Sunday, October 5, 2008

Simple in most cases is better.

I was as usual going through magazines with recipes and cookbooks which I have probably over 50 of. I have found recipes in each and every one of them that I love not including clippings from newspapers, magazines, friends, the internet etc.

I absolutely love cooking and baking. It is my escape from everything. From problems, from housework, from health issues, family worries etc. I think about who I can give some of my works of love to. The elderly here in the groves, to Carl, my brother Pete and sister Judi, my uncle Bob, Uncle Gary and Jerry, the priests at Saint Michaels Abbey, my friends when they are having parties, and whoever I can coerce into being a basic guinea pig for me. I love making people happy through cooking.

Now that might seem silly to some people but to me it means everything. Looking back on my life perhaps I should have gone into a professional work life of cooking since I can remember back when I was 15 at a friends home making our own syrup for pancakes. I loved it then, I was hooked. It just didn't seem to be the profession of choice in the 60's.

Oh well. I certainly had alot of guinea pigs once I started dating. I always loved to cook. Back then it was alot of canned soups with pork chops, and meals like that but I haven't tired of the complements and my love of preparation of meals.

How funny.

Back to my cookbooks. Yesterday I was going through cookbooks again and looked through a book my mother had bought in 1985. The Frugal Gourmet by Jeff Smith. I had made a chicken piccata for Carl which was a different twist on my regular piccata since I love to experiment and it was very nice.

Soooo, on that note I went through the whole book and realized his book was written for recipes that were very simple and required very little time to prepare. I am always wary of that since I feel the harder the recipe the better. Wrong.

My friend Mary, here in the Groves is in her late 80's and a WW11 nurse gave me several of her homegrown tomatoes. I, being by myself limit myself to only a handful of veggies, fruits etc. and if possible I will freeze anything that can be frozen so as not to waste the food. I didn't need to freeze anymore tomatoes so decided to look for a fresh tomato soup. Went on the internet and it seemed like all of the recipes were far too involved for the 6 tomatoes I had so I went to this Frugal Gourmet book and found a very simple Tomato soup recipe that is delicious. Yum!! Here it is for any of you who may have extra ripe tomatoes that you don't want to freeze but can be a warm sip of comfort on those days you just want to relax and unwind.

Tomato Soup

6 ripe tomatoes chopped
2 Tablespoons of butter or (low-fat) which I used
3 cups of chicken broth
1 cup of milk or cream ( I used 1% milk)
salt and pepper to taste
1 more Tablespoon of butter

Garnish. parmesan cheese, dollop of pesto, Celery leaves etc. Anything that you might like or just the purity of it by itself is wonderful.

Saute the tomatoes in the butter until tender. Add the Broth and simmer for 20 minutes. Run the mixture through a blender or a hand blender. Add the milk and a pat of butter. Heat and enjoy.

Personally, I had made a batch of pesto and added a teaspoon of it to the batch but it really didn't need anything.

Its delicious and much better than the canned tomatoe soup we grew up with.

I just finished up a cup of this wonderful soup as I wrote this.
Mom, you did good by buying this book, lots of simple recipes I will be enjoying through the year.