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Archive for September, 2009

Lychee freezer jam

The first batch of lychee freezer jam

The first batch of lychee freezer jam

Do you remember June, when lychees were bursting everywhere? The summer fruit sale offered pesticide-free lychees from Possum Trot Nursery and I loaded up.

My friend Kattia, who grew up in Homestead and now lives in Sanford with her husband and son, was craving lychees since June, when I told her about the crazy season we had. Wasn’t able to drive up then with fresh lychees, so I filled my freezer. (Yes, you can freeze lychees, then peel and eat like mini popsicles. Kids love ‘em.) With the start of the CSA season almost around the corner, it was time to unload my freezer and make a run north.

Kattia loves to make jam. She had made me delicious mango jam a few summers ago. But what to do with thawed lychees?

Came across a simple recipe for lychee freezer jam on the Lycheeyum blog. It was our starting point. But 1 1/2 cups of sugar sounded like way too much. This was the first time either one of us had heard of freezer jam. It’s a no-cook process that doesn’t require heating the fruit, or working with hot jars and boiling water. There’s a video on the Ball canning site that shows how to make freezer jam using their freezer pectin. We tweaked and combined both recipes. Here’s our version:

4 cups lychees (fresh or frozen) and their juice, peeled, seeded, chopped
1 cup sugar (or to taste)
1 packet freezer pectin

1. Combine lychees, juice, and sugar in a large bowl.
2. Add freezer pectin, and stir for 3 minutes.
3. Fill plastic freezer jars. Allow mixture to sit for 30 minutes. It’s ready to use!
4. Keep jam in refrigerator for 3 weeks, or store in freezer for up to 1 year.

Got the freezer pectin and freezer jars at the Sanford Wal-Mart. (That’s where I stumbled across the Redland Best avo’s a few aisles over.) The recipe was very easy. You could even make this with your kids. A grownup would have to pit the fruit, as a sharp knife is required. The chunks of lychee were a bit big in this batch. Next time I’d run the fruit through a food processor to make the pieces smaller and more spreadable. Thawed lychee doesn’t mash very easily. Don’t know enough about canning to suggest an alternate to sugar. Wonder if agave would work as well.

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Redland Best avocados

Redland Best Florida avocado

Redland Best Florida LoCal avocado

So I found myself in the Sanford Wal-Mart this afternoon browsing through produce when I discovered a taste of home looking back at me. Avocados! They look like Donnies, but not as big as Farmer Margie grows them, and they’re selling under the Redland Best label. I whipped out my old Razr cell phone and took a couple snaps (apologies for the poor quality, but that’s what I had with me at the time). Googled for Redland Best but I haven’t been able to find anything about them. Does anybody know who they are? And what’s a “lo cal avocado” anyway??

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Bee Heaven Farm ~ Redland Organics

 End of Summer Brunch 

 

Join us down on the farm for a Locavore’s dream!

End of Summer Brunch at Possum Trot 
Sunday, September 27th, 2009 at 10:30am
 
in an informal Old Florida homestead 40-acre garden setting
featuring 100% locally-grown*
organic produce from Bee Heaven Farm and our Redland Organics farm partners. (Some items are not certified organic, but are pesticide-free.)
*except-oil, flour, salt, baking powder/soda
 
Passionately prepared by
Robert, The Cantankerous Chef
~~~ MENU ~~~
 
Broiled Avocado halves stuffed with Betel-leaf Farm Egg Scramble
and Nubian Goat Cheese Topping
 
Bee Heaven Farm Smoked Eggs
 
Boiled Salted Jakfruit Seeds
 
Roasted Rosemary-scented Roots Medley
 
Sautéed Vegetable Amaranth (Callaloo) with scallions
 
Allspice Muffins with Nubian Goat Honey Labneh
 
Honeyed Seasonal Farm Fruits 
 
Minted Passion Fruit Ice
 
Tropical Juice selection ~ Cas, Passionfruit & Carambola
 
Fresh Lemongrass Iced Tea
~~~ * ~~~

 Cost: Adults $28; Children 6-12 $14; Children 3-5 $5; 2 and under free

Please reserve early – Attendance limited to 60
 
Proceeds help support our farm internship program and local family farms

     

We hope you and your family join us for this amazing locavore feast!
Online reservations and payment required by September 22nd. Click here to RSVP & pay now, or type the following into your browser:  http://www.redlandorganics.com/EOSbrunch.htm
 
 Possum Trot is located next door to Monkey Jungle. Directions to the farm will be provided with your confirmation, so please be sure to print it out!
 
Sincerely,
 Margie's signature

Bee Heaven Farm ~ Redland Organics

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If you bought smoked eggs or fruit this summer, the jakfruit, starfruit and passion fruit (among others) came from Possum Trot Nursery. Later this month owner Robert Barnum will host a brunch outdoors on his property. You’ll get a tour, then eat a sumptuous meal — The Possum Trot Experience — prepared by Robert himself. He calls himself The Cantankerous Chef and invents all kinds of tasty dishes that use his fruits. This month’s brunch should be an easy challenge for Robert — use only local ingredients except for salt, pepper, sugar and the like.

Possum Trot is completely unlike any plant nursery you have ever seen before. It’s a cross between a grove and a primeval jungle, 40 acres of Old Florida wildness that makes Fairchild Tropical Gardens look like a manicured rosebush. Robert has collected all kinds of trees that have useful purposes, whether it be fruits, herbs or wood for smoking food. The property also has a sinkhole — or is it a spring? — and a bomb shelter right in the ground.

Here are pictures of my first visit to the nursery in September 2007.

Entering Possum Trot Nursery

Entering Possum Trot Nursery

Ye olde swimming hole

Ye olde swimming hole

Strolling through 40 acres of tropical trees

Strolling through 40 acres of tropical trees

Star fruit hang like golden lanterns

Star fruit hang like golden lanterns

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If you missed seeing FRESH the Movie at last month’s screening up in Broward, you have another chance. The good folks at the Urban Oasis Project are showing FRESH at their September meeting. Also on the agenda is a potluck dinner and a garden tour. The screening/meeting is on Saturday, September 12th. For more details — including how to RSVP — go to the Urban Oasis project website.

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