Sunday, September 16, 2012

eggplant and pears /our next rv???

These are some of the eggplants we purchased at the last Amish Produce Auction.  We got this box of eggplant and yellow crookneck squash for $2. 

Tomorrow we are on our way to a new location ( ROAD TRIP), but we will still be in Tennessee.  I hope we have internet!!! If not I will be going to the nearest McDonald's to blog and at this next place that could be a ways away.  Just letting you know that there my be a laps in blogs.

A teachable moment!  I learn you learn. 

Long prized for its deeply purple, glossy beauty as well as its unique taste and texture, eggplants are now available in markets throughout the year, but they are at their very best from August through October when they are in season. 

Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes. They grow in a manner much like tomatoes, hanging from the vines of a plant that grows several feet in height. While the different varieties do range slightly in taste and texture, one can generally describe the eggplant as having a pleasantly bitter taste and spongy texture.  Yes you read that right pleasantly bitter taste.  An interesting combination of word, but yet correct.
 In many recipes, eggplant fulfills the role of being a complementary ingredient that balances the surrounding flavors of the other more pronounced ingredients. 

Tips for Preparing Eggplant

When cutting an eggplant, use a stainless steel knife as carbon steel will react with its phytonutrients and cause it to turn black. Wash the eggplant first and then cut off the ends.
Most eggplants can be eaten either with or without their skin. However, the larger ones and those that are white in color generally have tough skins that may not be palatable. To remove skin, you can peel it before cutting or if you are baking it, you can scoop out the flesh once it is cooked.
To tenderize the flesh's texture and reduce some of its naturally occurring bitter taste, you can sweat the eggplant by salting it. After cutting the eggplant into the desired size and shape, sprinkle it with salt and allow it to rest for about 30 minutes. This process will pull out some of its water content and make it less permeable to absorbing any oil used in cooking.
Rinsing the eggplant after "sweating" will remove most of the salt.
Eggplant can be baked, roasted in the oven, or steamed. If baking it whole, pierce the eggplant several times with a fork to make small holes for the steam to escape. Bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (about 177 degrees Celsius) for 15 to 25 minutes, depending upon size. You can test for its readiness by gently inserting a knife or fork to see if it passes through easily.

Scotty and Mary live not to far away, maybe 50 miles in Alabama.  They have about 10 acres and one of the things they grow are pears.  So on one of their trips home  they brought back pears from their tree.  I guess they grow like weeds, the trees.  He planted one and now they have many trees.  He says he got about 200 lbs of pears this year, but most rotted or went to the birds because they have so much already canned up and frozen and what not.  They are really juicy and tasty.  
  I went to the internet to look up what kind of pear this was and had a problem finding it,  I can understand because there are so many different kinds of pears out there.  This pear is the good kind, hows that.  LOL My guess from reading that this is a type of Asian pear. 

There are over 5,000 pear varieties grown throughout the world. Distinctions are usually made between Asian, European and American pear cultivars. Asian pears are round, crunchy, and sweet fruit, quite different from what we tend to mean when we think of a pear. They are however gaining in popularity although their season is quite limited.
In the US, the most commonly grown variety of pears is the Bartlett. In fact it accounts for about 70% of the US pear market. Further, the majority of Bartletts are grown in California, Washington and Oregon. Many never see the stores and are quickly sold to large canning companies. In fact, Americans can more pears than they eat fresh. In Europe canned pears are less common and the pear is often eaten fresh for dessert. Its sweetness makes an excellent contrast to sharp cheese.
The Bartlett pears actually comes in green and red varieties. The fully ripe Bartlett may be somewhat yellow, but the Red Bartlett pear develops its red skin prior to being fully ripe. Similarly the D’Anjou pear, often called the Anjou pear, can be either red or yellow, or like an apple, this pear can have a red blush when fully ripe.

We have been researching alternatives to the high price of fuel and have come up with a couple of ideas.  One way is using your "medicare" scooter.  Rog and I would both have to drive because space is quite limited.  The big drawback is one can only go 17 miles between charges, but by then that is probably all we want to do anyway.  LOL

The range would be better on this model if Rog goes into serious training.  I am not sure where I fit in this model.  I might have to drive my "medicare scooter".  Rog would have to carry extra batteries for me.  One must always be on the look out for new and cost saving ideas.  LOL

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