Saturday, May 31, 2014

Sapodilla - Ice Cream Recipe

Sapodilla is a fruit that grows well in SW Florida. The trees are attractive and can produce many fruit. 
They are tolerant of poor soils and periods of draught, though providing them with irrigation during the dry season can help with increased fruit production. 

The bark contains a white sap called chicle that has been used as a base for chewing gum. 

The flavor is a bit like brown sugar and the texture a bit like a ripe pear.  Sapodilla can be eaten out of hand, but it makes an even better milkshake or ice cream. 

To use in recipes, remove skin and seeds and then puree. 

Sapodilla Ice Cream (no egg, no cook)

3/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups milk
pulp from 5 small sapodilla - about 1-1/3 cups
1 cup cane sugar

Blend all ingredients well. Process in ice cream maker. After processing, you can put in the freezer for a firmer ice cream.


Sideroxylon foetidissimum is a related tree that is native to FL. The taste reminds me of canistel mixed with sapodilla with a hint of cantaloupe. It contains quite a bit of latex. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Seco de Pollo - Ecuadorian Chicken Dish

One of my favorite meals from Ecuador is Seco de Pollo. Seco means "dry", but this dish is anything but dry. My friend, Maria Isabel, taught me how to make the recipe in the Pastaza province of Ecuador. Here in Florida, it is the perfect dish to make March - May because just about all of the ingredients can be grown in the garden and picked right before eating. 

We were able to make dinner for six for about $1 (15 cents per person!) Most of the ingredients are grown on our farm, including the pastured chicken. 

Seco de Pollo

2 tomatoes
1 purple onion
2 carrots
2 green peppers
2 T Aliño
Fresh cilantro
1 T mustard
1 tsp. cumin
1 T. achiote paste ( or 2 tsp. annatto powder)
2-3 T. oil

Vine ripened tomatoes are a must! 

Preparing all of the food before cooking is very important, as this will make the dish very easy to prepare. It is made in one pot, making for easy cleanup. Dice the onion,  carrots,  tomatoes and bell peppers. 

You will also need to chop a handful of cilantro (or more :) and have some aliño on hand along with minced garlic.

I put about 2 Tablespoons of sunflower seed oil in a large pan. 

Cook the onions, peppers, carrots, garlic, and then add the tomatoes. 

Next, add 2 tsp or more of cumin, 1 tsp of annatto, 3 T of alino seasoning, and salt to taste. 

Next, add chicken pieces (I prefer to use dark meat for this dish). The chicken is from our own pastured chickens. 

add the cilantro and cover for 45 minutes. 

We serve this with white rice. You can also omit the chicken and add black beans or another protein. The vegetable mix is excellent alone on rice as well. 

Ecuadorian Rice

2 cups rice (rinsed well)
3 cups water
1 T. oil
1 T. chopped purple onion (optional)
salt to taste
Add all ingredients to a pot on the stove top set to medium/high. Place lid so that it is offset a bit. Bring to a boil. Boil until water is just above rice. At that point, place lid on securely and set to low. Cook for 20 minutes. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

May Harvest Face

So far this month, we have harvested Seminole pumpkins, tomatoes, bell peppers, italian peppers, ginger, garlic, and carrots. 

We have passion fruit, mangos, lychee, longans, bananas, pineapples and melons growing larger each day outside along with lots of herbs and more garlic. Green bean and Hawaiian corn plants are growing well. We also have our first naranjilla (Lulo) fruits growing.  We had to hand pollinate the flowers using a small sable hair paintbrush. 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Beeswax / Coconut Oil Polish

With each jar of honey, we give a small heart of wax from our bees. Beeswax can be used in making lip balm, candles, and much more. My favorite use is making polish.

Beeswax Polish Recipe

1 part beeswax
3 parts coconut oil

Melt beeswax in a pot or double boiler. Once melted, add oil and mix. Pour into glass jar and allow to cool. You can also melt directly in the glass jar in the microwave. We have a special pot we use for melting beeswax and our stove top has a melt setting that works perfectly. We have had one batch for two years now and it still works and smells great.

This polish is great for wooden spoons and bowls, wood furniture, and leather...and also for polishing rocks and seashells. It can also be used to soften dry skin.

Below are rocks we brought back from Ecuador. Look at the different after applying some polish! It makes them look like they did when we found them wet in the river.



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