Updated 2013-09-02 21:08:59 ID=674:0

© 2013 The Romantic Table
©2008 The Romantic Table, Susan McGourty's Table Talk, a California Central Coast Lifestyle blog. 2011-06-09 16:33:16:80
©2008 The Romantic Table

Susan McGourty's Table Talk

As Summer comes to a close we must enjoy and savor the best-of Summer's produce and transition-in with some new favorites!


Alright! We HAVE to face it! 2013's summer is past so now we all have to "get serious," back-to- work and school---and back to "reality!" But at least for a few more weeks, we'll still have some of the best offerings from the summer still available for us to enjoy and squeeze-out some of the last best tastes we've had from fruit in years!

If this summer's fruit sections in the farmers markets and produce aisles had had headlines like a newspaper, they would have "shouted" Stone- Fruit Galore!-Plums, Nectarines, Peaches, Cherries to die-for! And they weren't kidding! Thank God we had the luscious stone-fruit! ---It helped "make-up" for another mediocre tomato year!

Never--or at least for a long while, have we enjoyed fruit so much as this past summer. California might be in the midst of a horrendous drought that's affecting all plant-life, but somehow this year's crops of stone-fruit in particular have been absolutely divine!

Even so-so meat-eaters have come around to eating abundant servings of fruit this summer. This is the first year in decades we've been eating-up all the fresh fruit before it even starts to go bad! Other years we've liked the fruit--but it sure wasn't something we drooled-over like Pavola's dog and the highlight of breakfast or lunch!

Larry, my husband, especially went "ga-ga' over this year's dark red Bing cherries. When I pick them out, I go naturally for the darkest-deepest red (more anti-oxidants as well as sweeter taste.) When I couldn't find them any more at farmers markets, I was ---and still am able to find them at Albertsons 'produce aisle. But be careful when you make your choice--look for the least handled and firm-looking fruit. I do the same when choosing dark plums and nectarines. (Though the peaches and nectarines are already just past their peak, though occasionally you'll still be able to find a less mature variety.)

Also great-tasting this year are Black Seedless Grapes --and more of them are still coming -into market. I found the most flavorful black grapes at my local Albertsons as well.--But again, you have to choose wisely. Look for the darkest, most compact-sized black grapes that have a slight white film over them. --That means they're the least handled and usually the freshest-quality. The reason you look for the most compact-sized is, per ounce, they're generally the sweetest and most intense-flavor.

©2013 The Romantic Table 2013-09-02 21:08:34:352
©2013 The Romantic Table

Zin-Full Pie is made with seeds-in wine zinfandel grapes. Depending on the sweetness of your black seedless grapes, you might need to add a little extra sugar because the recipe is based using wine-grapes--which are especially sweet and intense
My grandmother had a great recipe for grape pie. We have a recipe already on this website that is based on her recipe: Zin-Full Pie , which is made with seeds-in wine zinfandel grapes. Though depending on the sweetness of your black seedless grapes, you might need to add a little extra sugar because the recipe is based using wine-grapes--which are especially sweet and intense since most zinfandel grapes--especially here on the west-side of Paso Robles are dry-farmed.(Without irrigation other than a little drip watering in the early Spring while they begin their early shoots.)

If you prefer your Black Seedless Grape Pie filling made without the skins on the grapes, simply run the washed grapes through a food-mill prior to adding to the pie pan, you'll only have the juicy flesh "insides" as your filling. ---But remember most of the antioxidants are IN the skins --along with a lot of extra vitamins! --And the skins DO break down while baking!

I could go on and on writing about this year's stone-fruit, but since those crops are coming to their end, I too must "move-on", and get back to reality. --With a little luck, perhaps this Fall's crop of apple varieties will be every bit as delightful and I will again almost turn into "Pavola's dog" drooling with anticipation over their wonderful flavors!

Hope you'll join me trying them out!






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A tip from Sue!

Frying high fat meats

You can cut down on the calories of high-fat meats, by just adding a little water (instead of adding oil) to your frying pan until the meat's fat starts releasing and lubricating the pan, then cook with the frying pan covered. If you want a crispy coating, you uncover the pan or cook with the lid partially ajar.