This recipe experiment started, as many do, with my seeing a photo on Pinterest. Ooooo, I thought. Must "pin" this and try it, later. In all honesty, that rarely happens. I just noticed I have like 50 pins on my "recipes" board and, well, the majority have not been attempted. Maybe when I retire.
Summer Vegetable Tian, though, was an exception to my laziness and sloth. I had to try that sucker. This blogger, Beth, is a cooking genius and you should subscribe to her blog. Right after you subscribe to mine.
Anyhoo, I made it, and it's great. I sent the link to Miss Scarlett, who also made it. You'll notice she has superior knife skills (photo below). I have also pictured my Summer Vegetable Tian, which is a little embarrassing because it "showcases" my knife skills. Um. And my photography skills and lack thereof. However, I am the clear winner in the "Most Generous Use of Cheese" category. So there.
Aloha! Why, yes, those are MORE mountain apples in the bowl. Yesterday I blogged about Juicing Hawaii Mountain Apples. To be honest, folks, I am appled-out and hopefully this will be it, for a while.
Our daughter, Miss Scarlett , lives in NY. Because of the distance, she is mountain-apple deprived. They are too perishable to ship. I decided that I would dehydrate this batch and send them to her.
I began by making a simple syrup, which is just one part sugar to one part water. I like to dip fruits into a simple syrup before I dehydrate them, because it adds a touch of sweetness and keeps the colors looking nice. Anyway, to make the simple syrup, bring the sugar and water to a boil and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Next, I sliced the mountain apples into thin rings.
When I had the apples sliced, I dipped them into the simple syrup, drained them briefly, and put them into my dehydrator.
My dehydrator holds four racks, and I filled them all. In six hours on the "dried fruit" setting, they were done. Here is the result:
That's right, not even an entire quart bag full. That gives you an idea of how much water a mountain apple contains. That's okay, though -- it was a labor of love!
Our neighbor has a mountain apple tree. Shown above is one small batch of them. A co-worker also has a tree, so we've been eating them at work all week. I'll later blog about another use for mountain apples. We are sort of drowning in them right now.
Texture-wise, they remind me of a cross between an apple and a ripe pear. They aren't overly sweet -- which I think is good. There is a pit in the middle, which is easily removed.
Neighbor Phil, who also has a neighbor with a mountain apple tree, and who is also buried in mountain apples, had a good suggestion: Juicing them. We own a juicer (Braun brand) which is a workhorse. I think we've had it for about thirteen years. My only issue with it is that it has a lot of parts, and I'm really terrible about re-assembling it. Mr. L has to be called in for that chore. Nothing against Braun; I also suck at puzzles.
So, we sliced up the mountain apples, removed the pits, and put a batch through the juicer. Phil described the juice as tasting like strawberry lemonade. I think Phil has an overactive imagination. (I guess I shouldn't throw stones -- I'm the one who thinks that Poor Man's Filet Mignon tastes like filet mignon). It was pretty good. The color was nice, too.
I thought I was tired of pineapple. We eat a lot of it. Life in Hawaii. Anyway, when a neighbor brought a fresh one to us, in all honesty, I couldn't get revved up about it. Fortunately, Mr. L. stepped in and saved the day. He makes fantastic pies and decided he'd try making a pineapple pie. This was a pineapple custard, and he served it warm with whipped cream. I nearly forgot to take a picture of it -- we were all scarfing it down so fast! I asked him to write down his recipe.
Mr. L.'s Aloha Pie
3 cups fresh pineapple chunks
1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 T. flour
2 T. butter
1 Pillsbury pastry crust
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup sweetened coconut
1 tsp. vanilla
Line a quiche pan with the pastry and prick the pastry with a fork. Combine pineapple, salt, sugar, flour and cook over low heat until mixture thickens. Add butter. Allow to cool. Add beaten eggs, coconut and vanilla. Pour into pie shell.
Bake in 325 oven for 1 hours and 20 minutes, until crust is golden brown. Serves 6.
Meet my latest obsession: Recycled, or reclaimed, boat furniture. While Mr. L. stopped in to fill propane at Hilo Propane recently, I said I'd go check out the Bamboo and Teak store. I love their furniture and we have several pieces from them. Big mistake. They recently started selling this absolutely fantastic furniture, made from boats destroyed in the December 26, 2004 tsunami found on Indonesian beaches.
Monarch Furnishings, one of the companies making the furniture, is co-owned by Tony Martin. From Mr. Martin: "The salvaged boat furniture is an example of people making some good out of a terrible disaster. "
Bamboo and Teak had tables, headboards, dressers, cocktail tables, stools . . . I am sure I'm forgetting some of it. As you would expect, it has a wonderful "sea" or "ocean" feel to it. It seemed very sturdy and the patched-together pieces were smoother than I expected.
I really felt the urge to sit down and crack open a Corona. I thought it had a fun and cheerful look, and I'll include some more photos, below. Check it out! The folks at Bamboo and Teak are very nice folks to deal with and we have been pleased with the furniture we have purchased there.
Mr. L. makes a mean cocktail. It has been really humid here lately, and boy did these ever hit the spot. I asked him to share his recipe. We enjoyed these with some Indian Fry Bread Tacos, and they really went well together.
Big Island Mango Margarita
12 oz. crushed ice
1 ½ oz. Tequila
1 oz Grand Marnier (or Triple Sec)
1 ½ oz. Rose’s Lime Juice
Flesh of ½ mango
Fresh lime wedge for garnish
Medium grain Hawaiian sea salt
Combine ice, tequila, Grand Marnier, lime juice, and mango in a blender. Blend at high speed until smooth. Wet rim of glass with lime wedge, dip rim in Hawaiian sea salt, pour margarita into glass, and garnish with lime wedge.