackt into three or four pieces ; which done, tye them up with a Thread : then take the belt White Wine Vinegar as much as will cover them, adding what Salt you think h*t, with Pepper Ginger, Cloves and mace , make this Pickle just boil, and put it upon your Cucumbers boiling hot: repeat the boiling the next day, and pour it on hot as before. Alier this take a well glazed Stone Pot, into which put your Cucumbers, laying them smooth and well one by one, and then having put to every gallon of Pickle a pint of pure Lime Juice, not adulterated, put it upon the Cucumbers, which cover, and let them stand over a moderate fire till the Liquor is scalding hot, taking care that it may not boil: when you fee the Cucumbers green enough, take them out and put them into a Stone Jar, placing them one by one very smooth and well: this done, when the Pickle is cold, you may add to it to every gallon thereof, a quart of Brandy or Spirit of Wine, and half a pint of whole Mustard Seed tyed up loose .in a Rag. Note, Some, in making of the Pickle, take pure White Wine Vinegar, to a gallon of which they add Lime Juice a quart, fait Brine strong enough to bear up an Egg three pints or better, not putting in any other Salt: with this they proceed as before is directed, and at the last add the aforesaid proportion of Spirit of Wine, which makes an absolute and singular Pickle, and so good, as will keep your Cucumbers all the Year round. These are more Stomatick than the former, more grateful to the Pallate, cause a good Appetite, resist the Scurvy, and have all the good Properties of the former, with many other Advantages.