This week on The VPR Table, culinary haiku for your computer! Host Marialisa Calta discusses the book Eat Tweet by Maureen Evans, which explores the art of cooking with recipes with fewer than 140 characters.
Do you have a Tweet-able recipe? We’d love to see your concise recipes.
Well, it’s happened – A cookbook written entirely in the
140-character language of twitter.
It’s "Eat Tweet," by
Maureen Evans. You can follow her on twitter @cookbook.
There are several ironies
here; the biggest being that the tweeted recipes – or "twecipes" – have been
published in such an antiquarian device as a BOOK. But we can ignore that. We
can celebrate the fact that, like Twitter, Maureen Evans is all about sharing.
She cooks up something delicious – pumpkin ravioli, Guiness stew, lemony fried
artichokes – distills it to 140 characters and presses "post." She’s got 20,000
followers eating it up…and presumably cooking it up, too. If you care about
food, you can applaud any device that steers people away from the drive-thru
and toward their own kitchens.
But in embracing this new
technology we have to admit that something is lost – the recipe "backstories,"
if you will. When Rhea Wilson of Plainfield gave me her recipe for strawberry
soup, it came with the information that
she made gallons of it her daughter’s bat mitzvah so calls it "Jemma’s
Famous Bat Mitzvah Soup." My mother’s warning in her recipe for gnocchi reads
"don’t let the pressure cooker explode." It refers to a memorable
incident in my grandmother’s kitchen. Hard to include in just 140 characters.
In "Eat Tweet" there is
one irony that can’t be ignored. Evans writes that, as a freelance writer in
San Francisco, she would – quote — "seek community" – unquote while wandering
in one of the city’s large Farmer’s Markets. She would peek into people’s bags
and wonder what they were going to cook. "I wanted to ask them about it," she
writes, " but people at a market come and go so quickly." So she began
But maybe if Evans had the
courage to ask just one person at the market what they were cooking, she’d have
a friend as well as some great recipe stories.
Instead, she has 20,000 strangers following her tweets.
This recipe came to me from Rhea Wilson of Plainfield, Vt
and was reprinted in "River Run Cookbook," by Jimmy Kennedy, Maya Kennedy and
me (HarperColllins, 2001)
Made in early summer, when strawberries are at their peak,
it is amazing; but it can also be made – with only slightly lesser results –
with good frozen strawberries. It is only slightly sweet; River Run we served
it – very cold – as Rhea does, as a first course, but it also makes an
interesting dessert soup. Years ago, Rhea made a huge batch of it for her
daughter, Gemma’s, bat mitzvah, and so she calls it "Gemma’s Famous Bat Mitzvah Soup."
3 cups fresh strawberries, hulled and rinsed (see note)
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 and 1/2 cups ice
1/2 cup chilled, dry white wine
Put all the
ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Cover and chill very
thoroughly before serving.
Note: if using frozen strawberries, substitute 1
cup of cold water for the 1-and-1/2 cups ice water. You will not have to chill
it if you serve it immediately.
Yield: about 4 servings