PFB #1: HARMONIOUS UNION- A Comical Love Story

The coming together for two of the most powerful and productive families in the plot.
It was a love story destined to be, spending a lifetime just steps away from one another, two fruits of the garden have come together in an epiphenous moment. They frolicked in the same fields as children and drank from the same cool spring in the summers, slowly maturing in the warm summer light. Prideful individuality within kept them apart, each knowing how perfectly beautiful they were on their own. But one fateful day during the busy harvest they met. It was late in the day and most others of their kind quickly made their way into tarts, salads  sauces of sorts. But by evenings end these two beauties still remained…alone, neither with any plans. Courtship was brief, they dance in the moonlight and by morning the idea and thought to be together sounds deliciously if not excitingly romantic.
From the House of “Moon & Stars”
This jolly rotund fellow is king of the garden, maxing out at a hefty 11 pounds. He gets his name from the bespeckled golden spots that dot his deep green rind. A loner without much kin he is sweet in nature, crunchy in character and his heart is pure soft pink bliss.
(his baby photo)
From the House of “Purple Cabash”
The sweet and sultry daughter of the hearty Purple Cabash family has a beauty beyond words. Though she comes across quiet and unassuming in muted greens and dull purples, when she speaks she sings sweet luscious reds. She comes from a family with many sisters and hang out daily in the family’s vineyard.
(her baby photo)

A bit of preparation went into the wedding of these two lovebirds. He had the rind removed and pickled two ways, juniper/dill and spicy serrano chili. His seeds were discarded and sweet pulp gently crushed and saved with the juice with a tablespoon of red wine vinegar splashed over to brighten the mood. (overall there was about 2 pounds of usable melon). Meanwhile she was given a dunk in scalding water and then a quick shock in an ice water bath to help easily remove her tough outer skins. The spa was generous and gave her the rough chop treatment, into a separate bowl she went for some meditative down time with 1/2 of a red onion, 1 garlic clove, two persian cucumbers, and one whole serrano chili (tomato being about equal in parts as the melon). Once preparation was done it was time for the glorious combination to commence! The big event took place in a high end blender, celebrated afterwards with Spanish olive oil and a garnish of tomato and a side pickled rind (yes both parties present!).

Voila! A harmonious union made from the heavens! This bright refreshing gazpacho is an answer to any late summer/ early fall afternoon, especially if you’re still getting warm days in September. The mild sweetness of the melon complements the super ripe, subtly tart tomato. The purple kabash tomato has a  velvety texture and takes well to slicing, it’s almost a shame to blend it up but once processed, it provides the silken mouthfeel of this phenomenal chilled soup. One could also garnish with some avocado, creme fraiche or diced melon. This would also make a great cocktail mixture, add to chilled vodka, served in a celery salt rimmed martini glass (it really can be more savory than you might think, but quickly glance the other way and the gentle sweetness comes to you)

(Slowly added to a blender in parts, the juice from the melon provides enough liquid to pulse through to a perfect consistency. Repeat until all the melon and tomato mixture has been blended. I strained the final mixture but you don’t need to. Season to taste with kosher or sea salt, store overnight in the fridge for the flavors to blend or eat immediately to taste the unbelievable freshness of your own home grown food!)

PROJECT FOOD BLOG, challenge #1
     This is officially my first Project Food Blog post and it took me almost two weeks of back and forth as to what I wanted to do. After watching one of the judges videos a couple of days before the deadline with Nancy Silverton and Chez Pim, I decided not to over think this and have fun with it. Food is after all the best fun in the world for me, hence my creative silliness above.

I, along with every food blogger in this challenge, have an immense passion for all things food. Where I make a difference is that I include food sourcing and sustainability as part of the cooking process. Having lived in a huge urban center like New York City, where rooftop gardens and community lots provide a haven to those lucky enough to have access to it, I know that it’s possible to make something out of really small spaces. Now that I have a small amount of space and a nominal amount of time to devote to gardening, I try to make urban farming accessible to my readers in a way that promotes growing your own food anywhere, windowsill, balcony, rooftop, or backyard.

Why? Joy, self sufficiency and it’s hugely rewarding. Within the last 100 years we as a culture have become alarmingly disconnected to our food sources, with only about 5% of the population really knowing how to farm or cultivate agriculture. Compare that to the explosion of the foodie culture that has occurred int he last 10 years alone, people love food. We have exponential numbers of food sites featuring gourmand epitaphs, billions of recipes, millions of photo’s, and DIY videos on how to truss a chicken, not to mention self proclaimed restaurant reviewers judging skilled, and not so skilled culinarians the world over. None of which really focus on the connection that comes from following the seasonal growth in plow to porch eating. Breaking your back to till the soil and making something grow out of it is an immense feat. Watching every new sprout emerge, each inch grown day after passing day until flowers and buds suddenly appear over night is exciting. But being a chef and creating dinner out of it is magical.

I make no claims on being the worlds best gardener, I would even say I’ve been known to have a brown thumb. But it’s a learning process of which I get great joy from being able to provide a menu to my readers and knowing if I have a mystery vegetable or fruit,  they will come to my need and help figure out what it is. Urban farming and blogging are new to me but food is something I have instilled to my core, I’m happy to be pulling them all together.

I grow my own food.
I create stunning dishes.
& I share the joy.

Come eat at My Barbarian Table!

If you like this post please vote for me by clicking the “official contestant” widget at the right hand side of the blog. Many thanks!



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19 responses to “PFB #1: HARMONIOUS UNION- A Comical Love Story

  1. Good luck in the competition! I frequent your blog and love it đŸ™‚

  2. OMFG! Its the most beautiful post. Jeez Leila…its poetry.

  3. So creative, such an inspiration. I look forward to each post, and this one is outstanding!

  4. I'm going to marry a tomato!Seriously, excellent read and I think I've just made the recipe without noticing.Humour works for me.RegardsMarc-Frederic

  5. Tim

    Lovely work Leila!I enjoyed every word.You deserve to win!

  6. I love the story about the dish. It made the food real for me in that weird way that food can take on a personality.Good luck with PFB. As a fellow competitor I am happy to have met you and gotten to know your philosophy for your blog. How are the judges going to decide???Jason

  7. I was blown away by your post. What a creative way to write about food and your passion for it.I look forward to reading more.

  8. Best of luck… I am so jealous of those tomatoes!!!!

  9. i've been reading some of the graphic novels that my boyfriend gets weekly and love the ones that anthropomorphizes animals, I figured what a light hearted and fun way to approach writing about food. thanks for all the support and kind words!

  10. Great read, Leila! Loved the "baby pictures". It's always fun to dig in to a great post! Best of luck with Challenge #1.

  11. So creative! I love it!!!

  12. Kim

    Heehee! Love it!Beautiful and hilarious way to describe a marriage between two pieces of produce. Reminds me of a good love story where initially the couple starts out really disliking each other. Once the guard is down and both are willing to open up, the sparks fly.Great post!

  13. Joy

    I love your pics. Good luck.

  14. What a funny, smart and creative post! This is such a great entry. You should definitely advance to the next round. Good luck!

  15. Love it! I love tomatoes, so it wasn't a hard sell for me! The words though were wonderful. So glad to have met such passionate people on FB, it's like the foodie universe has opened up to me! Look forward to more! Good luck in the competition!-Gina-

  16. What a terrific post! I am not usually a huge fan of gazpacho but I am enticed by this recipe. Very well done!

  17. That was a pure work of art. The whole thing. I was taken aback by the beauty of your photo. I love the drops of oil. What an incredible touch. You have a gift, of writing, of cooking and of photography. Wow.

  18. Your veggies are too beautiful! Just voted for you, best of luck in PFB!Lick My Spoon

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