Fruit of the gods.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that we acquired a taste for persimmons. Grandma normally had a huge bowl full in her kitchen, but we were always wary of its shiny, hard skin and that funny color. We made the mistake once of having one that was far from being ripe. It was beyond crisp and utterly tasteless. After we managed to bite off a chunk, we quickly spit it out and swore never to eat one again. Well we got over it. Now we love them. When Dad was a kid growing up in Taipei, he ate so much papaya that his skin turned orange. That will happen to us if we keep eating persimmons at this rate. Wikipedia says, “A persimmon is the edible fruit of a number of species of trees in the genus Diospyros in the ebony wood family (Ebenaceae). The word Diospyros means “the fruit of the gods” in ancient Greek.” Without knowing that, does a persimmon really look like a fruit? It looks like a cross between a tomato and a pumpkin. Once you figure out how to cut the damn thing without making it look like you butchered it [we still don’t know how to cut them prettily… as you can see], there are no seeds, no pits, no core. That equals non-frouta in our book. Whatever… gods eat it so it’s good enough for us. We’ll have to try his recipe we found for persimmon cookies.

2 ripe persimmons, pureed
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped walnuts

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C).
2.Dissolve baking soda in persimmon pulp and set aside.
3.Sift flour, spices and salt together, set aside.
4.Cream together butter or margarine and sugar until fluffy, beat in egg and persimmon. Stir in dry ingredients. Stir in nuts and raisins.
5.Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Nutritional Information
Amount Per Serving Calories: 171 | Total Fat: 5.6g | Cholesterol: 25mg


Orlando, day 1 and 2.

We spent last week working, cleaning and getting ready for our trip to Orlando. We took advantage of a deal using a Virgin America voucher. It’s always a pleasant flight when you travel with VA; neon lights in an airplane make an otherwise crappy flight fun. Another perk is taking off from the International Terminal, where you might catch some interesting art. These paintings and sculptures caught our eye. Mainly because they were huge pieces that you couldn’t miss, but they were also really well done and nice to look at. The painter is originally from China and the sculpturist was born in Hong Kong. Both artists currently reside in the Bay Area… neat.

The largest attraction that brought us to Orlando was Big Mouse.  However, we’ve heard such phenomenal things about The Wizarding World of Harry Potter, that we decided to squeeze in a trip to Islands of Adventure.  Supposedly, Rowling insisted that everything in The Wizarding World stay true to the books and movies as much as humanly possible. That means you won’t find any branding within the gates of Hogsmeade. There is no Coke, but there is Butter Beer. There is bottled water, but it bears no label. There is food, but it’s not Burger King… try Shepard’s Pie with Roasted Potatoes and Grilled Corn. The fare is actually decent, isn’t ridiculously expensive and it won’t make you vomit when you ride the Dragon Challenge. These photos don’t do the dining hall justice. Everything is in the details and unless you’re well versed in the stories of Harry Potter, you might not get it. We’ve never read the books and have barely seen the movies, so much of the stuff we saw didn’t really mean anything to us. Though after today, we’re quite intrigued and want to read the books… all seven [yikes] of them.

It was time to let our vocal chords rest from the roller coaster, so we wandered into Honeydukes and Zonko’s where they sell sweets, sweets, more sweets, plus knickknack wizarding tricks and toys. Their candy prices were offensive. Ten bucks for a ‘chocolate’ frog smaller than your palm. Steep. Did we buy one? Yeah. We are suckers.



Somehow, we were also lured into waiting in line for Olivander’s Wand Shop. We still don’t know why we stood there for 90 minutes baking in the heat, only to spend 2 minutes in the store and come out empty-handed. A few of the kids didn’t mind. They got a kick out of choosing their wand and cape, along with their geeked out parents.

After eight hours of in the park, we were grouchy, hungry and suffering from sensory overload. Emeril’s restaurant looked like a good place to eat, until they sat us next to the kitchen with the automatic sliding door that opened and closed each time the wait staff walked through, which was about every 25 seconds. Annoying as heck… all we wanted was to dine in peace. We paid through the nose for our meal, but it was tasty nonetheless. At least, that’s what we keep telling ourselves.

P & P

Preserves and paint don’t have much in common.  Some how we’re going to make them friends in this post.

We’re too embarrassed to say how long it’s been since we’ve picked up a paint brush.  We’re rusty and in need of practice, so we’re only sharing a photo tidbit.  It’s far from done and if we can’t get it to look awesome, then we’re going to have to hang our heads in shame and use it as a bath mat.  We’ve been painting on naked canvas, throwing in some ink and pencil here and there.  Faces have always been our favorite thing to paint and draw. It’s the most accessible subject matter – they’re everywhere.  Simple by idea, but intricate and complex all at the same time.  We’re fascinated by faces.  The Millennium Trilogy is what got us interested in this project, but our attention could sway and it might end up taking a turn.  We’ll see.

While we were painting, our fresh figs were on the verge of rotting after sitting in the kitchen for only a few days.  Why does produce from TJ’s go bad so fast?  We didn’t have much of any raw ingredients lying around, except for a tub of sugar.  We found a recipe for really easy fig preserves [figs + sugar = fig preserves… works for us].  It called for 1 pound of fresh figs, which [according to our Google search] equates to about 12 small figs.  That didn’t sound right to us… only 12 measly figs? We’re not equipped with a fancy pants scale, so we eye-balled it and threw all the figs we had into a saucepan, mixed in 1 cup of sugar, mashed it up and cooked over low heat for at least an hour [the recipe said to cook for only 30 minutes, but who’s counting].  When the color and consistency looked desirable we removed the pan from heat.  Voila.  Sticky, sweet, spreadable figs.  Just super. 

SF Street Food

We were starving yesterday after a hard day’s night @ Indie Mart.  To satiate our growling stomachs we oinked out at the SF Street Food Fest.  It was crowded and the lines were long, but it was well worth the hassle to grab ourselves Porchetta from Roli Roti. These gals were kind enough to let us photo them as they inhaled theirs.

Ritual Coffee Roasters was there, too, concocting a delightfully unusual cup-a-joe. 


As we stood in the middle of the street gorging, we wondered… where are the rest of the street food vendors?  There were plenty of already well established eateries serving smaller renditions of popular dishes, but we only saw three food & beverage trucks.  Huh?  Thought the whole point was to showcase ‘street food’. 

It almost seems silly to wait in line for half an hour just to get your hands on some of this stuff, when it only takes you seven seconds to gobble it up.  But, a Saturday evening wouldn’t be complete without a scoop of creamy goodness from Humphry Slocombe.  Who in their right mind doesn’t like ice cream?


Let them eat cake.

Chocolate, Raspberries, buttercream frosting. We made this awesome cake today for a birthday celebration. Looks good, right? It was pretty tasty, too. We have a weakness for sweets and wish we could eat cake everyday without feeling guilty about it. This little number is a four-layer cake that we’re quite proud of. It’s nothing compared to what you’d see in the window of Copenhagen, but with more practice it can be a close rival…