Thursday, July 31, 2014
Monday, July 28, 2014
Here's an idea for your spent vanilla beans. After you have made your vanilla extract save the beans. They can be used again for making more vanilla of course, but I like to add them to my French press when I make my coffee! (So good. It is not a heavy flavor like a syrup gives you but I like it a little better.). Just put them in a sealed glass container and keep in the fridge.
Another idea, put two or three if them in a 1/2 pint jar, add a small cinnamon stick and sweetener of choice. Cover with boiling water. Make sure you jar is warm. Let cool to room temperature and then cover and put in fridge. Add this to your coffee or hot tea.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
Last sand plum post for awhile. Saved the best for last.
Sand Plum Whiskey Sour
1 Cup good bourbon
1/2 cup sand plum juice
1/3 cup each fresh lemon and lime juice (Meyer lemons and key limes are even better)
3/4 cup simple syrup (if you are making it for these specifically zest you citrus before you juice them and add to syrup)
Put everything into a cocktail shaker (strain the syrup if you added zest) add 1 cup of ice and shake 30 seconds. Pour into cold glasses. Add cherry if desired and serve cold.
For the redneck touch, serve in a wide mouth pint mason jar!
Saturday, July 26, 2014
I have so much pulp from my sand plums! I have made fruit leather with some and frozen most of the rest. Yesterday I decided to make sand plum butter. The bourbon idea came to me after making a sand plum whiskey sour ( that's another post). Here's the recipe. It was awesome on buttermilk biscuits this morning!
Bourbon Sand Plum Butter
2 quarts sand plum pulp
3/4 cup good bourbon
1 vanilla bean, split
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon each cinnamon and ginger
1/2 teaspoon each nutmeg and allspice
Soak your vanilla bean in the bourbon for at least 30 minutes.
Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot. Cook over medium heat. When it begins to bubble turn heat to low and cook at least 35 minutes stirring frequently. Cook to desired thickness.
Remove vanilla bean. Ladle into hot jars and process in boiling water canner for 15 minutes.
Serve on hot buttered biscuits!
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Even though the sand plum picking is still really good, I do have my garden to keep up with. It is producing tomatoes right now, but not much else. The peppers, squashes, and cantaloupe are blooming profusely, but there seems to be very little setting. The green beans are doing fine. I should have planted more.
We finally built some raised beds this year. We had a perfect spot at the new house to put Them. We set paver blocks between the boxes so it is virtually weed free! Love it! I will have to plant a few things differently next year. Like moving the asparagus to a perennial bed and moving the squash to the north rnd to get more sun. It may take a few seasons to get all the links worked out.
Squash, pumpkin, cantaloupe, and spaghetti squash
Sunday, July 20, 2014
Because 4 gallons of juice is not enough, I went this morning and picked another 20 pounds of sand plums. I will have to get a picture of this thicker we were in. So many plums and most you just can't get to. If you have never been in a sand plum thicket, you can't imagine. They have some thorns. Not little thorns like a blackberry but lung ones. Usually not very sharp but they do hurt if one pokes you. You just have to be careful. Long pants are a must. They also grow thick. The trees themselves are never ver big but you may have 5 growing in one square foot. Tough to maneuver in. Bug spray is also a must. Ticks, Mosquitos, flies, and chiggers. These are not a few of my favorite things. You are walking through tall Johnson grass usually. Most of the trees I pick from are at the local park. They tend to be right on the walking trails. But the best plums are always out in the middle if fields. No one wants to go there after all. Almost no one at least. This morning we did. My friend and I picked close to 10 gallons of plums. She had only picked a few along her road before today. She was excited to get so many. We will be making jelly for her tomorrow.
Si, even with all the juice and pulp I already have, I may just keep picking until they are gone. The drinks I made go quickly. I may need more than 4 gallons if juice.
Beautifully red juice with this batch!