Stephanie Shaver

Sometimes Writer Always Extremely Online

About Me

Hello, my name is Steph. I’ve been writing and publishing since 1988 and I’ve been in the games industry since 1996. I wrote a little bit more on the About Me page. This is my sometimes-updated website. Enjoy.

A Saturday Well Spent

Things I found at the farmer’s market:

  • White guava
  • White sapote
  • Heirloom tomatoes
  • Purple tomatillos
  • Fresno chiles

Things I’m making tomorrow because I found them at the farmer’s market:

  • Fermented hibiscus-fresno chile sauce
  • Tomato jam

And I admit I stared at the purple tomatillos for a very, very long time but did not buy them.

“How long is the harvest?” I finally asked the purveyor.

She gave me a smile.  “Not long.”

Crap.  She’s got my number.

“First frost,” she went on, “and they’re gone.  Could be soon.  Could be late.  Probably…soon.”

I relaxed when she said that, feeling I was perhaps being given the hard sale.  Because…okay, no.  Unless she’s growing about 150 miles out (which is possible, let’s not assume anything, BUT), the first frost probably won’t be until late October in the growing regions, and even then the weather patterns have been getting so warm lately it’s unlikely.

I also have to question how likely that enticing purple blush will stick around after I cook them, as I do in my tomatillo salsa.  Purple carrots stay purple when you roast them, but purple wax beans don’t.  So do purple tomatillos?  I guess I could google and find out.  Or find an application that doesn’t require high heat, like fermentation.

But.  But.  But.  Purple tomatillos.

I already have too much on my plate for the weekend between the chile sauce, tomato jam, and a couple other projects.  I decided to gamble, and moved on.

Other things I learned today:

Xander likes Early Girl tomatoes, green smoothies, and flaky croissants. I project he will someday be an amazing life coach and yoga instructor.

What he doesn’t like are perfectly ripened guavas and he will spit them out at a speed that shatters windows in a one mile radius around you.  It is, to my knowledge, the only fruit he has ever rejected.

When we got home we found some of the sapotes a little smashed, and if I’d let them sit they’d have gone bad fast, so Zo and I stood in the kitchen devouring them over the sink.  She has become my partner in exotic fruit crime, because I have done my job as a parent, thank you very much.

What is sapote, anyway? They’re delicate and thus hard for grocery stores to stock, so usually they cost too much and no one buys them, which is why you never see them. Tastewise, they’re difficult to describe — something like a cross between banana, pineapple, and custard, with hits of apple and large to medium stones throughout.  Tropical-creamy.  That they were two dollars a basket is astounding.  I still have three left.  We’ll eat them slowly over the next couple days, and maybe there’ll be more at the market over the next few weeks, but the season is narrow and ending soon.

Cherimoyas should also be coming in, and they’re just as good, and very similar.  And soon, my favorite, my bae, my beloved: persimmons.  Aw yiss.

As for those purple tomatillos….

We’ll see.  I trust the farmer to know her frost dates.  I’m just a gal eating smashed sapote over a sink.