Saturday, November 7, 2009

Autumn Pictures

My husband's tortilla soup was made with some of the last vegetables from our garden. He made the green salsa on top from scratch with some particularly beautiful tomatillos from a friend's garden.

Some of our last tomatoes were already drooping toward the ground when this photo was taken in late October.

But we were still harvesting a few tomatoes at the beginning of November, which almost never happens in Portland.

The street we live on is still all decked out in autumn leaves.

Baking with James Peterson

James Peterson is the author of a series of cookbooks on single themes, such as Splendid Soups, Fish and Shellfish, and Vegetables. Each book is much like the others in quality: thorough, extremely helpful, beautiful to look at, and incredibly reliable. I'm understating the case, however, and if you don't believe me you should check out his long string of awards from the James Beard Foundation and the International Association of Culinary Professionals for additional testimony to the excellence of his work.

His latest book, Baking is no exception. I've cooked just one recipe out of it so far, the apricot quick bread. He suggests replacements for the apricots, and I went with dried cherries and pecans. The bread produced has a bit drier and has more integrity than many quick bread recipes, so it slices well and holds up a little better. Oh, and of course it's absolutely delicious. This combination of cherries and nuts photographs (see below) a little like its notorious cousin the fruitcake, so you might need to take my assessment on faith until you can try out this recipe for yourself.

I'm looking forward to replacing my library copy of this excellent book with a copy of my very own.