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Prince of the apple towns

May 20, 2009

Apple season in Southern California always takes me by surprise.  In boarding school, we’d eat apples not in May but in the fall, from wooden crates that the faculty had set up outside (the school, in Ohio, was also a working farm with an apple orchard) for mid-class snacking, and later in the season we’d [...]

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The (metaphorical) cherry orchard

May 18, 2009

Look what I found this Saturday at the Santa Monica (Pico and Cloverfield) farmers market.  The stalls were loaded with cherries (I saw Brooks and Tartarian); it was like one giant marble festival.  We just ate them in the car, spitting the pits out of the window on the way home (yeah, yeah; it’s fun).  [...]

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Rhubarb tarts on a doily, or not

April 15, 2009

When you’re testing recipes for a cookbook, you generate a lot of food.  For the last weeks and months, the assembly line of breads and cookies and pies and muffins coming out of my kitchen has been astonishing, like an unlicensed bakery that sporadically opens to manic over-production.  So this past weekend, after I pulled [...]

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Citrus on a drying rack

April 14, 2009

Making marmalade is extremely fun, albeit rather time-consuming.  With blood oranges and Meyer lemons coming to the ends of their respective seasons, Kim and I are making 3 citrus marmalade, with bloods, Meyers and Valencia oranges.  (Because there were Valencias at the farmers market, so that’s what I got.)  Since marmalade is made with the [...]

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Ode to a copper bowl

April 5, 2009

For dessert last night, I made a very simple thing: whipped cream, served with a bowl of strawberries.  The cream was very slightly sweetened with vanilla sugar (sugar ground in a food processor with an old vanilla bean husk).  The strawberries were Chandlers from the farmers market, hulled but otherwise untouched.  This was all very [...]

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Flavoring jams

March 31, 2009

This is a picture of Kim’s kitchen counter, with bowls of just-made strawberry jam set out next to her stove.  We were testing her jam recipe and trying to figure out the best flavoring.  She’d put hibiscus in the original recipe, but had switched out the dried flowers to use in a different recipe.  So [...]

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Apple galette

March 23, 2009

I grew up at a boarding school with a working apple farm, so we ate a lot of apples. Picked them off trees, pressed cider as a class project, grabbed them from wooden crates that looked rather like these on our way to and from classes.  After I wrote a story about Southern California U-pick [...]

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