In earlier American rural life, communities raised barns because many hands were required. These events occured in a social framework with a good deal of interdependence. Members of rural communities often shared family bonds going back generations. They traded with each other, worshipped with each other and celebrated with each other. Barn raisings were an integral part of life and socializing.

In our modern American life, communities don't mean nearly as much as they did back then. It is our family's goal to bring a sense of community back to our lives and those lives that touch ours.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


It has been so hot here that cooking seems like a ridiculous notion. So we didn't. Maycee and I made gazpacho tonight instead. Maycee chopped the bell peppers and cucumber and made me chop the onions and garlic. She is proving to be quite the helper in the kitchen. We used a recipe the children received from their garden class at the library. The tomatoes, bell peppers (purple ones!), cucumber, garlic and an onion came from a local farm. The other onion and a few of the tomatoes came from Nana and Papa's garden. It tasted delicious. It did, however remind us of salsa. This was compounded by the fact that we ate it with tortilla chips. A friend suggested that we eat it with grilled cheese, so next time time we will try that.

The onions made me cry!

Copyright 1999 The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook


  • 1 hothouse cucumber, halved and seeded, but not peeled
  • 2 red bell peppers, cored and seeded
  • 4 plum tomatoes
  • 1 red onion
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 23 ounces tomato juice (3 cups)
  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/4 cup good olive oil
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper


Roughly chop the cucumbers, bell peppers, tomatoes, and red onions into 1-inch cubes. Put each vegetable separately into a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until it is coarsely chopped. Do not overprocess!

After each vegetable is processed, combine them in a large bowl and add the garlic, tomato juice, vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix well and chill before serving. The longer gazpacho sits, the more the flavors develop. 


  1. Maycee is a big helper in the kitchen! I think I would like to try that recipe for gazpacho!

  2. Maycee looks like she is really enjoying herself!


  3. Thanks for sharing the recipe!