Come on fall cool-enough summer heat
Peggy Cooke

Bill and I just returned from a wonderful vacation in the cool Northwest and here’s what we found upon returning:

• my beautiful herbs are ready for the jar—all dry except for the basil;

• the tomatoes and several other plants dead or dying;

• no green grass in our yard and not much in the neighbor’s either;

• a big bill for air-conditioning and water;

• and a desire to stay inside in my chair and read or watch TV or anything that doesn’t require any effort or any going outside.

Come on Fall or even Winter— enough Summer, already!

Some of you remember Karen and Terry Stuller who lived in Rockdale longer ago than you can imagine, now living in Washington state and we enjoyed being with them and also several “new” friends that we have met through them.

We had lots of delicious things to eat on our trip—most involving seafood of some kind. We got to enjoy our most favorite— oysters on the half-shell— several times and once on an oyster “happy hour” when they were drastically reduced.

But nothing we ate was any better than this Cioppino that Karen brought to Twin Lakes, Idaho, where we spent time with some of those new friends, Ralph and Sonya Womack at their cabin on the lakes.

You can substitute ingredients for seafood you like better or that is more readily available— for instance, our delicious Texas catfish would fit in fine here— and the herbs can be whatever you like or don’t like—make it for your own taste.

It’s delicious and all you need with it is some garlic bread and a salad, if you must, and perhaps a glass of your favorite red or white wine.

Italian Cioppino 1-1/2 pounds (or more) seafood, shrimp, baby scallops, tilapia, cod, whatever 2 cups onion, chopped 3 cloves garlic 1 Tablespoon olive oil 1 (16 oz.) can tomato sauce plus

8 oz. more tomato sauce 1 (28 oz.) can tomatoes, mashed plus 16 oz. can tomatoes 3/4 cup white wine 3/4 cup water 1 heaping teaspoon each: dried basil, thyme, marjoram, rosemary and oregano 1 bay leaf 1/4 teaspoon pepper 4 whole cloves 1 tablespoon minced parsley

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil until soft. Add other ingredients, except seafood, and simmer until well mixed. (Can refrigerate here a few hours or overnight so the flavors can marry.)

Just before serving, bring sauce to a boil and add seafood to hot mixture and cook briefly— do not overcook seafood. Add chopped parsley on top and serve hot.

The recipe says 6-8 servings, but Karen added a lot of seafood and six of us ate our fill and more and there was some left over.

Contact Peggy Cooke at 446-5838 or

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2011-08-25 digital edition

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