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syrup

Sesame Persimmon Parfait

Sesame Persimmon Parfait

If you’re going to talk about it, do it. If you’re going to do it, do it right.

That’s my resolution for the year. No half-assing things. Less talk, more do.

Within this, one of my missions is to start taking advantage of more things I enjoy. That means making post-work yoga class a bi-weekly routine, not a bi-monthly rarity. (Trust me, a yoga class full of warm people after a wintery, long workday – it feels like a godsend. It’s worth every cent and evening minute.)

This time of year, that also means persimmons. Persimmons, persimmons, persimmons.

Persimmons are worth splurging on at the grocery store, if only to make this recipe alone.

Sesame Persimmon Parfait

Steeped among all the winter citrus, these gems are one of the sweetest fruits of the season, and I mean that in both a literal and non-literal sense. Their  apricot-meets-mango taste is intense, and their short-lived, once-a-year novelty feels even sweeter. Again, they’re a worthy addition to your grocery cart. Especially when they’re foreseeable future includes tahini and maple.

There are two types of persimmons – Fuyu and Hachiya. Both are best when super ripe, but the Hachiya’s in particular need to be matured to the point of softness where they’re shriveled and almost mushy. Otherwise, you’ll be left with this weird, puckery sensation in your mouth. Fuyu’s can be eaten when still slightly firm, but don’t let your impatience get the best of you. These slightly stouter, disk-like versions are best after their color turns from citrusy orange to an almost tomato-like appearance. The body should have a slight give to it, too.

Let’s not just talk about them, let’s do them. And let’s do persimmons right. Pick a few up, let them ripen, and then whip up this divine breakfast. Throw in a few cashews or nuts for some crunch if you’re feeling extra heavenly. Enjoy.

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Maple Tahini Blueberry Oatmeal

Maple Tahini Blueberry Oatmeal

My summer job used to entail picking blueberries for two hours nearly every morning. What a life, right? I’d stash my iPod in my back pocket, and start plucking away, eating part of my harvest along the way. Looking back at it, I should’ve stashed a spoon and some yogurt in my back pocket, too.

My school’s-out-for-the-summer days are over, meaning my farm girl days are too — for the time being at least. But my blueberry-picking days are not. Every summer, I make sure to take a drive out to the countryside at least once and hit up the local orchards with my mom. This year’s excursion went to strawberries. With red-stained hands and not a care in the world, these are the summer moments I cherish.

An outing to the blueberry bushes still awaits. However, I did manage to snatch up an already picked quart from a farmer’s market near Philly last weekend. I’m convinced, nothing beats fresh blueberries in the summer. At least in the fruit world. (Although, watermelon takes a close second.)

Blueberries

My love for the fruit makes itself present in my kitchen, often warranting a dial on of the oven even amongst the hottest of July days. Blueberry buckle is by far worth the heat. With one bite (and many more to come), there’s just no arguing that.

However, more often than not, desserts and pastries get bypassed and the blue gems are put to use for breakfast. Blueberry oatmeal is my longtime summer staple, carrying me through mornings since 2001.

As a kid, I was always a sucker for blueberry pancakes. While that still rings true today, you’ll find oatmeal far more often on my breakfast table than flapjacks. This particular bowl of oats creates a a healthier, but equally as tasty rendition of a favorite childhood breakfast. Jazzed up with a simple maple-tahini sauce, there’s little to be missed.

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Strawberry Oatmeal Delight

The first fresh, locally grown strawberry of the season is always an exciting time. I have many fond memories as a kid of red covered hands and knees and blue buckets brimming with berries, picking for hours under the morning sun with my mom. I still continue to look forward to these family outings every late spring and still continue to fill my belly fuller than my bucket as the first hour goes underway.

However, I often get a little antsy during the weeks that lead up to the juicy, sweet bonanza in the local scene. As my eyes scan over the plastic containers of bright, California-born strawberries at the store, I often end up with one of them in my basket as I head for the checkout line. They’re never as tasty as the in-season ones hanging out in the teal, cardboard quarts, but when those jumbo berries go on sale, I can never help myself.

Always a little less sweet and juicy, pre-local berries are best for recipes like this. Sure, they’re still tasty straight out of the carton, but cooked into oatmeal with a little maple syrup, and you could almost forget they weren’t self-picked straight from the vine. This is one of my favorite breakfasts once on-sale strawberries hit the stores, and of course, the recipe is still fantastic once those local berries do finally start ripening to perfection.

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