The Gazpacho Chronicles

Gazpacho

Gazpacho (Photo credit: Sarmale / O.)

Summer is here and the arrival of summer for me is not the date on the calendar nor is it the
temperature outside. The arrival of true summer, to me, is when gazpacho, the chilled, delicious Spanish soup is available to buy in stores. Many people make it themselves, I am not one of them. I don’t have a food processor nor do I have the patience to chop /blend tiny bits of vegetables. In the town where I live I have started to review gazpacho from a variety of stores in and near Chappaqua, NY.

The first restaurant I went to was Local, a very sweet, small restaurant that has not been open that long but serves salads, sandwiches, soup, ice cream and everything there is simply delicious. Everything there seems natural, your sweetened iced tea made with agave syrup. Their gazpacho that I took out was very smooth with a hint of citrus, I loved it. Adam, the owner made sure to give me bread along with it and treated me to one of his infectious smiles. How did this town exist before Local? To be noted: they use paper products to go which is great for the environment but they always spill over, every single time.

The other place I tried gazpacho is from a fancy store called Susan Lawrence, it’s hard to describe but to say it is a gourmet deli is an understatement. All their things are beautiful, truly beautiful. Their cookies and cakes are stunning to look at, they have salads, entrees, cakes, soups. Their gazpacho had chunks of vegetables in it, tasted delicious, it’s just a matter of taste. I prefer smooth gazpacho, the chunks in Susan Lawrence’s were a little too big for my taste. Take out containers were sturdy plastic.

Big, did I say big? I take it back. Today I went to the new supermarket in Armonk called Deciccios (we are all deathly jealous of the store) and tried their gazpacho.  I practically needed a fork and steak knife it was SO chunky and spicy. I wasn’t a big fan at all, had a tiny bit and called it a night.Did not even finish the small amount in the bowl.  I would not go back for more although I did beg the supermarket manager to open up in OUR town. They said I was the 10th or 11th person to beg them to come.

One last stop, Joe from Le Jardin de Roi offered me a free sample of gazpacho on Facebook. Don’t worry, I’m coming…We went tonight with our son and the adorable Joe seemed kind of excited to have us try his. The gazpacho was very good (not cold enough for my liking) and had the power of spice at the end of it.If it had been a little colder it would have been a contender to tie for first place. However, I cannot leave this blog without a special mention to Le Jardin de Roi  FANTASTIC RIBS.  if you haven’t had them yet, RUN, do not walk, RUN to get them. They are the most unbelievable ribs I have ever eaten and I only eat ribs there. My husband quoted me saying “I could never be a vegetarian just because of these ribs.”  Trust me, my life is really all about food and if tell you something is fabulous it is. Check it out when you are in the neighborhood. Tell them Laurie sent you. You won’t be sorry, I promise.

Gazpacho Ratings

First Place:   Local

Second Place: Le Jardin De Roi

Third Place: Sussan Lawrence

Fourth Place: Deciccios

*RIBS: only at Le Jardin, I’m still licking my chops…so to speak.* MUST HAVE!

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Plinky Prompt: A Pill or Food?

  • If you could get all the nutrition you needed in a day with a pill —no worrying about what to eat, no food preparation — would you do it?See all answers 
  • Red pill / blue pill
  • HA HA, let me hold on to this kitchen table before I fall to the floor laughing hysterically. The answer to this absurd question of “if I could get all the nutrition I needed in a day with a pill instead of food” is to me, laughable. I’m a foodie or at least a foodie wannabe. I love thinking about food, seeing food, tasting food, eating food, talking about food…I just lack the ability to make the real food. Going out to eat is a guilty pleasure, dessert is my weakness. Give me French bread, cheese, red grapes, I’m happy. Or last night’s dinner was: scrambled eggs, with two kinds of cheese and avocado, a slice of Zaro’s multi-grain bread, delicious. It doesn’t have to be fancy, it just has to fit what I am craving. Next stop: I’m searching for gazpacho in all the right places. I’m too lazy to make it (I don’t have a food processor) and I want to taste all the different kinds that the shops make in the neighborhood…starting tomorrow. Hear that Joe? I’m coming in for that free sample.
    A pill instead of food? Nonsense, that’s no fun at all. Besides, what about dessert? My most favorite part? My sweet tooth would not be satisfied by anything pill shaped. Not even a sugar cube would do.

  • Gazpacho (Spanish liquid tomato salad).

    Gazpacho (Spanish liquid tomato salad). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The Letter

Thomas the Tank Engine depicted in the TV Series

Image via Wikipedia

Dear Kate,

It’s been a long time since we last talked or wrote each other. How are you? I have a feeling I know. I can’t believe our boys are graduating from High School in four weeks.  It doesn’t matter that so many miles and so many years have passed by. We still have the memories, the boys still have a connection and so do we. As I grow older I realize that there are many types of friendships on so many levels and they are all different and good.

Right now, I am stuck in between pride and delight and loss and simple sadness.  It seems like it was yesterday that our two boys, mine with his dark brown hair and yours with his light blond hair were playing in the sandbox together and sipping apple juice from juice box containers, tilting their heads back and drinking from the tiny spout without the straw. Our whole family called it the “Nick” way for many years; it made quite an impression! I can still see us watching our children together, sitting at a picnic bench, side by side, while they dug in the heavy, beige sand. Now, our sons are graduating High School and heading soon, after the summer, to college.

Wasn’t it yesterday, Katie, that I was cradling my newborn son in my arms, his head snuggling against my shoulder, the sweet, milky, powdery smell of baby? Trying to remember the smell is virtually impossible. Even back then, when I breathed it in daily, hourly, every second of the night and day, I wanted to bottle it, especially for nostalgic times like these.

Adam is going to the prom in less than a week with his girlfriend. The word “girlfriend” does not roll off my tongue naturally yet, because the word was always forbidden in the house…that is, until a few months ago. It makes me happy to see Adam and his girlfriend together, and it makes me sad, for them, that they will be saying goodbye to each other very soon. But, that’s how life works. This is all so new to him and I can’t protect him from pain any more now than I could protect him once he was properly suited up when he played football in the early years. Our children need to work things out and learn by themselves, they will need to grow up on their own.

I am trying to prepare myself for the quiet stillness of the house without Adam here at home. Julia, my beautiful blond 16 and a half year old “baby”, has only one more year left of High-School and then she too, graduates. It’s all a bit overwhelming, it feels like the powerful ride of the dark-green ocean waves with no rest in-between. When Julia graduates from High-School and is in college I can imagine that this tiny house, our family home will seem cavernous. We cannot imagine the silence creeping into our house like moths, flapping their fragile wings without a sound.

I wonder if we will miss the kids’  booming voices, the fighting, the shrieks, and their clothes all over their floors. I am sure we will at first. I imagine this whole, new experience summed up in a word: “bitter-sweet” some happy, some sad, like the strong branches with delicate red berries growing on them.

I still carry the picture in my mind of the boys playing with smiling Thomas The Tank Engine and his friends. How we built bridges and tunnels with wooden Brio pieces time and time again. Thomas and his Friends and tracks and the Conductor are still somewhere in my mildewy basement; I could not say good-bye to them too.

Love, Jane