Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Macaroons & Tea

IF I WERE TO make a list of my skills, I'd put resourcefulness near the top.  Like so many other things I like to blame my parents for, my dad inspired this only-now-appreciated quality in me.  When people would come to our house they'd frequently comment on how simple and minimalist it was.  OK the actual words used were "bare" and "spartan", but I am one for a little more embellishment as it would turn out.

When I was a kid my dad would donate my toys if he thought my sister and I weren't playing with them anymore.  One second they'd be there, the next they were being driven away in the charity collection truck.  It goes without saying that I kept my toys in heavy rotation as a result, and I got to be very good at stashing objects.

Nowadays that fear of losing a precious toy has translated into hiding food not yet ready for consumption and the ability to see a recipe where some others might just see ingredients.  Case in point: my mom and I had some coconut and condensed milk left over, and almost immediately opted to make macaroons.  We adapted a recipe from Paula Deen, everyone's favorite apologetic racist/butter fiend, and the outcome was excellent.

Crowd-pleasing combo: macaroons & tea.

  • 3 cups shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp almond extract
  • 1/6 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 egg whites, stiffly beaten (foam-like eggs)
  • 1 tsp cream of tartar


1. Combine coconut, almond extract, and salt.  Mix condensed milk into dry ingredients and fold in egg whites and cream of tartar.  Place teaspoon-sized scoops onto greased cookie sheets, leaving 2 inches of room between macaroons.  Bake on 350° for about 10 minutes or until edges are lightly browned.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Fruits of Labor

Y PARENTS' backyard has been teeming with life this summer.  Birds, squirrels, bees, and rodents are rampant (much to my dismay), but the fruit trees have blossomed, keeping my cravings for fresh fruits and vegetables satisfied.  My parents put a ton of work into this mini oasis and it has really paid off!

For starters, we've been enjoying figs the size of my fist.  I definitely wouldn't complain if my parents wanted to turn our backyard into a fig orchard.  My dad's favorite though, are blueberries, which explains why every time I visit a new tree crops up.   We have in total 20 blueberry trees at this point, which took my migrant farm worker—I mean sister—the better part of the afternoon picking them.  I also love the pear, orange, pomegranate trees and artichoke plants, the latter producing the most stunningly vibrant purple flowers.

All pictures above were taken with my non-smartphone so the quality is less than stellar.  Not bad though, I think.

Hope your days have been filled with fruit!