Skip to comments.Weekly Garden Thread - December 7-13, 2019
Posted on 12/07/2019 6:42:01 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin
click here to read article
SUGARPLUMS / as in the night before Christmas / makes about 18 confections
ING 1/2 cup ea fine-chp pitted dates, nuts, 1/4 cup ea fine-chp dried apricots, dried figs,
pistachio nuts, 2 Tb brandy, Tb all-fruit apricot preserves, 1/4 tsp cinnamon, 1/8 tsp cloves.
Directions: Proc/combine dates, nuts, apricots, figs, pistachios, brandy, apricot preserves, cinnamon, cloves. Pulse til mixture begins to clump together.
W/ teaspoon, scoop up rounded spoonful, press together, roll between palms into compact ball. Roll in sugar. Place on sheetpan. Repeat w/ rest.
Fridge firm an hour. Store airtight in fridge up to 2 weeks.
We used to make these with my Mom, but we’d use pitted dates, stuff them with almonds, then dip in egg white and roll in colored sugars. Looked pretty tucked in with a plate of Christmas Cookies. :)
METHOD Whisk 1/2 cup mascarpone, 1/4 cup chp fresh basil, 3 Tb Dijon. S/p to taste. Spread on crusty bread.
Bite into a Honeycrisp apple and you understand why consumers are willing to pay so much for a piece of fruit: the crunch.
Thats no accident. In the pre-Honeycrisp era, apples had just two textures: soft and mealy (that nobody liked), and then we had the good apples, the hard, crisp and dense, said David Bedford, one of the original breeders of the Honeycrisp.
Unlike the vast majority of modern commercial produce, the Honeycrisp apple wasnt bred to grow, store or ship well. It was bred for taste: crisp, with balanced sweetness and acidity. Though it succeeded beyond anyones wildest dreams, along the way it became a nightmare for some producers, forcing small Northeastern growers to compete with their massive, climatically advantaged counterparts on the West Coast.
The Honeycrisp wasnt an immediate success. The original tree, known officially as MN1711, was discarded in 1977 over concerns about its winter hardiness. But Bedford, who joined the team in 1979, found four small clones that had miraculously escaped the garbage and decided to see if theyd yield fruit. In 1983, Bedford wrote in an email, those small trees bore a few amazing fruit and the rest is history.
The Honeycrisp variety is now so popular, consumers will spend three times the cost of other apples to experience it.
So why do farmers put up with the hassle? They simply dont have a choice.
The demand for this one apple exceeds supplyits all consumers, and therefore supermarkets, want. So growers are planting with almost reckless abandon, pulling out old varieties, like the tired Red Delicious, and putting in Honeycrisp treeseven in places where they dont grow well.
Still, the industry is on the lookout for the next Honeycrisp. Something just as delicious, but less troublesome to cultivate.
Broetje Orchards in Prescott, Washington, is devoting 10 percent of its 7,000 acres to the non-browning Opal, Paul Esvelt, the orchards post harvest manager, told Bloomberg at a New York City event to promote the fruit. Thats the same amount of space the grower sets aside for the Honeycrisp. Esvelt expects 3 percent growth for the Opal next year, while Honeycrisp acreage will remain stagnant.
Washington State University plans to introduce the Cosmic Crisp as early as next year, said Gallardo. Tangy, sweet andas the name impliescrispy, the apple could account for 5 percent to 10 percent of the states production.
We have one Honeycrisp that has produced 3 apples this year, so I can attest to how difficult large-scale production must be.
Looking forward to some of the new cultivars, but if you’re going to add just ONE apple tree variety, make it the spray-less, ‘Liberty.’ You’ll need at least a while-blossomed Crab Apple nearby for pollination, or 2 other varieties of We have 6 apples in a group near the Liberty and one white-blossomed Crab Apple (Spring Snow) in the center of the house yard.
You’ll never regret it.
My old farm had really old apple varieties that I never was able to positively identify. As they died off (they were most likely there slightly under 100 years; they put them in when they built ‘the big house’ in 1906, versus the settlement shack that was on the property) the wood was excellent for smoking & charcoal grilling. I sold bundles of it at my little farm stand. Waste not, want not! ;)
I want one!!!!
I KNOW! I’d trade one of my kids for a setup like that! ;)
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.