Wednesday, August 28, 2013


Mary Mary quite contrary
How does your garden grow?
The next blog that I write will be named “The Accidental Gardener.”  Every spring, with great anticipation and fervor, we head to North Haven Gardens to select vegetables and herbs to plant in our garden.  And that’s pretty much where the green thumb ends.  If it does not grow without basic watering and an occasional spray of MiracleGro, then that plant is not for us.  This season we bought some squash plants (3 of everything, as if the kids really remember which plant is theirs).  The squash plant grew out of control – over the garden wall, up the fence, onto the tree.  There were tons of blooms and 1 squash in sight.  One afternoon I decided it was time to pull up all of these vines.  As I ventured between the fence and the garage, the vine was really heavy.  The squash that happily grew unattended was almost the size of a 7 year olds head!

If you have better luck with gardening, or buy product in a grocery store, then whip up your bounty into a gazpacho (a summertime, tomato-cucumber, drinkable salsa – as close to a direct quote by David as I can remember).

TBM reader and good friend, Kathryn, shared her favorite recipe as did my Uncle Willy.  Try one – try both!

Kathryn’s Gazpacho
1.      1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
2.      1-2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
3.      4 plum tomatoes
4.      ¼ red onion
5.      3 garlic cloves, minced
6.      24 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
7.      1/4 C white wine vinegar
8.      1/4 C good olive oil
9.      1/2 T kosher salt
10.  1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop.  Garnish with basil or cilantro, if you choose.

Willy’s Gazpacho
1.      1 lb fresh peeled tomatoes (a one pound can of peeled whole tomatoes can be substituted)
2.      2 large cloves garlic
3.      1 t salt
4.      Dash of cayenne pepper
5.      1 t sugar
6.      1 cucumber
7.      ½ red or green bell pepper
8.      3 T olive oil
9.      2 T tablespoons red wine vinegar
10.  2– 4 C chicken broth (depending on desired consistency – always start with a lessor amount as you can always add more)
11.  2 slices pumpernickel bread

Place all ingredients into a blender or Cuisinart, incorporating everything together (will probably need to do this in 2 or 3 batches).

Chill thoroughly.  Serve in small individual bowls or coffee mugs topped with one or more of chopped scallions, green peppers, and cucumbers.  If desired, prepare (or purchase) garlic croutons crisped in the oven.

Note: To peel fresh tomatoes, immerse tomatoes in boiling water.  After 30 – 45 seconds (yes, that’s seconds) remove tomatoes and place in ice water.  After thoroughly chilled, lift a piece of skin from around the stemmed end (with either a paring knife or your fingernail) and peel away!

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