Monday, July 30, 2007

I Don't Know if I Cook Anymore!

Since I got this garden thing going, the food is coming in a little more reliably now. At first it was just arugula. Then a few leaves of lettuce. Some cucumbers. Tomatoes.
Each time I eat something from my garden, I have a mental checkmark saying, "OK, I tried that."
But I have to keep remembering that the food keeps growing and I will have to eat it again. And again.
Oh, wow, to quote a hippie I used to be. This is too cool.
So yesterday I prepared four glasses of deconstructed gazpacho from the garden. I had seen a version of it on a blog (cannot refind it, so sorry!), and since we were having friends for dinner, I thought it would be a swanky presentation.
Almost everything was grown in the yard, although we added store-bought vinegar, oil, onions and some mild peppers — all local — plus a little corporate, evil salt. (Salt is necessary for your body; I'm just spoofing my local-ass self.)
Finely diced vegetables were layered in colorful arrangements with occasional sprinklings of salt. When the final layer went on, I realized I had forgotten to put in any onions. Ew, that would make a terrible top layer. Cranky's solution was to puree onion bits with a garlic press, and we stirred the mush into some vinegar and drizzled it over the top. A little olive oil, and a garnish of toasted baguette slice, and done. Cute.
Today we were discussing our trendy verrine. Cranky said, "Wha?" Like he had not heard me already calling the deconstructed gazpacho a verrine.
He thought I was talking about Ben Vereen. Cranky can be so un-trendy.
Doesn't mean he didn't like the "gazpacho."
But now we're just calling it salad in a glass.
(P.S. I do still cook. We also had some spaghetti with cooked backyard arugula in it. And, hey — I did have to run the oven a little to toast those baguette slices.)


ChrisB said...

That looks very pretty I'm sure it tasted good and impressed your friends! :)

Anita said...

It was even more gorgeous in person, and it tasted sooo good. (I'm guessing a lot better than Ben Vereen... even if you'd dosed him with pureed onions. :D )

Thanks for a lovely supper!

El said...

No cooking 'sokay!

Think about the timely coincidence of not cooking and hot weather.

Dagny said...

OK. Now I have that play "Pippin" stuck in my head because many years ago (OK. So it was almost 30.) my parents took me to see it at the Orpheum and Ben Vereen was starring in it.

jeanne bee said...

I am glad it's not just me. I was beginning to wonder if I cook anymore. This whole "summer" thing is new to me! I'm addicted to gazpacho. Cooking this way makes me think I could just go raw. But then I'd have to give up bacon. Raw bacon is not very good.

dancingmorganmouse said...

I can't believe you've actually got me looking forward to summer!

katiez said...

When the food is that fresh no need to spoil it by cooking... Just watch your step around the poultry....
And it is still good to put it on a plate (or in a glass), cutlery is good, too.

Monkey Wrangler said...

(huh, huh.........yeah, yeah!) That is so cool.

You raw vegan hippie. Yer not foolin' anyone.

Okay, so besides the grilled meat, we've been doing lots of guacamole, salsa, and yep, gazpacho. I guess that makes me a summertime raw foodist who twice a week reverts to a caveman.

This looks great. I'm jealous.

cookiecrumb said...

ChrisB: You are too kind.
I think I might even try this again. So, at least we know I impressed someone: me. :D

Anita: You are too kind.
It was kinda fun, eh? Maybe more flavor next time...
Great to see you and Cam!

El: Nature is so smart. (People are beginning to accuse me of being a raw foodie.)

Dagny: Hah. Sorry about the Pippin, if that's a problem. I liked Ben Vereen in Roots.

Jeanne: Oh, and thanks for validating me! Seriously, I thought I'd become a slouch.
And yet... bacon? That's why there are BLTs, which is why there are tomatoes.

Mouse: Who *wouldn't* look forward to summer? Bundle up, now. Keep warm. xx

Katie: You don't think we attempted "drinking" the gazpacho? Yes, cutlery was involved. :D

Monkey Wrangler: I'm just about due for a little cavewoman behavior myself. BLT. With avocado. Which makes it a BLAT.

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Lisa said...

There is a recipe for a layered gazpacho salad served in a trifle dish in one of Julia Child's books--Julia Child and More Company, I think. She always was ahead of her time, that one. Anyway, check it out if you get a chance. It has the very best salad dressing *ever*, maybe for the next go 'round. Not that this one doesn't look scrumptiously wonderful!

cookiecrumb said...

Lisa: My, my, my! How cool that you know that. Thank you. I should really check it out for the dressing, because I thought mine, though bursting with garden flavors, was a little plain.

SteamyKitchen said...

Cute - deconstructed gazpacho!

I tried to con my kids that their sloppy bagged lunch was "decontructed sandwich" but they didn't buy it.

Stacie said...

Ben Vereene, hee hee hee! Nice garden haul, Ms. Crumb!!