Santa Monica: Much Better

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Song of the Day: The Suspension Bridge at Iguazu Falls

Tortoise: The Suspension Bridge At Iguazu Falls

iguazuFalls_NBImage of Iguazu Falls from GGC Consulting

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Los Angeles

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And Another Thing

I harvested my first tomatoes of the season this morning.

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They are very sweet–even given their large size.  These are the traditional, organic tomatoes.  Now I can’t wait for the heirlooms (several different varieties) to come it.  They made a delicious snack before heading to the airport for a flight to L.A.

Now at the Oakland Airport about to board for LAX.  Makes me want to sing “Midnight Train to Georgia.”  “L.A., mmm…proved too much for the man…he couldn’t take it!  So he’s leavin’ a life, he’s come to knoooow!”

Except I’m going back to L.A.  Eek!  I’ll have to revisit those Vena Cava recommendations–did any of them mention how to stay sane in that mixed up Southland?

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one – Dr. Everything Gonna Be Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left–
Ask him how much of your mind, baby!

Cause in this life,
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life
You’re on your own!

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy!!!

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Searching for the Perfect Peach Cobbler

Although I bought both ripe and un-ripe peaches on Saturday, those that I didn’t use in the first cobbler were already ripe by Monday given the heat wave we had over the weekend.  Although making another recipe meant a ton of peach cobbler in the house, I didn’t want to waste the fruit (and so far no one has turned me down when I’ve offered them peach cobbler).

I decided to try this recipe from Gourmet (September 1999).  I used huge, gorgeous yellow peaches from Hamada Farms.  I think I might like these yellow peaches even better than the two varieties I bought from Blossom Bluff.  These large yellow peaches had that traditional sweet/tart classic yellow peach taste that immediately transports you to where ever you were, which ever summer it was, when you first experienced a perfect peach.

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I loooved this.  I pains me to admit it, because I’m so sentimentally devoted to Lee Bailey, but I like this cobbler much better than the first.  There are two reasons why.

First, the lemon.  Baking even the best peaches with any amount of sugar creates a heavy sweetness.  Just a small amount of lemon (one tablespoon in this case) is a reliable means of ensuring the acidity of the raw peaches remains a vibrant part of the final product.  Second, the crust.  I really loved Bailey’s crust (I guess that makes me a Crisco lover), but in my opinion this topping (it’s more a topping than a crust) is more authentically cobbler.  It’s ever so slightly cake-y and crumbly, qualities I think any true cobbler should have.

One criticism with a disclaimer.  First the disclaimer: I love sweet things, and I’ve been known to have a sweet tooth.  But, as with the first cobbler, I felt that this was much sweeter than necessary.  Perhaps I’m a purist when it comes to fruit.  Fruit desserts are some of my favorite, and any fruit that has been baked, cut, seasoned, or otherwise assembled by human hand is certainly distinct from fruit straight from the tree.  That said, I appreciate desserts that preserve as much of the fruit’s natural integrity as possible.

The quarter cup of sugar that goes in with the peaches seems appropriate, but I plan on making this again for the final cobbler bake-off (okay, I’m the only participant so far) and next time I will use far less sugar in my topping.  The recipe calls for a 1/2 cup where I’m sure a 1/4 cup would suffice.

More peaches and peach cobbler updates later in August.

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Monday Morning Links–one day late

  • Michael Miller reviews Stephen Elliot’s new book at the Fanzine–I’m dying to read it.  (The Fanzine)
  • It’s August and all those tomato plants you’ve been watching all summer are finally bearing fruit.  Preserve some for the winter with this pickling recipe from Home and Oats.  (Home and Oats)
  • I never get tired of ogling the baroque beauty of Bornay’s flowers, ribbons, and photographs.  I’m especially enamored by the colors of the petals in the aisle in this post. (Flowers by Bornay)
  • Do you kiss your iPhone goodnight too?  Do you know six-year-olds with their own iTunes account? (NY Times)
  • New England’s stuffiness is not something I generally lust over, but I wish I could be magically transported to this Cape Cod brunch.  (A Hawk From A Handsaw)

DSC04595Image by A Hawk From A Handsaw

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Song of the Day: Gotta Get Up

Happy Monday morning.

Gotta get up, gotta get out, gotta get home before the morning comes!

Gotta Get Up by Harry Nilsson

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