Exactly one week ago I landed. Just like that I was back and the past year quickly condensed into a memory. Everything seems and feels the same, I am still the same, and yet something is different. Although I feel back in my element, I also feel separated from my school of fish. I am back in the real world and faced with a new food reality. I am probably not alone.
In addition, I am patiently waiting to move back to my apartment, so although at home I remain a nomad, and so not physically back home yet. It is sunny and ridiculously warm for this time of year, and the summer clothes I so carefully tucked at the bottom of the suitcase are getting an airing. I have a lot of catching up to do and so I find myself spending time in local cafes, topping up on my greens intake and rekindling my friendship with forgotten foods I have not seen much of this year like the sweet potato, aromatic dill, and crispy coriander.
On Friday I found myself standing in my mothers kitchen preparing my welcome home dinner to my extended family. This was no pretty site; pots were flying, pans were burning, stoves were in flames and my ankle was in a sprain. I am now sitting with my leg up high, forced to pause, rest, recharge and pace myself. Fair enough.
I am also aware at how my palette has changed and has been conditioned to demand nothing short of the best. Local industrial so-called Prosciutto and a scorching hot and watery espresso simply will not do.
Spicy persimmon salad
This is a sweet, sour, savory and spicy persimmon salad.
What with the mild summer fiasco outside comforting stews can wait.
This is great as a side dish or a light lunch for one.
2 thinly sliced persimmons (or another seasonal fruit like pears or apples)
A handful of chopped coriander (or parsley)
½ red onion, chopped
1½ Tbs minced ginger
½ red chili, seeded and chopped (optional)
½ lime, squeezed
1 Tbs sweet chili sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
½ Tbs pomegranate molasses
Ground black pepper, to taste
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl.
Let stand for about 10 minutes before serving, to allow all the flavors to build up.