On the first real day after BlogHer Food and then the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, I padded around my house and I heard something I hadn’t heard in a long time: silence. Some creaky boards underneath Grizelda & I’s feet were the only noises that day. I pulled out all the green stuff I had left in the fridge and chopped it up and whizzed it together. Cut the crusts off some almost-stale bread at the house and made some quick croutons. I went outside to throw the unwanted edges out into the yard for the birds so Grizelda would have something to look at out the window. She glared through the glass at the robins making off with the bread while I smiled at the tomatoes that are finally growing out on the back deck.
It’s hard to put into words that post food blog conference feeling. Where you’ve met so many people…the ones you feel like you already know because of your online life. Seeing those that have firmly cemented themselves as some of my nearest and dearest. I spoke about photos and food styling with two of the most talented ladies I’ve ever met. Dined at my favorite restaurant in town with friends old and new. You don’t want it to end because those people & that energy fuel you…and at the same token…your mind and your body can’t possibly keep up the pace of your spirit those days. That day of rest…and quiet…was so needed to be able to breathe and look back and appreciate how much awesomeness I was surrounded with. How much blessing I’m surrounded with every day – quiet or not.
So we sat in the window that afternoon – me eating gazpacho and Grizelda thinking about her lunch just beyond the glass – in silence. In those quiet times that day, I thought about everyone that had touched me that weekend – and in the notes and tweets the days following. You’re too bountiful to name but know that the connection with everyone there – and the ability to share and learn from some truly remarkable people – is worth broken elevators & tepid pseudo Southern lunches. You all stay with me and move me towards being open and being better – at everything.
Green Gazpacho with Spicy Croutons – serves 4 to 6 as a soup course or light entree
– For the soup: In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the chopped vegetables, greenery and herbs and sprinkle with the tbsp. of kosher salt. stir to distribute the salt amongst the veggies. Cover tightly, refrigerate and allow it all to mingle for 30 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from fridge and pour all of the chopped vegetable mixture – including any juices that have accumulated in the bowl – into a large capacity food processor or high powered blender. Whiz until it starts to break up. Pour water into the food processor/blender gradually until at desired consistency – you may need more/less than two cups of water. Taste again and season with salt and pepper. This soup will last 3-4 days in a tightly sealed container. I recommend letting it chill down and percolate together for 3-4 hours up to overnight before serving – the flavors really meld together.
– For the croutons: Preheat oven to 375. Remove the crust from the sourdough slices. Cut the remaining bread into 1/2 inch cubes. Toss with olive oil and the teaspoon sprinkle of smoked paprika. Scatter evenly on a baking sheet and bake until toasty and lightly brown – 4 to 5 minutes depending on your oven.