Thursday, August 21, 2008


Yeah, I finally got around to it.

Perhaps it's more accurate to say that nature finally got around to it. I've been waiting for some time for the magical conjunction of ripe tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, & peppers that means gazpacho season.

Let us not forget garlic!

As fond as I've become of my new willing & adaptable friend, green garlic, I am so happy to see local clove garlics coming onto the scene.

The tomatoes are just the usual locally grown hydroponic variety. I'm pretty fancy, but I'm not yet ready to spring for heirlooms until they are really "there", to my taste. Anyway, the vine-ripe ones are, if not squish-ably ripe at the time of purchase, then easily ready after a day or so in a paper bag.

Of course, those of you with gardens don't have to worry about this economy of tomatoes; you'll be desperate to implement them all, I suppose. I certainly found myself envying you as I reduced the world's most expensive tomato paste, this evening. At $4.99/lb, I spent about eight bucks making roughly one cup of paste, simply to spread on beef bones for a stock. Not my most economically brilliant moment, although that money will be spread back out by the volume & utility of the end product. Score one for Mr. Gourmet McShowoff, right?

For bell peppers, I went with one of those neat-looking purple ones. I found it to be somewhere between a biting green & a sweeter red, which was just what I wanted. Also included was a gift pepper from fellow Challenge participant, e__ly, given to me quite some time ago. Yes, I am starting to wonder about the magical properties of my refrigerator. Although it doesn't even seem to be on when I open the door, it keeps food for bizarrely long periods of time.

The picture was taken on the night I made it, & I do suppose a picture of gazpacho should have been posed on a sun-dappled patio, but I tend to get around to cooking rather late in the day. Eating it that first night, I wasn't overwhelmed, but the thing with soups is to, whenever possible, allow them a day or two of rest before consumption. I find this to be especially true for gazpacho. & tonight, after some four or five days of juicy mingling, the final bowl was fantastic.

So simple, so pure, so encapsulating of the idea of summer. There are few things better.

-nano out.

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