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       Volume I - September 11, 2009

Time to Harvest!
by Patty Liston & Alice Osborne

My husband and I walked across the street to an empty home that is encircled by plum, apple and walnut trees. We came home with my apron full of fruit. Now is the time to start being creative with your harvest — or with someone else’s! The good part is even if you find fruit on the ground, you can just cut out the bruises and move on!

Hard Apple/Pear Chutney

10 lbs apples, pears or crabapples diced into small cubes
2 soft mangoes or 3 tomatoes plus 1 cup orange juice
2 limes or lemons (juice them, and save the peel)
2 green onions
1/4 cup salt
2 habanero peppers (use something less spicy for weaker chutney!)
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon coriander seed
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon whole black pepper seeds
(Optional: 1 keiffer lime leaf)

1. Clean and sterilize a dozen pint jars.
2. Combine the mangoes or tomatoes, the juice, onions, salt, and peppers in a blender and blend till smooth.
3. Mix all the herbs together dry. Break the bay leaves up into individual pieces.
4. Using a sharp paring knife, cut the rind of the citrus away from the bitter white pith. Compost the pith.
5. Prepare all the jars: put a small piece of lemon or lime rind into each one, add the herb blend.
6. Put the apple or pear bits into the prepared jars.
7. Fill the jars with the liquid to within 1/8" of the top of the jars. Wipe off any spills, put the lids and bands on them, and process them for canning using high-acid protocols.

  Download this recipe.


We have great red ones from our garden. Here are some hints as to what we can do with them.

String 'em Up!
Pull the peppers off the branches, and wash them in a colander. Take a needle and thread, and thread the peppers onto the thread. Hang the garland up in your kitchen so the air can get around the peppers and wait for them to dry (2-4 weeks). Once they're dry, cut the string, and put the dried peppers in an airtight jar, or powder them for use later.

Upside-Down Bouquet
This method works best if you're into the rusticated look in your kitchen. Take a bunch of fresh peppers on the stalks, collect the stalks together and use twine to bind the ends of the stalks together. Make a loop with the twine, and hang up the bouquet somewhere in your kitchen with airflow to dry. Wait 2-4 weeks for them to dry. Use them as is, or powder them or put them in a jar.

Slow and Low, that is the Tempo
Alternatively, you can slow roast peppers in the over, or smoke them in a cool BBQ or smoker (180 degrees or less). To do so, spread the clean peppers on the rack, for small peppers use a bit of screen to keep them from falling through the rack as they dry. Check on them periodically. Depending on how you large your peppers are, they will take 1 to 6 hours to dry. This method imbues them with a delicious roasted flavor, but be careful you don't over roast them and burn them!

All Season Fruit Bowl
Good year-round. Just use whatever fruits are in season.
Serves 16

2 cups water
1 1/2 cups sugar or sweetened to taste
1/3 cup lime or lemon juice
1 teaspoon anise extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 oranges, peeled and sectioned
3 kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
2 grapefruit, peeled and sectioned
2 large apples, cubed
1 pint strawberries, sliced
1 pound seedless green grapes
1 whole pineapple, peeled and chunked

1. In a medium saucepan, combine water, sugar, lime juice, anise and salt.
2. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Remove from the heat; cover and refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight.
4. Combine fruit in a large bowl; add dressing and toss to coat.
5. Cover and chill for at least 1 hour.


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