musings about food, travel, creativity and life

Plums Galore

Hi Everyone and Welcome Back!

As I look out our window across Carmel Valley, the first thing I see is our Satsuma plum tree. It is my nature calendar. Right now it is signaling the end of its harvest season with its west-facing branches turning autumn orange and its last plums asking to be picked.

This tree has provided us with so many plums this year that I have had to be at my most generous and creative best to honor its abundance. As I pick one plum, and then the next and next, I am turning over in my head what I can do with the bounty. Yikes.

Friends, neighbors and book club members were the first recipients; I
loved hearing all the creative recipes the plums were a part of—pear-plum cobbler, plum-cherry tomato preserves, floating garnishes for red wine. Clever friends!

And for our household? I’ve made plum sauce for gelato, plum jam for morning toast, and oven-dried plums for snacks. Then I rediscovered a cookbook a friend gave me many years ago called Plum Gorgeous: Recipes and Memories from the Orchard.

What a winner! Written by Romney Steele, a granddaughter of Bill and Lilly Fassett, the founders of Nepenthe (of Big Sur), the book is a lovely romp through recipes for all kinds of fruits, including, of course, plums. And it is beautifully photographed and designed. I just made her recipe for plum blackberry sorbet with cassis and lemon that was simple and good (I made it with plums only).


Next for our plums? A good plum oatmeal crisp recipe…OR…have any plum good ideas? I’m open!


On My Bookshelf: Food for Thought

My Nepenthe: Bohemian Tales of Food, Family and Big Sur, also by Romney Steele, is another lovely book about life at one of the most beloved restaurants on the California coast.  I am amazed what treasures my cookbook shelf holds.  What is old is made new again.

And I just read in last week’s on-line edition of National Geographic magazine (originally published May 14, 2020) that planning a trip can have positive mental health benefits.  I’m there.  I am now reacquainting myself with many of my books about Italy…just for the imaginative fun of it, she says…”perche no!”  As Rick Steves says, “This virus can stop our travel plans, but it cannot stop our travel dreams.”

Eating Out

Over Labor Day weekend, John and I visited a  restaurant in Pacific Grove—Lucy’s on Lighthouse—and it was fun.  They had a dance band outside on their large patio; we danced while waiting for our food! Their specialty is hot dogs—19 different versions with all kinds of toppings and clever local-place names.  I had a “Lovers’ Point” which had a bacon wrapped hot dog and toppings of guacamole, tomatoes, green onions, jalapeño, green onion and Lucy’s sauce; John had a “Molera” with pimento cream cheese, pickle, sauerkraut (but, of course) and grilled onion.  Check out their website for toppings that might be inspirational for your own hot dog fests.


I just found two of my Girl Scout badges.  


The one on the left is for cooking; the one on the right is for hospitality.  So there you have it!

 I hope September is healthy and delicious for you all!

8 thoughts on “Plums Galore”

  • We’ve been some of the lucky recipients of your delicious plums! And yes, they’re yummy with red wine and ice. 🍷
    PS. Perfect Girl Scout badges, Lynn. ❤️

    • I still have to try the wine idea! I just picked the last of this year’s plums. Lovely to walk under the tree and thank it for its gifts. And I did find another badge—for grooming! Hmmm….

    • It is fun to have fruit of any kind to harvest and enjoy. I just took the last plum off of our tree yesterday. Now I’m noticing that our apples are asking for their first pickings. Feeling fortunate! Hope you are enjoying whatever fruit is in your neighborhood!

  • Ahhhhhhh. …I love that plum tree of yours. We have been lucky over the years to have been recipients of those little balls of sugar. Since the cooking badge in likely one that I did not earn in Girl Scouts, I am sure that I just ate them right off the tree. I think that the Archers may need to come lay hands on our plum tree as the giant beauty gave us all of 3 plums this season…..ha!
    Just back from Stanley, Idaho and the Sawtooth Mountains. Spectacular……we fully understand why you LOVE Sun Valley so much. We will go back but indeed, on to planning the next adventure. Hope to see you in November when we are down that way. xoxoxox

    • So glad you had a wonderful Idaho time and liked the area. It is pretty spectacular. As for your plum tree, sounds like some plum therapy is in order🥴 I know a good threesome of counselors🤗

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