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I love persimmon. It borders on obsession. Apparently they eat these things like pears in Japan, they’re everywhere. For whatever reason they haven’t taken off in North America, but it’s not because of the taste, have you tried one before?

My favorite are the hard round Fuyu, although I’ll sometimes go for the bigger, softer Hachiya and eat the pulp with a spoon. Stir it into yogurt or spread it on toast like jam. It has a faint cinnamon flavor that I just can’t get enough of. I have no idea why the kids didn’t like persimmon – possibly because I admitted that it smells like skin. Which it does. Lesson learned – don’t tell your kids that something smells like skin and expect them to eat it. But despite it’s odd smell, the flavor of persimmon will keep you coming back for more.

ME: OK guys, I have a special fruit for us. What is this?

LAUREN: A tomato.

EMMA: It looks like Christmas.

ME: Yeah it does, it looks kind of festive, doesn’t it.

EMMA: I want to try it.

LAUREN: Me first. It’s cold. It’s smooth. It doesn’t make a sound when you shake it.

ME: Those are all good descriptions. Can Emma touch it?

EMMA: It’s scratchy.

ME: Yeah, those leaves are a little scratchy aren’t they?

ME: Do you want to smell it?

EMMA: No smell.

ME: Yeah, it doesn’t really have a smell does it?

ME: Sam, what do you think?

SAM: (Whining, clearly not in the mood for this today)

ME: What’s it going to look like on the inside? And it’s called a persimmon by the way.

SAM: I don’t want to see it.

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Leftovers Collage

This year Thanksgiving was a total success. No sickness to take us down, we were a crew of entirely healthy adults and kids, the universe was looking down on us.

I was thankful for many things this weekend….

To my neighbor Mike for keeping his fridge bare so that I didn’t have to store my Thanksgiving dishes on a windowsill.

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For the same neighbor for bringing me flowers on Thanksgiving day. Even after I’d banged on his front door and dragged him out of his shower to unlock it. (For future reference, Mike, please don’t lock your door on Thanksgiving day. That episode gave me an ulcer and female pattern baldness all at once. But thank you, as always, for lending me some of your fridge space.)

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I was thankful that Rodney didn’t see me jam my butter-lathered hands up a turkey’s rear end while still wearing my wedding ring. I’m likewise thankful that even after all of the butt jamming, I still couldn’t find the gizzard bag. It’s a Thanksgiving tradition for me to cook the turkey with the bag still inside, and as you all know, it’s best not to muck with tradition.


I was thankful for our new thrift store art that makes me so joyously happy every day. Even if the kids keep bumping into it and making it ever so slightly off-kilter. At least it’s less aggravating than the Sharpie line drawing that now covers our faux Eames rocking chair.


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Let’s talk social media for a second. Because I have a confession. I used to be scared of it. I was one of the late Facebook adopters, my primary social media channel for years being Linked In. And only because my fellow business school students guilted me into getting an account. After all, isn’t that why we were all paying our hefty MBA price tags? To connect with our peers so that we’d forever have a network of contacts who would one day answer our calls about a new deal, or a new job?

And I was lousy at it, I’ll be the first to admit. I wasn’t a natural connector, I was content to get my degree, and spend the rest of my time hiking in the Berkeley hills, shopping at the farmers’ markets, and learning to cook everything from duck legs to ice cream. While I’m social and outgoing in person, I need a lot of downtime.

Apparently there’s a word for people like me, and it’s gaining popularity with the wild success of Susan Cain’s book “Quiet” (she did a killer TED talk on the subject too if you’re interested). She coined the term “ambivert” – in my case, I’m a Myers Briggs standard issue extrovert with highly introverted qualities.

Which makes social media the best thing since sliced bread. I can connect with people, which is my fundamental extroverted desire, but I can do it during quiet times. When I’m walking my dog, or standing in line at the post office. It fits into my day, seamlessly fills the cracks when I have a few minutes to spare. 

My favorite social media channel by a landslide is Instagram. While Facebook helps me stay connected with people from my past, Instagram is the ideal tool for connecting with people who share my interests today. The dog lovers, the food lovers, the lovers of all things beautiful – colored glass, approaching storms, kids in bright yellow rain boots. Every day is a visual feast.

This month I’m joining a 31 day photo challenge and linking up with friends from around the world as we tag our holiday food with #31daysofyum. We have a pretty awesome crew lined up: The smartest farm-to-table fast casual startup I’ve seen in years, Tractor Foods, the bloggers behind Eat Your Beets, The Wanderlust Kitchen, Omeletta, and Ten Thousandth Spoon, and LA catering whiz Tehra Thorp from T3 Events.

If you’re on Instagram, we’d love it if you joined us too. Just tag your food for the next 31 days with #31daysofyum. Miss a few days? No biggie, it’s just a chance to join in some holiday fever.  And if you haven’t gotten set up with an account yet, drop what you’re doing ASAP and get on it. Trust me when I say that this little app makes me light up and smile or laugh about 17 times per day. Plus or minus a few.

Here are some of my favorite food pics from Instagram over the last month, and an invitation to our challenge at the bottom. Happy December, hope to see you tagging away.

I just canceled out my vegan lunch #banana #nutella #cupcake #oops

Her croissant is eating my macaroon

Below freezing, it's an inside kind day.

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Thanksgiving has come and gone. Fortunately, in our house, Thanksgiving isn’t a one-day thing. It’s a spirit. A mindset. A way of life that lasts for a few solid weeks. I’ve mentioned in previous posts that my Thanksgiving prep usually starts way back in October when I make the turkey stock.

Then a few days before the big day, I start to prep the other dishes. My counter fills with all kinds of odds and ends: bread cubes drying for the stuffing, my poultry shears, my seldom used ball of twine, dug out from the murky depths of my cupboards.

When people hear that I love to cook, the response is sometimes “I hate to cook – all of that effort, and the meal is over in 10 minutes.”

I get it, and Thanksgiving is the ultimate example. The time spent preparing the meal far outweighs the time we spend eating it together.

But for those of us who love to cook, that’s perfectly fine. Cooking is my therapy. My drug of choice. I’m happy to spend weeks cooking a meal that disappears in minutes.

And for those of you who hate to see it come and go so quickly, I have uplifting news: leftovers.

Was that a letdown? Don’t think of it that way. I used to hate leftovers. I still hate the name. It’s not first date food, that’s for sure. Leftovers need a re-brand. Where are those prune people anyway? Dried plums have never been so popular.

But leftovers can be one of the best parts of Thanksgiving; all of those Tupperware containers stashed in your fridge are calling out to be used in new and interesting ways.

I’ve done a quick roundup of my favorites – some of these (the everything Thanksgiving sandwich, turkey Shepherd’s pie) I make every year without fail. Others (cranberry pancakes) are new to the rotation. Some aren’t recipes at all, but stern orders (make your stock, eat pie for breakfast).

So go forth, make the best of your remaining leftovers while you still have time. The clock is ticking, by Monday you won’t want to lay eyes on any of this stuff again. At least until next November.

If you have questions on how to make any of this, leave me a note in the comments below. If you need directions for how to make pie and coffee, we’re no longer friends. If you throw out your turkey carcass, we are also no longer friends. I’m not kidding. I take carcass seriously.

One last thing….go make yourself a mug of hot apple cider and add a splash of rum. We’re officially into the holidays, Yee Haw.



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We’re heading into December, and for me that means a lot of things – baking (fruitcake, don’t knock it), the holiday ham and boatloads of mandarin oranges. But there’s another supporting cast member that gets its fair share of attention: pomegranates. Who can resist? The gemlike seeds are so pretty, they make every dish a celebration. Thankfully pomegranate was a hit with the kids, so we’ll see much more of it this year.

ME: Who’s ready for this one?


ME: What is this?

LAUREN: I forgot.

ME: Emma?

EMMA: Um, a Jessica!

ME: Silly girl. Who wants to hold one of the seeds in their hand? It’s beautiful right? It’s like a jeweled fruit. See? You can just open it like this.

LAUREN: Can I try?

ME: Yeah, I’ll give you a whole cluster to work on. What do they look like, these little seeds?

SAM: Doesn’t it look like a jewel?

ME: Yeah, what kind of jewel is red?

LAUREN: A gem?

LAUREN: A diamond?

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