Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween and harvest, 2014

Halloween, 2014

Our famous yearly pumpkins-a bunch of great people died but we highlighted...

Robin Williams-thanks to TRoz and DancinTurtle!!

And then I did Scooby Doo because we dressed up as

Shaggy, Thelma, Fred, Daphne and Scooby
Mystery Inc!  Not perfect, but not bad for almost no money or time.  Shaggy owned everything, Thelma looked for orange socks but couldn't find them, Fred did buy a white sweater and I bleached an old pair of brown tights until they were pink!

Harvest wise this year was a banner year for quince.
The quince is the most unknown fruit I've worked with, usually mistaken for a pear.  Don't be fooled-they are basically inedible raw.

I have a coworker with a bunch of trees-he gave me 50 lbs.  Luckily, they ripen slowly and smell AMAZING.  I walk past the cupboard and open it like 3 times a day just for the scent.

To use them, I cook, drain the cooking liquid to use for jelly, then put the paste through my old fashioned food mill.

Further cook down the paste
 into membrillo.  It is supposed to have the consistency of a gummy candy.  I am not quite there yet, but I have a lot more fruit to practice on.  The versions that are too soft are basically jam-delicious on toast etc.  It is often served with a nice hard cheese-a great combination!

I also got a lot of persimmons.  These are a little tricky because they go from too astringent to too squishy in 24 hours.  Basically I was looking at them twice a day, picking the ripe ones, scooping out the insides and freezing them on the spot.  So far the best use I have found is James Beards Amazing Persimmon Bread.

And of course there are too many peppers again this year.  But we have found that folks like the spicy pickled vegetables.

Not bad, not bad!

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