Thursday, July 29, 2010

Cherries




I don't have an actual recipe for cherries...they never seem to last long enough to find their way into one. If you are looking for a yummy treat check out Cannelle et Vanille or Tartlette...those ladies are the Stone Fruit Goddesses, as far as I'm concerned. However,  the other day I found myself tenderly holding a huge box filled with the most beautiful Rainier Cherries. Each one colored so beautifully: soft yellows melting into lush reds.  Firm and juicy flesh that made a gentle snap sound when pierced. MMmmmm cherries.



A difficult fruit to photograph if only because I have little self control. I was motivated by my tastebuds to quickly take a photograph I liked,  just so I didn't have to wait any longer to enjoy them!



While I was shooting I found myself lost in a childhood memory. I was about 6 years old and visiting my mother's family in Germany. My Oma had this fabulous backyard whose perimeter was lined with raspberry bushes; and in the middle was a GIGANTIC Cherry Tree. We would start out at one end of the yard and stuff ourselves with the juicy pink berries until our fingers were stained and our teeth hurt from the little seeds stuck between them. Then we would venture into the Cherry Tree. We had it in our heads that the best tasting ones were up high and so we'd egg each other on: Climb Higher! Climb Higher! I was the daring one ( read:crazy) who would venture the highest. I was also the also the one who was too scared to climb down and had to be rescued by my Uncle Bernhard. Twice.



Funny how a little piece of fruit can bring you back to a memory and a feeling from so long ago.





Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Orange Bread with Goat Cheese and Fresh Strawberries



It doesn't always happen, but when I can motivate my troops I love to go to the farmer's market early on Saturday mornings. Growing up my mother planted a HUGE garden that fed us all summer. I used to think it was because she liked gardening. But now I think she probably didn't want to drag us all (kicking and screaming) to the grocery store.  Since I don't have the same land luxury, nor patience, I happily make my way to the next town. 


The farmer's market here is not just herbs and vegetables. They sell all sorts of wonderful things: handmade pottery, jewelry, cards,T shirts and local honey. They make pickles and spice packets, and chow chow (which I like to buy if only for the name...) And they bake. 


Boy to they bake! Lots of deliciousness here. My favorite: the breads. Sweet or savory. I usually buy one of each. Last Saturday I picked up a loaf of Orange Bread. Not knowing what to expect, I popped it in my fridge and forgot about it. Until today. I toasted two thick slices then schmeared on some goat cheese. (my favorite Belle Chevre) and topped it off with some almost over-ripened strawberries.








The sweetness of the bread, mingled with the tangy chevre, and juicy strawberry was heavenly. Needless to say, they didn't stay around for very long.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Morning Coffee

Mornings. I love them. The stillness. The peacefulness. The anticipation for what the day holds. The coffee. I really love my coffee in the morning.


I have spent a lot of time (and money) trying to find the perfect way to make coffee. I've tried percolators (like my grandparents had),  automatic drip (like my parents had), systems with cute, little premeasured cups that come in different colors (and are fun to make buildings out of then smash with matchbox cars). And then there are the Accouterments. I was a sucker for all those bells and whistles: the clock, the timer, the insulated carafe that kept the coffee hot for hours. Well, the clock was always blinking in that obnoxious manner that said I'm Needy:set me! The timer, it turns out, was not omniscient. And the insulated carafe: a myth.





Then one day, I discovered the press. The French Press. The French, it turns out, really know what they are doing when to comes to coffee. Simple, elegant, dare I say sexy? And it delivers....the perfect cup every time.





 So every morning upon waking I venture in to the kitchen, boil a pot of water on the stove, and prepare a delicious pot of coffee. A little sugar. A lot of cream. And my day has started in a most fantastic way!



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