Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fruits of Summer, Tastes of Fall

Every time the weather turns a bit warmer, I start to think of all of the ways I could be using the amazing produce that starts to hit the farmer's market and starts to sprout in my tiny garden (which, now, is nothing but a few planters on a concrete ledge in downtown Los Angeles.) I've experimented with ways of enjoying these flavors-- making herbed syrups, a perfect plum upside down cake, freezing perfect 1 oz cubes of Meyer lemon juice for later use...And I've been lucky enough to grow up with father and grandmother who defined "seasonal, locally produced" jams, jellies and preserves for me.

When my seemly endless supply of family-made jam runs low, I look to other sources. One of the best purchases I've made in the past year was from Lemon Bird Jams, a jar of their onion confit made a great holiday gift for Boyfriend David. We've savored it on pork, with amazing rustic bread and more. A jar of their tangerine and vanilla bean syrup is hiding in my cupboard, and I'm afraid once I open it, it will vanish immediately!

There a couple more goodies from their shop that I'm craving right now..

Pear and Anise with Balsamic Vinegar and Raw Honey

How amazing would this be on some roast pork? Or with grilled veggies? A great fall crop of pears lived to see another season with this combination.

Lime and Hibiscus Syrup

Even a virgin cocktail can't go wrong with this syrup.. A little ice, a splash of sparkling water and a fresh slice of lemon? Perfect!

Merlot Grape Jelly

Even if you're not enjoying this spread on a picnic in the Sonoma wine country, you can dream, right? I imagine it paired with local honey, rosemary Marcona almonds and a firm goat cheese..

Enough flavor daydreaming for now, I suppose. What are you growing, this season?

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