lovely and ugly, quince

the smell, heavenly
the smell, heavenly

My car smelled.

Normally when I use the word smell, it has a negative connotation, but this time it was an unbelievable, heavenly aroma. I was intoxicated, and a visit to Thistledown Farm was the cause. Tucked in a big wooden bin near the apples and pears were lovely and ugly quince.

While living in Portland, I had discovered that one of the old gnarly trees in the used-to-be orchard in our backyard was a quince tree. It was always covered with tons of fruit that looked like squished dreadful pears; full of divots and dark spots and definitely not uniform and pretty. And to boot, they never seemed to get ripe like the two other pear trees growing nearby. Continue reading

greens and grains and roasted roots – groovy!

my heart beets!
my heart beets!

The calendar says “fall,” but our recent weather is still screeching that summer wants to stick around for at least a few more days. My daydreaming of pots of simmering soup is on the proverbial back burner; a hefty, not-your-summer-version salad is in store.

We used to visit a restaurant that was known for its “Hippie Bowls.” Said bowls were a cross between a composed salad and a layered casserole. Assorted salad greens were piled with your choice of veggies, meats, tempeh and brown rice, then doused with peanut sauce or creamy wasabi. Continue reading

without warning – pumpkins!

a pile of pumpkins - Rasmussen Farms, Hood River Fruit Loop
a pile of pumpkins – Rasmussen Farms, Hood River Fruit Loop

Without warning, round, egg-shaped, even slightly squished orange objects are all over the place!  I feel like I’m being followed and watched by them in an October sort of way.  Yep, it’s pumpkin everything season.

I’m a fan of pumpkin in some things, but not others.  For instance, I’m head over heels for pumpkin cheesecake, especially decked with chocolate ganache, but not so much on the whole pumpkin latte thing.  Give me plain or cardamom (love, love) or hazelnut; just don’t put pumpkin in my coffee.  Latte tirade over, pumpkin muffins with slivered almonds and chunks of dark chocolate are my pleasure-seeking bomb. Continue reading