Thursday, November 19, 2009


Last night it seemed as if we were carried away to a small dark bodega by the Fado singer Mariza. What was even more captivating was the musician who played the lute-like Portuguese guitar (guirarra Portuguesa). According to the write-up, the resonant, unmistakable sound of this 12 string guitar is one of the defining characteristics of "fado".
Mariza told us that she was born in Mozambique of a Portuguese father and an African mother. They moved to Lisbon when she was three and her family opened a tavern where fado musicians entertained on weekends. This history comes through in her music.
We are fans!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Broccoli Rabe with Butternut squash & Italian Sausage

Today was a marvelous day! I made a deal with my granddaughter to help me harvest my neighbor's persimmons(the Fuyu kind) and help peel the persimmons to get them ready to dehydrate and I would take her to Macy's to window shop for a dress for her graduation from middle-school. She asked a girlfriend to help and we got so much done in a short time. Then we went shopping and that was delightful.
These two young girls lit into the junior girl dress area like hummingbirds flitting from blossom to blossom. Their joys of delight were wonderful to hear. Before I knew it they each had 6 dresses that they promptly took into the dressing rooms. I was outside to help when they needed zipping up or tying a bow. As they each tried on a dress, they came out of the dressing room to show me and then went back into the dressing room to snap a picture of the two of them by means of their phones through the mirror. That was repeated 6 times and then they went out and found six more dresses to try on following the same procedure. By this time I had found a chair to sit on. It was a great excursion!

So for dinner tonight I just had to use the broccoli rabe and butternut squash that had arrived in my Farm Fresh Box on Wed. I had never cooked the rabe so went on the internet to see if I could get some ideas. Found a lovely recipe calling for Italian sausage, the rabe and farfalle noodles. Should mention that several other pastas were suggested. Also the recipe that I used did not call for butternut squash but as I was cooking the pasta I added cubes of unpeeled butternut squash to the boiling water. Then I fished the pasta out when it was done and let the butternut squash cook a little longer. I also didn't use hot Italian sausage that was called for so I added a little cayenne pepper to the mixture. Was a great dish!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Autumn Colors

The leaves are falling quickly now. I've enjoyed the color so much that I couldn't resist taking a picture. The bare branches of the persimmon tree always signal the start of our foggy season. I am going to miss the sun.
So I got in and finished my wool sweater in time for the cold. This sweater is an Elsebeth Lavold pattern by the name of Enigma. It is a Mosaic pattern which didn't mean anything to me until I started it but it is a lot simpler to knit than it looks.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Persimmons dehydrating

This dehydrator was a gift from our son who decided he didn't have time to make jerky.
So one day in the mail we get a package and it just happened to coincide with the harvest of persimmons. I have a fuyu persimmon in the front yard but this year there wasn't a one on the tree. But my neighbor who has an almost seedless small fuyu tree full of fruit that she wasn't going to use offered them to us.

We have bags of persimmons.

So what you see is my first attempt to dehydrate anything. I did peel the persimmons and slice them about 3/8 inches thick. The dehydrator book suggested different things to do with fruit but a friend who had dried persimmons before said they didn't need any thing. Looks like it is going to take about six hours to dry this batch - I've tasted some and the dried persimmons are delicious.

The finished product is delicious. It took about 6 hours to dehydrate.

I think I will let some of the remaining fruit get soft so I can make some persimmon,date-nut bars with lemon frosting to give to friends at Thanksgiving and Christmas.
11/13 I'm on my 3rd batch of persimmons. I may give dried persimmons instead of the bar cookies. Much healthier and almost as delicious.

Alexandra's Kitchen's Bolzano Apple Cake

Well, I've sure been busy today. Must have been hungry also because after reading this recipe on Alexandra's site, I got in and baked it. I didn't have Fuji apples but yellow delicious so that's what I used. Also didn't have vanilla bean so I used Mexican vanilla which has a divine taste. I tasted the batter and it reminded me of the homemade Mexican vanilla icecream that we make in the summer. I can hardly wait to eat the finished product.

Fri. night Japanese Conversation class' 1 min. speech

一分スピーチはサンフランシスコの旅行について話します。先週の週末は高校の同窓会がありました。卒業の五十四年のパーテイでした。行われたホテルの名前はソフテルです。すばらしいホテルです。晩ご飯とダンスパーテイがよかったです。バンドの音楽は五十年代でした。たくさんダンスをしました。週末で一番大好きなことは有名なベーカリーにいくことです。名前は"Tartine's"です。(Alexandra'sKitchenのインターネットのサイトでTartine'sベーカリーはおいしいと言った。)べーカリーは"Mission Dolores"の方面です。駐車場は遠すぎるのでアーニーは車でブロックと回っている間べーかりで私はチョコレトイクレアとレモンバルを買っていました。とても楽しい週末でした。
Forgive the errors-I'm such a beginner. After our hour's class we bring out the food & wine and have a more informal chat. I love Friday night's gathering.