Humidity is the one thing that characterizes summer in Northwest Ohio. Hot, sunny, sticky days. Those from the South may laugh at these claims, but everything is relative. I grew up in a house without air conditioning. 90 degrees with 80 percent humidity for at least a full month. I remember my family going to the movies or just hanging out in the freezer aisle of a local grocery store to cool off. I also have laughable memories of trying to get to sleep with the rumbling sound of an attic fan and an ice cube melting in my belly button.
It's late June in Toledo, and we're already there. Thank goodness for central air.
Tonight I'm meeting up with my book group and bringing a tureen of Cold Cucumber Soup. Once again, this is someone else's recipe. This time from the Moosewood Cookbook: A classic vegetarian cookbook published in 1977 by Mollie Katzen and friends. Published by 10 Speed Press, it is "compiled, edited, illustrated and hand-lettered by Mollie Katzen". The worn, dog eared pages and Mollie's tidy handwriting make it feel like a gift from a friend.
Chilled Cucumber Yogurt Soup
4 cups peeled, seeded and chopped cucumber
2 cups water
2 cups yogurt*
1 clove garlic
several fresh mint leaves
1 tbs. honey
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. dill weed
chopped scallions or chives
Puree everything together in the blender (save the scallions for garnish).
I use 2 whole cloves of garlic, 1 tbs. fresh dillweed (instead of 1/4 tsp. dried), and use Fage yogurt for this recipe. It isn't too big of a deviation from the original, but I like the extra creaminess that comes from using Fage and I can never get enough garlic in anything.
I typically ladle the soup into chilled mugs or bowls and garnish with a whole mint leaf and chopped up scallions and dill.
“Glass City Gourmet” is a chronicle of one woman's attempt to cook, eat, diet and entertain with both flair and whimsy while based in Toledo, Ohio. I encourage you to read on as the "Glass City Gourmet" attempts grand recipes, samples locally owned restaurants, visits indigenous markets and humbly pursues her quest to be formally recognized as the official "Glass City Gourmet".