A tart , fantastic tasting jam
My friends, Jacqueline and Heinz, have a beautiful sour cherry tree. These cherries live up to the word “sour”—or let's say tart. They make your mouth pucker. But they are absolutely delicious, very delicate with a soft skin and texture. This is not any commercial variety.
I am supposed to be getting ready for my 5-week long trip to Germany, with a hundred things to do before we leave—but I just had to have some of these cherries. I picked about three pounds. I ate a lot and made about 4 pint-sized jars of jam and a cherry clafoutis. The jam is to die for— it’s tart and carries the essence of these gorgeous cherries. I like to eat it mixed with yogurt, on a piece of toast, or in my cherry chocolate tart. The icky part of making this jam is pitting the cherries. My husband volunteered for this very messy job, bless his heart. It took him 30 minutes to pit those little buggers with a cherry pitter, although he did watch the baseball game with one eye while pitting. You have to wear an apron and and short sleeves. Our cutting board now has cute little red spots.
I wasn't going to blog this, but changed my mind. I'm starting to like taking photos, plus I have this cute hand-painted cherry platter made by a local artist Beth Grippenstraw in Santa Cruz, California. (check out her work, fun and very unusual). I used David Leibovitz's recipe for the jam, he calls it no recipe jam.
A heavenly recipe for duck lovers
I love duck, especially duck confit. I have made the confit from scratch and it is delicious, but the recipe is a lot of work and takes time. Costco and Whole Foods started selling duck confit legs during the holidays and I freeze them for later use. They are not as good as my homemade ones, but they are fine for my recipes like duck quesadillas or my cabbage duck pasta. Several years ago, I found a recipe for duck quesadillas in an old Food & Wine magazine. I adapted this recipe and it became a well-loved staple in my cooking repertoire.
A couple of years ago, the Shadowbrook restaurant in Capitola, California sponsored a cooking contest and my duck quesadillas won first prize. This dish was served for a season at their beautiful bar.
Tucked away on a hillside, this unique restaurant with its gorgeous setting and lush tropical landscaping has been a Capitola icon for decades. A funicular railway transports you into a different world. The restaurant itself is a mishmash of rooms on different levels with a grand entrance to a stunning bar with an indoor waterfall. There are rooms with high and low ceilings, connected by staircases. Some rooms have fireplaces, some rooms have great views and one has a redwood tree growing next to a table. Just the setting alone is worth it, but the food is delicious. Their signature dish is the miso salmon.
But let's return to my quesadillas. They are a real treat—a delightful mixture of flavors. I used gruyere cheese for years, but lately I've substituted goat cheese or feta cheese. The addition of different salsas and chipotle sauce supplement the quesadillas beautifully, adding richness and flavor.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. It means a lot to me and I love to hear from you .
Comments in English and German are welcome!
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