Ai Style

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I’m kind of addicted to Ai’s blog, it will stop raining*. She takes lovely photos of each of her meals and of scenes she comes across in her travels. Not only does everything look beautiful and delicious, but I’m gleaning some cultural knowledge along the way. For instance, I didn’t realize that it was pretty standard in Japan to peel all fruit (peaches, plums, persimmons, apples, whatever)… I guess I never thought about it before. I grew up plucking fruit from my Grandpa’s trees and stuffing it in my mouth like a heathen!

A while back we had lot of back and forth about peeling peaches, and after a visit to the Ferry Building’s farmers market (in San Francisco) it clicked for me – many of the best varieties of peaches have thicker/fuzzier skins, and they aren’t very pleasant to eat unless they’re peeled. I’ve been getting a lot of peaches in my CSA share in recent weeks, and they also have thicker skins. I’ve peeled every one. The picture above is my homage to Ai, who has shown me the joys of peeling my peaches. I have now joined the ranks of civil society. :)

apples

Another thing I’ve had on the mind recently is caramelized apples, which Ai has served arranged on an english muffin. It makes perfect sense… one of my favorite toppings for pancakes has always been stewed apples, and this is just a different carb. I’ve received a glut of apples in my CSA lately, too, so I was inspired to try to caramelize some myself. I’m not sure of the method, so I just melted some butter and sugar together until the sugar started to caramelize, then I threw in the sliced apples to cook for a while. I ended up throwing in some frozen blueberries, too. The end result was more stewed and less caramelized, but it was delicious. I really ought to start eating breakfast more often, even if it’s just a bowl of fruit.

stewed apples

Anyway, check out Ai’s blog. I love it.

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apples

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3 thoughts on “Ai Style

  1. Yay, arigato! Warms my heart. All these photos and the peeled fruits look so delicious. Peeling them makes so much sense, right? (though I don’t enjoy the process of peeling…)

    By the way, I’m still not really sure how to caramelize apples. I’m always tempted to do it your way, but the recipes I find on internet always say you throw in the apples at the same time as sugar, which is pretty much from the beginning. But I’m gonna try your way next time and see how it goes.

    Also is it salted water the apple are floating in? That’s how I do it, but I thought people in the States generally use lemon juice for that. Or did we already have this conversation!? Haha.

    • we didn’t have the salted vs. acidulated water conversation yet, but here we are… ha. i do use lemon juice! though, i took an afternoon cooking class in vietnam last year and was taught to soak eggplant in salted water. i just don’t think to put that much salt with fruit.

      the peeling has been interesting. i’ve been getting two different varieties of peaches in my CSA: with one kind you have to use a paring knife to cut the peel from the flesh, but when the other kind is ripe, you just get it started with the knife and the peel literally just pulls away from the fruit. in my mind all of your peels are like the second kind (though i’m sure it’s more work than that). :)

      re: the caramelized apples, one thing i didn’t mention is that when i threw the cold apples in, it caused the caramel to harden, so it wasn’t until the apples gave off some of their juice that the caramel melted back into everything. i just looked up a couple of recipes… you should keep doing what you’ve been doing… definitely don’t switch to what i did.

    • oh… and i’m not a *total* convert. i suspect i’ll still be eating nectarines, figs, and most plums with their skins on… but i’m really enjoying the peeled peaches!

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