Celebrating Autumn’s Orange ~ Lovely produce and a historic baseball championship!

sweetie pie pumpkin with SF Giants emblem, orange Fuyu-type persimmon, and gorgeous orange tomato

We’re segueing a bit from the subject of food for the intro to today’s post, celebrating the San Francisco Giants win in the 2010 World Series Baseball Championship! Those silly little birds express our giddiness and delight. (If you don’t know or haven’t guessed, the Giants’ uniform colors are: orange and black along with white…which is why this post’s theme is ORANGE.)

My hubby is PASSIONATE about baseball. Bill’s been a SF Giants fan since 1958, the year the team moved to San Francisco from New York City. Under the covers and way past his bedtime, Bill used to listen to game broadcasts holding his beloved transistor radio to his ear…when he wasn’t listening to that new-fangled music called rock ‘n roll.

Bil, a talented player as a kid (played catcher & first base plus was his Little League team’s home run slugger), had dreams of playing professionally until a growth spurt caused temporary joint injuries.

bill grey checking in on the SF giants 2010 world series play offs
Whenever we stopped, Bill checked on the San Francisco Giants 2010 World Series play-off status. (Left-to-right: ‘Flavors’ eatery in Garberville, CA; the Walla-Walla ferry on the Edwards-Kingston Puget Sound WA run; & at PizzaSchmizza in Portland, OR)

We took an impromptu vacation north the last week of October during the midst of the baseball play-offs and World Series games. Drove from our home north of the San Francisco bay area up to Surrey, British Columbia Canada, visiting friends there and along our way back. All the while, listening to baseball broadcasts to pass the long driving hours.

When we stopped for Tai Chi stretch breaks, meals or treats, Bill would watch baseball re-plays via his nifty iPhone app: AtBat-2010 from MLB.com Though it was ten days of mostly overcast skies & rain, weather didn’t dampen our spirits in the least!


arcata scoop ice creamery's front door
We stopped for some yummy ice cream at the Arcata Scoop.

We will be sharing reviews of a couple cool food hang-outs we discovered: the Arcata Scoop ice cream parlor in far northern California (organic ice cream…YUM!) and PizzaSchmizza, in Portland Oregon, a pizza-by-the-slice franchise with delightfully quirky decor. Google / Yelp / UrbanSpoon / TravelAdvisor / Wikipedia searches will find loads of reviews for both these fun food places.

We’ll check out Los Bagels, next time we’re in Arcata right across the street from the Scoop. I was charmed by their playful graphics, lovely floral planter boxes, and the delightful mural beside their customer parking lot.

los bagels in arcata ca
Los Bagels in Arcata CA across the street from the Arcata Scoop ice cream parlor.

Halfway through our trip, we had an Indian khana luncheon that our friend and gracious hostess Margaret Deefholts prepared for us. A superb travel writer, we recommend her evocative book Haunting India highly! You may read excerpts and other travel articles on her website: MargaretDeefholts~Journeys.

cynthe brush of figswithbri visiting margaret deefholts in canada
Visiting our friend, Margaret Deefholts at her home in Canada. Obviously, we had a great time!
raita yogurt salad
Raita Yogurt Salad with fresh cilantro
indian khanna
Delish Indian Khanna luncheon at Margaret’s

Dessert was Rasmalai, a delicate fresh cheese Indian treat…which believe-it-or-not…I had never tasted. Of course, now I’m a HUGE fan! In doing a little research, discovered Rasmalai is similar to Rasgullah with the main difference being the syrup in which the cheese balls/patties are served…milky for Rasmalai and clear for Rasgullah. It’s super easy to make (what more could an Indian food fan ask?) and gluten-free for those who deal with wheat sensitivities. Check out this Rasmalai recipe and fun video at BookofYum.com Give it a try, you’ll probably like it!

Rasmalai, a delicate fresh cheese Indian dessert served for Diwali and special occasions

Now for a bit on Autumn’s Orange Produce

In the intro photo (left to right), the persimmon is a Fuyu-type. Fuyu’s may be eaten hard much like a fresh apple or a pear. They don’t have that awful astringency typical of Hachiya sorts, which must be eaten gooey soft when they’re delectable….and very messy.

Regret that I don’t remember the name of the orange tomato. Asked the farm market vendor, but by the time I got home it was forgotten. It seems similar to Gramma Climenhaga or Golden Jubilee. Not only is it beautiful, but the flavor’s superb. Only drawback, the skin is slightly tough.

The little pumpkin’s a ‘Sweetie Pie’ and as its name suggests is great for baking pumpkin treats and other hearty autumn dishes. If you don’t know how to prepare a pumpkin from scratch here are the instructions from the label:

How To Prepare Fresh Pumpkin (for soups, cookies, puddings, or pies)

~ CUT pumpkin in half with a sharp knife. Cut off stem, scoop out seeds & strings, discard.
~ PLACE cut sides down on foil-lined baking sheets. Cover with more foil, crimping foil around the baking pan.
~ BAKE at 350F (177C) until tender (about 1-1/2 hours). Pierce skin with a fork to test for tenderness. When done, remove from oven and cool ’til warm (not hot).
~ SCOOP our flesh and mash with a potato masher or food processor until very smooth. (If it’s too watery, drain excess fluid before using. If you purchase pie pumpkins or tasty winter squashes, you shouldn’t have problems with wateriness or fibrous strings.)
NOTE: The pumpkin puree will keep fresh for 5 days, refrigerated.

pumpkin pie with whipped cream
Pumpkin Pie with whipped cream, a favorite autumn & holiday season treat

Pumpkin Pie

BLEND until smooth:
1-1/3 cup Pumpkin puree
1-1/3 cup Sweetened Condensed Milk (organic, if you can find it)
1 egg or egg substitute (I use Ener-G brand)
1-1/4 teaspoon ground Cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon each ground Nutmeg & ground Ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground Cloves
Pinch of Coriander
1/2 teaspoon Sea Salt
1/2 cup Half and Half

~ POUR into a 9 inch pie shell.
~ BAKE at 415F for 15 minutes. Lower oven temperature to 350F continue baking for 40-50 minutes. (Center of pie may still move ‘slightly’ when shaken.)
~ COOL 2 hours or to room temperature before eating. Yummy with served with freshly whipped heavy cream slightly sweetened with a touch of vanilla.
Serves: 8

Check out the yummy Streusel-Topped Pumpkin Pie I made for our 2010 Thanksgiving Celebration. An enthused thumbs-up rating from both Marc, and my hubby, Bill.


Go Giants!

3 thoughts on “Celebrating Autumn’s Orange ~ Lovely produce and a historic baseball championship!”

  1. Thanks! Bill ~ We’ll take you up on it. Only a day’s easy drive from Santa Rosa, Arcata’s our kind of town though we haven’t been there often. Definitely intend to return! Will check out your site and see what’s in the mercado.

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