Tag Archives: fruit

a pair of pears


A pair of unpared pears on my kitchen table one morning.

A few years ago, my research group did an experiment that involved eliciting productions of phrases with specific intonational patterns. We were interested in examining the differences in realization of a pair of contours that are superficially similar, but convey different nuances of meaning. To answer our research questions, we elicited and recorded a set of phrases two different times with each subject, one for each of the contours. The recordings were then looked over carefully, and a number of preparations were made for the analyses, including cutting up and labeling the longer soundfiles into phrase-sized chunks, which were then labelled according the intonational contour elicited. Each phrase produced by a given speaker with one contour was then paired up with the same phrase produced by that speaker with the other contour. If for some reason we did not have both successful productions to pair up, such as if one was produced with another intonational contour altogether or contained a disfluency in the region of interest, we would pare out both the unsuccessful production and its would-be pair from that subject’s data. This process of pairing and paring the soundfiles henceforth became known among us as “pearing.”

orange oranges

It’s true that I have posted all but one of these photos before, just not all together. Given my recent run on orange photos, I felt compelled to share some of my favorite orange photos.


One of my favorites from my year of Project 365. This was when I was playing around with long exposures and motion blurs.


Having recently shared photos of an orange flower, it brought to mind this photo I took of the very flower-like shape on the stem end of a clementine.


Here’s that same clementine, but without the macro lens.


Also from Project 365, when I played with perspective. I would love to try this one again some time.


My snack scraps, beautifully catching the afternoon light earlier this year.


A more recent macro photo.

fruit, up close and personal

In addition to wandering the garden with my macro lens, I also went poking around in my mother-in-law’s fruit bowl. (Okay, one piece of fruit was too big to fit in the fruit bowl. It was on the kitchen counter.) Can you identify these 4 fruits?

Picking strawberries (friday foto finder: red)

Now that June is around the corner, that means that we are approaching strawberry season here in New England. The days of strawberry picking come and go quickly here, with the picking season typically lasting only a couple of weeks.

I love to take the kids to nearby farms to pick fruit. I love that it lets them see where their food comes from.

There’s also nothing quite like eating a freshly picked ripe red strawberry, warm from the hot sun.

The local berries don’t last as long once picked as the store-bought ones–they can spoil in only a day or two after being picked. Happily, we have no problem using them all. They always disappear far too quickly, seemingly no matter how many we pick!

This week’s friday foto finder challenge is to present something red. Red things abound in my photo library, yet I had a hard time choosing. I find I have too much to say about too many of my photos. I want to have time to tell the stories that go with the images. So I picked these red berries to share with you.

If you feel like seeing (more) red, check out the other entries on the friday foto finder blog.

A red pear in the morning sunlight.

I submit to you that it is totally normal to have a photo shoot with a piece of fruit before you cut it up for your children’s breakfast.

Yup. I’m sure everyone does this.

the great tomato debate

In the US, we are frequently subjected to the debate over the tomato’s status: Is it a fruit or a vegetable?

The answer, of course, is “yes.”

Because the real question is whether you are asking the question from a botanical or a culinary standpoint.

Botanically, it is unquestionably a fruit:

In botany, a fruit is a part of a flowering plant that derives from specific tissues of the flower, one or more ovaries, and in some cases accessory tissues.

But so is a bell pepper. Or zucchini. Or a butternut squash. But because these things are regularly cooked or included in savory dishes, they are considered vegetables. Culinarily, at least in the US and many European countries, tomatoes are treated as vegetables. You find them cooked into sauces and stews, roasted with garlic, or you might eat them raw, chopped up with herbs and olive oil on bruschetta. They go in the salad with lettuce and onion, not the salad with strawberries and melon.

However, in other parts of the world, the tomato’s status as a fruit is more widely accepted. I remember an occasion where we had a bit of a semester-end party on the last day of a particularly intensive class. People signed up to bring things. A guy from Korea signed up to bring some fruit, and he brought a little box of grape tomatoes, and it led to an interesting discussion.

I remembered this when we were served this dessert at the conference banquet¹ in Shanghai back in May:

The fruit salad consisted of chunks of melon, and grape tomatoes. Aside from my interest in the appearance of tomatoes in a fruit salad, it was a thoroughly disappointing dessert. Which, I suppose, was fitting.³

So, do you want to weigh in the debate?⁴

¹ Sadly, as is often the case with large-scale meals, the quality of the food was pretty mediocre. Pretty much everything I tried was bland.²

² Of course, my options were somewhat limited by my largely vegetarian diet constraints. So I didn’t partake, for example, of this soup. I did, however, appreciate that I was able to easily identify this as chicken soup. Other items that were served to us without explanation were more mysterious.

³ Did I mention the food was mediocre? The food was mediocre.

⁴ And if so, do you want to weigh in using pounds or kilograms?