A Refreshing & Intoxicating “Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook” and a “Spicy Golden Mary”

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Above is a cool, refreshing & quite intoxicating “Spicy Golden Mary”.

Below is the refreshing & intoxicating cover of the “Third Thursday Community Potluck Cookbook” by Nancy Vienneau (her blog is Good Food Matters). This book’s release date is just a few days away, June 17th, 2014 and will be available at your local bookstores and on-line. It’s a beauty full of wonderful stories of food and folks. The “monthly chapters” feature seasonal produce & recipes from each month of the year. You can cook your way through 5 years of Third Thursday Potluck gatherings all in one book. I was so pleased to do the food and prop styling for this book, which was a real labor of love.

Third Thursday FINAL

What do these two things have in common you might ask?

One is a much-anticipated cookbook that chronicles the stories and recipes that have been shared over the past 5 years, every Third Thursday of every month, at one of Nashville’s best kept secrets. Nancy, and her friend, Gigi Gaskins (who owns HatWRKS) started this potluck as a way for a group of food friends to get together, share incredible seasonal recipes & foods, have a glass of wine and talk. There is no set theme except for the season.  As the cover says, this truly is a potluck like no other.

To herald this book’s release I want to share with you a recipe of mine from the book. The deliciously refreshing & intoxicating “Spicy Golden Mary “.  Get the book for this and so many more enticing recipes and stories. This recipe is from July’s Chapter “The Big Tomato”.

Before we have a “Spicy Golden Mary”, here are two events you will not want to miss if you happen to live, or be visiting the Nashville, TN area on these dates….lots of fun and good food.

This one is on Tuesday night, 6/17……

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This is on “Third Thursday”, 6/19 of course! Bring a dish and a drink (wine, etc) if you like and come join all of us…..

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Here is how to make my  recipe,
“Spicy Golden Mary”
Orange heirloom tomatoes
1. Core and chop 4-5 pounds of very ripe yellow tomatoes. (About 7 cups).
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heirloom tomatoes
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2. You will also need 1 1/2 cups good quality Vodka such as Tito’s from Austin, Texas or Ketel One from Holland.
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3. Puree chopped tomatoes in a food processor fitted with a chopping blade until smooth.
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4. Strain through a fine mesh sieve to remove the pulp, pressing down gently with a wooden spoon to get all the juice from the pulp.
IMG_1649Whoa! Look at that beautiful golden tomato juice.
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5. To the bowl of tomato juice add the following:  the Vodka, 2 tsp grated horseradish, a generous pinch of salt to taste, freshly ground black pepper to taste, 1 tbsp Serrano chili-lime pepper sauce (or 2 tsp Tabasco sauce), 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce. Taste and adjust seasonings.
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7. As I was making this for a  Third Thursday Potluck evening I used two bottles to transport it to the gathering. First I made a label on my computer of a giant tomato on a gold background and added type identifying what was in the bottles. All the ingredients were listed, along with my blog name and a catchy phrase “Drink your breakfast for dinner right now!”.
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I cut up some fresh limes & celery sticks, packed it all up in my antique carrier and off to Third Thursday!
Here is a toast to all the past Third Thursday Community Potluck dinners and to many, many more! Congratulations Nancy on your beautiful cookbook!

“Crop Circle Tabbouleh / Third Thursday”

“Crop Circle Tabbouleh”

Ingredients:

Gather the following: Fresh, Ripe, Local Peaches & Strawberries, Cilantro, Parsley, Mint, Spring Green Onions, Jalapeno & Sweet Red Bell Pepper, Wheat Berries Cooked, Balsamic Vinegar, Olive Oil, Honey, Herbs de Provence, Sea Salt & Black Pepper (Amounts really don’t matter just use whatever amounts you want of each based on your own personal palate.)

1. Chop finely Spring Onions, Parsley, Cilantro & Mint. The onions I used came from the Downtown Farmer’s Market and the mint from my garden.

                                                       2. Carefully peel ripe peaches & cut into a large dice.  I used a combination of Alabama and Georgia peaches                                                              that started showing up at our local Farmer’s Markets last week.

  


                                     3. Let cooked Wheat Berries cool completely. Finely chop a bit of Jalapeno pepper & Red Bell Pepper for garnish.Wash                                                   &  trim Strawberries, let drain. The small sweet berries in this salad came from a farm in Ridgetop, TN.

4. Choose a large round serving dish and place cooked wheat berries in the middle a bit “domed” spreading out to the edges.  Add each prepped ingredient in a circle around the domed center, creating a “crop” circle!

Cover loosely with plastic wrap & refrigerate until ready to serve. 

5. Mix a simple Vinaigrette using the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, honey, herbs de provence, sea salt & black pepper. I make quick vinaigrettes in small canning jars and shake to mix ingredients. Taste and adjust.

To Serve: Remove Crop Circle Tabbouleh from refrigerator anda drizzle Vinaigrette over all, add a large serving spoon.

The destination for my “Crop Circle Tabbouleh” ……………..

“Third Thursday May 2011 at Gigi’s Home”

Third Thursday’s Potluck was held this month at the home of Hat Maker and Gardener Extraordinaire Gigi Gaskins. Also hosted by Nancy Vienneau who invited some out-of-town guests who livened things up for us all.  Third Thursday’s are always much-anticipated by all of us who attend regularly and even more so as a bounty of  seasonal crops  are arriving daily, fresh from farmers all over our area here in Nashville.

Out-of-town guests, Kathi Speller and Lanette Mohr read about Third Thursdays in the current issue of Relish Magazine (check it out online at relish.com) & as they were both nearby on this particular Third Thursday they  joined our pot luck dinner party.

Image Gallery of the evening of food, conversation, laughter………..

                                                             

                 

                                                                                        

                                                                                  

Good food, new & familiar friends, a beautiful May evening.

Bon Apetit.

(My “Crop Circle Tabbouleh” was inspired by a recipe by Nigel Slater in his Tender, Vol II  cooking book. His recipe was for a Peach and Mint Tabbouleh.)

(The styling for”Crop Circle Tabbouleh” was inspired by an article I recently read on Crop Circles and by my good friend, Nancy Vienneau.)

A bit about Crop Circles from Wikipedia:

crop circle is a sizable pattern created by the flattening of a crop such as wheatbarleyryemaize, or rapeseed. Crop circles are also referred to as crop formations, because they are not always circular in shape. While the exact date crop circles began to appear is unknown, the documented cases have substantially increased from the 1970s to current times. 

Since the early 1990s the UK arts collective founded by artists Rod Dickinson and John Lundberg (and subsequently includes artists Wil Russell and Rob Irving), named the Circlemakers, have been creating some crop circles in the UK and around the world both as part of their art practice and for commercial clients.

Using local crops to make circles in food seemed a natural progression. Teresa B.

“The Last Pear(s)”

“after the fall”

I was told by a friend, Abby,  recently,  “You have this thing about pears” and it is true…I love the juicy taste, the sexy shape, the variety of colors & textures, how they work with both sweet and savory recipes…they complement, they enhance and they stand alone beautifully. It is mid-November, Winter in Nashville and I just picked the last pears from a tree on my street. Many from this tree have been food for the birds, many have fallen on the ground to beautifully rot, but I have the last of the edible pears and that is all there will be for this year.

“Dried Pears for Winter Dishes”

1. Wash & dry pears. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Set oven temperature to 200 degrees.

2. Cut whole pears, stems, core and all into thin slices using a “mandolin” or sharp knife. I used one of my three mandolins to slice these pears for drying. This one is the most simple and inexpensive one I own, but works the best. You can pick up a mandolin at most shops that sell cooking supplies.

3. Lay thin pear slices out flat on parchment paper.

4. As you can see I put multiple trays of pears to dry in my oven at the same time by stacking them askew so the air could circulate throughout all the trays during the drying time. Turn your oven timer to 7 or 8 hours and walk away. During this drying time you might want to check pears, turning them over once. This is not necessary, but something I like to do. After this day of drying, check pears, if not dried out completely then leave in the oven for an hour or so more. Whether you have a dry day or rainy day will often affect the pears so keep this in mind. When pears are dried enough I just turn the oven off, leaving pears inside while oven is cooling down.

….perfectly dried pears…

5. Store dried pear slices in a container with an airtight lid for later use in your favorite recipes.

“The Last Pear Tart In a Cornmeal Crust”

Left photo: I really like these pre-made frozen “Vicolo” organic corn meal pizza crusts for quick and easy savory or sweet tarts. There is something about the idea of combining yellow cornmeal, pears & brown sugar that really appeals to my winter palate so I created “The Last Pear Tart” with these and a few other simple ingredients.

Right Photo Ingredients : One pre-made Vicolo, or other brand, corn meal crust; 1/2 cup plain yogurt; 2 eggs, 2 to 3 tbsp brown sugar; 3 or 4 thinly sliced, peeled, cored pears.

To Make: Preheat oven to 375 degrees.                                                                                                                       1. Whisk together the yogurt, eggs & brown sugar.                                                                       2. Arrange pear slices over thawed corn meal crust and pour yogurt                                            mixture over pears letting it run up under and around all pear slices.                                   3. Place filled crust on a baking sheet and pop into the oven. Bake for                                       about 20 minutes or until tart is golden brown, pears are softened and                                   edges start to caramelize. Remove tart from oven. Let cool a bit                before serving cut into wedges.

“….the last pear…..”