I have a confession to make. I have ants in my house. They are NOT pets and I was dying to get rid of them. I’m not alone, it seems most everyone on our street has them now and we’re all complaining. Folks two houses around the cul-de-sac paid an exterminator to get rid of theirs but I’m not sure I want anyone to spray poison in my kitchen. I’m not quite that desperate. Yet.
Yesterday I did what I should have done two weeks ago when I first started spraying them with Windex and wiping them up, I went on the Internet and Googled “how to kill freakin ants!”
You laugh but check it out, I’m not the only one who has used that same search and there are quite a few results too! I found borax and icing sugar and the ants who visit us think it’s just an appetizer; tried that before in this kitchen. Then I found cucumber peelings. “Ants won’t come near cucumber peelings,” one site said. Since I was headed to the market anyway, I picked up a big juicy cucumber just to see if it would work.
I followed the trail and found where they were strolling happily through a non-existent crack in the window. (They could see it, obviously.) I got out my cucumber and then thought, “Do I want to waste $2.97 on ants when I could use this cucumber in a dish?” No. So I headed back to Mr. Google and found the most delightful Persian salad. It’s got all the things I love like cucumber (obviously), freshly toasted walnuts, sultanas, fresh dill and fresh mint and thick plain yoghurt. It’s also called Mast-o Khiar but at our house it will be “that great salad with cucumber, yoghurt, sultanas and toasted walnuts.”
I had some of everything so I started by putting some yoghurt in a strainer lined with cheesecloth and waited 30 minutes.
While I waited I sprayed a few more ants with Windex and wiped them up. Have I told you how much I HATE ants? I hate them almost as much as I hate a cockroach. Not only do I hate cockroaches, I’m afraid of them. Not sure why but don’t ask me to touch one.
I toasted the walnuts in a dry frying pan, gave them a very rough chop and let them cool. I like big bites of nuts in my salad. Then I snipped the herbs and chopped them and then I did what I’d been waiting to do all day. I peeled the cucumber!
You should have seen me throwing garbage around the kitchen (they WOULD be garbage, right?) and then I waited. The ants didn’t like the cucumber peelings and in 5 minutes there were no more ants on the trail. Now will this cure my ant problem? Probably not because they’ll find another door somewhere but I know I can stop the amount of time needed to Windex and wipe.
As you can see in the photo above, there is no longer a trail of ants into my kitchen. There IS however, a dog who wanted to know why I was putting those foul tasting cucumber peelings on the floor and while I’m at it, could I please toss the ball he’s nearly chewed in two?
Finally, after all the anting, it was time to combine the salad. In my head I kept thinking, it looks like Waldorf salad but I knew it would taste different. It’s fantastic! I ate nearly all the bowl and I was going to wait to serve it with dinner. I think this salad would be PERFECT with something spicy – just the right combination to cut the heat but still be tangy.
If you like these ingredients, you’ve got to try this if it’s not already in your recipe file. The only thing I would do differently next time is to add a bit of red onion. Why? I just like onion. When I took a bite it DID remind me of Waldorf salad but just a bit.
- 275g natural yoghurt (strained)
- 1 large cucumber, peeled and roughly diced
- 2 tablespoons roughly chopped toasted walnuts
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
- 3 tablespoons roughly chopped sultanas (I didn't chop mine, I like nice bites of sweetness)
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Place yoghurt in a strainer or sieve lined with cheesecloth or a coffee filter and let stand til thick enough for a dressing.
- Peel and dice the cucumber, removing the seeds.
- Place walnuts in a frying pan on med-high heat and toss to lightly toast.
- Roughly chop walnuts and leave to cool.
- Mix all ingredients and leave for 1 hour to infuse. (go ahead, taste it - you'll love it)