Sunday, August 22, 2010

Happiness in a Bowl

Albert Einstein said, ''A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit and a violin; what else does a man need to be happy?''  I mostly agree with that.  There's a lot of happiness in a bowl of fruit.  What is better than a bowl of fresh sliced golden orange Elberta peaches?  Or a dish of cold, juicy watermelon?  What is more quenching and cleansing after a bout of naughty eating than a dozen pink, glistening segments of grapefruit?  What would a pie be without apples?  Or shortcake with out strawberries?  Is there anything sweeter or more romantic than a gorgeous cherry clafoutis?  Well maybe, especially if your name is Bananas Foster?  Speaking of bananas,  I go bananas for perfect honeydew, something so rare I'm almost more likely to be hit by lightening.  Sweet, crisp, plumpy red grapes?  

Did you know fruit is one of the best ways to start your morning?  Eaten on an empty stomach it quickly travels through (we're talking half an hour folks!) and serves to clean out your intestines?  It doesn't even really digest.  It cleans.  It cleanses.  It also hydrates your thirsty and restful body after a nights sleep.  It's best to eat first thing because if you combine it with other food it will get caught up in the stomach for about three or four hours and will putrefy instead of giving you it's true goodness...  I know, kind of gross and scientific, not at all what I go for with this blog, but, I find it important that you know that.  I was doing really great at eating a big bowl of fruit every morning before consuming anything else.  I felt so good!  So light.  So clean.  Try it.  It works.  It's like starting the day with a giant bowl of happiness.  In the words of my beloved Ina Garten, ''Who wouldn't love that?''

In fact, at this moment I can smell peach cobbler starting to do it's thing in the oven.  My fingers smell like butter.  Many of you bakers are very familiar with this occurrence I know.  You can wash your hands with water, but the aroma and essence of butter remains!  Okay, back to fruit.  And, I have an introduction to make.  I've never introduced you to my husband.  Maybe it's this adorable picture of him just as he is starting to whistle that's inspired me?  My whistler's name is Ethan.  We're coming up on our 3rd anniversary in a couple days and I thought, why not?  You should know of the man who eats my peach cobblers, picks me blackberries to make pie, and tells me my cooking is better than any restaurant...  We've had our struggles lately, I hear it's somewhat common in the beginning of this crazy thing we call marriage.  Anyway, if you could sends us floating hearts and stars, in the way of warm thoughts and wishes we could use them!  We're going to make it, no worries!  He's starting to think about making me dinner once a week.  I'll keep you posted.  

Okay.  Fruit.  One morning I got the impulse to make a very flavorful fruit salad.  We've all heard of the salt and watermelon connection.  Or the sweet, citrus-y syrup concoction.  Perhaps you've seen those cups of fresh fruit spears sprinkled with chili powder often served from taco trucks?  Well, I kind of combined all of those together to make a syrup from turbinado, honey, cayenne, lemon and lime juices and zests, and a good hearty pinch of salt of two.  It was sweet, sour, tart, salty, earthy... it was alive!  It was almost too much!  I couldn't decide if I loved or hated it?  But I had to have more.  Talk about a wake up to the tongue.  The cool thing is that it can really be adjusted to taste of course.  Add some water to dilute.  Just make it as you wish.  It's not scientific, and, you can combine any old combination of flavors you like.  A drizzle of honey and a oven-dried lime zest sugar dusting is delightful.  When I'm feeling nostalgic about fruit, I always recall a layered fruit salad my mother used to make with melons, grapes, strawberries, and a luscious yogurt and cream cheese mixture.  I could practically jump in that trifle bowl and set up shop.  If I was miniaturized of course.  

As summer draws to a close, I'm already missing the massive variety of fresh fruit we've come to expect and love.  I'm also already pining for sunny, sparkly days at the lake.  A place where I enjoyed many delightful dips.  One was at midnight, the night enchanted and magical, a skinny dipping adventure on my best friend Mo's birthday.  Imagine: Perseid meteor showers shooting golden streamers here and there, silky smooth black water, more than a handful of kindred spirits, a big wide sky lit with thousands of bright stars, American cheese and bologna sandwiches on 88 cent white bread, champagne, gourmet cupcakes, floating firewood housing dainty tea lights?  I mean isn't that right out of a dream or novel?  To me, that's summer.  Friends, fruit, skinny dipping, living.  It's cool outside, and I can feel fall in the air.  It might be a few weeks away still, but it's coming.  And I'm okay with that.  I love fall.  Maybe even more than summer.   But, man.  It's been a good summer.  Okay, I have to go.  The cobbler calls.  Oh, one more thing...

I'm feeling a bit needy.  Needy for comments!  I'm wondering if you all would mind helping to make this the most commented on post of all time!  I know there are readers in Canada, France, and Italy and lots of other places!  Who are you?  And all of you crazy Americans... say hi!  I'd love it dearly.  Almost as much as skinny dipping.  xx


tina said...

I loved this post - it's so... YOU. And friend, is that your charming new home there behind Ethan? It's absolutely to die for adorable. And those melon pictures had me drooling! We have been putting some lime and chili pepper on corn all summer with gobs of butter - but on melons? I must try it!

Kelli Jo Lamberton said...

Rachelle! You're sooo talented!! And now I am totally craving fruit and most definitely plan on eating it tomorrow morning!! I better go to bed now, the sooner I do the sooner I eat! :)

Mardi said...

The fresh fruit and vegetables are one of the best things of summer. You made summer come alive! ox Mom

missmallory said...

I'm quite literally getting ready to go to the store and buy some fruit right now, you've inspired me. . . love the description of the midnight birthday festivities lady, fantastic!


Elizabeth said...

Tina posted your fruit picture on facebook, and I just had to click on your blog. Makes me want to go home and make something fresh. I'll keep reading.

Caitlin M said...

Your fruit salad sounds delish! xx

Anonymous said...

Hi Rachelle,
You won't remember me, but I am a old friend of your parents from way back before you were born. I remember you when you and your sister were rug rats. I haven't seen or talked to your folks in years and hooked back up with them a few months ago. Your mom has been teaching me how to make pies and I've learned lots. I love your writing skills and the flavor of this blog, Mardi told me about you and I wanted to check this out.Your descriptions on food just makes me hungry, love your descriptive style. I await more of your writings. Thank you.
Best regards,

RachelleLouise said...

Hi folks! Well, this post didn't garner record comments but it's still quite delightful! Thanks to all you! ; ) Let's see about responding to you!

Tina: Yes, we've recently updated the look of our living and dining rooms. I like it for the most part! Needs a bit of softening and added touches but we're getting there! I just LOVE lime and chili butter on fresh corn! There isn't much better!

Kelli Jo: Hi, cousin! : ) Thank you so very much for commenting! I really appreciate the feedback! Isn't that so cool about eating fruit on an empty stomach? I did it this morning for the first time in a long while! It just makes sense! Anyway, hope to see you two over the holidays some time!

Mom: Thanks! So happy to have made summer come alive! Hopefully not too alive! ; ) The skinny dipping was very kosher, as kosher as it can be! Didn't want to embarrass you at all! xoxo

Mo: Isn't fruit the best? You had me craving grapes after your Twitter yesterday! That night, August 12th, was the coolest evening of my life! And who would be behind it but you!!!! : ) Thank you!!!!!

Elizabeth: Hello! Any friend of Tina's is a friend of mine! : ) Thank you so much for stopping in and for commenting! So cool! Hard to believe summer is practically over now and 'fresh' seems more and more yesterday. Time for savory and soups and hot cocoa! Stop back in again soon!

Caitlin: Thank you for commenting! : ) Fruit salad is always such a good sounding idea!

Tony: Yes, I've heard about you hanging out with my parents again! I think that's way cool! My mom is one pie lady, that's for sure! So you must enjoy cooking quite a bit? I'm really, really glad you enjoyed the blog and 'the flavor' - it's music to my ears! : ) I don't post as often as I should. I'm going to work on that! Thanks again for the note! Stop by anytime! : )