Monday, July 11, 2011

When Summer Hands You Tomatoes, Make BLTs

Sure I advocate menu planning, but there are times when the menu has to be tossed out the window. Today was one of those days. The mercury cozied up to the 100 degree mark and the humidity was way up there. With meteorological oppression like this, the oven had NO business being on. Any cooking that needed to be done had to be fast and on the stove top. Luckily, a bowl of tomatoes and a pound of bacon grabbed my attention -and taste buds - so we were able to enjoy a light, summery meal without too much cooking.

It's always nice to have a Plan B (bacon?) when things go awry. Things do go awry - sometimes at an alarming pace. Plan B won't prevent the unexpected, however it does hasten recovery. Knowing that one won't be completely undone by the unexpected allows one to keep her wits about her - and her sense of humor.  Contingency plans are another way of being proactive, which is a quality of organization.

Growing up in St. Louis - without air conditioning, I might add - I learned a few tricks about making a meal when it's too hot to cook. One of the tricks is to have simple ingredients on hand. One of my favorite hot weather meals is gazpacho soup. Here's how I make it:

Two 12-ounce cans of chopped tomatoes
One cucumber, peeled and roughly chopped
One green pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
One small Vidalia onion, peeled and roughly chopped
1/2 cup red wine vinegar
2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic smashed
Salt and pepper to taste
Croutons for garnish

Save a bit of  the chopped vegetables for garnish. Throw everything but the reserved garnish into a blender and puree. Chill a couple of hours. Garnish and inhale.

Healthy and easy. If you have a favorite hot weather recipe please share. We all can use a Plan B.
Post a Comment