Now there's something I never had in New York. Prickly-pear cactus fruit. It made a gorgeous and very delicious Sunday brunch fruit salad, when combined with some other fresh produce from the farmers at a stand within 20 minutes' drive. California rocks: it's November 11 and today I bought fresh strawberries that are still nearly as good or better than what I used to get during peak summer season in New York. Oh, and we ate outside on our deck in 70-degree weather. Yes. On November 11.
As the most devoted of Scrumptious readers know, the last three months of my life have been fraught with change, rest, and misery. It has taken a very, very long time to transport our lives cross-country and I have spared you the gory details, because, well, this is a cooking blog. And, I have been so ensconced in turmoil and loss that I haven't done much cooking. There have been good moments, and a spectacular vacation, but for the most part moving has been a huge detriment to my cooking, for many reasons. Well, dear readers, we are nearing the end of my hiatus. This weekend, Mr. and Mrs. Scrumptious moved into a super-fantabulous-house with a to-die-for-kitchen and (GASP, ARE YOU READY?) A HOME-PROFESSIONAL STOVE. The real deal. The six-burner Viking with warming shelf and double-wide oven with three racks. No, not the double-oven...that will only come when we move into a house in which I designed the kitchen! But, for a rental house, this is pretty friggin spectacular.
We only moved in this weekend, so I'm not really cooking on full burners yet as the house is still mostly in some state of unpacked and nicely organized. Mr. Scrumptious did point out that the kitchen was the first to get attention. Alas, he is right. I claim it's due to wanting the movers to unpack everything and check for breakage and well, I needed to put things away as they unpacked to make room for the bazillion other boxes, right?!
So I apologize for not cooking and shooting and blogging some real cooking. But, I'm not settled quite yet. Only another few days and I should be rearing to go. You have all been so patient, thank you! We're almost there.
Until then, the fruit salad was like this:
1 Prickly-pear cactus fruit, pink/magenta variety (I confess I have no idea what KIND of cactus)
8 ripe fresh strawberries
8 fresh green grapes
1 fresh Valencia orange, segmented
1 tsp. Bee Raw Star Thistle honey (this is still my favorite)
1/4 tsp. freshly ground cinnamon
1. Wash and clean all the fruit. Peel the prickly-pear cactus fruit. Chop into pieces but leave grapes whole. Peel the orange with a knife and segment the supreme. Remove all the pith.
2. Place all the fruit in a bowl. Squeeze the juice from the orange left-overs over the fruit. Mix gently with your very clean hands.
3. Drizzle the honey over the fruit. Sprinkle the cinnamon over the fruit and toss gently with a spoon.
4. Serve immediately and enjoy but beware the seeds of the prickly-pear. They're quite robust.