Pears simmering in wine sauce

These food photos are posted in response the photo challenge Sweet.

I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, but cooked fruit is always delicious. These bubbling pears were from a friend’s Thanksgiving meal. We spent the weekend at in Gualala, California. Gualala is north of San Francisco along the Pacific coast a little south of Mendocino. I spent Thanksgiving there with my old friend Andrew a few years ago.

You know what’s really sweet? Old friends. I’ve known Andrew since 1988. Sweet.

From the same Thanksgiving we ate this pear upside-down cake:

Fruit of the noni tree


A few years ago I visited Kauai, Hawaii, and discovered this large, bulbous, green, and knobby fruit, about the size of a pear.

the fruit of the noni tree

Is it edible? Is it poisonous? Is it full grown? What the heck is it? My website received a lot of Google hits from people searching for “bulbous fruit”, which is what I called it before I realized its true name.

I have since learned that this is the fruit of the noni tree. It is edible (though not too tasty) and not poisonous (if you don’t eat too many). Proponents claim that the noni fruit and its juice can treat a wide variety of health problems, ranging from cancer to senility to psoriasis. Science hasn’t backed up these claims, so if you get a case of psoriasis, see a doctor. The noni fruit has also been used in many commercial skin and hair care products. Go ahead and slather it on if you need to moisturize, just don’t expect a cure for cancer.

I would go back to Kauai in a heartbeat. The plants there seemed bigger, greener, weirder. See the original high-resolution photo.

Posted in response to the weekly photo challenge It IS easy being green!

Extra-kick mushroom asparagus curry soup

The hexadecimal color of today’s mushroom asparagus curry soup is #5e2300.

Spicy, but you can handle it.


  1. Maybe 1 cup of water
  2. Maybe 1/3 cup of soy sauce
  3. Maybe 1/2 cup of veggie broth
  4. Maybe 1/2 cup of chicken broth
  5. About 2/3 a container of white button mushrooms
  6. Green onion bunch – I could’ve used two bunches
  7. A handful of bean sprouts
  8. Two tablespoons of red curry paste
  9. One teaspoon of chili oil
  10. Two tablespoons of crushed garlic
  11. Asparagus bunch
  12. 2 baby bok choy, 3 if you feel like it
  13. A tablespoon of salt

Steps to reproduce:

  1. Start a medium heat on the water.
  2. Add broth parts.
  3. Shake in some soy sauce. Soup’s a little brown at this point.
  4. Toss in the bean sprouts.
  5. Toss in the mushrooms (I buy them pre-sliced, but slice ’em if you prefer).
  6. Slice up the green onions and toss them in. I probably could’ve used two bunches.
  7. I use crushed garlic from a jar. Add two tablespoons from a jar, or 4 crushed cloves.
  8. Add two tablespoons of red curry paste and one teaspoon of chili oil.
  9. Soup’s reddish brown at this point! And nearly to a boil.
  10. While that’s working its way to a boil, chop the asparagus bunch in three parts. Toss in all the pieces *except* for the heads.
  11. Quickly chop the bok choy. Toss the white parts in, save the leaves for last.
  12. TASTE SOUP RIGOROUSLY! But be careful, it has kick. Add more soy sauce & water if it’s too spicy; add more chili oil if you want more kick.
  13. Add about a tablespoon of salt (or skip this step – YMMV).
  14. I prefer a balance with more curry and only a tiny bit of chili oil.
  15. At the very last minute, throw in the bok choy leaves and the heads of the asparagus.
  16. Boil it for maybe two more minutes.


This will serve two fairly hungry people. Or one insane lady.