Note that I am not calling this gazpacho…there’s no bread in this bowl. Look it up.
If you’ve been following me you know that I’ve been having issues with a tomato-loving mocking bird. While I’m not ready to throw in the towel just yet let’s say that I’m not exactly winning either.
I spent Saturday afternoon and evening with my dearest friend, Anna and her sisters. I met Anna before my daughter could walk and we’ve been through so much together – all the normal things that life throws at us and then some that most of us happily don’t have to deal with. Those three women truly are the sisters I didn’t have as a child but do have now. Anna lives in Alaska and was here in LA to help middle sister Stephanie load up the car and move back to Alaska with her son Skyler. Stephanie and Skyler have been here for over 3 years for a medical miracle – a DOUBLE lung transplant. There were months of waiting for a donor – an odd head-space to be in itself. You’re not exactly hoping someone will die but because we all will, you are hoping that someone who is a match cared enough to sign up as a donor so that the person you love can live. Once we were through the initial fear, hope and exhilaration of the surgery and first touch-and-go days we found out that a woman in her thirties left 3 children behind; we said prayers of gratitude and healing for her family. There were ups and downs for Steph, some scary turns and one terrifying turn, but her being able to move back to the challenging climate of Alaska gives me such hope!
I was lucky enough to be on hand to enjoy a fabulous salmon that stowed away for Anna’s flight down along with a load of farmers’ market veggies done right on the grill in the outdoor kitchen at youngest sister Robin’s house. Skyler and Amanda swam for about 3 hours and I’ve got to say Amanda held her own with a bigger, older, stronger boy; she’s quite a girl. We toasted to the journey complete and the journey yet ahead.
Oh, yeah, back to the salad today… I got home to find that the mocking bird had pecked several tomatoes and left them with just small holes. They inspired me to treat them like the moon – ignore what’s on the dark side… Cutting away about 1/3 of each to save the rest they went into a bowl chopped up with a cucumber and topped off with a quick cold tomato herb soup. Noyan tomato juice is from Armenia and the only ingredient is tomatoes. No salt but it doesn’t taste like it; it just tastes like tomatoes. I think that’s because the tomatoes are so good but also because it is in a box and that means they don’t cook it to as high a temperature. If you ever see it give it a try. I picked a handful of herbs – basil, chives, parsley, thyme, oregano, marjoram and ran it through the blender; I poured it over the tomatoes and cukes and topped it with feta and some good olive oil. Out to the porch to enjoy a bit if this beautiful, if hot, day.