Entertaining in Season
Posted on November 26 2017
Throughout my childhood in the South, the change of seasons was always punctuated by what was being harvested in the garden and the choice of fresh seafood and wild game available in certain months. Hence, any time the weather begins to change, it triggers many memories and aromas of gathering, cooking, and celebrating with family and friends in cadence with the season.
This time of year is one of my favorite times for cooking as I have frozen end of summer tomato and pepper harvests and have gathered exciting West Coast fall favorites such as figs, persimmons, pomegranates, nuts, and avocados. Our proximity to the wine country and Napa, Sonoma, and Marin cheeses and wines gives our menu perfect and beautiful local accompaniments.
Our menu headliners for the holidays are generally determined by which friend is out for the hunt or off in a boat in search of wild duck or turkey, dungeness crab, or fresh salmon. Along with the juggle of work-life-family and maybe even horses, it is a special time to enjoy your local bounty and create memories with loved ones for years to come.
Time and again, I find myself turning to Fall’s fiery orange darling - the persimmon - as a feature in dishes for the holiday season. A few easy-to-prepare favorites include:
Breakfast: Freshly sliced Fuyu persimmons from our ranch with yogurt and toasted coconut granola with sliced dates (that I get from a polo friend, George Dill, in Indio, CA)
Lunch: Arugula salad with sliced Fuyu persimmons, prosciutto, toasted hazelnuts, and fresh goat cheese with a balsamic vinaigrette
Dessert: Warmed and ripe Hachiya persimmon (must be ripe to eat) scooped onto vanilla bean ice cream and drizzled with local honey
Keeping holiday menus fresh and in season lends itself to a simplicity that allows more time for what really matters most. Wherever you are and whatever your bounty, I am sending the warmest wishes of the season to you and all of yours.
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