Fashion forward

My daughter spent the night in New York and came home with a tattoo. Not a real one. But a real-looking one. I didn't even flinch.

True, I've spent 15 years broadcasting the standard PSAs: it's taboo, it's tawdry, it's tacky. To, no doubt, no avail.

Because while I've been campaigning for the clean slate, everyone else has been coloring between the lines.

The checkout girl at the grocery store, admiring my Hello Kitty wallet, offered a peak at her Hello Kitty tattoos. In the parking lot, the woman searching for her keys had a full set of wings seared into her back. And — get this — it looked kinda cool.

That's the strange thing about fashion — first it's odd, then it's appealing. (Of course, after a while it's passe, one of the slides in my standard Power-Point lecture.)

Clothes, rugs and furniture are falling for the retro-romance of heavy ink. Food too. Everyone — not just steak and burger — has been jumping on the grill, getting the hot look and smoky caramelized flavor of a little burn. Even tender greens. Even fruit. Even cake. It's the sort of fad that might have struck me as odd a few years ago. And now seems kinda cool.

Grilled poundcake

Prep: 20 minutes
Grill: 10 minutes
Serves: 8

Ingredients:
1 prepared poundcake, sliced into 1-inch thick slices
4 ripe peaches, peeled and halved
4 ripe apricots, peeled and halved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 tablespoons dark rum
2 tablespoons brown sugar

Grill:
Build or spark a medium-hot fire. Brush fruit halves with butter. Grill over direct heat until nicely tattooed but not falling apart, about 30 seconds per side.

Marinate:
Slice fruit into wedges. Tumble into a bowl along with any juices. Add rum and brown sugar; toss gently.

Toast:
Grill cake slices until just toasty, about 15 seconds per side.

Serve:
Set cake slices on cake plates or in shallow bowls. Heap on fruit and juices. Enjoy.

Leah Eskin is a Tribune Newspapers special contributor. Email her at leahreskin@aol.com.

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