Monday, August 5, 2013

Another summer Monday. Cucumbers are swelling on the vines, corn is coming into tassel, and my flower garden overflows with phlox and dahlias and black-eyed susans. Lil Ruckus is sitting on my lap, where he is peacefully digesting his half of the dog's breakfast. All the yard work I meant to finish over the weekend did not get done. As soon as I thought about mucking out the barn, thunder would roar and rain would fall. It was clear that Odin had other ideas for me--for instance, taking a nap and baking raspberry pie two days in a row.

And now today: more Donne, along with a passel of someone else's academic footnotes to clean up. I'm toying with making gazpacho but I'm not sure I have quite enough tomatoes or that it's really quite hot enough outside. Is it gauche to serve gazpacho on a 50-degree evening? My favorite gazpacho recipe is an old M.F.K Fisher transcription from her book How to Cook a Wolf. The premise of this book is learning to deal with wartime food shortages and the subsequent rash of weird processed food that began appearing during 1940s and 50s food rationing. As M.F.K. says:
It is all a question of weeding out what you yourself like best to do, so that you can live most agreeably in a world full of an increasing number of disagreeable surprises. Some of them are merely funny, like the carefully sealed cans filled with milk-solids, nitrous-oxide gas, and suchlike, which spit out a "dessert topping" vaguely reminiscent of whipped cream when held correctly downwards, and a fine social catastrophe when sprayed, heedlessly upright, about the room.
Her gazpacho recipe (which she spells "gaspacho") is delightfully free of nitrous oxide and also requires no food ration cards or expensive meat byproducts, though it does assume that your victory garden is thriving.


Ruth said...

I remember a dessert topping incident!! Mom had made gingerbread for the group of men who met in our cellar once aweek to work on a project for the Lodge. The exaulted someone came to "hang out it the men". He was dressed in all his finest. Need I say more? Let's just say that there was no whipped topping on our walls or furniture!!!

Raspberry pie....yum

CMGadapee said...

I never really thought about the fact that there was a need for recipe books that helped women with the stresses of having to cook with replacement items, food shortages, ration coupons, etc. Such an eye opener.