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Vegan for the Holidays

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Vegetarians in Paradise
Ask Aunt Nettie

We're delighted to share our Aunt Nettie with you. She's agreed to answer any questions you might ask about food, its preparation, and even clean-up tips. But we have to prepare you. She just might want to come right over to your house and help you fix dinner.

To send any questions to Ask Aunt Nettie an/or get her cooking advice, .

Editor's Note: Instead of Aunt Nettie answering individual questions, she has decided to address a number of requests from people who want to save money on the food budget and still enjoy healthy dining. This is one of a series of money-saving tips and recipes designed to stretch those slim dollars.

As an example of Aunt Nettie's impressive, penny-pinching ability to save, she still has some depression glass dishes and bowls in the cupboard--they're the real thing and she still treasures them.

In future issues of Vegetarians in Paradise, Aunt Nettie and her niece Zel will offer more money-saving recipes for the most extreme skinflints along with suggestions to help bargain-hunter foodies seek out cheap fare that still brings good cheer to the table.


Thirty-eighth in a series of articles


Well Howdy there y'all,

Ain't no doubt it's them dog days o' summer again, an' all we kin think about is how hot it is. Some folks even believe ain't nothin' kin be done about it. Well, they's got ta listen to their ole Aunt Nettie, 'cause I got one mighty fine idear fer keepin' them dog day blues away.

What we're needin' most is a good, healthy bowl o' nice cold soup ta help cool ya down a tad. My recipe fer a deeelicious tomater soup down yonder is a mighty fine soup fer bringin' nice coolin' comfort. Summertime is the best time fer lots an' lots o' fresh fruits an' veggies 'cause they's got a li'l ole secret inside 'em. But I'm a-gonna tell ya that secret 'cause it's mighty important. Yes it is.

Why them fresh fruits an' vegetables got a heap o' water inside 'em an' that's what we need a-plenty in summer. We're needin' lots an' lots o' water ta help keep us comfortable an' ta put back some o' that water we been sweatin' out. An' I know we's doin' plenty o' sweatin'. Now, go ahead an' drink a big glass o' water - not jes once a day, darlin's. Why, you got to drink a-plenty an' you''ll see what a difference it makes.

Y'all know summertime is when them tomater vines grows like tiny tots an' afore ya knows it, why there's a heap o' tomaters ready fer pickin'. Now if'n y'all don't grow yer own tomaters, you kin still find 'em pretty cheap in the grocery store.

An' if'n ya buys yer tomaters by the lug (fer you city folk, a lug is a box ), why the price is even cheaper. So all's ya do is put a heap o' tomaters an' some nice spices in the blender, push the button, an make a soup.

It's best ya make the soup nice an' early in the day so's you kin give it plenty chillin' in the fridge. An' when yer ready fer yer soup, why it's nice an' cold. I got a good feelin' in my bones yer gonna love this mighty tasty an' coolin' lunch or dinner soup. Now all's ya need is a spoon!

Yer ever lovin' Aunt Nettie

Texas Tomato Soup


Yield: 3 to 4 servings

    2 1/4 pounds (1 kilo) fresh tomatoes, coarsely chopped
    1/2 cup (120 ml) water
    1/3 cup (80 ml) chopped onion
    1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice
    1 small garlic clove, chopped
    1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
    1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
    3/4 teaspoon salt
    1/2 teaspoon liquid hickory smoke flavoring

    Sprigs of fresh cilantro
    1/2 cup (120 ml) corn kernels, drained
    1/2 ripe avocado, diced or sliced

  1. Combine the tomatoes, water, onion, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander, salt, and smoke flavoring in the blender and process for 1 full minute, or until thick, smooth, and creamy.
  2. Pour the soup into serving bowls and garnish the center of each bowl with cilantro, corn kernels, and avocado.

If You Haven't Met Aunt Nettie. . .

Our Aunt Nettie has a head like a hard disk. It's filled with gigabytes of information about food and cooking. And she's just itchin' to share her learnin' with city folk who live in mortal fear of the stovetop.

Aunt Nettie grew up on the farm. She did not eat out of a can or reach into the freezer. There was no microwave to pop her food into. Everything she made was from scratch. All the food she ate was natural, without pesticides. It was grown right there on the family farm, and she had to cook to survive. At eighty-three years young she still leaps and bounds around the kitchen and can shake, rattle, and roll those pots and pans with the best of them.

Nowadays, Aunt Nettie just shakes her head and complains, "Nobody cooks anymore. They have no idea about puttin' a meal together." She's on a mission. She wants to help those younguns eat better so they can grow up healthy like her own eight kids.

Click here for past Ask Aunt Nettie Columns

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