One of my favorite things about springtime in Charleston is the loquats. I’m constantly amazed that no one uses these, or even just eats them! I’m sure there are other crazies out there like us, who find them growing on city sidewalks and show up with a ladder and pruning shears and bags to collect them in, but I haven’t seen them yet. We must be at different trees. 🙂
They didn’t bloom last year, which was a bummer. We have a tree in our backyard, but it suffered pretty heavy damage from the fire, so it’s just starting to get itself back together. But they’re blooming EVERYWHERE right now, so there’s no shortage. I highly recommend a bourbon loquat smash cocktail–it’s delicious! (Notpaleodontcare.)
I can’t believe I haven’t posted anything in a month. It’s not even for a lack of recipes–I have like 7 drafts of recipes sitting here just waiting to be published. From the time I made the decision to, as the new book a friend just gave me calls it, “be a free range human,” it’s literally been a whirlwind. I’ve been diving in with the new job with The Dating Divas (more on that later!) and been trying to figure out how all the pieces fit together. It’s been fun, but I’m still working on finding my groove and getting into a rhythm. That just made me think of that movie, “How Stella Got Her Groove Back.” I never saw it. I wonder what Stella did. Maybe I should check in with her.
While I haven’t been posting, I have been brainstorming ways to help grow the site. I came across the Charleston Blog Society, which is a group of local bloggers who share tips and tricks, support each other, and get together once a month to network. Conveniently enough, they had a monthly meetup just a few days after I signed up, so I attended. The event was held at Arhaus, a new upscale furniture store that’s going to be opening in Mt. Pleasant’s Town Center–it hasn’t opened just yet, and we were getting a sneak preview. The event itself was great–I met a few really interesting people, and loved shoving myself out of my comfort zone–everyone was so friendly, which made it easier! And the store is one that I think I’ll just go live in. I mean, check this place out. Who wouldn’t want to live there?
But ya’ll, for real. I’m not big on “signs” and all that jazz, but sometimes stuff happens, and I’m just like, “yup, I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.” At the end of the night, they had a drawing for a $500 gift card to the store and I WON IT. I mean, seriously??? I never win stuff like that! And I know had I been in my old routine, sitting at an office from 8-5, I never would have attended that event. I would have been tired and burned out from the day and just wanted to cook dinner and collapse on the couch.
So, life-changing decisions and loquats for the win! (PS–My favorite olive oil ever ever ever is finally back in stock and my shipment finally made it through customs and arrived today! I love tasting it fresh when it arrives—peppery and crisp and delicious! I literally opened the can and got out a spoon when it got here. It’s a must for making your own salad dressing! If you’re still not convinced, check it out here.)
This fresh fruit grows in abundance in the South. Grab some off a nearby tree, then make some loquat vinaigrette dressing!
- 1 lb fresh loquats (about 2 1/2 cups)
- 1/2 c white wine vinegar
- 1/4. c olive oil
- 1 tsp dijon mustard
- 1 tsp oregano
- salt and pepper to taste
Put the loquats in a large, sturdy bowl. Using a potato masher (or the bottom of a jar or glass) smush them all so the skin breaks.
Working in small handfuls, gather up a few and squeeze. (Hard!) Discard pulp and seeds into a separate bowl, repeating the process until you have one bowl full of pulp and seeds and one bowl full of juice.
Pour the juice through a fine metal strainer to filter out any leftover pulp or seeds. You should be left with about 1/2 c. of juice.
Combine the loquat juice with the remaining ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until combined. Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.