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Thursday, August 30, 2007

  Ah, back posting. Somehow, I've made lots of little notes or drafts, but am not getting around to publishing them promptly... I think this has something to do with Steven starting work at 6 a.m., and me being semi-awake beginning at 4:30 a.m. every day - it's not conducive to staying up late and blogging. Or, at least, not coherently.


I've been to the farmer's market TWICE without writing about it! Both were "small" trips, narrowly focused for one reason or another.

Fall (though "autumn" is a prettier name) is definitely here: the apples and pears are more and more abundant, and the farmer's are announcing the end of various crops. They broke my heart these last two visits: the season is over for cling peaches. [sound of me sobbing.] It's not like I can complain to the California Cling Peach Board (, it's just the short season of the fruit.

I'll miss them, those strange, ultra-firm, orange-fleshed, sweet peaches. *sigh*

In my recent trips to the farmer's markets, I've picked up:

-mile long beans (both green and burgundy), to eat with black bean sauce over rice
-yellow pear cherry tomatoes (cooked immediately with basil and garlic to make a pasta sauce)
-red cherry tomatoes (for salsa, soups, and chili)
-cling peaches (duh)
-small red chilies (for salsa with the red cherry tomatoes)
-heirloom tomatoes, a lightly ruffled kind that is both deep red and deep green, leaning toward black (used sliced on tostadas and atop veggie burgers)
-melons, vaguely like cantaloupe, but not quite.


-onions (for nearly everything I make)
-edamame (soybeans! Boiled briefly, lightly salted, eaten warm for breakfast)
-watermelon (mostly for the skin for photos, since I prefer cantaloupe)
-basil (likely for a pesto to mix into polenta)
-mint (for fresh tea)
-pomegranates (to make a complete mess of myself over long periods of time - eating these is half ritual, half pleasure)
-a patterned butternut squash (I'm not sure what it was crossed with)
-crinkly green peppers (to photograph, and for chili).

I would usually buy much more fruit, but each of these trips was just a spontaneous side trip on the way back from something else, and I wasn't fully prepared. Also, friends supplied us with a huge bag of ripe pears, and our tree has been steadily providing us with medium-sized, crunchy, sweet-tart apples. I eat the apples as soon as we find them, but the pears are waiting patiently for me to make them into pie. It's a shame this little fall heat wave started, because there is no way I'm turning on the oven...


Last night I went to the communal bath at the Kabuki Springs Spa ( at Japan Center, which was heavenly. I swear, if I owned a steam room, I'm not sure I could function in the outside world at all... Anyway, they have something that I always love during those moments in between the steam room, the cold pool, and the hot pool: cool water with sliced cucumber in it, or a mix of sliced cucumber and lemon. It is sooooo refreshing. It's amazing there aren't a lot of beverages with cucumber in them, for its pleasant, cooling taste. I think we're in the habit of thinking of it as a salad vegetable, but it can make a very refreshing drink.

I know cucumber is used in "raw" soups, and may have to do some experimentation...

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posted by Arlene (Beth)8:07 PM

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