Southern California Coastal & Inland Valleys
Fresh Fruit Salad
This fresh fruit salad brings the bright crunch and flavor of raw fruit to enliven heavy winter meals. My secret for the dressing is the syrup from my Mom's honey-cinnamon peaches that I can each summer: 1 part wildflower honey to 1 cup water, topped with the pits from the peaches and 1 cinnamon stick broken in half. Also, it's best to use fresh walnuts, as stored/refrigerated/frozen ones tend to taste a bit bitter.
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled and cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces.
1 Bosc pear, peeled, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
1 pineapple, peeled, cut into 1/2- to 3/4-inch pieces
1 cluster seedless grapes, cut in half lengthwise
1/2 cup walnut halves (or smaller pieces)
1/2 cup date pieces
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
1/4 cup jam or honey
Prepare dressing first, incorporating jam/honey into sour cream/yogurt.
As you cut each type of fruit, fold the pieces into the dressing to prevent their discoloring.
Just before serving, gently fold in walnut and date pieces.
It's Winter for Houseplants, Too
Don't worry that your houseplants don't seem too perky now; they're going dormant, just like plants outdoors. Plants need this rest, so stop feeding them, and water them less frequently. Also, be sure they're not getting blasted with hot air from a heater vent or fireplace. Plants close to windows may get too much cold air at night, so move them or provide a shield between them and the window. The most comfortable temperature range for indoor plants is 65 to 75 degrees, with extremes of 60 and 80 degrees.