What's Going on Today: Hanging out in Cooperstown for the Fourth. Lots of fun in the sun, planning for an afternoon boat trip.
Naptime Goals: Lesson from Mom on how to make her awesome Gazpacho.
Tonight's Menu: Gazpacho, Turkey Burgers, salad, ice-cream.
Parenting Lesson of the Day: Don't tease toddlers about fish eating their toes, unless you don't want them in the water.
You know I always love a good hand-me-down recipe, so you can imagine how excited I was last weekend when my Mom showed me how to make her nearly famous Gazpacho. I say nearly famous because it hasn't been printed anywhere yet, but, now that it has, I'm sure it's destined for glory. The oppressive heat and humidity in Cooperstown gave us the perfect opportunity for a naptime gazpacho making lesson. We were all too happy to stay in the air conditioned kitchen during the heat of the afternoon, and even more pleased that we didn't have to turn on heat inducing appliances to make dinner.
As you'll see above, Mom's recipe is based on an old How to Make Gazpacho tutorial she ripped out of McCall's long before I was born. It outlines the basics of gazpacho and gives the reader freedom to make changes as needed. My mother has been working on her "changes as needed" for roughly 34 years and has managed to buff and polish her version to a near perfect shine.
It turns out that one of her main secrets for this recipe is spicy V8. She swears that it contains the perfect amount of spice and is easier to measure than Tabasco. If someone wants more heat, she says, place a bottle of Tabasco on the table and they can help themselves. She also swears that a squeeze of lime in each bowl immediately prior to serving is key to uniting the flavors of garlic and tomato. This is a tip she learned from her friend Geri.
Gazpacho, like most soups, is best after it's been able to rest for a bit in the fridge. This allows the flavors to blend and mature. Though I didn't tape dinner, rest assured that we gobbled it down in the blink of an eye. You can imagine how grateful we all were to be enjoying cold soup on such a hot day and how particularly happy I was to be in possession of such a fabulous recipe.
Mom's Nearly Famous Gazpacho
3 medium plum tomatoes, seeded and roughly chopped
1 large cucumber, peeled
2 green onions, washed
1 red pepper
2 cloves garlic
11 oz. regular tomato juice
8 oz. Spicy V8 Tomato juice
2 T. olive oil
1/3 c. red wine vinegar
1 t. Kosher salt
1 t. pepper
1. In a food processor fitted with a blade attachment place 6 oz. of regular tomato juice, the red pepper, onions and garlic. Pulse 3-4 times. Add the cucumber and tomatoes. Pulse 3-4 times. Add the rest of the regular tomato juice, red wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Pulse 3-4 times. Finally, add in the spicy tomato juice and olive oil. Pulse 1-2 times.
2. Chill in the fridge until ready to serve. When serving, squeeze the juice of 1/2 lime over each bowl and stir in to each portion.
Naptime Recipe Variations: There are plenty of great recipes for gazpacho. If you'd like to sweeten it up a bit add some fruit like cantaloupe or honeydew. If you think you need more heat, swirl in a few splashes of Tabasco to give it a boost.
Naptime Stopwatch: This recipe, from start to finish, takes about 15 minutes.
Naptime Reviews: My daughter doesn't love cold soup yet - she thought this was salsa - but was game for dipping a few chips in it. My husband, well, you can see me swatting his hand away from the Cuisinart above!