Thanks so much to volunteer Elizabeth Morris for sharing this story. If you have a story to share about your fruit picking adventures, by all means send it along to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Four of us spent a happy morning last Friday in a tiny garden in the west end picking blue grapes galore. We picked over a hundred pounds and still there were grapes left on the vine!
I loaded my bike as best I could, taking only half of my share and came home with 4 big baskets of beautiful grapes. Sweet, yet with a hint of tartness. And the colour! A gorgeous blue.
We immediately juiced half of the grapes (fresh grape juice is incredible!) and put the other half of the grapes into the fridge.
We thought about what we would do with the rest of them. Jelly? Jam? Pickles? Jelly? Jam? Clafouti? And suddenly a lightbulb appeared over my head: Mimi’s (Delectable Tidbits) Grape and Blue Cheese Focaccia!!
I was GOING to make focaccia. Really, I was. At around noon the next day, I mixed focaccia dough. But then when it came time to shape it, I found myself shaping the close French relative: fougasse.
Then as the dough was rising, I thought about what to do about the fact that the grapes have seeds – big seeds for such little grapes. Did we really want to be spitting them out as we ate the bread? Clearly not.
Well. I have too much time on my hands….
I painstakingly cut each grape in half and removed the seeds and painstakingly put the grapes back together again. And once the fougasse was shaped I painstakingly poked holes in it with my finger to nest each grape so it wouldn’t disintregrate when being pushed into the dough.
But I was so thrilled with myself. The shaped and decorated fougasse was covered and rising and we were just about to turn the oven on when we did an about-face and put the pizza stone into the barbecue.
Just before 8pm, we sat in the now cool, dark and quiet garden, listening to the rustling of the raccoons in the nearby trees and we grilled meat and baked the fougasse.
And then we came inside to our warm dining room, lit the candles, toasted Not Far From the Tree with a clink of glasses of Sangiovese and feasted on grilled pork, steamed green beans, and wonderful, wonderful bread.
Why, oh why did I wait so long to make this grape/onion/blue cheese bread? It’s even more fabulous than I thought it was going to be!
To see the recipe for this delicious fougasse go to Elizabeth’s blog where she writes about her food adventures.