For two years, Michael tried to properly describe persimmon pudding to me.
“It’s not a cake. Or a pudding. Or uh. It’s really dark, dense, sticky, and soooooo gooooood.”
I would just take his word for it.
Then his mom handed me the recipe, and everything changed.
I had never really played with Hachiya persimmons before. They’re the ones that you have to allow to get all gross and goopy before you can use them for anything, so the appeal was low. Now I have persimmon pudding.
This recipe only has a tiny amount of wiggle room. It’s prepared a certain way for a certain outcome. Please follow the directions before going your own way!
- 1 cup sugar (I use Raw turbinado sugar.)
- 1 cup flour (Any gluten-free flour mix is fine. I use a standard rice flour mix and add 1/2 tsp xanthan gum.)
- 2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt (Pink Himalayan is great for baking!)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup persimmon pulp
- 3 tablespoons hot water
- 2 tablespoons melted coconut oil (or shortening or butter)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup chopped dates
- 1/2 cup chopped nuts (I highly recommend walnuts for this recipe.)
What To Do:
- Preheat the oven to 300F
- Put a baking dish with 1-inch of water in it at the bottom of the oven (you’re going to steam your pudding)
- Mix the dry ingredients together
- Add and mix the wet ingredients
- Add the raisins, dates, and walnuts, stir in carefully
- Pour into a well-greased loaf pan
- Bake/steam for 2 hours until the pudding is nearly black and has pulled away from the sides of the dish as pictured above.
- This recipe seems to come out better when it’s doubled.
- About 5 Hachiya persimmons will yield you about 2 cups of pulp.
The smell of persimmon pudding baking in our house for two hours drives us nearly mad, but the wait is totally worth it. This is fruitcake done right!
Don’t get me wrong – I love garlic and onions. Unfortunately, garlic and onions don’t really love me. I’ll still suffer the consequences of eating them if they’re well-cooked, but I am trying to avoid them in their more raw state.
This lemon cucumber pico de gallo is a result of:
- Me playing around on taco night.
- Me having pounds and pounds of lemon cucumbers from my mother-out-law’s garden.
- Me having pounds and pounds of tomatoes also from said garden.
Why is it foamy? Blame the food processor.
Yes, it turned out foamy because I put everything in the food processor. The pico de gallo is a lot more pretty when you chop it by hand, but it also takes a lot longer. I’m tired today. Short cuts are my friend.
Recipe for Lemon Cucumber Pico de Gallo:
- 1.5 lbs tomatoes
- 1 lb lemon cucumbers
- 8 oz peppers (I had 1 bell pepper, 1 gypsy pepper, 1 anaheim, and 1 tiny jalapeno, all seeded)
- Juice of 1 lime (or 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar)
- 1 teaspoon salt
- A handful of cilantro
Chop it all finely and stir it up. Enjoy!
I love this soup so much that I use it as dip for chips and spread on sandwiches. I went crazy this time and made a HUGE pot of it. Do yourself a big favor and go out and buy a good vegetable peeler from a kitchen store. Mine was about $10 and worth so much more – that knobby celery root never knew what hit it!
- 3-4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup chopped celery
- ½ or more onion, diced (or use shallots)
- 2 or more cloves of garlic, chopped
- 1 large celery root (2 lbs, more or less) peeled and cut into ½ inch cubes
- 1 – 2 potatoes (about ½ lb. more or less) in 1 inch cubes
- Chopped carrots for color and aroma
- 5 cups vegetable stock (use just enough to cover the vegetables in the pot, this soup is good thick)
- 1 ½ tsp. up to ¼ C rough-chopped cilantro, depending on taste
- fresh coarsely ground pepper
- salt to taste
- Dash or two of jalapeno sauce, sriracha, or Tabasco
- Sour cream to taste (optional)
- More chopped cilantro
What To Do:
- Sauté onion & celery in olive oil for several minutes until tender
- Add roots, broth and cilantro
- Bring to a boil, then cover and simmer until very tender
- When cool enough to handle, puree a bit at a time in food processor or use a handy dandy immersion blender
- Top with some sour cream and extra cilantro if you want
I’ve been having a tomato adventure lately. In the last four weeks (and I kid you not), I’ve picked approximately 120lbs of delicious tomatoes that have naturalized themselves in my boyfriend’s parents’ garden.
This is only a fraction of what I’ve picked:
Now the Tomato Adventure of 2012 continues by… me cooking with them!
For just two people I’d cut this recipe in half. I’m making big batches so I can freeze food for later.
- 2 red onions, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1.5 lbs ground turkey (substitute mushrooms here if you’re meatless)
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 8 cups tomatoes, chopped
- 12 basil leaves (I have no idea what this would be converted into dried)
- 20 oregano leaves (maybe a teaspoon or two dried?)
- 3 teaspoons sea salt
- small sprig of rosemary (maybe 1/2 teaspoon dried?)
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
What I did:
- Saute the onion in the olive oil on medium heat while you prep the rest of the ingredients. I highly suggest throwing everything but the optional meat, the bay leaves, and the rosemary sprig into a food processor or blender. Give the onions a good 10 minutes to soften up.
- Turn the heat up to med/high and brown the meat in the pan with the onions if you’re using it. Or throw in at least 1lb of sliced mushrooms. Add the red wine and let it bubble for a bit to burn off the alcohol.
- Pour in everything else and turn the heat down to med/low.
- Let it simmer for 3-5 hours. Fish out the rosemary sprig and bay leaves before serving.
This tastes pretty wine-y to Michael and me, but were don’t drink alcohol so we’re probably just not used to the flavor. Definitely add the sweetener! That really helped to balance out the wine.
This is a vegan and gluten-free chili with a delicious mix of summer & autumn flavors.
Served over sweet potato fries and topped with green onions, cilantro, cheddar cheese, and low fat sour cream. YUM!
- 1 sugar pie pumpkin (about 1.5 lbs), peeled, seeded, and cubed into bite-sized pieces
- 2 can of beans + their goo (opt for sugar-free and low-sodium if possible)
- 1 lb fresh tomatoes, diced (or 1 14.5 oz can)
- 1 6 oz can tomato paste (the tomato paste from Trader Joe’s is just tomato and citric acid)
- 1 large onion, diced
- 2 bell peppers, diced
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced (I used two Anaheim peppers from our garden this time around)
- 1 tablespoon fresh minced epazote (or 1 tsp dried)
- 1 teaspoon each: cumin, smoked paprika, sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon each: chili powder, coriander, cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
Throw it all into a 6 quart slow cooker and cook on low for 6-7 hours. If it looks really dry after the first hour, add 1/4 cup water. The tomatoes should get it nice and juicy on their own.
If you’re not into slow cookers, add 1/2 cup water or broth and cook it covered on low on the stove top in a big, heavy-bottomed pot until the flavors have melded and the pumpkin is nice and soft.
Easy, flavorful, and customizable!
- 1 can beans (I like kidney)
- 1 can other beans (I like wax)
- 1 can other other beans (or quartered artichoke hearts)
- 4 chopped green onions
- 2 pressed garlic cloves
- 2 diced stalks celery (I’ve substituted yellow bell pepper before and it was good)
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup white/golden balsamic (or white wine if you must)
- 1 tablespoon honey or sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper of some kind (cayenne is a general favorite, but I usually go for smoked paprika)
Just stir it all together, put it in an air-tight container and refrigerate at least over night, turning the container over at least once. You can also keep it in a covered bowl and stir it occasionally.
If you’re in a hurry, use 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder and 1/4 teaspoon onion powder in place of the garlic & onions. That you can serve right away with so much digestive, uh, discomfort.