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.”
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 lucyspg.com 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!