Eat Tweet: Foodies on Twitter
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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 tweeting.
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 water
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