I’m sad to say that peach season is over. Fitz, my peach guy, is gone for the year, and when he goes, I stop eating peaches, because other places’ peaches are never quite as good as his. So as far as I’m concerned, peach season is over.
Which means I will just have to eke it out with strawberries, figs, melons, Sungold cherry tomatoes, and so on. Oh, how I suffer. 🙂
Dry farmed tomatoes are also in at the farmer’s market! If you’re not acquainted with dry-farmed tomatoes, they’re done with tomatoes grown in a heavy clay soil that holds lots of water. They’re not irrigated at all during the growing season, which stresses the tomato plants, so they produce very small, intensely sweet and flavorful tomatoes. “Early Girl” seems to be the only variety people use for dry-farming, but they are incredible tomatoes. I fed some to Mike today and he said, “They taste like tomatoes should taste like.” So I’m happy they’ve finally arrived.
But the true feeding frenzy came today at Made in France, my favorite food wholesaler. They had one of their periodic warehouse sales, and Mike and I went. I love Made in France because they wholesale Valrhona chocolate–that’s the whole point of going there–and I’m afraid I went a little bit overboard with the chocolate-buying. They had packages of Valrhona with minor packaging damage to one side, in a box–I grabbed the guy in charge to inquire about the price, and wound up walking away with nine kilograms for about $100, which is less than half the going rate for Valrhona. (1 3-kg bag of Manjari, 1 3-kg package of Equatoriale, and 3 kg of unsweetened chocolate.)
I also bought one (undamaged) 3-kg package of Extra Bitter, 1 3-kg package of Pur Caraibe, and one 1-kg package of ORGANIC(!) Valrhona, just to try it. Then, just for variety, we bought some duck salami, a smoked duck breast, duck rillettes and duck mousse pate, and Mike got a bottle of cherry syrup and some capers.
I thought about getting a package of Ivoire (Valrhona’s white chocolate, which I adore), but since I wasn’t sure whether I had some already, I wound up skipping it. Maybe I’ll get some next month…
Anyway, that brings my chocolate stock back up to something reasonable, like 40-45 lbs. I’ll use a lot of that up at Thanksgiving, of course, if not sooner. Mike reminded me today that he’s never gotten a chance to try any of my candies, so of course that requires correcting. 🙂
In other news, I conquered Page Mill Road again today, quite decisively–I managed to go all the way up it without having to take a single break! and even shaved 5 minutes off my climbing time. My overall speed’s increased a lot too–over 10% from a couple weeks ago–so I’m very happy. More details in my Markleeville Death Ride training diary, should you be interested. I’m already thinking of ways to make the challenge more difficult. I can’t believe that just over a month ago I was wondering if I could make it up Page Mill at all.
The book’s cranking along. I think I really needed the insight that the first draft is like the underpainting of the painting–that it will be gone over and reshaped and reshaped over and over again, so the quality of the first draft really isn’t anything to be concerned with. Now I’m cranking on the writing. I think I probably will take a day or two off work to write on it, once my project finishes up.
And now, off to bed. Tomorrow morning Mike and I will make strawberry jam and pickles, then after that I have (hopefully) another long, hilly ride tomorrow afternoon.