Monday, August 16, 2010

Finn's Fruit Fest

I love the few weeks when it's hot in Seattle. And one of the things I love best is summer fruit and this week the melons at River Farm came in. Pick up these melons and you can practically smell the juicy sweet orange flesh inside. I don't know how they get their sugar content in these melons so high. I bought one and as soon as I got home and tasted it, I wished I'd gotten two. "How long are they good for?" a woman had asked Liz. "Today," Liz replied. "They were just picked last night." That's just the kind of fruit Finn goes wild over.

I thought it would be fun to get a shot of Finn with all the fruit I bought at the market. A good kitchen assistant is supposed to wait, look at the product, just hang out like a model.

But this apricot photo this looks like when good dogs go bad. He got carried away when I set the apricots in front of him, burying his nose in them. When caught in the act, he stared blankly as if I was ranting in Chinese or maybe he was feigning short term memory loss. Basset hounds feelings aren't easily hurt. They want food, that's all.

Who'd like an apricot now? I got these at Grouse Mountain Farm and this box of apricots is already disappearing much too fast without too much help from Finn.
I also got a box of peaches from Rama Farm. And I cut up a lot for freezing. My grandmother used to serve half-frozen peaches for breakfast. I remember the ice crystals in the peaches and the sweet flavor. Today, half-frozen peaches are one of my favorite breakfast treats. Like other tree fruit farmers, Rama Farm in Bridgeport experienced low pollination from the long cool spring we had in the Northwest. Last week they like Grouse Mountain they missed the market because they didn't have enough to bring. This week they still had less fruit than they'd expected.
I can't help buying berries, so I got blueberries from Rent's Due Ranch and these big juicy strawberries from Willie Green's Organic Farm. I wonder: why don't my strawberries ever look like this?
I put a mixture of fruit together and made an apricot sauce. It's just apricots, culinary lavender, lemon, honey and Port Madison goat yogurt blended until creamy. I love dreaming up fruit topping and smoothie combinations and I've got lots of ideas.

Check out my column about making fruit toppings this month in Marlene's Sound Outlook and get some fun ideas for chilling out on hot summer days.

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