Tuesday, October 8, 2013
SUE ANN'S PUMPKINS, TOMATO WORMS, SALAD DRESSING AND CHRISTMAS APPLES
Sounds like a great menu , hmmm?!!! hahaha......
Pumpkins are all the rage for this month, most everyone is doing pies, cakes, breads, rolls, puddings, BUT, do you know anyone making pumpkin / apricot butter?
Now, tomato worms..everyone gets them, everyone hates them, because they eat the leaves down to nibs on the tomato plants, and the plants need those leaves . Tomato worms are the "babies" of the five spotted hawk moth. They are the size of a hummingbird and are beneficial in flower pollinating. Once the worm eats its fill, it will cocoon, then open into a "woolie caterpillar", in the case of the hawk moth, it will be a yellowish colored one. If you feel inclined to try this, do! It is a fun project, and you can watch Nature at Her best. Take a tomato worm, on the leaf it is on, stem and all, and put in a large jar, with a screen on the top. Feed it every day, fresh leaves , and it will shortly cocoon. You can watch it spin its silk. The woolie guy emerges, and you have to feed him too!!!! since it is almost winter, add different types grass clippings, and weeds to the jar. clean it out each day..the woolie will eventually bury itself in the grass and
leaves. Keep the jar from freezing....put in the basement, in the dark, and come Spring,
put it on the porch and you can watch your Hawk Moth come out! You can also get the complete cycle, if you find one early in the Summer.....then you can release the moth, in early Fall.
PUMPKIN, APRICOT BUTTER
1/2 lb. dried apricots
1 1/2 c water
2 c cooked, mashed, pumpkin
1. 3" cinnamon stick
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 1/4 c sugar
Soak apricots in water overnight, drain. reserve the water.
Cut apricots into thin strips, add reserved water, pumpkin, cinnamon stick, lemon rind, in a large pot. cover and simmer, 20 mins. Stir often.
Add apricots& sugar-stir til well blended. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer 30 mins., or til thick. Remove from heat, discard cinnamon stick. Pour into pints, hot water bath- 10 mins. Yields 2 pints. can double recipe.
4 c sugar
2 c water
16 crab apples ( 2 lbs)- NOW....crab apples are not common in markets, and are hard to find a tree, if you don't know anyone, use smaller apples, they will be just fine. Crab apples are the size of a golf ball., a tad bigger...not by much.
Core the apples whole, and carefully peel,
Halve, seed, thinly slice lemons, mix with sugar and water in pot, heat to boiling, cook, stir, skim, til syrupy- about 5 mins. cool to lukewarm.
Put WHOLE apples in syrup. Heat to boiling, simmer 10 mins.,remove from heat, let stand overnight. The next day, heat to a boil , simmer til apples look clear-about 30 mins.
Put in 16 oz. jars, hot water bath 10 mins, yields 6, 16 oz. jars.
It is nice to do these early in the Fall, as they will be ready and tasty by Thanksgiving, or Christmas.
WALNUT / BALSAMIC VINAIGRETTE
1/2 c balsamic vinegar
1/4 c finely chopped shallots or onions
1.4 c lemon juice
3 T honey
1/4 t coarse salt
1/4 t ground black pepper
3 T walnut oil
Blend all well together with a whisk, keeps well up to 3 days.
If you cannot find walnut oil, use a T olive oil, add to it, smashed walnuts- 4 or 5 halves, let sit in the oil overnight, then strain. I have actually left the walnuts in the dressing..adds a bit of texture.
Yields: 1 1/4 c
Enjoy these treats! make what you can, while they are all in season...they will be fun to eat a few months from now...especially in January!!!!
An Extra Added on recipe
Have apples and pears left over and are maybe not so fresh anymore? Get out your cast iron skillet. Melt 6 T butter in the skillet, on the stove. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F, peel, core, apples and pears, about 5 med of each. Put them in the frying pan with the butter and let them simmer low-mix 6 t sugar, 1/4 t nutmeg, 1/4 t cinnamon, mix well, sprinkle over the fruit in the skillet. Whisk well, 4 eggs, 1/2 t salt, 1 c milk, 1 c flour-whisk til smooth. Pour over fruit in skillet, put in oven. Bake at 425 degrees for 15 mins, turn heat down to 350 degrees, bake 10 mins more. Take out and eat! It is a cross between a pancake and a pudding....great for a quick warm supper, or lunch- add 10x sugar over the top, or use syrup or a jam.