This morning is one of the most heavenly mornings. I was actually dreaming last night about how great my morning was going to be today. As of recent, I have stepped onto a social roller coaster that just hasn't stopped moving. It has been the most glorious ride with beautiful scenery and dozens and dozens of people, food and experiences. I equate it much to the boat ride they take in Willy Wonka...but without the worms crawling over the people's faces. Those of you that need a refresher, click on the highlighted Willy Wonka above, and you will go directly to the scene. There have been a few days in the past weeks where I felt like the image they show of Willy Wonka sitting there looking back and forth slowly with his eyes...taking in the scenario...with his wild hair only partially contained under his top hat. Take out the terror and confusion in the video, and add in laughter, wine glasses clinking and sunny rolling hills and you've got a glimpse of my most recent adventures.
It all started with my solo road trip down to San Francisco. It was a fairly last minute decision on my part, but I got an offer to house sit in the Mission and I just couldn't turn down such a fun offer. So I literally packed up my car in a matter of a Sunday evening and headed South. Along the way, I visited with a friend in Portland, went to Bob's Red Mill Headquarters, stayed at a lovely B&B in Ashland, reported my fresh produce to the California border patrol, and sang my way through the hills of northern California to the Mission.
During vacation I always intend to have relaxing days, but I get so excited to explore and 'Carpe Diem' as B and M say. So my mental calendar of events builds with every sip of coffee in the morning. I think 'well if I am in that area of town, I can see this and that while I am there'...and all of the sudden I have a personal brochure of events in my head.
A few of the activities I covered: familiarizing myself with the Italian deli in the Mission, driving out to the coast to Santa Cruz and Half Moon Bay followed by a lovely Indian dinner with M in warm Palo Alto. I also got a thorough visit with the Berkeley area, had lunch at Chez Panisse, had coffee with a fellow blogger, discount clothes shopped with a friend and had dinner with another friend in downtown SF. I explored the raw vegan community's local watering hole and restaurant (twice)...starting dinner off with a shot of wheat grass and a bowl of raw butternut squash and apple soup. Amazingly good. So fresh and clean. I walked home feeling vibrant and full of nutrients and ideas for the next day.
I could go on and on about the SF trip...but I will save those anecdotes for another rainy day...that was just a few days worth of detail. But one point I must mention is how much I have learned in the past three weeks. That the more you open yourself to new experiences, the more colorful your life's canvas gets painted. And you find yourself in situations you would have never imagined. Life is so wonderful in that way. And as they say, 'The universe is generous to those who follow their heart.'
Now that brings us full circle to the pineapple compote. This morning was the first morning in three weeks with not a mark on my social calendar. This was by design....and much much needed. I woke up, whipped up some French toast, tossed together the pineapple compote and sipped coffee. I have been devouring Woody Allen movies recently...so I popped in 'Melinda and Melinda' while taking pictures of pineapple. I am taking myself on a date to the movies later and might sneak in my own bag of homemade truffle popcorn and a little jar of 'juice'...Ahh life is good. Stay tuned for more.
Pineapple Coconut Compote
Yields about 1/2 cup
You will see below that I used two different kinds of coconut...unsweetened and sweetened. I did this simply because I had both on hand and prefer my dishes on the less sweet side. But by all means, use 100% sweetened coconut if you prefer. You can also experiment with different types of juice. Compote is rich with opportunity to use different fruits and juices that you already have in the refrigerator.
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
2 Tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1 Tbsp sweetened coconut
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 Tbsp orange juice
Measure all of the above ingredients into a small saute pan. Turn heat onto medium. Slowly stir all ingredients together and bring to a simmer. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced down to more of a syrup. Here you can you use your personal preference. You can either turn off the heat and spoon the compote onto your French toast immediately. Or you can pour it into a food processor to have a more pureed version, such as myself. Even with pureeing, you will still get the pleasure of chewing it a bit because of the coconut. Whichever way you go, you can serve it atop a piece of bread or French toast sprinkled with a little more coconut. Or you can refrigerate and eat it more as a jam.