Fruits of the moment

red grapes, blackberries, mangoes, figs
In September I freeze large quantities of grapes. I love eating them like that: slightly thawed but still crystallized like a sorbet. They never seem to make it past mid-October, but that’s fine because I appreciate them even more once September comes by again.

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Delicious Dinners

Yesterday (multi-course):

pickled beets and shavings of parmesan cheese

an omelette with basil, and a glass of white wine

a raw, sweet banana pepper

roasted potatoes

½ of a frozen banana

small toast of homemade bread and salted butter

labneh served over a pool of melted dark chocolate and butter

Today (multi-course):

raw, sweet banana pepper spread with miso paste

sauteed radicchio with olive oil and canned tuna (This was an incredible combination), white wine

kasha and braised vegetables with a bit of parmesan

(a walk around the neighborhood)

sweet red grapes and blackberries, lemon verbena tea

While I was rifling through my cupboard look for my lemon verbena tea, I saw some rice paper and realized I haven’t made fresh spring rolls all summer. I must change that as I love fresh crunchy vegetables, noodles, and creamy avocado rolled in chewy rice paper and dipped in a sweet sauce (either sweet chili or peanut) in the summertime.

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My favorite tastes of the week:

plain, creamy labneh and the sweetest diced fresh mango

I made a dish of cappelini tossed with pan-burst cherry tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, pepper, and parmesan. The cherry tomatoes were from a local farm and almost black. I’m not sure I’ve ever had tomatoes so juicy and bursting with flavor.

Last week I was craving red meat. I found some grass-fed ground beef at the butcher down the street. For days I had dinners consisting of thick hamburger patties, cooked rare, and smothered in my favorite pungent-yet-sweet dijon mustard, eaten with socca and whatever vegetables I had on rotation- vinegared roasted eggplant, tomato salad, or roasted sweet peppers in olive oil.

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My new favorite dessert: slices of frozen banana dipped into crunchy peanut butter and blackstrap molasses, with or without a dash of cinnamon

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I ate kasha for the first time tonight and I am in love. I’ve always been delighted by the flavor of buckwheat- as tea, pancakes, and soba noodles -but kasha is a whole new world of texture and deep and toasty buckwheat flavor. I ate it tonight with scrambled eggs and a green tomato chutney creamed with tart yogurt.

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I made a big pot of tomato soup yesterday, using fresh local tomatoes, homemade chicken stock, herbs, butter, and caramalized onions. It was sweet and rich in flavor, without a touch of added sugar.

I brought some of the leftovers to work with me today with some pearl barley mixed in. The barley thickened the soup tremendously, but it was quite delicious. While I was eating it, something tasted so familiar. ..then I realized. It was like a grown-up (and world’s better) version of spaghetti-o’s! I ate it with a celery heart and truffle-laced gouda, with white tea and chocolate for dessert. I didn’t envy my colleague’s instant mac’n’cheese for a moment.

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For a little piece of heaven, toast a bit of good bread till its nice and warm. Have some crumbled up bitter dark chocolate nearby and add it to the bread as soon as it comes out of the toaster. Sprinkle with sea salt and die happy. You can also add butter for more decadence.

I had this for an afternoon snack, preceded by the carcass of an extremely sweet chilled mango that I gnawed on.

I’ve also really been enjoying drinking hot tea with my dark chocolate. The bitter chocolate will overpower all but the strongest tea, but I love the way the tea warms my mouth. When I take a bite of the chocolate it melts in my mouth like chocolate sauce.

I used to think that you couldn’t eat bitter chocolate and fresh fruit at the same time (the chocolate always tasted like sawdust after the fruit). But I’ve realized that rather than the sweetness of the fruit overpowering the chocolate, the fruit simply chills the mouth too much. This can easily be remedied by sipping a hot beverage.

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