Apple, Apple and More Apple

Autumn is the time of harvest, and there is nothing more potent than apples as a sign of the move towards winter — especially in Europe.  Tomatoes and pumpkins and squash are considered summer fruits which might overlap into autumn — but the apple harvest signifies that autumn is here and winter is approaching.

Thanks to my over zealous neighbors, I have had nigh on a hundred buckets of apples to deal with over the past few months.

First were these red — almost purple beauties. We have been unable to find what exact variety these are. We do know that they are classified as “Heirloom Portuguese” and that the trees they came from are over 50 years old.

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Alentejo Staples: Wine, Olives, Bread, Cheese, Porco Preto and Eggs

Food in rural Alentejo revolves around these six ingredients: wine, olives, bread, cheese, porco preto and eggs. Almost every household will dine on a combination of these for at least one meal a day if not both.  Wine drives the Alentejo economy and the stomachs of its workers, from simple house wines to celebrated international award winners.  This is my Christmas present to myself — a presentation box of five reds from the renowned Cortes De Cima.

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Sunday Seafood Special from Alentejo

Living close to the sea in Portugal, we are blessed with an abundance of seafood.  A favourite starter is often a shared dish of clams. These are usually cooked in a little olive oil, some wine, coriander and salt and pepper. All that is needed to finish is a squeeze of lemon.

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Extreme Chill for Trauma Patients

“Hi!  Welcome to the emergency department!  Take off your coat and shoes, your freezer is right over there.  Have a seat and we’ll be with you in a moment.”

I imagine that hospital welcome will be more unspoken and mostly mandatory in the coming years as we begin to realize, and accept, that our bodies are basically big bags of meat and freezing us preserves us while cooking us, ends us.

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Cooking with Matcha

I love pure Matcha green tea.  A Matcha blend is okay, but the real stuff, the really great stuff — is in the natural, Matcha powdered green tea.  I dump some of that poofy Matcha into a glass of cold water, or a cup of boiled water, and stir and then sip — and I’m in a completely different state of mind:  Calm, collected and insightful.

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Hosea the Hosebag Wins Top Chef

Hosea “The Hosebag” won Top Chef Five last night on Bravo and I can’t remember a more dislikable person winning the whole thing in any previous season — we came close with that awful red-haired witch almost winning it all, but that’s another rant for another day.  Throughout this season’s competition, Hosea was Too Hot for co-cooker contestant Leah, and when they “only kissed” we knew something more happened because neither Hosea nor Leah could look each other in the eye after that “kiss” and their relationship was never the same again. Both Leah and Hosea had betrothed their hearts to others before the competition. Sorry, but I don’t feel like rooting for a Hosebag Cheater as my Top Chef.

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