Summer summer summertime, right around the corner. I’m not waiting. I’m going to start gorging on fruit now. Organic fruit is the perfect fast food — you might have to peel it, but most of the time, not. Just open your pie-hole and let it happen.
Just last night I was waiting for the lovely Laura (my partner) to meet me for dinner at Harry’s Roadhouse. Unfortunately, she was delayed by the half-doublewide being slowly towed in front of her. We do live in Santa Fe, and it did happen to be on Old Las Vegas Highway, which, in sections, is historic Route 66. Local flavor! I was feeling the old blood sugar begin its initial descent into a faceplant (that would have had me ravenously ordering calamari and bogarting the bread basket before the entree arrived) and then I remembered that I had a diminutive, fragrant little tangerine in my purse.
Reader, I ate it. And all sorts of mishaps were averted. Win!
My fruit-o-philia revved into overdrive just last week while attending a Polynesian festival in the San Francisco Bay Area. Amidst the beautiful shell jewelry, hula dancing demonstration and T-shirts, I followed my nose to the food booth. There I discovered pineapple kebabs dappled with chopped, toasted macadamia nuts. The pineapple was fresh, the chunks were generous, and the macadamia nuts lended a creamy vanilla note to the bright, tangy and caramelized pineapple that left me moaning (rather distractingly, I might imagine).
We will be recreating this experience all summer long on the grill — but even if you don’t have one, you can rock in on the stovetop.
The mouthfuls were so intoxicating that I skipped on up to the stage when the hula dancers asked for audience participation. Was it the fruit, or is it just another case of my irrepressible Sagitarrian nature grabbing the wheel? Either way, I learned how to do the “pineapple coconut.”
All I can say is that eating fruit and dancing at a family-friendly event is way more wholesome than the shenanigans I used to get into — and to learn of those tawdry details, you’ll have to read my next book, Licking the Spoon, a food memoir out next spring from Seal Press.)
Other fruit pairings I recommend:
-gooey Medjool dates stuffed with big honking Brazil nuts
-tangerines eaten with a handful of tamari almonds
-banana-peanut butter smoothies with fair-trade cocoa powder and the milk of your choice
-strawberries, solo (When they’re ripe and organic, you need nothing else. But cream, if you must.)
So go on, get your fruit on. And don’t be stingy, share your favorite spring and summer fruit forkfuls below. Cobblers, buckles, fools and pies, as well as your favorites in the raw.
Candace is the co-editor of Dear John, I Love Jane: Women Write About Leaving Men for Women (Seal Press, 2010), and Ask Me About My Divorce: Women Open Up About Moving On (Seal Press, 2009). She is currently working on a memoir-with-recipes for Seal Press called Licking the Spoon. Candace is also the features editor at Mothering magazine, mama of two, and enamorata of smarty-pants Laura, her live-in recipe tester. Follow Candace on Twitter @candacewalsh.