My how life has changed in the six years since I last posted. My sons are now twice as old as they were when I last posted. Back then, they were starting elementary school and Secondo struggled with adapting to kindergarten. In his defense, he had an unempathetic teacher. The next year, he went into Dr. Vick's classroom (who walks on water in our regard). Primo had a fantastic kindergarten teacher and then ran into trouble in first grade (at least that teacher worked with us). Six remarkable years later, they've graduated from elementary school and will be entering middle school in just a week.
I've also gotten back into chess. Both of my sons are interested and Primo is quite gifted. He's beaten me twice in tournaments. Drat! Despite being inactive for 20 years, I haven't declined too much in ability. Now if I can just get my rating back over 1600. My first competitive game was my favorite opening as black (Ruy Lopez - Archangel). Come to think of it, so was my last.
Just for old times sake, a recipe. This one is pretty simple, but surprising and delicious. It's a tomato water mimosa. There's some confusion out there about tomato water. If heat is involved, you're making tomato juice. This will give you a pale yellow liquid that tastes like essence of summer.
Take about a pound of ripe or even over ripe tomatoes. Cut them into pieces and crush. Do not cook them! If they're really ripe, you can do it by hand. A food processor is fine too. Now, strain them through a fine mesh sieve. You can go ahead and stir with a metal spoon to speed the process. You'll get some solids, but the next step takes care of this.
Next, put a coffee filter in a strainer and put over a glass bowl. We have a little Kalita pour-over rig that works perfectly for this. You will think that it is plugged as the process goes slowly. Be patient! The liquid will gradually leach through, giving you the tomato water. You can also line a strainer with a few layers of paper towels. Just be sure not to get the liquid level too high or solids will spill over the dike. Refrigerate.
Tomato Water Mimosa
Combine one part tomato water with three parts prosecco (or inexpensive sparkling wine). It's a bit unusual, but addictive.
This is a riff on a Bloody Mary, but using tomato water instead of tomato juice. Combine one part tomato water with two parts vodka. Add a few dashes of hot sauce and lime juice to taste. I've kept this simple so that the flavor of the tomato water shines through, but you can add what you like.
Warm one cup of tomato water to about 130 Fahrenheit. Sprinkle a teaspoon of gelatin powder (about half a packet as I recall) and dissolve. Pour into a flat, glass-bottomed container (Pyrex works fine) and put into the refrigerator until set. I also made a batch with cucumber and lime juice. Cut into pieces and top with savory cool whip (ricotta cheese with roasted garlic). Note: if the gelatin doesn't set properly, you can always redissolve it and add a bit more powder.
See you in six years! Well, hopefully sooner.