Sunday, July 13, 2008

    My Coleslaw

    The food processor of my childhood was large, loud, possibly rickety, and a washed out 70s-style plastic color. I only remember it being used for vinegary coleslaw, which my family brought to every summer cookout. My two-week old, stainless steel and black Cuisanart 14-cupper slashes vegetables in seconds and cries out for more. I've been happy to oblige by making two batches of gazpacho since my kitchen warrior arrived.

    My gazpacho tastes real good, but doesn't photograph well.

    Gazpacho is my ideal summer soup -- in the dead heat, it takes less energy than a salad to eat, cools you off,
    and fills you with vegetables. I also like that every time I eat it, it tastes a little different, both in my kitchen (too much garlic the first time, too little tomato juice the second), and at every restaurant that I've ordered it (red, yellow or green bell peppers, consistency, sour cream or not, crab or shrimp or not and so on).

    My favorite gazpacho, which I realized today I've been eating for over half my life, is served at G&M Cafe in downtown Charleston. I remember it being chunky and cucumbery, but now that I've made my own, I expect to have a different description after I visit there next month.

    I think gazpacho is a mood food -- when you make it, its taste and texture are affected by your state of mind, the time you have, and your tastebuds for the day.
    Not in the mood to have garlic breath? Halve the amount in your recipe and grind in extra pepper. If you're in a hurry and you put too many bell peppers in the food processor, the ones on the bottom will over-puree while the ones on top will be too chunky. It still tastes good though.

    After a few more batches of gazpacho, I think I'll continue on exploring my new machine with different ingredients that require other blades. Gazpacho though, is destined to become my coleslaw.

    When I researched recipes online, I knew I wanted a pretty basic one that I could doctor. Click here for the one I've been using.

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