Earth Tones


ah, the pleasures of foraging for food, one of those frontal lobe things. And the annoyance of discovering that the squirrels are getting all the best apples, at the top of the tree, and wasting them, dropping them to the ground half-eaten, bruised, turning brown around the edges. That would be the apple tree in front of the housing office, next door to the eco-dorm, where the students have gone off and left lettuce bitter and flowering, but also a few tomato plants into which I plunge my nose and inhale the inexpressibly delicious smell of tomato leaves. I picked six small red tomatoes and left another half dozen almost ripe that I will return to check on today.

Then, I discovered a wild plum tree laden with small yellow plums--could they be mirabelles? They are the size and color of, but not quite the almost spicy flavor of. I have two bags full, two bagfuls and I am going to stew them for dinner tonight with Minnesota ex-SanFrancisco in the 70's friends passing through town.  With creme fraiche. Of course, were I more ambitious, I could find a recipe for mirabelle tart--I had one once, the fruit embedded in a quilt of something custardy, but bursting through yellowly, like cobblestones.

And the picture?  Can't resist.  It's one of my friend Susan Cantrick's Ponges.  It's the earth tones.