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Archive for ‘Preserving/Canning’

Inviting Autumn: Quince Paste

Wed Oct 1, 2008

Quince Paste

Fresh bread, gorgonzola and quince paste

Fall is by far my favorite season and, since the trees here refuse to play dress-up in their crimson, persimmon and gold-colored October wardrobe like a stubborn child refusing to have fun, it’s the one I have to work the most to capture. Autumn comes in from the edges in Southern California. It’s most obvious in the morning—when the light is a little more slanted, illuminating the palm trees and mountains to the east with a pumpkin-tinge—and in the evening, when Orion rises in the sky, the stars on his belt sparkling like Paris Hilton’s bling. It creeps in at the farmers’ markets too, with apples and winter squashes peppering the farmers’ tables along with grapes and figs and dates.

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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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Somnambulent Top Chef Quickfire

Thu Apr 10, 2008

Strawberry Preserves

Strawberry Preserves with Black Pepper and Balsamic Vinegar

I can’t find my first sentence. Do you know where it went? I had it wrapped around my brain when I rolled out of bed this morning, but staring at the computer now, I can’t remember what it was. I had been dreaming about Top Chef again and Gordon Ramsey was the judge and Nancy Silverton had replaced Padma. We were getting ready to start the Quick Fire Challenge when G-Ram said…what?! Argh!

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Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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End of Summer

Mon Oct 8, 2007

fig jam

Fresh Spiced Fig Jam on Buttermilk Biscuits

It’s easy to get a little detached from the seasons when you live in Los Angeles. Here, we slip, almost seamlessly from warm and sunny summer days into equally warm and sunny autumn days. The only difference tends to be the light, appearing through the window more slanted at first then fading earlier each evening. The farmer’s market overflows with end-of-season strawberries and melons and figs. Lots and lots of figs.

While this ancient fruit is generally available from June through October, it’s the plump, late-season figs, sweet and earthy, that I love best. There are hundreds of varieties of figs like the pale green-skinned Adriatic figs, with their snowy white flesh, the green Turkish Smyrna figs or the harder-to-find Magnolia’s with their tawny skin and pink flesh. Continue reading

Recipe Difficulty: Easy
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