About Gherkins & Tomatoes + Contact Us

Grocery bags (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)
Grocery bags (Photo credit: C. Bertelsen)

There’s always something new by looking at the same thing over and over.

~~John Updike ~~

I’m first and foremost a writer and a photographer, trying to make sense of a very complicated world.

I’m also a Southerner, transplanted early on from Washington state. I’ve called the South – particularly Virginia – my home region for almost 30 years. My genes are English, descended from some of the earliest settlers at Jamestown, namely Richard Pace and Thomas Lane. Full circle, you might say.

My blog, “Gherkins & Tomatoes,” is not just about one place on Earth – it’s about the universal language of food.

Food always has been a big part of the amazing life I’ve lived. So have cookbooks. I literally live surrounded by walls of cookbooks, over 3500 of them, bookshelves looming like flying buttresses everywhere.

Starting with Peace Corps in Paraguay — then years in Mexico,  Honduras, Haiti, Morocco, and Burkina Faso, working as a nutritionist — with months of traveling in Europe sandwiched in between, all those on-the-ground experiences turned me into a citizen of the world and an admirer of the people who worked impossibly hard every day to feed their families.

After a recent car accident, I’ve become extremely aware of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each breath.

Those experiences underlie everything that I write about, overt or not.

Essentially, it’s all about the eternal search for home, a sort of “culinary exile.© 

Here’s where  I indulge my obsession for the life-giving nature of cooking and growing and eating food. My focus is ultimately global and historical. I write about what interests me. My latest project concerns the British empire and its impact on food and cooking.

Join me on the journey … .

For more about Cynthia D. Bertelsen, the creator of “Gherkins & Tomatoes,” see Résumé.

To contact Gherkins & Tomatoes, please send an e-mail to cdbertel@gmail.com or leave a comment on one of the posts.

Happy to see you here!


Gherkins and Tomatoes, by Luis Egidio Meléndez

The title of this blog,”Gherkins & Tomatoes,” sprang from the title of the eponymous painting by Spanish painter Luis Melendez’s painting, 1772, Prado, Madrid, one of the first European renditions of tomatoes.



    • Deptford Pudding, thanks for stopping by and telling me that. I sure hope that someday (and maybe it’s here already and I don’t know it) WordPress will add the bells and whistles to allow readers to print recipes directly. I find keeping up the recipe index a chore, if I don’t do it every time I post something with a recipe.

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s