As someone who hates the hot humid summer months, I must say this year has not been too bad. I usually stop cooking sometime around mid July, and don't start again until mid September. But this summer there have not been that many days that I have been unable to stand the heat and have opted to get out of the kitchen. In fact, I can't really think of any.
Which is good, except that there are some old no-cook summer standards that I haven't made yet. Once it gets too hot to cook, I start relying on absorption pasta, salads, sandwiches, and anything else that does not require flame or heat to be made fit for human consumption.
And while I hate those hot sweaty months, I am secretly thrilled that I have the perfect excuse to make nothing but this gazpacho recipe I got from Lynda, who got it from The Ex-Boyfriend Cookbook. It's the perfect time of year - the tomatoes and cucumbers are ripe, you can always find onions and green peppers, and the biggest sweat I work up is when I'm chopping up vegetables.
And ever one to look for an easier way to do things, I have figured out how to expedite the gazpacho process. It's called - are you ready - the hand blender (TA-DAAAAAA!).
Instead of chopping up all of the vegetables, filling up the blender, mixing it all up and then having to find a container big enough for it all, I simply cut up the vegetables to the basic ratio of the master recipe and throw them into whatever container I want to use. A simple pass of the magic wand and - abracadabra - liquid heaven!
I know I've mentioned many times before how much I love my hand blender, but this makes it that much more precious to me.
And there's nothing better when that hot sun is just beating you down than sitting back with a chilled cup of gazacho to cool you off.