Gazpacho with Green Tomatoes
Recipes Gazpacho with Green Tomatoes

As the family legend has it, on the night before I was born, my mother cooked a pizza topped with sliced green tomatoes, and the next morning, pop! There I was. (Though, truth be told, it may actually have taken a bit more effort than I’m leading on…) I won’t go so far as to call green tomatoes some kind of folk remedy for inducing labor, but perhaps they provide a good incentive for anyone taking their sweet time in the womb.

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Chicken Soup 5 Ways

Through an error in calculation, I robbed ya’ll of a soup post last week. Mea culpa. I make good today. So we’re aware there’s more than one way to pluck a chicken… or make a chicken soup, for that matter. In addition to making a supremely simple homemade chicken soup from a rotisserie bird, I’m offering up five inspirations from points across the globe on ways to make that satisfying bowl of chicken-soup comfort entirely different.

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Dear Miss Ginsu: My Soup is Bland.

Dear Miss Ginsu, I need help with my bean soup. It’s bland. I’ve already added the salt. What am I doing wrong? -Desperately Seeking Flavor Dear DSF, Bland soup is so disappointing. I feel your pain. Unfortunately (or perhaps fortunately) I’m not psychic. Without reading the recipe you used or tasting the soup myself, it’s difficult to know what to tell you to add. That said, I can offer some general help.

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Recipes Recession Proof: Rumsford’s Soup

If you read much food writing, you may have encountered writer MFK Fisher’s notes on thrifty cuisine. In her 1942 recession-proof tome, How to Cook a Wolf she wrote of an inexpensive, nutritious meat-grain subsistence loaf (writer Jeffrey Steingarten later taste-tested that very recipe in The Man Who Ate Everything). But far earlier than that, in the late 1700s, a remarkably multi-talented scientist/inventor named [Benjamin Thompson](http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Thompson “Wikipedia”) (later known as Count von Rumford) was also interested in nutritious subsistence food, which led him to the creation of Rumford Soup.

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Soup’s On: A Culinary Crossword

It’s been so cold and blustery and snowy out there, so I’m doing a soup-themed week. Half my coworkers are sick and there’s no better time of the year to think about warm bowls of liquid comfort. To really kick things off, I’ve created my very first first food-based crossword puzzle… just a little something to keep cabin fever at bay. Download the Soup’s On! Crossword from the link, or just click into the image below to get the PDF.

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Recipes Day 23: Christmas Gumbo

*This post marks Day 23 of Miss Ginsu’s 2008 Advent Calendar. In my neighborhood, ‘tis the season of the big carp slaughter. Apparently it’s traditional for Polish folks to eat fresh carp for Christmas (part of the traditional “fish on holy days” tradition, no doubt) so the fishes are currently swimming about in cold-water pools waiting to be chopped up for dinners across the ‘hood. Likewise, in Italy, southern folks celebrate the feast of the seven fishes over the holidays.

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Recession-Proof Recipes: Apple-Bacon Chowder

As economic worries become yet worse and more frightening, what could be a better Recession-Proof Recipe this week than a soothing mug of chowder? Comforting, delicious, endlessly flexible and — oh yes! quite economical — chowder is there for you when your 401k looks sad and wilted. We talked about Classic Manhattan and New England Chowder last January, but now that the season of summer corn is on the wane and the season of autumnal apples is on the rise, it seems appropriate to think about a combination of apples, corn and smoky bacon.

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The Mysteries of Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho
Recipes The Mysteries of Tomato-Watermelon Gazpacho

I’ve known those who salt their watermelon, and those who sugar their tomatoes. I once thought these practices were madness. After culinary school, I become more flexible in my appreciation of these summer flavors. Yes, watermelon could get along happily in a savory salad. Yes, tomatoes could represent the sweet aspect of a dish. Once I’d gotten past the prejudices of my youth, I learned that tomatoes and watermelon could be great friends in salads.

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Recipes Sopa de Gallo: A (Much Tastier) Chicken in Every Pot

Though Herbert Hoover is often (and falsely) credited with a campaign promise to give the nation “a chicken in every pot,” the phrase never sounded terribly enticing to me. Chicken was usually pretty disappointing in the flavor department. Truthfully, when I was growing up, there wasn’t much chicken around the house. After we moved off the farm, Dad thought the grocery store chickens lacked the appropriate oomph, so we ate lots more turkey than chicken.

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Food Quote Friday: MFK Fisher

“I don’t think we eat enough soup here in the States. It can, and often should, be a meal in itself, as an occasional good book devoted to the subject tries to prove. What is better, more resting on a Sunday night than a tureen of steaming, buttery oyster stew, plenty of little round crackers and some cold white wine or lager beer?” — MFK Fisher

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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