Entries from September 29th, 2011

Fig and Pistachio Cake for Fall

September 29th, 2011 · 13 Comments · Cakes, Recipes

fig cake lineup

How did it become fall? It seems like just a few weeks ago I was sailing the blue waters of the Mediterranean. Appearances of plums and peaches everywhere, a lambent harvest moon, and now the year’s gone crepuscular.

I know there are fall-weather fans who can’t wait to break out the scarves and wool coats; as for me, I find charms in all the seasons (or what pass for seasons in the bay area – I’ve heard all the jokes before). What always trips me up, though, is the one-step-forward, two-steps-back weather progression we have here. One day it’s completely foggy; the next perfectly sunny. A weekend of threateningly grey cloud-filled skies gives way to shorts-wearing temperatures. I’m perfectly eager to welcome fall – I just wish it’d make its definitive entrance and stay, instead of tip-tapping in and out like an elusive cat. While other parts of the country get a beautiful, russet-crimson-vermilion fadeout of summer, we get climate confusion. (more…)

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A Plum (or Dog) By Any Other Name

September 7th, 2011 · 25 Comments · Fruit, Personal, Recipes, Tarts

pluot tart overhead

Taking a brief break from vacation recapping…just a few more stops left to cover! I swear I’ll finish my vacation scrapbook before summer is over!

I couldn’t not post about stone fruit season and the sunset-hued wave of fruits enveloping farmers’ markets right now. If you haven’t bitten into a ripe, outrageously fragrant autumn plum yet, do so. I have a soft spot for Elephant Hearts, but most any variety will do, including the increasingly odd-named hybrid cousins of plums.

Pluots, I can get behind (they’re a big favorite of mine). Or plumcots (essentially the same thing, a cross between plums and apricots). But some other mixes I find a little less mellifluous to my ear: aprium? peacotum? nectaplum? They just don’t have the same appetizing ring. It reminds me of when we went looking for a dog to adopt and discovered all these non-official cross breeds. I knew about goldendoodles and labradoodles, but the mention of shih-poos and whoodles just made me laugh. Not all portmanteaus are meant to be, at least to my ears.

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