October 8, 2010 |
While the weather has careened in the last week from broiling to chilly and sodden and back to warm, and summer produce, such as peaches, peppers and eggplants, continue to be offered at farmers markets, a change is in the air, independent of the temperature: We're seeing more and more typically autumnal crops like pears, apples, squash, chestnuts, pumpkins, pomegranates and even the first few persimmons. Especially worth searching out is the most celebrated and luscious of pears, Comice, which originated in the Loire Valley in 1849.
August 5, 2010
Plum ketchup Total time: About 11/2 hours Servings: Makes about 10 (8-ounce) jars Note: Adapted from Valerie Gordon of Valerie Confections. Sweet smoked paprika and Marash pepper are available at specialty spice stores. 1 pound Roma tomatoes 4 pounds Santa Rosa plums or other black-skinned plums 3 cups brown sugar 1/4 cup olive oil 1 red onion, diced 1 tablespoon chopped garlic 2 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika 1 teaspoon Marash pepper 1 teaspoon chopped garlic 1 tablespoon salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1 tablespoon molasses 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1. Peel the tomatoes: With a sharp paring knife, cut a small X at the base of each tomato.
July 11, 2010 |
You can just imagine the hissy fits back in the office when it became clear that I was the one assigned to cover the celebrity softball game here in Anaheim on All-Star weekend — me, the new kid on the block, at the front lines of this very prestigious event. I don't know if you understand newsrooms at all — who does? — but such assignments are usually reserved for the very elite writers, the creme de la cremliest. But on a Sunday like this, I can only guess that they were busy with church, as elite sportswriters often are. So here I am, at the assignment of a lifetime, trying to distinguish a bunch of C-list celebs from each other.
July 2, 2010 |
The Hawthorne Del Aire farmers market, which celebrates its first anniversary this Saturday, is modest in size, with a dozen certified vendors, but its organizers are earnest about serving their community. It's sponsored by the Del Aire Neighborhood Assn., and managed by Susan Hillyer, who worked as a marketing director at Safeway and Bristol Farms before shifting careers. She volunteered at the Torrance market for Mary Lou Weiss, a veteran manager who acted as a mentor. So far she's put together a good local venue, a little sleepy, with only a few dubious vendors.
June 24, 2010 |
There are 230 varieties of peaches grown in California, freestone and clingstone, heirloom and newly developed, flavorful and bland, but when you go to the grocery store and even many farmers markets, they're usually sold just as "peaches." The identification of a fruit's variety is the single most important piece of information consumers have in deciding what it will taste like and whether to buy, but the era in which consumers could look for distinctive varieties by name — Fantasia nectarine, O'Henry peach, Santa Rosa plum — is rapidly passing.
April 11, 2010 |
The last of the fragrant fruit blossoms is gone, their pink-and-white petals scattered across the orchards that nestle among the verdant foothills of the High Sierra. By month's end — the first strawberries will be ready for picking. The blackberries and blueberries won't be far behind. In May, apricots, plums and other stone fruit will begin to ripen. The shutters will disappear from the roadside stands. Their colorful displays of sun-sweetened delights will beckon drivers to stop and sample fruits as varied as cherries and pomegranates.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 5, 2009 |
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger will have a plum political post to dole out after Lt. Gov. John Garamendi is sworn into Congress on Thursday, vacating the No. 2 slot in California government. Schwarzenegger, a Republican, has the power to name the replacement for Garamendi, a Democrat, in a political decision that has been much chattered about in Sacramento. That power, however, doesn't rest with Schwarzenegger alone: The Democratic-dominated Legislature must confirm his pick, setting up a potential showdown.
October 26, 2009 |
Pete Stark is sitting in a gilded meeting room in the House of Representatives. It is home to the powerful Ways and Means Committee that the Northern California Democrat might never chair, precisely because of the sort of verbal exchange he is attempting to explain at the moment: "He said to me, 'Don't pee on my leg.' And in a sense I said, 'I won't.' " Stark, nearly 78, is dissecting the latest in a hit parade of outbursts, this one pertaining to the likelihood of California's longest-serving congressman relieving himself on a constituent.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
January 25, 2009 |
My application has arrived in the governor's office and my fingers are crossed. If things work out, I could be joining the Schwarzenegger team before you know it. Sure, the newspaper gig has been fun for 35 years, but the business is a bit shaky these days, and President Obama did ask that we all consider public service.
January 6, 2009 |
The nation's largest owner of timberland said Monday that it would no longer pursue changes in agreements over its use of U.S. Forest Service roads -- changes that critics complained could transform forests into housing subdivisions. Critics of the proposed changes had included President-elect Barack Obama and a Montana senator. Changes in the agreements would benefit the public, but "given the lack of receptivity, we have decided not to go forward," Plum Creek Timber Co.