I am constantly amazed at how animated and talkative people get when you mention food. The mere aroma of certain foods can evoke memories that transport us back to a special place and time. Food can bridge the gap between all ages, races and ethnicities.
Let's face it, the only thing that should ever come between people is a table and some serving bowls.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hot For The Picking

This time of year is bittersweet, sweet because most of the gardens bounty is ripe for the picking and bitter because it means summer is coming to an end.
On a brighter note fall is just around the corner and it brings with it crisp air and an abundance of apples, corn and squash to console us through the winter.
I had only planted a couple of jalapeno plants at the beginning of the season and to my surprise these plants are producing dozens and dozens of peppers. So here is a really nice salad that combines a little bit of everything; hot, sweet, tangy, crunchy but most of all delicious.

Jalapeno, Jicama and Mango Salad

1 small Jicama sliced thin, adds a nice crunch to the salad but can be omitted.
4 ripe mangos
1 sweet onion, thinly sliced
4 fresh jalapenos, seeded and sliced fine
1/4 c. light oil
1/8 c. of apple cider vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Dash of sugar to taste

Peel and slice the mangos and Jicama and combine mango, jicama, onion slices with the jalapenos. Make a dressing by stirring the oil, cider vinegar, salt, pepper and sugar together. Mix well and let stand for at least 2 hours before serving.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Eaten Not Stirred

My mother’s great grandparents came from Russia and one of the stories that I found most fascinating was their tradition for a Bloody Mary. According to them the Bloody Mary’s that we are all familiar with stray far from its origins. There was a time when the tomato and the vodka never married together in a glass instead the tomato was eaten with a little salt and then washed down with ample amounts of vodka. Over time when the Russians introduced this tomato eating vodka drinking tradition to the United States many people started to add their own twists and created the many versions of the Bloody Mary that we are all quite enjoyably familiar with today.
Since my cherry tomatoes in my garden are red, ripe and bountiful why not pay homage to them by making some bite size Bloody Mary's.
Please make sure you have some ice cold vodka chilling to wash these down with, we wouldn’t want to break from tradition afterall.

Bite Size Bloody Mary’s

1 box ripe cherry tomatoes or fresh from the garden, even better
1/4 c. very cold vodka
2 tbsp. kosher salt
Save the rest of the Vodka for drinking

Poke 3 to 4 holes in each cherry tomato using a toothpick, place tomatoes in a container that has a cover. Pour vodka over tomatoes, give them a stir then cover and refrigerate over night or longer if necessary. To serve place tomatoes in serving dish, in separate dishes have toothpicks and kosher salt. To eat place tomato on toothpick, dip in kosher salt and eat.

FYI- may also provide dishes of chopped dill and some hot pepper for those who like it spicy.

Bloody Mary