Wednesday, August 3, 2011

A new day...another day

It has been an atypical summer for me. No swimming through the city gagging on the burning, evaporating dog urine that most of year secretly coats the sidewalks. I have not gone to the beach, and yet I am bronzed though this time with a farmer’s tan. I cool off by taking the garden hose and dousing myself then get back to work. Of course, there is a minimum of three showers a day – two of them usually cold, and the tub pools with browned, gritty water. The only remnant of my morning routine I recognize is the putting up of my coffee water before I step into the first shower of the day.
For the past 10 plus years I would hurriedly gulp down my morning jolt and make a bee-line for the farmer’s market wanting to be the first to reject anything. Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday were my marketing days scrambling home with canvass bags brimming with the bounty of some else’s efforts. Now, seven mornings a week I can be found by 7am in the garden, coffee in one hand, hose set on shower in the other. Yes, I could more easily program the sprinkler head to oscillate letting water cascade hither and thither freeing me to check emails and the news to make sure the world has not imploded overnight. Well, I have my new priorities this season, and damn the world my plants need me more! The lavender should not get watered less I lose another to excessive moisture. However, the adjacent herbs adore being fed and the Vietnamese cilantro prefers a damp environment. The watermelon needs a good soaking, as fruits are still setting up; the poor suffering sorrel is being kept on life support until the cooler weather sets in and it can flourish once again. All the capsicum plants are in constant need and not all same needs. And, lets not forget how the tomatoes need to have their leaves washed daily (keeps the aphids down) but does not want a drenching drink (will cause the tomatoes to crack). Then I need to baby sit the radish, beets and broccoli seeds that I am sowing for an autumnal harvesting those seedlings need to be kept moist during these 90-degree days. So, you see the sprinkler is just not smart and sensitive enough to care for this eclectic assemblage of summer. You would agree, that perhaps next year I could do a better job of placement but if no one needs me…..

Gazpacho – yields 8 to 10 servings
6-cups chopped ripe tomatoes
(seeds discarded to lower its intensity)
1 lime - juiced
1/4-pound cucumber – diced
1 small red onion – finely diced
1 red pepper – seeds discarded; then diced
1/4-cup Thai basil leaves (or common) - chopped
1/4-cup Vietnamese cilantro leaves (or mint) – chopped
1/4-cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon – juiced (approx. 1/4-cup)
Salt to taste

In a blender place the tomatoes, jalapeno and limejuice. Process until everything is broken-down and very smooth.

Pour in a large bowl or 1-gallon glass jar and add the remaining ingredients. Place about 8 ice cubes into the gazpacho and mix everything to combine. Refrigerate at least an hour before serving.

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