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Rei Kobi
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a little Rei of sunshine / un petit Rei-on du soleil
a little Rei of sunshine / un petit Rei-on du soleil

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This is a volunteer grape that I suspect was planted by birds (I live in my grandparents' old house and they never had grapes). For about ten years, I hacked the plant down to the ground every spring, because it's in a narrow, shady space next to the garage.

Last year, I decided to just let it grow, so threw up a few stakes and got two tiny grape clusters, which both fell to the ground before fully ripening.

This year, there were several tight (almost too tight - some fruits got smashed), which fully (although unevenly - don't know if that's normal or if you're supposed to pick off undeveloped fruits) ripened into small globes. They're sort of spicy, musty, almost perfume-y, although you have to let the fruits get almost soft for the mustiness to develop -- not a bad mustiness, just something reminiscent of a cool, damp cellar on a warm day.

So far we've eaten them plain, as a sauce, and broiled. Other ideas welcome!
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Modern windows framed by Sienese arches. 
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My dad had the idea of making persimmon infused vodka, so I'm experimenting with a small batch each of fuyu and hachiya. Don't know how I'll filter the hachiya goop out yet, though. 
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Paid through the nose for this little Italian truffle, but given how frequently I buy them, totally worth it ... but still dreaming someone will grow them in large quantity, glutting the market. We sliced these onto scallops and pasta tonight. 
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Life, Mortality, and Family Hobbies
My father's mortality appeared to me for the first time last week. He had a cold, which by itself, isn't a concern, but it coincided with a gout flare-up. Every motion was painful for him, making it impossible for him to do even simple tasks. And because of...

If you were spending a week in Italy, where would you go?

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Old Home Day
While pruning dead material from the Meyer lemon trees in my front garden yesterday, I heard a little voice: "hello?"  Thinking it was someone next door, I kept hacking away at the dead branches, and then: "excuse me, hello!" Climbing down from the planters...

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Hey Nik, what are they making?
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