Saturday, August 13, 2005

And the answer is...

Shiro plums. We saw them again today, labeled this time. So I was wrong--not European; Japanese. They made a mighty fine clafoutis, I tell you what.

We went on another little excursion today, to Peace Valley Orchards, and bought a peck of early Macintosh-type apples. They are tart and a little winey in flavor, and somewhere between crisp and mealy in texture. In other words, a cooking apple that is also wonderful to eat. Along with some blackberries* from the back yard, a few of them will be going into a cobbler for dessert.

I should have remembered to bring the camera, but no such luck. The orchard was uncommonly beautiful, with its acres and acres of rolling hills striped with rows of apple and peach trees. Yes, peaches too--Red Havens, which as far as I know are not grown much in the South. They taste different from what I'm used to, but I'd be hard pressed to describe how. All I can say is that they're really good and intense and juicy.

Other activities are progressing nicely. We have arranged to see my grandparents tomorrow afternoon at the nursing home (it's a bit of a drive to the southwest, toward Columbus) and then to meet my brother and his wife in Columbus for dinner. I've collected my new** car (with much help from my stepdad, who deserves major kudos for fluid-checking, terminal cleaning, new battery installation, etc.) and stopped in at what used to be my dad's winery to taste a few samples and buy a case of wine*** to take home. I've also, at my relatives' request, started the rather painful process of picking through the family homestead to see what I might want. Not fun, but definitely meaningful. I'm glad I'm here.

Nana will be glad to know I took her chinois sieve, a really nice one with a stand and a sturdy wooden pestle. She doesn't cook anymore, but at least I can carry on the tradition.

I called the people who might want to buy our house, and they are being very understanding about the poor timing of my trip. It speaks well of them.

I had better attend to dinner, which is chicken with roasted eggplant sauce. (Jo, you've seen the recipe. It's from that wonderful Greek cookbook you recommended to me. Everyone thanks you again.)


* Blackberries! Again! Hurrah! The miracle of going north, eh?

** Okay, not new, but actually previously owned by the aforementioned grandparents, who don't drive anymore. It was really nice of them to offer it to me. Even with 100K on it and more than a decade of usage, it's officially the nicest car we own.

*** Local Ohio wine, I might add.