Sunday, August 29, 2010
This year, all the stone fruits taste particularly wonderful, surely due to a hot & relatively dry weather during August. Apricots, plums, nectarines and yes, peaches... every one of them are plump, juicy and fill the mouth with deep sweet-tangy flavor.
My favorite sweets to bake in the summer is this Peach Crostata. Its crust can be prepared in 5 minutes. The best part is you can just press it against the baking dish and pop right into the oven. No need for resting and kneading and more resting like a regular pie dough. I clipped the recipe from the Daily News may many years ago (by Arthur Schwartz) and ever since it became almost a ritual to bake this dish, at least once, in summer.
So I grabbed the window of opportunity last week when the heat cooled a bit. It's fantastic as is, but adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream is the height of decadence. (And I should stop doing that... soon!)
Sunday, August 8, 2010
I had this blueberry plant for 15 years that never produced a fruit. So this spring I transplanted it to another spot where it can get a little more sun. Boy that made such a difference! The new branches started shooting up, and yes, finally I was able to collect a handful of blueberries. It wasn't even a bowl full; but enough to adorn the morning cereal. So precious!
These brown heirloom tomatoes are called Cherokee Purple, about a size of palm full. I kept making the simple sandwich of toasted English muffin, schmear of cream cheese, basil and thick slices of these sweet tomatoes for the morning. Lettuce leaves, also picked from the yard, accompany many sandwiches during the summer.
Each year my landlord (we share the yard) plant three things: tomatoes, hot peppers and cucumbers. And this summer they are particularly bountiful; perhaps benefiting from the hot weather. So, yeah, something good does come out of the sweltering climate...