Plums 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife

7.16.10 Plum Perfect

There comes a time every summer when I fetishize plums. When I lived in Los Angeles, I got to know many different varieties: Santa Rosa, Greengage (Reine Claude), Damson, pluots and more. And somewhere tucked away, I still have a recipe for a lightly sweet and dry cake studded with juicy Italian plums I got from the Times more than 2 decades ago. I'll share it with you a bit later in the summer, when those plums are at their peak. I prefer plums when they are ice cold and rather firm, juicy but still a little tart. Still, I'm not opposed to popping a yielding little sugarplum into my mouth and licking its sweet syrup from my fingers. But before I go all Nigella on you, I want to tell you about a quick and easy way to make spicy plum pickles. Sometimes you buy a few too many, or you just can't eat one more right now and they're about to pass their prime, and that's when you might consider this recipe.
Plums3 790 xxx
royal blush

Tagged — balsamic vinegar
Vinegars 790 xxx
from left: brown rice, white rice, balsamic, sherry, cider and champagne vinegars

3.16.10 Pucker Up

I've had some positive feedback on my round-ups of ingredients, so here's a new one for you. This time it's vinegar, in some of its many permutations. As children, my sisters and I called each other "Vinegar Pig." This originated from our love of drinking glugs of white vinegar straight from the bottle while dyeing Easter eggs. I've never been one to shy away from sour pickles or throat-scratchingly tart salad dressings, and I'm still known to take a swig from the bottle of balsamic, but I think by now I've learned how to employ vinegar to slightly more subtle effect.
Tagged — balsamic vinegar