Today's Wonder of the World is...Raisins!
Flickr photo by Dusty 73
Hey! There's a box of raisins that's big enough for the Jolly Green Giant!
I love Weirdly Huge Pretend Food, but I have a little confession to make.
Don't tell anyone, but I'm not that crazy about downing handfuls of raisins by themselves.
Unless they look like this.
Flickr photo by kenzilicious
Mmm. Chocolate covered raisins. They're too good to share with children.
(Not that I hog them to myself and then destroy the evidence. No. I wouldn't do that.)
So why, you ask, did I name raisins as a Wonder of the World, if I don't pop them like M&M's?
Well, I'll tell you the truth. I started thinking about raisins because of this.
Flickr photo by boomette1
This, my friends, is raisin pie.
Stop shuddering! It's really good! Unbelievably good! Shockingly good!
If you read yesterday's post, you may remember that yesterday was my daddy's birthday. Every year my mom makes a raisin pie for the occasion because he loves it so. Have you ever tried it? You should.
It might turn you into a raisin fanatic.
Kind of like this guy.
Flickr photo by 3dphoto.net
Except my dad doesn't do that. That would be weird.
(No offense, raisin eyebrow man, but you're scary looking.)
Anyway, thinking about that raisin pie made me realize how many of my favorite things have raisins in them.
Like my absolute favorite French pastry, pain aux raisins.
Flickr photo by Quan Nguyen
Literally translated, it means bread with raisins, but oh man, after looking at that, the name fits even in English, because PEOPLE I'M IN PAIN, WANTING ONE OF THOSE RIGHT NOW!
I think I might cry. Seriously.
You are skeptical and think I'm joking, but have you tried one?
The buttery goodness. The creaminess of the custard hidden between the slightly crispy on the outside, soft on the inside pastry spirals, the ever so slightly burned raisins. (They're good that way!) Lordy Lordy, pain aux raisins are a WONDER OF THE WORLD! (I could never post about just them by themselves because the excitement would push me over the edge. I'd have to stow away on a flight to France and then I'd get arrested.)
I'll calm down now.
Did you know that raisin is the French word for grape?
(It's kind of confusing--like crayon is the word for pencil. The French like to keep us off kilter.)
A raisin is a raisin sec, a dried grape. So I guess I was wrong. Literally, pain aux raisins is translated bread with grapes. However you translate it, they're magnifique.
But this is good too.
Flickr photo by menickstephensorg
It's Rum Raisin.
And there's cinnamon raisin bread.
Flickr photo by WendysWTN
It's not pain aux raisins, but it's still delicious.
In the world of food, we can't all be pain aux raisins. If somebody gets to be the queen, other people have to be the peasants.
Did you know that here at the Ramsey house we could make our own raisins if we wanted to?
I don't think I've ever mentioned it, but we have a vineyard in our backyard.
Don't call me Ernestine Gallo, but we do have a long line of grapes running up to the back fence. They're muscadines, a pungent musky grape that is native around here. My hubby grew up eating them, and I've adjusted. I even like them now.
The first time we picked them, we let him eat his fill. That was a mistake. A couple hours later his face was so swollen that we could hardly see his eyes! We'd never heard that dogs can't eat grapes, but it's true.
Tanner was disappointed. First spackling paste, and now grapes!
They look good, but they're not ripe yet. By early October they'll be perfect.
All this raisin talk made me wonder, how exactly do people dry grapes?
If this photo is typical, they dry them by hanging the clusters. At least this Greek vintner does it that way.
Flickr photo by urgenci international network
How is it done in California?
Does anybody know?
Maybe I should ask these guys.
Flickr photo by lova revolutionary
Have a Wonder-Full Thursday, y'all!
Take a spin around your house/office to this little ditty, and tell me, are you a fan of raisins? Or do you think they're all dried up?