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eat the cup 2010, part 9

my sports predictions are like weather forecasts. i don't really know what i'm talking about and if they're right, it has more to do with dumb luck than anything else. for instance, last world cup, i thought spain was going to go all the way. instead, they got bounced early on by eventual runners' up (and should have been champions) france. so what did i do this time? i figured i'd just been too early in my prediction and went with them again. and you know what? it looks like i might have been onto something. ok, this is not a risky bet, because they were co-favourites to win the tournament after winning the euro 2008 (against germany, who they eliminated from the semi-finals this year). however, the spanish team has been known to implode under world scrutiny and just look at what happened to that other favourite, brazil. (in fact, their elimination at the quarter final stage mirrors their performance last time, where france shocked the world by taking them out, much as holand has done this year, and france ended up in the final against italy, the team who had defeated germany in the semis. if you believe that history does repeat itself, bet on spain to win the final.)

i don't know which team is going to come out on top, but i'm happy to have the opportunity to cook a spanish meal because, as one who loves cooking, spanish food is really fun to work with.

take, for instance, gazpacho. to most north americans, it's known (if it's known at all) as the alternate dish lisa proposes to barbequed meat in a classic episode of the simpsons. her description "tomato soup served ice cold" hardly does the dish justice. after all, true gazpacho bears little resemblance to the ketchupy stuff that comes out of a campbell's soup can. it's basically like eating a garden, bursting with flavour, with a delightful aroma of olive oil throughout.

of course, that's only traditional gazpacho and since traditionally, spain has fared poorly at the world cup, it makes sense to try one of the many other varieties of gazpacho that the country has to offer.

so in honour of their semi-final victory and in acknowledgment of the fact that a heat wave bringing temperatures of over 40C/ 100F makes cooking into something forbidden by the geneva convention, i prepared a big batch of white gazpacho. rather than using vegetables, this version uses almonds to make a creamy, delicious and incredibly rich meal. you're not missing much because of the lack of a photo. It looks like a bowl of milk. but it tastes like a bowl of manna, as long as you assume manna is spiked with enough garlic to kill at twenty paces. it's quick, it's delicious, it's even vegan, for those following such a diet. what's not to love?

so, while i wouldn't put much faith in my predictive ability, it does look like i'm going to stick with my original thought this time around, for the entire tournament. soup to nuts (or nuts to soup).

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