New things are exciting

Last night we set up our new tent.  In the dining room.  I don’t know which thing I’m more excited about – the fact that we have a new tent (fair disclosure, we got it more than a year ago as a wedding present, we just haven’t had the opportunity to use it) or the fact that a tent fits in our dining room.


Artemis helped.


And, so she doesn’t feel left out, here’s Salem in the tub.  It’s her new happy place.  I found her stretched out sleeping in there this morning.



Gazpacho.  It is such a beautiful pain in the ass to make, and so worth it…

First, you score the tomatoes and blanch them to take off the skin


Then you blend them with cucumber, red pepper, onion, garlic, olive oil, salt, and red wine vinegar


Next, you strain the soup to remove all the bits


Finally, (and I mean it, this is a messy and long process) serve with sweet corn, garnish of onions, peppers, and cucumbers, fresh bread, and a nice rioja.


Really want the recipe?  Ok…

The measurements aren’t exact, and a lot is adjusting to taste.  My proportions are based on what fits in the blender.  Usually two blenders-full makes enough for dinner and leftovers.

Fill blender with tomatoes.  I usually score the tops, blanch them in boiling water then cold, and peel off the skin.  Rip them up and remove as much of the seeds and pulp as possible.  Blend tomatoes to liquify. (don’t add liquid!)

Add to the blender (chopped into chunks):

One small (pickling) cucumber, peeled and seeded

1/2 to one red pepper

1/2 onion

1-2 cloves garlic

1-2 tbl. olive oil

2 tbl. red wine vinegar OR 1 tbl. white vinegar & 1 tbl. red wine

salt to taste

Blend all together until liquified.  Adjust garlic, onion, oil, and salt to taste.  Pour into strainer – the finer the mesh the better.  I usually have to coax the mixture through by stirring and shaking.  I have a small strainer so I do it in smaller batches.

Serve soup immediately, or chill.  Serve with garnish of chopped pepper, cucumber, onion, etc. and crutons or fresh crusty bread.


We went to the farmer’s market today.  How can you not love August in Minnesota when half an hour and about twenty bucks gets you this:



Grilled hot dogs.  Fresh sweet corn.  Homemade salsa.  Chips from MGM.  The ketchup was Heinz.

Also, heirloom tomatoes with black sea salt.


Tonight we make pesto, because I am not quite ready to accept our basil plants as my overlord and master.

Tomorrow, gazpacho!  I have been waiting very impatiently for the tomatoes to come in sufficient quantity for gazpacho.  After our travels in Spain last year, we perfected a mean gazpacho to remind us of Andalucia.  Next, I just have to carve out our cinderblock wall to remind me of the Alhambra…



We’ve been wanting a Barcelona chair for a very long time.  Good ones – that aren’t prohibitively expensive – are very hard to find.  Then one showed up on Craigslist yesterday.  Woo hoo!


And, in a lovely small-world moment, we discovered that the boyfriend of the guy we bought it from lives in our building.  We told him he could come over and visit his chair any time.

Also, Artemis approves.

Dinner last night

To start, pinxtos:


shown is ricotta with honey.  Also made salami and asiago.

Salad…fresh arugula


with panko-crusted fried chevre

Main dish…seared yellowfin with a mint basil pesto


The pesto was particularly delicious.  The combination of mint, basil, lemon, and garlic was quite tasty.

Also, I learned that I should use my real camera to take photos for posting, not my iphone, as the iphone only creates teeny-tiny images.