Once, A Long Time Ago…in a Galaxy far, far away…
Ok…Texas is not in a Galaxy far, far away….but it did provide me with a wonderful cold soup recipe, called Gazpacho!
Gazpacho! A fresh tasting cold soup, so perfect for anytime.
It is true this soup is wonderful in the Spring and Summer….It is also good during Indian Summer weather which is what the weather is like these days….cool one day and warm the next.
There is a story behind this recipe.
I think it is interesting….
But then you know me and sometimes I can be weird!
I still think it is interesting! ?
About 40 years ago, when my Mother became an empty-nester….she decided to go back to work.
I was living in Dallas, Texas at the time, which was about a 30 mile drive from her home (in the Westchester Apartments) in Fort Worth, Texas to my home in Dallas.
Mother chose a book-keeping job for a famous restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas.
The name of the upscale restaurant was “Cross Keys.”
The restaurant wasn’t too far from the Fort Worth stock yards.
There was nightly entertainment, while diners ate their Texas sized steaks ordered from huge, leather bound menus.
The decor was very masculine, with mahogany doors and carvings surrounding the dining room walls.
Of course, the tables were laden with white linen tablecloths, fine china and crystal glasses.
Waiters wore black suits which reminded me of a tux!
Think of South Fork Ranch, the Ewings and of course the television program….“Dallas”!
Yes, this restaurant was that kind of place.
Cattle Barons frequented this restaurant and along with their guests …received very special treatment from the owner and staff…it was that kind of place.
One day, I visited Mother in her book-keeping office. She handed me a glossy, slick sheet of paper dated June, 1959.
It was a recipe for Gazpacho and an endorsement.
Mother explained that the owner had copies made of the page from The Diners’ Club Magazine, which featured the recipe and write-up from Myra Waldo, food critic and cookbook author.
(Mother knew I would like any recipe and I was certainly glad to have this one).
The Diners’ Club Magazine featured this recipe in June of 1959. (I tried to find the June 1959 cover but this is the closest I could find…August 1959).
I apologize for the quality of this pic. I have folded, unfolded and re-folded it many times over the last 46 years, before returning it to one of my recipe boxes.
(I think I should have ironed it) ?
However, I will tell you what the endorsement says:
“The Texans have a word for it…Gazpacho” by Myra Waldo
“The hot weather is here again and with it comes the annual difficulty in planning attractive and heat-beating meals. There are, of course, salads and cold meats, plus cooling desserts. But here is a recipe for a soup called Gazpacho. It is a cold Spanish vegetable soup which may well create a sensation at your table. It always does when it is served at the famous Cross Keys Restaurant in Fort Worth, Texas, where I first tasted it. This recipe is featured in the soon-to-be-published Diners’ Club Cookbook, written by yours truly.
Other famous recipes will be published in subsequent issues of The Diners’ Club Magazine.”
You probably noticed the hand written note at the bottom of the page.
I don’t know who wrote it, but I am assuming it was Mr. Hospers, the owner of the restaurant, … or it could have been written by Myra Waldo.
And this is what that note says:
“More National Recognition for Cross Keys! The above layout ran as page editorial feature in the June, 1959 issue of The Diner’s Club Magazine – which has over one million circulation!”
Wow! apparently, over one million circulation…was impressive in 1959, but a mere drop in the bucket by today’s standards!
I did a little research and Googled the restaurant, The Diners’ Club Magazine and Myra Waldo.
It appears Cross Keys is no longer in Fort Worth, but I did find a few comments posted by someone named “Molly”.
Below are comments by “Molly”
“Cross Keys! I have been trying to remember that name for some time now. I think it was on the other side of 8th Ave. from the Westchester House. That was some FINE DINING circa 1955 Fort Worth. Prior to Cross Keys, the gentry ate out at the country club or one of the downtown clubs and everybody else pretty much ate at home. I think the House of Mole opened up over on Park Hill around the same time. If I am not mistaken, those two restaurants began a new era in eating out in Cowtown. Both of them morphed into other spots as time moved on, and taught a lot of Fort Worth folks about food and wine.”
My research did find the book Myra Waldo referred to in her critique.
Her story is quite a tale, but I will save that for another post ?
In the meantime…try this recipe which reminds me of a salsa soup!
The handy dandy printable recipe is below.
Blessings and have a good week-end.
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 4 tablespoons lemon juice
- 6 cups tomato juice
- 2 cups beef broth
- 1/2 cup finely minced onions
- 2 tomatoes, cubed
- 2 cups finely minced celery
- 1/8 teaspoon Tabasco
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 green peppers finely chopped
- 2 cucumbers, diced
- Beat together the oil and lemon juice.
- Stir in the tomato juice, broth, onions, tomatoes, celery, Tabasco, salt and pepper.
- Taste for seasoning - the mixture should be well seasoned.
- Chill 3 hours.
- Pour into a tureen.
- Serve the green peppers, cucumbers and croutons separately.
- I didn't change a thing in this recipe as I wanted it to be the original. Remember the year was 1959 and Cross Keys was making this recipe long before that. 🙂
- By Cross Keys Restaurant
Please comment, I'd love to hear from you.