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Posts from the ‘Discoveries’ Category

13
Jun

A Magical Feast!

Dragon Fruit is a light and delicious dessert just by itself.

Now that it’s summertime in the Midwest, friends and family will escape – or at least try to ignore – the heat by gathering for picnics, backyard cookouts and easy brunches. I usually contribute a baked dessert, but if it’s just too hot to use the oven, a big bowl of raw fruit or a cold fruit salad is simplest and just as welcomed.

One of my favorite fruits to include in these toss-it-all-togethers is the Dragon Fruit, or pitaya. No, it is not the fruit of a fire breathing beast, but of the cactus – Hylocereus undatus, to be exact. This tropical fruit is delicately fragrant and absolutely delicious. The bright pink, reddish, and sometimes salmon colored exterior is embellished with bright yellow spikes all around. The first time I bought one of the egg-shaped mysteries, I picked it up very carefully, only to discover that the spikes were soft and not prickly at all.

Cutting into the soft and slightly leathery skin, first time culinary adventurers might be happily surprised to find a luscious white flesh speckled with tiny jet-black seeds throughout. Some people suggest the seeds are slightly peppery, but I’ve never found them to be especially so.

One of the easiest ways to serve dragon fruit is to use a small spoon or a melon-baller and scoop out the white flesh. The seeds are very small and crunchy, so they add another wonderful layer to the many textures and flavors of a fruit cup or salad.

Although various health benefits have been linked to the flesh, and more specifically the seeds, the fruit is quite simply pretty to look at and nice to eat.

Although I’ve never concocted a cocktail from the fruit, I’ve read about various adult-beverages that include these tropical delights into the blend. I’ve tossed them into a blender with raspberries, strawberries, lime, and sometimes bananas – but to be honest, I think the best way to enjoy dragon fruit is with a spoon and nothing more.

Shaken, stirred, or spooned – no matter how you enjoy this magical fruit over the summer, it’s always delicious!

Also known as strawberry pear, the Dragon Fruit is considered an invasive plant in Kenya.
6
Jun

With Plenty of Salt and Pepper!

Tucked on the shelves and in the nooks of Granny’s Cookie Jars and Ice Cream Parlor, are almost as many salt and pepper shakers as there are cookie jars. Bright and silly and odd and fun and newer and vintage and … well, there are a lot of shakers everywhere you look!

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This family owned shop is as delicious to explore as the ice cream is to eat!

This certainly isn’t a ‘poultry’¬†collection!

It’s the ideal setting for an impromptu scavenger hunt!

This is a great place to enjoy yourself on a rainy – or sunny- afternoon.

Add a little spice to life in Metamora.

31
May

Vintage Baseball

Baseball – real baseball.  This is vintage baseball where the players take part for the love of the game. Where the rules date back to the late 1800s or pay homage to the WWII All-Girls teams. Where fresh air and sunshine are as much a part of the experience as the sound of a leather wrapped ball making sweet contact with a wooden bat.

This is baseball at its finest.

There are no tickets to buy. Refreshments are what you bring from home. And the souvenirs are the happy memories of an afternoon well spent.

These players are glad to play the game without swearing, without brawls, without dirty tricks. The visiting team will clap and grin and cheer on the home town guys. When any player makes an impossible catch, both dugouts applaud – as do the spectators. When a ball slips away, all of the players sigh and feel badly about the missed play – and then they get on with the fun.

There is a timeless appeal to neighbors heading out to a field with a bat and ball on a sunny day. Where players and spectators are brought together with every play and ensuing hoorah and groan.

Every club is made up of men and women who are passionate about baseball. They have an appreciation for history, a sense of camaraderie and they practice good sportsmanship.

Vintage baseball is more than a game – it’s a community experience.

For more information, please visit:

http://www.prairiestarproductions.com/WWIIGirlsBaseball_Links.htm

Belle River Baseball Club and the Batesville Lumbermen

Find a Vintage Baseball Club near you!

20
May

Finding Fresh and Local

Now that the snow has melted and the rain has subsided – we hope! -farmers’ markets and roadside stands are up and running once again. Those first berries, that early asparagus – oh, they are so flavorful and rich in color, they’re quite irresistible.

The following links can come in handy when wondering what is in season and where to find the family farms that sell delicious produce, eggs, meat and more.

https://www.webstaurantstore.com/blog/1706/what-fruits-and-vegetables-are-in-season-in-your-region.html

https://www.pickyourown.org/INharvestcalendar.htm

https://www.fieldtoplate.com/guide

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