My grandfather had one fig tree in the back yard of the home where my mother grew up in Tupelo, Mississippi. My mother still remembers picking a perfectly ripe fig and popping it into her mouth when she was a little girl in the 1920′s. I have no memory of figs at all, since I grew up in central Vermont where figs cannot grow. The only mention of figs that I can remember were the packaged Fig Newton cookies, or the “Figgy Pudding” we sang about at Christmastime, but none of us had any idea what Figgy Pudding might be.
After 30+ years of living on an avocado ranch in San Diego county, I now recognize a fig tree when I see one. Fig season is here, and San Diego will be celebrating fresh California figs in a big way on September 8th! Fig Fest 2013 takes place at the San Diego Public Market from 4 to 7 pm. I was lucky enough to be given a whole flat of fresh California figs this week by the California Fig Advisory Board in anticipation of Fig Fest 2013. These figs are the “Brown Turkey” variety: red, purple and green fruits with a rose center and amber colored edible seeds. They have a mild flavor, less sweet than other varieties, which makes them perfect for a salad, served alone as an appetizer or snack, or sweetened up for a tasty dessert! Continue reading
I will admit that until a few weeks ago I had never heard of burrata. This dreamy sphere of fresh mozzarella stuffed with a decadent creamy filling originated in Puglia, Italy. The story goes that cheese makers needed a way to use up small bits of mozzarella and began making burrata in the 1920′s. Continue reading
The 5th annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival was held on July 21, 2013 and for the first time, I was able to go! This event sells out every year, so I ordered my ticket online before I left California. The day turned out to be the most perfect Vermont summer’s day that I can remember! Continue reading
Last Saturday I drove out to Cabot, Vermont to see the Cabot Creamery. It has been many years since I’ve been there…33 to be exact. The last time I went to Cabot was in 1981 when my then-boyfriend had come to Vermont to meet my family. We bought an old fashioned wheel of special Cabot cheddar cheese to take back to California, and shared it on the day we announced our engagement to his family.
- Here we are in 1981, cutting our wheel of Cabot cheddar cheese at the avocado ranch in California. We carried that cheese in our suitcase, all the way to California from Cabot, Vermont!
If you are ever in central Vermont, plan to take the beautiful drive through the greenest fields and forests that you’ll ever see. Enjoy the old farmsteads with manicured lawns, magnificent flower gardens, picturesque villages, forests, streams…and the bluish purple mountains that layer themselves in the changing light from early morning to late evening. Drive up into the hillside village of Cabot, Vermont to find the historic creamery Continue reading
It’s amazing to know that the avocados in that box were still on the trees in California on Monday morning…and today is Wednesday, and they have arrived by mail in Vermont. ! And today I’m in Vermont too!
I know those avocados were picked Monday because I could hear the clatter of the ladders being moved as I enjoyed my coffee on Monday morning at home on the avocado ranch. (Yes, we call it a ranch!) I knew I would be traveling to Vermont to visit my mother on a red-eye flight that evening. I planned to carry some avocados in my luggage that were picked last week…so they would be ripe for the weekend. But I also wanted to order a gift box from our family farm business called California Avocados Direct. Continue reading