July 17, 2019 Galit Gottlieb

Alene’s White Gazpacho

3 cloves garlic
1 sweet onion (small to medium, cut in quarters)
1 peeled cucumber (medium to large)
1 peeled zucchini (small to medium)
White part of a fennel bulb (optional, adds licorice taste)
1 cup green grapes and/or 1 small peeled, seeded apple
½ tsp lemon zest
¼ to ½ cup skinless almonds
1 slice of bread (optional but it adds gravitas)
2 or 3 stalks celery (less if you are not celery lovers – blend in or use a stalk to stir)
2 cups water, unsweetened almond milk or coconut water
1 tsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
1 tsp cider vinegar

• Sauté garlic and onion
• Add to blender with other ingredients and zap until smooth.
• Season to taste
• Pour into a glass or a bowl and serve
• Makes about 4 large, 6 small servings

p.46 Battered: A Whipped and Sipped Mystery

Once when Kacey was still a kid and Alene was babysitting during one of her weekend visits, Kacey mentioned in that offhand way teenagers have that Gary and Joan had separate bedrooms. She was trying to explain why there was so much laundry and probably didn’t realize what she was telling Alene. Poor Gary — Joan was his third wife, but apparently third was not the charm. After all, she’d had an affair with the husband of at least one neighbor.

Instead of responding to Alene’s text, Kacey appeared in the kitchen moments later and said, “I can’t spend that much time in the sun, but I can go to the airport with you.”

“Perfect,” said Alene. “Meet me here at two.”

Both of Brianne’s children had gone to college in Washington D.C. and had taken jobs there. Brianne was always blue in the weeks leading up to the anniversary of the day her husband had died, so she’d gone that week to visit her children. Just before Brianne’s trip, Alene had accompanied her to the police station to ask yet again about accidental bicycle collisions in Chicago that might finally provide a connection to the one that killed her husband. Eight years had passed, but Brianne wouldn’t stop trying.

Alene took the kids to do errands and to the zoo, where she bought them popcorn, as promised. There was a lot of griping about heat and fatigue on the mile-long walk home. She blended a white gazpacho and served it with homemade rolls for lunch, then let the kids lie in her bed watching a movie while Cal enjoyed yet another Cubs game in the living room.