Seriously, is this not one of the weirdest blog post titles you have ever seen? It's definitely been a strange stretch of days, both garden- and cooking-wise, though, so the title "fits" my week pretty well!
The weirdness started on Sunday night, when I freaked out a little bit because the temperatures were supposed to drop down into the low 30s for the first time. I had left my tomato plants up in the garden as a little experiment to see just how long into a Northeast Ohio November they would survive... but I had a LOT of green tomatoes out there, and I hated the thought of them all going to waste. So I went out and picked a bunch of the largest ones left on the vine:
A not-quite-ripe 'Pineapple' with pretty yellow stripes but (sadly) no red streaks
On Monday nights, I head over to Steve's apartment and we watch "Jeopardy," "Heroes," and "Castle," and just generally chill out while Steve makes dinner. Sunday night, I told him that I needed to make use of some of my newly harvested green tomatoes, and offered to fry them up as part of Monday supper. Sliced to about 1/4 of an inch, breaded first in flour seasoned with smoked paprika, sea salt and black pepper, and then in cornmeal... they were delicious.
On Tuesday after work, I noticed a distinct pear smell when I walked into the kitchen. Last week, during a quick trip home, my grandma and I filled up a large grocery bag with fresh pears from her neighbor's tree. Eloise doesn't do anything with the pears anymore so she's glad when someone takes them so they don't go to waste... and I'm planning to bring her a jar of pear butter as a thank you when I go home for Thanksgiving. But Tuesday night, I skipped the pear butter and made this instead:
It's a mishmash of two recipes from Epicurious, Pear Pie with Maple and Ginger and Pear-Cardamom Pie with Almond Crust. Steve and I tasted it while it was still oven-warm, and it was... absolutely amazing: The flavors were more subtle and delicate than I thought I was capable of producing in a pastry, and completely balanced.
The next day, though, I had a small sliver of pie after work and was surprised to find that it tasted completely bland! In a panic, I tossed it in the microwave for a few seconds... and luckily that did the trick. I handed out a few slices to friends with the warning that it needed to be reheated, but I'm still curious: Why would both the spices and the luscious pear flavor itself disappear like that at room temperature? Any of my foodie friends have a guess as to why the heat restored the flavor excitement?
Speaking of excitement, this gardener is extremely excited about a certain development in her indoor garden:
There are 51 (yes, fifty-one!) flower buds on my Meyer (Improved) lemon! I'm sure that they won't all turn into baby lemons--and I know that the ones that do will not be ready to pick for a while--but I will definitely enjoy the flower fragrance in a few weeks. And if I get enough to make even just one of the yummy-sounding Meyer Lemon recipes I've uncovered, I'll be ecstatic.
Hope that everyone has a wonderful weekend, full of similarly pleasant surprises!