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Wednesday, 30 July 2014

GAZPACHO

Good Morning to you,


Do you know, I have learnt something about myself since I started blogging.... I did not realise I had so much to say.

If I had to describe myself, I would say I am quite shy, that is until I get to know you, in fact I would go so far as to say I am a very private person..... so the fact that I share so many stories with you is a surprise to me.

Sometimes the memories I share with you are so far back in time, they are memories I have quite forgotten, that is, until I start talking to you.

For instance, when I mentioned Phyllis' wash day experience, it was a memory which surfaced when I saw the mangle at the car boot sale and one I really had not thought about for many years. The same applies to Ivy and Gramp's biscuit tin. These are distant memories.

Memories are fascinating.  I sometimes question my memories and ask myself if my version is a true version, but of course they are a true version, because they are my memories.  For instance two people can experience the same situation, but when asked  to recount the memory, would offer two versions of  the same event. It is a matter of perspective.

I have a great capacity to allow bad memories to recede. What is the point of focusing on regrets.  I focus on the good memories as it is so easy to get caught up with 'what should have been'.

Life has taught me, to always look forward and not behind, what's done is done and it cannot be changed.... and when you have the courage to look forward, you never know what is going to greet you around the corner. Yes of course, what is around the corner may not be exactly what we expected, it would be naive to think that, as life is full of ups and downs.... but with each new day we are offered the chance of new experiences, which turn into new memories. Which we choose to remember is up to us.

For instance, today I am making, 


Gazpacho and whilst making Gazpacho a lovely memory surfaces. Roughly 25 years ago, a  Maltese friend of mine, shared this recipe with me. When we enjoy warm summer days, Gazpacho  is the perfect cold soup, and my mind returns to a time when I spent many a lovely day with my friend. Sadly over the years we lost touch, but I have never forgotten her, I still have my memories.

So it is on with the pinnie and the music I am listening to is,


the fabulous Etta James. I can recommend 'I'd Rather go Blind', 'A Sunday Kind of Love'..... what am I saying, I can recommend the whole album.

So whilst Etta is singing 'Stormy Weather' it is time for me to organise my ingredients.

THE INGREDIENTS
YOU WILL NEED
TO  MAKE 
GAZPACHO

2 slices of bread
3 tablespoons of olive oil
2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 garlic cloves
800g tinned tomatoes
or
800g fresh tomatoes
1 red pepper
100g sun dried tomatoes
300ml tomato juice
1 tablespoon of capers
6 spring onions
1/2 a large cucumber
sea salt
black pepper

GARNISHES

1 yellow pepper
2 spring onions
croutons
4 radishes

HOW TO MAKE
GAZPACHO


Cut the bread into cubes
and


place in a bowl.

Add


the lemon juice,


olive oil
and


crushed garlic


and set aside for the moment.

For this next part of  the Gazpacho,
you might find you need
to blitz the ingredients
in two batches.


Cut the peppers into quarters
and remove the membrane and seeds.

Place in a food processor
along with


the tomatoes,


sun dried tomatoes,


capers,


tomato juice,


cucumber,


and
spring onions.


Blitz
until you have a relatively smooth mixture.


Add the bread, garlic, lemon and olive oil
mixture
and blitz until combined.


Taste for seasoning.
Add
black pepper and sea salt.

Set aside for the moment.

THE GARNISHES


Make the croutons
as we did here.

Chop the cucumber and pepper into cubes.
Slice the spring onions
and 
either leave the radishes whole
or chop them into smaller pieces.


If you have never eaten Gazpacho.... the thought of a cold soup might not be appealing, but do not dismiss this soup, without trying it, as not only  is it a very healthy soup, but it is also  perfect for a warm summer's day.

If the consistency is too thick for you, add a little water to thin the Gazpacho.

You will have noticed that I wrote 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice in the ingredients, this is because as I have mentioned many times before, lemons vary in taste and it is easy to add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and then to add a little more until you get the correct flavour, but it is difficult to disguise the flavour of lemon if you add too much.

Oh yes, if you are using fresh tomatoes, which I sometimes do, then remove the skins and if you prefer remove the seeds as well.

I just know, once you try Gazpacho, you will make it over and over again.

Take care and I will see you on Sunday.

This week I will be joining,

and





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