Last night, with one little Sierra Sweet plum and a green shiso leaf from my garden, I decided to make a simple dressing. My inspiration was my childhood love of eating umeboshi - the small pink or red, lip puckering preserved plums from Japan. With best intentions, I was disappointed with the result; with muted flavors, it was nothing like what I wanted it to taste like. Instead of tossing, I transferred the dressing to a jar and put it in the fridge - thinking I would doctor it into something I could use. Apparently, all it needed was time - today the dressing is bright, sweet and tangy - it even reminds me a little of my taste memory of ume. This would be delicious on a green salad, with tofu, a piece of grilled or broiled salmon, or even as an unusual dressing for soba. It is easily doubled or tripled to serve a crowd. —gingerroot
about 1/4 cup
Sierra Sweet plum, destoned and chopped
green shiso leaf, rolled and cut into chiffonade
My most vivid childhood memories have to do with family and food. As a kid, I had the good fortune of having a mom who always encouraged trying new things, and two grandmothers who invited me into their kitchens at a young age. I enjoy cooking for the joy it brings me - sharing food with loved ones - and as a stress release. I turn to it equally during good times and bad. Now that I have two young children, I try to be conscientious about what we cook and eat. Right about the time I joined food52, I planted my first raised bed garden and joined a CSA; between the two I try to cook as sustainably and organically as I can. Although I'm usually cooking alone, my children are my favorite kitchen companions and I love cooking with them. I hope when they are grown they will look back fondly at our time spent in the kitchen, as they teach their loved ones about food-love.
Best of all, after years on the mainland for college and graduate school, I get to eat and cook and raise my children in my hometown of Honolulu, HI. When I'm not cooking, I am helping others grow their own organic food or teaching schoolchildren about art.