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Friday, 13 July 2012

Dad grew tomatoes, basil, figs, grapes -- we never knew we were poor!

It's Friday. We've had guests for the past two weeks. They left today. We enjoyed having them and we all had a wonderful time, despite the weather. But, after two weeks of entertaining, we're 'skint' -- as they say here.

It's dinner time. Everyone who's left here in the home is hungry. I didn't do any shopping today -- like I said -- I'm tapped out.

What, me worry?! No way!

I'll make:

* homemade tomato soup,

*tuna salad -- Italian-style,

* and take that great French baguette out of the freezer that I bought a couple weeks ago (when I was in the chips -- although they were 2-for-1), and pop it in the oven.

In other words, I'm channeling my lovely Dad -- miss you Dad!!!!

Fridays were always a feast for us, growing up. Dad would bring in a bucketful of red, ripe tomatoes and a bunch of fresh basil from his garden and get to work making a simple fresh tomato soup that I can almost taste as I just think about it. It was gloriously velvety and had just the right hint of garlic and basil to wake up our taste buds. He would slice the tomatoes, sautee them in some olive oil until they were tender, adding a few cloves of chopped fresh garlic toward the end of the sauteeing process. He would then, let them cool a bit and put the tomato/garlic mix into a blender and blenderize until smooth -- NO straining for him -- he liked to use the whole tomato! He would then tip the mix into a pot and add chicken stock or water -- depending on whether we had any stock -- water worked well, too. He would bring this to a slow simmer. He would season with a bit of salt and pepper and break fresh basil over each bowl as he served it, steaming, with a tiny drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkling of grated Parmesean cheese.

His Italian tuna salad that he inevitably had made a few hours earlier so that the flavours would meld together by the time we would eat -- consisted of a couple cans of tuna, chopped celery, some of the celery leaves chopped up, too,  and a chopped red onion. He dressed this mixture with olive oil, red wine vinegar, a couple squeezes of fresh lemon, a dash of oregano, and salt and pepper. Sometimes he would add some sliced black olives and also a bit of chopped tomatoes, too -- but that's only if he felt like it.

He also would pick some dandelion greens (translation -- weeds) if he saw that there were enough young shoots -- these were the tender ones and oh, so tasty with some olive oil and vinegar, salt and pepper. He would bring in a whole bucketful and rinse them very well several times -- Lord knows what was traipsing over these weeds through the nights in the humble patch of green we had in our back yard. I'm laughing as I write this because Dad would finally cut the grass after he picked the greens -- making it a 'win-win' -- making my Mom happy while still getting to enjoy and share his delectable dandelion salad with his hungry bunch (Mom, included).

So, with the tomato soup, fresh tuna salad, fresh dandelion greens salad, and the hot crusty bread on the table -- we thought -- WOW -- WHAT A FEAST!

Either we had grapes for dessert or if he could muster up some change from all of his pockets, he took us all out for an ice cream cone.

We LOVED Friday nights. Not only did we have no idea we were poor -- we thought we were the richest and luckiest people in the world!!

And so we were......:)  and still are....

Enjoy your weekend!




1 comment:

Rebecca Subbiah said...

oh that sounds tasty cool Dad, have a great weekend too hugs