Monday, September 11, 2017


I know I've talked about this before, but I feel it necessary to mention again, because it's something about which I am passionate. A while ago, someone asked me why I didn't store all of my recipes in a digital format. She really gave me the business for still having recipes that were handwritten, photocopied, printed, or taken directly from the newspaper. Frankly, I was shocked that a serious cook felt this way.

The reason I am not totally digital (and never will be) is because, as much as I do like current technologies, I also like the personal aspect of things, particularly when it comes to something as life shaping as food and dining.

Case in point: Last week I was flipping through a cookbook that Jim and I had put together during the 21 years of our marriage. It contained all kinds of recipes that we had tried and liked, along with notes written on each one reflecting changes that we’d made, how much we’d liked it, the improving changes that we would like to make in the future, and the date that it was served.

In the doing, I came across a recipe for Gazpacho. Jim had marked it "Made for Pattie 9/14/04, she loved it! "It did my heart good to see his handwriting on this recipe that he had made thirteen years prior, and, he's right, I did love it. Why I never made it again is anybody's guess but, I decided to wax nostalgic this past week, make use of the few homegrown tomatoes  that remain, and make it again. I liked it just as well as I obviously did in 2004! It's a good one, and I encourage you to try it.
from the Time-Life Cooking of the World Series

2 medium-sized cucumbers, peeled and coarsely chopped
5 medium-size tomatoes, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 medium-size green pepper, seeded, and coarsely chopped

2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
4 cups coarsely crumbled French or Italian bread, trimmed of crusts
4 cups cold water
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
4 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste

In a deep bowl, combine the coarsely chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, onion, green pepper, garlic, and crumbled bread, and mix together thoroughly. Then stir in the water, vinegar, and salt. Layer the mixture, about 2 cups at a time, into the jar of a blender and blend at high speed for one minute, or until reduced to a smooth purée. Pour the purée into a bowl and with a whisk beat in the olive oil and tomato paste.

Cover the bowl tightly with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least two hours, or until thoroughly chilled. Just before serving, whisk or stir the soup to recombine it. Then ladle it into a large, chilled terrain or individual soup plates.

NOTE: Above are the directions that appeared in the original recipe. I made it much easier on myself, and threw everything into the food processor with the exception of the olive oil. I pulsed until it was thoroughly combined, and then, with the food processor running, drizzled the olive oil through the top of the food processor keeping it running for the duration. That was it. The soup was finished.

Garnish as you like. I used a few slices of
Hearts of Palm, two cilantro leaves, and a trio of capers.

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Linda said...

Awww that is so sweet! I still have the "decoupage" recipe box my Mom made me back in the early 1970s. It is precious to me and the recipes in it (mostly handwritten) are primarily ones from early marriage. I have some of Mom's handwritten recipes that I cherish and my daughter will cherish when I'm gone. Those things can't be replaced by digital. ;)

Rustown Mom said...

One of my favorite things is to come across a recipe written by hand from a friend or family member. It's one of those "spark joy" moments. (: Your soup looks delightful and those cabbage bowls are sweet!

Alycia Nichols said...

I'm with you, girl! I still write things by hand. I find things my Dad or others wrote by hand, and it makes me feel closer to them. Digital is great, but handwritten is heart.

My sister and niece are gazpacho lovers. I'm going to pass your recipe along to them. As long as they don't come sniffing around MY tomato plants!!! 😜

judee said...

I'm sure it was a good memory to see his handwritten note on the soup recipe.
You are right that can't happen on technology I actually started my blog because I could never find my handwritten recipes or cut outs from magazines and newspapers. The technology helps keep me organized.
I love your serving pieces- lovely presentation

Mary@mydogsmygardenandmary said...

What a wonderful way to keep your notes on your recipes. I love that cold soup and could eat it until I fell over LOL.

As to the lady commenting on your cook books. I love my books, some of them are old and have cooking marks on them - they are like a treasure. I have one in particular that I love from a little town that the ladies in the church put there best recipes in there and had them bound. I would trade that for all the money in the world. Just good old fashion country cooking.

Have a great week and how wonderful to find a note from your husband.


Sandra Lee said...

This sounds delicious and I love your presentation. I keep lots of recipes digitally but there's nothing like coming across a handwritten recipe given to me by a family member. Priceless! Thank you for sharing with us this week at Celebrate Your Story and we hope you will join us again next week.