Category Archives: musings

Rolling with the seasons

rollingpin

YES, IT’S OFFICIALLY AUTUMN, and the change of the seasons and cooler days call me back to baking once again (not that I’ve ever left it entirely).

In the late summer/ early fall, I made some Zwetchgenkuchen with the beautiful Italian plums, but now that the plums are all gone from the trees, and I’ve said farewell to summer, my fruit dreams turn to apples and pears.

zwetch2016

Next week, when I visit my daughter in Arkansas, we plan to make an apple pie together, so I was recalling a post I wrote here back in 2007 that spoke of my “one-per-season pie calendar” and featured the marvelous Pie Queen Reeb Willms with her recipe for apple pie. You can read it here.

apple-pie-blog

Another must-bake for me in the autumn is the round challah with raisins. Along with apples and honey, it signifies the sweet and spirit-nourishing tradition of Rosh Hashonah, the Jewish New Year.

roundchallahblogMy round challahs are never quite symmetrical, but then, it really doesn’t matter!

It seems timely to put a link to yet another blog post from years ago, titled “A circle, a braid, a meditation on challah”

In fact, circles seem to be a theme here — appropriately, as in the autumn, we are so aware of the circle of seasons.

bowlofapplesblog

So, even if you don’t do any baking this season, do enjoy a wonderful crisp, juicy, sweet (or sweet-tart) apple — and roll with the season!

p.s. Need a good challah recipe? A reader writes in: “I know everyone has her/his favorite challah recipe, but my late wife Ruth׳s was truly spectacular.  See her web site ruths-kitchen.com”

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August fixin’s

pasta and vegAUGUST REMINDS ME of my childhood: the sticky hot humid days in Chicago, barely relieved by the big swamp cooler in the basement. We had no air conditioning and my two sisters and I slept in an upstairs attic-type room, catching what little breeze we could from the open window and a fan. A thunderstorm was an evening’s entertainment:  From our screened-in back porch, we’d listen to the thunder, watch the streaks of lightning and smell the oncoming rain.

But best of all, August meant we would pack up the car (I always had a case full of books) and leave the city for a rented cabin in Ephraim, Wisconsin, or South Haven, Michigan, where we’d swim in Lake Michigan (Yes, we did that at home too, but here it was even better) and eat fresh peaches and blueberries, corn and tomatoes, trout and smoked whitefish, and bakery white rolls. And cherry pie.

Wherever you are, fresh produce is abundant this month, and dinner doesn’t have to be salad. On these lazy days, I love to center an August meal around corn on the cob. Or potato and green beans in a vinaigrette. Or cherry tomatoes, as in the photo above, roasted (or sauteed) with some garlic and oil and sprinkled with basil, to dress a pasta. With a side of green beans with lemon zest, and a simple salad with beets (dressed in another vinaigrette) and hazelnuts, it was a light but satisfying meal that didn’t take long at the stove.

blackberry cobbThis kitchen blog began in 2009 with Blackberry Cobbler No. 8, a recipe for the eighth version I had made of blackberry cobbler.

This week my daughter and I picked  blackberries (it’s been unusually hot here so it’s almost end-of-the-season) for a cobbler and decided that the No. 8  version is still hard to beat, with very tender biscuits with a touch of cornmeal. There’s not too much sugar in it, and a dollop of ice cream on the warm cobbler will suit it just fine.

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A plum welcome to summer

plumsontowel

I HAVE WRITTEN BEFORE about the marvelous Santa Rosa plums of early summer, and my gratitude to Luther Burbank for developing them. But again I feel the need to praise these plums. If I were to have just one fruit tree, it might have to be a Santa Rosa plum, not only for their deliciousness at the start of summer, but also because they are so hard to find in the market.

I had enough, briefly, to eat plenty of plums au naturel and to make British cookbook writer Nigel Slater’s brilliant plum tabbouleh. (I did substitute a pinch of crushed red pepper for the small red chile he calls for). I even made some plum crumble with a topping of butter, brown sugar, flour and hazelnuts.

plumtabbouleh

The plum tabbouleh drew me back to one of my favorite books, Ripe: A Cook in the Orchard, and to Nigel Slater’s lovely homage to plums.

“When I find the perfect plum, jelly-fleshed and incandescently ripe, its golden skin flashed with crimson freckles, I make a great fuss of it,” he writes. “I have even been known to get out a small plate and a napkin. I eat slowly, imagining time stopped. More usually, I come across such a fruit without warning, having little alternative but to eat it from the hand, spitting the pit into the long grass below.”

And why are these plums so hard to find? Although Slater is speaking of Britain and not of Santa Rosa plums, I think his sentiments could apply to the U.S. as well.

“It breaks my heart to think of the plum orchards we have lost in the last two decades,” he writes, “but what else can a farmer do when the crop is no longer profitable, consumers have more interest in peaches and nectarines, and the stores continue to sell imports even during our own brief season? I salute the British plum grower.”

Well, I salute all plum growers, and in particular my friends John and Cathy who gave me the pleasure of a few days full of plums from their Santa Rosa plum tree. What a happy welcome to summer!

plateofplums

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Mandarin love

mandarinsWHAT COULD BE MORE APPEALING in winter than the brightly glowing, highly fragrant little orange globes called mandarins? They come in various sizes, some with seeds and some without, some noted for their juiciness and others for their easy-to-peel “zipper” skins — and the best of them with a vivacious flavor and lively balance of tart and sweet.

If you are lucky enough to be in California during mandarin season, you can sample many different varieties — and buy them very fresh, from a farmers’ market or fruit stand. Otherwise, though you may have a smaller number of varieties to choose from, you can usually find good mandarins at the grocery to brighten your table and your winter diet.

Kishu mandarin

Kishu mandarins are tiny, seedless mandarins which peel easily, making it extraordinarily easy to eat half a dozen or so before you know it. These come from Churchill Orchard in Ojai.

So what’s the difference between mandarins and tangerines?

Citrus expert Tracy Kahn, curator of the Citrus Variety Collection at UC Riverside, had this to say about the subject:

“Mandarins refer to a group of cultivars and includes Clementine and Satsuma and many other mandarins. . . .  The word tangerine is often used interchangeably with the word mandarin but actually the term tangerine was coined for brightly colored sweet mandarins that were originally shipped out of the port of Tangiers, Morocco, to Florida in the late 1800s and the term stuck.  Another interesting thing about mandarins is that we now know that there were three basic citrus types (mandarin, citron and pummelo) and that others that we think of as basic types or species (sweet oranges, sour oranges, grapefruits) are actually ancient hybrids or backcrosses of these. Also, many of the cultivars that we think of as mandarins or tangerines may in fact not be true mandarins, but actually mandarin hybrids.”

Mandarin-gin cocktails

Page mandarin cocktails and Kishu mandarins in the bowl.      Photo by S. L. Sanger

Whatever you call them, they’re marvelous!

Steve and I had the good fortune to go to Anna Thomas’s home in Ojai for lunch the other day (last year I wrote about lunch at Anna’s here), and it turned into a mandarin appreciation day. Along with a great soup-and-salad lunch,  Anna made refreshing mandarin-gin cocktails, using Page mandarins–a vibrant juicy variety.  For dessert, she offered a big bowlful of the exceptional Kishu mandarins with dark chocolate. Then we all drove off to nearby Churchill Orchard to buy a big box of Kishu mandarins to share!

The cocktail recipe Anna used is from Henry of Ventura Spirits, and features the company’s Wilder gin, made with local botanicals including sage and mandarin peel. If you have trouble finding this gin or Page mandarins, make substitutions as necessary.

Henry’s Wilder Gin and Page Mandarin Cocktail:

For each drink, mix:

1 oz. fresh lime juice
2 oz. fresh Page mandarin juice
½ oz. agave nectar (Henry uses ½ maple syrup+ ½ water)
1 ½ oz. Wilder gin
pour over ice, add splash of seltzer or soda or mineral water, and enjoy.

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The madeleines of friendship

Madeleines and sauternes

Well, I was going to title this post “Proust comes to Vermont,” but that wasn’t quite accurate.  Instead I was the one who came to Vermont last month, flying across the country to visit my dear friend Rachel, who I hadn’t seen in many years.

rachel

Rachel in the Ripton Country Store

But Marcel Proust was with us, at least a little bit too, in the form of madeleines.

Even if you haven’t read a page of Proust’s “Remembrance of Things Past,” you may have heard of the passage in which he dips “one of those squat, plump little cakes called ‘petites madeleines,’ which look as though they had been moulded in the fluted valve of a scallop shell,”  in a cup of tea, evoking a flood of memories.

No sooner had the warm liquid mixed with the crumbs touched my palate than a shudder ran through me and I stopped, intent upon the extraordinary thing that was happening to me. An exquisite pleasure had invaded my senses, something isolated, detached, with no suggestion of its origin. And at once the vicissitudes of life had become indifferent to me, its disasters innocuous, its brevity illusory – this new sensation having had on me the effect which love has of filling me with a precious essence; or rather this essence was not in me it was me.

… And suddenly the memory revealed itself. The taste was that of the little piece of madeleine which on Sunday mornings at Combray (because on those mornings I did not go out before Mass), when I went to say good morning to her in her bedroom, my aunt Léonie used to give me, dipping it first in her own cup of tea or tisane. The sight of the little madeleine had recalled nothing to my mind before I tasted it. And all from my cup of tea.”

teandmad

Interestingly, Proust made the little scalloped cake so famous that Webster’s dictionary defines the madeleine not only as “a small, rich, shell-shaped cake,” but in a second definition as “one that evokes a memory.”

Rachel had some nice new French madeleine tins she hadn’t tried out yet, and we had a couple days of rainy weather, so we pored through the cookbooks and found a recipe that sounded good in “Paris Sweets” by Dorrie Greenspan.

madeleinepans2

New madeleine tins. Photo by Rachel Hunter.

Mixing up the batter together, we remembered our silly kitchen adventures some 40 (gasp!) years past, making Grasshopper Pie (creme de menthe, creme de cacao, Oreo cookies, marshmallows. Really, did we eat that??? Ugh.)

And as we laughed and reminisced, I reflected on other experiences of cooking with friends and loved ones. Candied lemon peel with Cathy.  Cantucci  ( Tuscan biscotti) with Iris. Spanakopita with Nia. Pesto with Laurie. Antipasto with Cathy, Meg and Christina. Lemon pizza with Zak. Pies–rhubarb, lemon, apple– with Aviva.

rhubarb-pie1

Toby and Aviva — and rhubarb pie.

As delicious as the results of these cooking-together sessions usually were (often with recipes more complicated and time consuming than my usual fare), even more wonderful was the  shared pleasure of  long and timeless friendship–the laughter and camaraderie mingled with a dusting of flour, a drizzle of olive oil, the flurry of chopping onions, apples or nuts, the scents of just-picked basil or freshly grated lemon zest — each experience truly a madeleine of the memory-evoking kind.

SauternesThe day after we made the madeleines (which were very pretty, by the way), Rachel set some out on a plate accompanied by a bottle of Sauternes that she deemed a perfect pairing.  She sifted through her vintage collection for some adorable embroidered napkins and even little doily-like slippers for the wineglass stems (!) and made a lovely arrangement.

Photo-shoot for the madeleines

It was really too early in the day to be drinking Sauternes, so instead we just enjoyed doing a photo shoot. And I promised to do a blog post on the madeleines.

I brought some of the madeleines back home for Steve, who was happy to have them. In the first couple days after my return, he ate all but one out of the cookie tin. But in the whirlwind of summertime visits and visitors, he forgot about that one lonely madeleine in the tin. And, in the laziness of long, fruit-filled summer days, I almost forgot about my promise to do a blog post.

That is, just until  a few days ago, when I gently warmed up some fresh peaches and blueberries (with a couple tablespoons of sugar and water to make a sauce) and served them with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. “This would be good with a cookie,” I suggested.

“What about that madeleine?” he asked. “Do we still have one?”

madeleineandpeach
Indeed we did, and it was very stale, but Steve said he still enjoyed it.

And as for Marcel Proust? In an amusing 2005 piece in Slate, Edmund Levin tried to decipher the recipe from Proust’s descriptive passage in his novel. He concluded that real madeleines don’t produce crumbs at all — even when stale. “Proust’s madeleine did not, does not, and never could have existed,” Levin writes. “To put it bluntly: Proust didn’t know from madeleines.”

Be that as it may, the recipe we used from Paris Sweets was just right (it’s essential to let the batter rest a few hours or overnight) and we used David Lebovitz’s tip (though not his madeleine recipe) to brush them with a simple lemon glaze. A big thank you to Dorie Greenspan, Marcel Proust, and all my cooking and baking friends!

Classic Madeleines
  • 3/4 cup (105 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sugar (100 grams)
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 5 tablespoons (70 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  1. Sift the flour and baking soda

  2. Beat eggs and sugar together with a mixture until thick and lighter in color, 2 to 4 minutes

  3. Add lemon zest and vanilla

  4. Gently fold dry ingredients into the egg-sugar mixture, followed by the butter

  5. Refrigerate mixture in a covered container, at least 3 hours, preferably longer and up to 2 days.

  6. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter the tin and dust with flour. Divide the batter into the molds — don’t fill them too full. Don’t worry about smoothing out the batter; it will even out as it bakes.

  7. Bake in the upper part of the oven for 11 to 13 minutes, until the madeleines are puffed and golden, and spring back when touched. Don’t over-bake. Remove and cool on a rack

  8. If you are using lemon glaze, mix 3/4 cup confectioners sugar with 2 tablespoons of lemon juice and brush on the madeleines while they are still warm.

    madeleinesonplate

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Luck and a dream

shamrockbread

Saint Patrick’s Day is my family’s day to celebrate my father’s “Irish luck.”

Immigration ID 3.17.39Seventy-five years ago, my father arrived in America, having escaped Nazi Germany.

Please read more of the story here, published online in Tablet Magazine.

shamrocks

Shamrocks growing outside my apartment

I don’t make anything fancy for the day (though I have been known to make S-cookies with green sparkling sugar) and I’m not a corned-beef-and-cabbage fan, so I’ll probably just make a variation of my emerald green parsley soup (thought I’d add some leeks to it this time) along with some Irish soda bread or maybe oatmeal scones.

And if there’s a beer around (it could be root beer or ginger beer or practically anything)  I’ll make a toast to my dad and all those who helped him and his family come to America.

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Bread therapy

When I wrote the last post, more than three weeks ago, I was looking forward to getting my cast off and getting back to work in the kitchen. But  those first days out of the cast were discouraging.  My hand was so stiff and weak it was basically useless.

Fortunately, I soon met with an occupational therapist who showed me how I could slowly but surely train my hand to work again. One of the things he had me do was to knead and grasp and pull a wad of therapy putty.

kneading2I brought some putty home to work with, but I also thought that bread dough might be a nice alternative material. So I have been kneading dough ever since, and the results have been quite tasty.  Here’s some of the baked goods I’ve been making the last few weeks.

cinnamonrolls

Cinnamon rolls

oatmealbreadhalf

Oatmeal bread

applebluecheeseLast weekend I made a kind of pizza with a cornmeal-y crust, topped with roasted apples, red onions and blue cheese. It was inspired by Melissa Clark’s apple tart in The New York Times (but I substituted red onion for the shallot and didn’t use all that oil in the dough). Very nice for dinner or hors d’oeuvres.

lavashAnd today I made lavash crackers, with a recipe that came originally from Yvette van Boven’s Home Made cookbook. I kneaded the dough for a good 8 minutes (my right hand helped just a little) and rolled it out into sheets in my pasta maker. My goodness — what nice crisp crackers!

Usually, I love to knead bread dough and find it relaxing, almost meditative.

But it hasn’t been like that at all lately.  I make my weak left hand do the work and it hurts. But it is therapeutic. And the results are doubly appreciated.

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Notes from a one-armed cook

onionlines

When I returned from Italy with my arm encased in a huge plaster cast, I had a pretty good attitude. But it wasn’t long before I was brought to tears — by an onion.

No, it wasn’t the onion’s irritating juice that was making me cry. It was the reality that without the use of my left hand to hold down the onion, there was no way I could cut it. I had been enjoying other people’s cooking in Italy, but now I wanted to cook for myself and Steve. And without onions — well, what kind of cooking would that be? In my book, onions are as essential as lemons!

Yes, Steve offered to chop the onion, but it was an ordeal. Let’s just say, he is extra sensitive to the onion irritant, and a lot of cursing was involved . Anyway, he was doing so many other tasks (including a total clean-up of the kitchen)  that I didn’t want to ask him again.

I don’t know that I ever before fully appreciated the marvel of hands, especially two of them. Or the pleasure of doing even menial tasks for myself — or for someone else.

With a little research, I discovered there are special single-handed cutting boards, which range from simple ones with spikes and corners to hold food down to the fancier Swedish cutting boards with suction feet, more spikes and a vise. These are especially helpful for amputees or stroke victims. But I figured it wouldn’t be worth buying one for my remaining month in a cast.

purplecast

The purple cast is the latest in a series

Thank goodness my disability is more temporary — and that I also discovered that Trader Joe’s carries bags of chopped onions! Before long,  I was sauteeing onions (with celery and carrots that I chopped myself using the cleaned ‘baby-size’ carrots) for minestrone . . . and I only had to ask Steve for help in opening the can of tomatoes.

onions plus

minestoneI’ve cooked quite a few dishes during this arm-healing period — several batches of minestrone soup, wild mushroom risotto, polenta, spinach-and-feta frittata, oatmeal scones, cornbread, etc. — but it hasn’t all been easy. Over the last 44 days, I’ve had to develop some advice for myself — and then remind myself of it along the way. So here are the basics :

Be patient– and lower your standards. Plan extra time, because everything will take longer than it used to (or than it does for others).  Your frustration will lower in proportion to the extent that you accept this reality. Also, your diminished abilities may mean that you are messier and less precise than you used to be. It helps if you are not a perfectionist.

Adapt when you can — There’s no shame in holding a zipper-lock bag with your teeth so you can open or close it, or clasping a jar in the crook of your damaged arm so you can use your functional hand to open it.  Maybe you have to carry jars of water to the heavy cooking pot rather than bringing the pot over to the sink. Maybe you or your friends will come up with creative tools to help with tasks (Steve’s brother Duane had made a wooden holder for the Microplane grater, which I relied on.) A lot of times, there really is an alternative method, even if you don’t get a specialized cutting board.

Stop making yourself crazy. So you can’t do everything. Who can? Adapting can only go so far. My DIY mode had to go. I gave up baking bread in the cast iron Dutch oven (way too heavy) and enjoyed bread from a wonderful local bakery. I tossed out my snooty attitude about  buying vegetables in bags (so wasteful and expensive, I’d thought) and gave in to packaged pre-cut butternut squash and triple-washed lettuce in bags (since Steve won’t use the salad spinner.) Also, I decided there was no harm in the occasional frozen food or even (heaven forbid!) using the built-in microwave which I’d formerly relegated to skillet storage.

Ask for help. No matter how independent you are, you will not be able to do everything yourself. If you are lucky, there will be someone around or next door or down the street or even across town who won’t mind helping — and may even be glad you asked.

Still, asking for help — and accepting it graciously — is a lot harder than it seems it should be.

When friends ask, “What can I do to help?” it helps to have something specific in mind — that is, if they really mean it (but do give them an easy out, so you don’t strain the friendship).

For example, when Jennifer asked what I wanted for my birthday, I told her: “A fresh pineapple. If you would cut it for me.” I’d been eyeing the new shipment of pineapples in the store but there was no way I could cut one myself.

So… lo and behold! — I got exactly what I asked for. And it was one of the best pineapples I ever tasted. Thank you, Jennifer!

Allow for mixed emotions —The accident made me contemplate how much I have to be grateful for, from the fact that I didn’t break my right arm or my leg (or both arms, for that matter) to the loving support of Steve and friends. But I wouldn’t be honest if I said it was all gratitude all the time. Every now and then I needed to whine a little about the pain or the disability. I was glad that Steve would (usually) just listen sympathetically without telling me to shape up. Then I could get over it and go on.

oatmealsconesIt’s surely a minor problem being a one-handed cook — as Cathy says, remember the big picture — yet  I won’t deny that sometimes it’s just a drag. That’s why I’m really  looking forward to tomorrow, when the cast comes off!

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Tea and toast

cast from naplesI returned from my trip to Italy (with dear friend Cathy Mihalik) with a new ‘Frutta di Italia’ apron — and a very heavy full-arm plaster cast!

amalfi trailHiking down a steep and beautiful trail (Sentiero Pennino, part mule track, from the wonderful agriturismo in the hills, Serafina, to the town of Bomerano), I slipped on some loose gravel by la grotta di Santa Barbara.

I stuck out my left hand to cushion the fall and — BAM! — broken wrist and a displaced radius bone. (In orthopedic jargon, this very common route to a wrist fracture is nicknamed FOOSH for Fall On Out Stretched Hand).

boneThe next day, in a hospital outside Naples, the orthopedic doctor pulled the bone into place without anesthetic (ouch) and gave me a plaster cast from above the elbow to below the first joints of my fingers.

Still, we continued the trip –fortunately for me, Cathy is a registered nurse–and had a great time. After I got the cast we went to eat cheap and delicious pizza at Sorbillo, the genuine article. Here we are in amazing Napoli the day after the hospital/cast experience:

galleria, napoli

Galleria, Naples

About that cast: “Positively medieval,” my friend Nia called it. The orthopedic nurse in the U.S. updated the description a little, but said she hadn’t seen the like since the 1970s. She cut off the cast, plaster dust flying, and discarded it with a look of disgust. “Some things are better left behind,” she said. The only thing I miss about the cast is the charming picture Cathy drew of a shepherdess and lamb.

castpic

The worst part? When  I met with the orthopedic physician at home two-and-a-half weeks after the fall — and learned that the bone had not healed at all. In fact, it looked worse than the day I fell!

I was scheduled for surgery subito (immediately).

*

Well, I plan to write a post about the frustrations, challenges and amusements of one-handed cooking soon.

But today I am just lazing about, recuperating from yesterday’s surgery and thinking about what a delicious duo Steve made for me when we came home from our 9-to-5 day at the hospital.

I’d had nothing to eat or drink all day and I was a little weak and woozy.

It was very simple but Steve made it perfectly: tea. just how I like it (PG Tips with milk) and buttered toast (multi-grain from our excellent local bakery, Breadfarm).

toastteaMaybe it was because of the trauma or the hunger or the appreciation of Steve’s kindness, or all those things rolled into one.

All I know is, that tea and toast was so delicious it seemed like the best thing I had ever eaten.  And perhaps it was.

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The fruit garden

greengageMy dream has always been to have a home with a garden full of fruit trees — a fruit garden, if you will (In German, obst means fruit and obstgarten, or fruit garden, means orchard). Ivan Doig,  at a reading last week, made a comment that resonated with me.  Doig writes a lot about Montana, where he grew up, but he lives in Seattle. “It’s not where you live that matters,” he said, “but where your imagination lives. Mine lives in Montana.”

My imagination lives in a fruit garden.

scottandtree

Scott McManus with greengage plum tree

But back to reality, it really helps to have friends with fruit trees — especially if those friends have a whole orchard full of fruit.

Scott and Maggie invited us to Cashmere to sample the greengage plums of fall. This was a trip that had been long postponed, as wildfires and thick smoke in the area last September had forced us to cancel our greengage trip.

These plums (not to be confused with the green Japanese plums) are very special and delicious — and rarely grown in the U.S. In France they are called Reine Claude.  The tree is finicky and the fruit must be absolutely ripe–to the point of softness– to be truly enjoyed, so they are difficult to market.

greengagehalf

A ripe greengage plum is golden inside

The ripe plums have a golden-honey flavor balanced with enough tartness to keep them from being cloying.

In this excellent article, fruit aficionado David Karp explains all about greengages, and I learned that the type Scott was growing, Reine-Claude de Bavay, is a “half-sister” of the original greengage plum,  widely grown and respected in France.

greengagebowl

Reine-Claude de Bavay plums

Of course they ripened nearly all at once, but we had the perfect solution. We had told Georgiana, the friendly clerk in our local pharmacy, that we were making a trip over the mountains for greengages and she nearly swooned.

“I love those,” she said. “We had a greengage  tree when we lived in the country, and when we moved to town I had to leave that tree. It was the saddest thing.”

We brought Georgiana a bag of ripe greengage plums when we returned, and she was ecstatic. “Those were just wonderful,” she said when we saw her a couple days later. “They brought back so many good memories.”

bowlwithfruitIt’s the Jewish harvest festival of Sukkos, a time to enjoy the wonderful fall fruits and vegetables. The last of the fall peaches are ripe — Scott and Maggie gave us some of those as well as pears and apples. We had a lovely bounty of fruit, even enough to share. And of course, the kitchen has been full of fruit flies. It’s all just part of the season.

Today, as I’m writing this, it is September 21, the feast of San Matteo. I know nothing about the feast or the saint, except for this excellent Italian saying (which I saw on this site on Italian language).

Per San Matteo, piangi
le ultime pesche che mangi

peachypieFor San Matteo’s feast, you weep
For the last peaches you will eat

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