In order to be a food blogger, you have to live in your senses: the world of taste, smell, touch. Me, I’ve been in my head a lot these days. I’m spending the summer cranking out my dissertation, day after day. Perhaps that’s why I feel so uninspired about this blog, or perhaps the dissertation is sucking all my writing energy, and I don’t have much left over for anything else. I’ll save you the impenetrably dull details, spare the fact that the other night, I dreamt that I was on a date with John Rawls. Apparently, it isn’t enough that I’ve been spending eight to ten hours a day with Professor Rawls for the past two weeks, now, I have to have dinner and drinks with him in my sleep? (No, I don’t know want to know what this says about my subconscious.)
Fortunately, I have a few friends that regularly drag me away from my desk and out of the house. Even more fortunately, these friends are really into potlucks, which forces me into the kitchen, back into my hands and my body. Is there anything more sensual than plunging a knife into a ripe cantaloupe? Grabbing a slippery mango to slice off its peel? And nothing is better on a summer evening that fruit salad with perfectly ripe fruit.
This salad is an invention of my mothers, combining a subtle kiss of warming spices (cloves, caramom, cinnamon, ginger) with the sweetness of summer fruits. It’s simply perfect.
Spiced Fruit Salad
Obviously, you can vary the fruits, but try to include one melon and one fruit from the stone category.
1/2 stick cinnamon
2 pods cardamom
honey to taste, start with 2 tbsp
1/2 c. fresh orange juice (used commercial in a pinch)
1 fragrant ripe cantaloupe
1 pint strawberries
1 ripe mango
1/2 pint raspberries or blackberries
rind from 1/2 an orange
1 handful blanched almonds
1/2 c. crystallized ginger, chopped
small handful mint leaves
squeeze of lemon juice, to taste
In small saucepan, heat spices and salt with orange juice. Add honey. Bring to a boil and simmer 10 minutes. Add water if pan threatens to boil dry.
Chop fruit into bite sized pieces. Mix gently with almonds, mint and ginger. Add spiced honey and lemon. Taste and adjust for seasonings.
Source: My mom