3 cups fresh tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and cut into pieces
2 celery stalks, chopped
2 celery tops (leaves), chopped
Bring to simmer for 15 minutes. Process in food processor until smooth like oatmeal. Return to pot.
Add one recipe Joy of Cooking Cream Sauce and
2 cups chicken broth (from cubes)
2 cups fresh uncooked tomatoes, skinned, seeded, and in pieces
Process in the food processor until smooth (as oatmeal). Add to cooked tomato sauce, broth mix.
Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.
Another recipe I don’t remember ever having tasted. But winter is coming, and with its cold chill and creeping dusk, soup seemed like an appropriate choice. I was also attracted to this one for its crumpled, misshapen paper. It jutted oddly from the recipe box and, once liberated, I found it was spotted with oil and clumsy with edits and errors. It’s been folded multiple times into multiple shapes and dimensions. It has the crisp, delicate feel of old paper. There are a few spots where she crossed things off and corrected them. I tried to recreate what she may have been intending to write, or what daydream brought her off course, or what interesting knock at the door drew her attention for the moment. Some of the words in the recipe are spelled differently, like “smoothe” and “creame.” That makes me wonder if maybe she wrote this while she was living in Europe and her spelling was influenced by the local culture. I held the paper up to my face, closed my eyes and inhaled, hoping for some magical scent. But all I smelled was air. It’s all that same desperate searching that has you lying in bed, listening intently for “a sign,” attributing meaning to air vents or the cat fight outside. Hoping for something, anything, that will bring a warm wave of recognition or understanding or meaning. But…usually it’s just air, or a pen running out of ink, or poor spelling, or angry cats. And you’re left to create your own meaning, which feels far less magical and far more frustrating.
Full disclosure: I totally screwed up this recipe. I read the recipe to say “add 1 recipe Joy of Cooking creame sauce,” followed by “2 C chicken broth, 2 C tomatoes.” I took that to mean that the “Joy of Cooking creame sauce” consisted of chicken broth and tomatoes. Yes, it crossed my mind that there is nothing creamy about those ingredients and to call it a “cream sauce” would be misleading, at best. But I’m new to the game and don’t know my fricassee from my julienne, so I dismissed my apprehension as naiveté. As I looked at the recipe closer, however, it became clear that there is some mysterious “creame sauce” that is supposed to be added to this recipe in order to make it more that just puréed tomatoes. I don’t own “The Joy of Cooking” and couldn’t find a recipe online. As the tomato juice stung my fingers and the food processor mocked me, I stared at my failure and was at a loss. I don’t have “creame-esque” ingredients just sitting around and, even if I did, I wouldn’t know how to “sauce” them if my life depended on it. After several minutes of staring and moving utensils from one area to another, I laughed and poured myself a glass of wine. I thought, “what would Binky do?,” immediately realizing, of course, that I had just answered my own question.
Signs come in all shapes and sizes.