Eat This Now: Seckle Pears

Dappled green-gold with a ruby blush and a flavor that’s luscious, slightly spicy and dripping with honeyed sweetness… If you’re not eating local seckle pears right now, I implore you to jog to your local farmer’s market and find yourself some this instant. These things are tiny packages of harvest love. Mine are from the friendly folks at Red Jacket Orchards. Check out the ugly but useful Pick Your Own website for information on plucking excursions in your area.

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Too Many Apricots? Make a Gingery Apricot Chutney!
Recipes Too Many Apricots? Make a Gingery Apricot Chutney!

Goodness! What’s to be done with three pounds of apricots? Well, you could eat apricots until you never care to see another apricot again. There’s also salads, crisps, tarts, jams, pickles and purées, of course. But what of chutney? Sweet, savory, spicy and simple. You really can’t go wrong with a few pints of chutney stacked in storage. It’s fantastic straight up on lamb, chicken, pork, salmon or duck, you can thin it a bit for a glaze or a fruit salad drizzle, mix up a tablespoon with a bit of canola oil and cider vinegar for a first-rate vinaigrette.

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mel·on·cho·li·a

mel·on·cho·li·a (n.) A mental disorder characterized by hopelessness and withdrawal stemming from a realization that the melon season is short, while the rest of the year is filled with charlatans masquerading in the market stalls. Six melons you need to befriend: Crenshaw… seductive, sexy, sweetly spicy with rich, gold-pink flesh Charantais… queen of the melon patch reigns in a cloud of delicate, floral scents Casaba… custard-smooth sweetness with a hint of its cousin, the cucumber Juan Canary Melons… honey-perfumed and creamy white-fleshed Ambrosia… intensely orange, sweeter and muskier than the muskmelon Persian… firm, orange flesh that blends the fragrant flavors of air and earth It’s also handy to keep in mind that melons love to be near: ginger, prosciutto, manchego, mint, lime, lemongrass, chili, nutmeg and arugula.

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Make Your Own Maraschino Cherries
Food facts Make Your Own Maraschino Cherries

Now that cherry season is in full swing, let’s take a gander at this fruit’s twisted doppleganger… the unnaturally red, uniformly flavored maraschino cherry. Like tiny Stepford Wives, maraschino cherries begin life as juicy tree fruits but are turned soulless through a process of bleaching, dying and sweetening. A bit creepy, right? A little background: “Maraschino cherries, the kind most often used in drinks and on ice cream sundaes, are made from sweet cherries.

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Apricots, Apriums, Plumcots, Pluots & Plums
Recipes Apricots, Apriums, Plumcots, Pluots & Plums

Am I the only one that’s confused by exactly what the difference is between a pluot and a plumcot? Heck… It was only very recently that I discovered the existence of the aprium . As it turns out, pluots and apriums aren’t just recently popularized fruits. They’re the result of hard work by the Zaiger family of Modesto, California, who for the last 30 years or so, have been quietly marrying apricots and plums — among other stone fruits — in an effort to create crazy new fruits (with Zaiger-registered trademarks, of course) for the marketplace.

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Recipes My Bizarre Cookbook Collection: The Sesame Street Cookbook

Since its inception in 1969, Sesame Street has been hearty seed for fertile young minds. From phonics and mathematics to Spanish and music appreciation, I personally owe that program a huge debt. High up on the itemized receipt for that debt, I include “The Sesame Street Cookbook,” published in 1971 by Pat Tornborg. This fine cookbook — my first — introduced me to such approachable delights as Mr. Snuffle-upagus' “Snuffle-Loaf in a Spaghetti Nest” and “Twiddle-Burgers” as well as culinary experiments, such as Oscar’s “Sardine and Orange Salad” and the Amazing Mumford’s “A La Peanut Butter Soup.

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Williamsburg’s Prettiest Apple Pie and the Discovery of the Hipster/Domesticity Link
Recipes Food blogging Williamsburg’s Prettiest Apple Pie and the Discovery of the Hipster/Domesticity Link

I’m waaay too uncool to be a hipster, but I imagine being one must be a lot of work. I mean, think about the time it takes to do all the trend-spotting, the look-innovating, the show-hopping (so you can be the first to be bored by any given up-and-coming band), the long nights of cheap-beer drinking and naturally, the “I’m so done with all the mainstream bullshit” attitude maintenance. Exhausting, right?

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The Tale of the Newtown Pippin: This Tree (No Longer) Grows In Queens
The Tale of the Newtown Pippin: This Tree (No Longer) Grows In Queens

Map of Newtown, Long Island: designed to exhibit the localities referred to in the Annals of Newtown; From the NYPL Digital Collection Long, long ago, when Queens was field and farm and forest (imagine that!), Newtown Pippin apple trees produced brimming bushel baskets of green-skinned, yellow-fleshed fruit. Celebrated by royalty (Queen Victoria) and 18th-Century movers and shakers (Ben Franklin and Tom Jefferson) alike, informed palates gushed over this “prince of apples” with effusive praise.

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The Coney Island Cooler: Refreshment to Sip on the Beach and Boardwalk
Recipes The Coney Island Cooler: Refreshment to Sip on the Beach and Boardwalk

What’s the deal with charging for beach access on the east coast? This is a concept that, as a midwestern foreigner, seems strange to me. Granted, it does cost something to comb the glass out of the sand and hire the lifeguards. Call me a socialist, but shouldn’t beach care fall under the umbrella of some form of government, like for instance, libraries? Like schools? Like health care… oh, not that… I mean… like road maintenance?

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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