Tomato Currency

Ava loves to ask what she’ll be able to do when she’s X years old. What can she do when she’s 7? How old does she have to be to drive a car? How old will Maxine be when she’s 9? How old does Mommy think she is eating all those prunes?

Today in the car on the way to the grocery store (where else would we be going?) she asked what she can do when she’s 13.

Me: *thoughtful for a moment* Ummm, you can babysit.

Ava: BABY SIT?!? Naw, that’s boring.

Me: You get paid money to baby sit.

Ava: *Absolutely incredulous* Are you kidding me?! Granny gets paid money to baby sit us?!

No, I’m not kidding you – and NO I definitely do NOT pay Granny to baby sit you. In fact, I make Granny pay ME with gazpacho when she baby sits you!

My mom has been singing the praises of gazpacho all summer and I’m finally just catching on to this gazpacho business.

In typical Alison fashion – just in time for the first frost and for tomato season to be officially over. Way to go me! But then again it’s not unusual for me to be running late, returning library books a couple days after their due date, keeping fetuses locked up inside beyond 40 weeks. That’s just how I roll. I guess this should come as no surprise that I found a new favorite dish at the end of tomato season.

Last Saturday I practically had to pry a dish of gazpacho from Granny’s white knuckled clutches before I left her house with my children. In fact I threatened not to take them home with me unless she handed over the goods. I ate it after the half marathon on Sunday and it was so good I settled out of the court for the recipe so I could recreate it at home.

This is my mom’s recipe, inspired from the gazpacho recipe in The Raw Food Detox Diet by Natalia Rose.

4 or 5 medium tomatoes, seeded & stem removed
½ large red bell pepper, seeded
½ English cucumber, peeled (or ½ regular cuke, peeled and seeded)
½ to 1 clove garlic, chopped
½ cup vegetable juice Vegetable juice? Yeah, there’s none of that laying around here. Cause I DRANK it all!
¼ cup (or more) olive oil
1 t salt, or to taste
1 t cayenne pepper, or to taste

Put all ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth.

Refrigerate several hours & stir again before eating.

She also notes not to omit the olive oil because it imparts a great flavor, and for raw tomatoes, it’s the only way that your body can access the lycopenes. I did NOT know that. Is that in the Raw Food Detox Diet? I got from the library and returned it (late) long ago so I don’t have the book anymore to go back and look. Good thing that question didn’t show up on the Raw Food Final Exam.

So here we go, the start of my seven course dinner.

Veggies, into the food processor bowl. Enter Course 1: the other half of the red sweet pepper that wasn’t required for the recipe of course.

Gazpacho - Before

I wanted to stream the olive oil into the food processor as it was doing it’s thing, but trying to do that and hold the camera steady to take a picture at the same time? Not so much.

Take 1 and Take 2.

Olive Oil Stream - Take 1 Olive Oil Stream - Take 2

There were no more “Takes” after Take 2 lest my gazpacho have more lycopene’s than you can shake a fist at.

My very first gazpacho. Also, my Course 2.

My Gazpacho

This is SO good I did NOT refrigerate it for even one moment before I tossed that spoon into the corner of the dining room and slurped it straight from the bowl. OK I guess I did use the spoon for a little while but there was definitely bowl slurp-age at the end. My breakfast tomorrow is refrigerating as I type.

Next I did what any sane person would do and made a batch of sun dried tomato hummus since I already had the food processor out.

Make Hummus

I swear to God, give me a jar of sun dried tomatoes and I’m putting them in anything and everything until the jar is empty.

Enter: Course 3

Course 3

Toasted sesame Ezekiel bread, mustard, fresh sun dried tomato hummus, spinach and sprouts.

And HALLELUJAH Medjool dates are back at Wegmans! They’ve been out for at least two weeks and I’ve been suffering the symptoms of date withdrawal, having to tape prunes to my upper arm like a nicotine patch for crying out loud. But oh yes, that was me tonight leaving the store with the 8 lb box of medjool dates, escorted by security whilst snarling and snapping at anyone who raised an eye brow or asked if they could have just one.

Course 4.

Almond Butter Stuffed Dates

And Course 5 and 6 and 7 too.

Course 5 Course 6 Course 7

That’s right. FOUR. Don’t judge me.

I almost hyperventilated when I realized that tonight is the season premiere of 30 Rock and The Office! I haven’t watched TV all summer but you can bet your butt I’m clicking Publish and am off to dig out the Bendryl to make sure Thing 1 and Thing 2 go down without a fight!

Alright, alright just kidding – settle down! The Bendryl is here on my desk I don’t have to dig anything out.

ANOTHER JOKE – geez man don’t call CPS on me, the neighbors call enough as it is.

OK I’m stopping now. Really.

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Tea Time

I was on the fence about running this morning since I ran yesterday, but then it was decided for me when Maxine woke up early. I spent the time getting caught up with all things house and life instead. It’s amazing how just straying from the norm for a few days throws everything out of whack.

When I felt ready for something to eat I whipped up a bowl of fruit cereal. But today, I had the GOOD prunes. That’s right, the good prunes. I’m joining Holly in the kingdom of g-ma’s and I’m proud of it.

Woodstock Farms, I heart your dried apples – but I’m sorry, there’s some room for improvement in the Prune Department.

Newman’s Own Organics, congratulations, you have won the award for Best Organic Prunes!

This is only my second bag of Newman’s Own Organics prunes, the first being from the box of goodies they sent us to review.  The second bag I finally managed to stalk down at the food co-op on Tuesday. They have the biggest Larabar selection this side of the Mississippi so I was only half surprised to find NOO prunes there, but it didn’t stop me from giving a store clerk a love pat on the ass as he walked by. I would have high fived him but his hands were full pushing a dolly of bulk almond butter. (He got a love pat on the other cheek for that.)

Surely you know I jest. Prunes do crazy things to me. CRAZY THINGS I TELL YA!

So where was I? Oh yes. Fruit cereal with the good prunes.

The Good Prunes

This morning I diced up my last banana (write them on the list!!), a beat up pear, 4 or 5 of the juiciest, most delicious prunes you’ll ever sink your teeth (or gums – if you wait until you are an old wo/man) into, breaded in ground flax, topped with sunflower seeds and a nice pour of unsweetened vanilla hemp milk.

Nell and Paul Newman look on with approving smiles.

Nell and Paul Approve

Fruit cereal is so perfectly satisfying I keep giving myself love pats on the ass to make sure it’s not all in my head.

It is down right chilly here this morning and I was in the mood for tea. Time to dust off my sweet little tea pot, tea time is upon us!

Sweet Little Tea Pot

I love my tea pot because it was a gift from one of my dearest, sweetest friends, and I think of her every time I use it. But more than that, I love that I can have tea all morning, it stays warm and with the cover on the tea pot the tea brews the way you are supposed to brew tea; with a little something to hold in the steam for 10 minutes or so.

Red Raspberry Leaf

This morning I’m drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea from Traditional Medicinals. I discovered this tea when I was pregnant with Ava, it’s a uterine tonic. Mmmm. Uterine tonic. That’s what everyone wants from their tea.  Well, I don’t know about you but I get warm and fuzzy when I think about my uterus post-pregnancy.  You did good uterus!  I’m happy to drink a little something for it every now and then.

OK really I’m drinking it because it’s the only tea in my cupboard that appealed to me this morning but shhhh don’t tell my uterus that.