Thursday, July 24, 2008

Random Stuff Around the House

I have discovered breadfruit and it is my new favorite thing (although I am partial to habichuelas guisado). First off you can boil it and it tastes kind of like artichoke hearts. That is what I have done here and I really like the honeycomb pattern the fruit has. I think breadfruit makes the best tostones - they are much flakier than guineos or platanos. Surillos are pretty good but mine sometimes fall apart or stick. My neighbor makes the best ones and they have to have mayo-ketchup to dip in which is something I will never ever understand. When we first got here I had a recipe where you take a maduro breadfruit, pull the stem (and innards) out, stuff the hole with brown sugar and butter and bake it for una hora. When finished it tastes just like a banana. Eating a banana is quicker! But having things taste like what they are not is part of Puerto Rico's magic!
When I was collecting laundry Princess had a new game of "pull the socks down." Only I think this is cute.
Despite all the bugs in the garden the calabaza continues to get bigger and bigger. I just want it to stop and get a little color near the base so I can eat it. I'll probably cube it up and freeze a bunch since it is HUGE and there is more than one!
?Que is eso? When hunting for more horned tomato worms I came across this foamy insect house on a papaya leaf. Maybe this is an egg mass, but the little tunnel suggests something lives inside and is currently out eating my garden! Any ideas?
Outside the kitchen door is the hilly mess that is the new project. I have decided that there will always be grass on it. Jeff can week whack down a little and I can goat-crawl up aways but we can't get it all. My latest thought is to not fight things. Grass is what grows there for a reason. So I am going to make a dividing line of "good" fountain grasses staggered zig zag like half way up and the upper will remain wild and the lower can become flower land! The kitties are not like Wally was, but they are amusing to have around. Any new thing and they mob around like meer cats. Here Princess and Chicken Little are sparring in the fountain grass. Princess thought the flower heads were really fun and in the end all five pots (five out of twenty) were knocked over after a few hours of "obstacle course."


Cassie said...

Thanks for the info about the breadfruit. I saw the trees everywhere but had no idea how to eat it. They look like huge pommelos or grapefruits kind of. Have you figured out how to eat yucca? Is it any good? We had pasteles from yucca, and I wasn't a fan.

Anonymous said...

Yum. I love breadfruit too, the tostones are to die for. My mom used to cook (boil) them and also guineos verdes (slice them after cooking) and then let them marinade together(in a jar with an EVOO/garlic/cilantro marinade kinda like aji-li-mojili). Sorry don't have the recipe, but your neighbor might. You can serve it warm or cold as a side dish. I think you'll like pana this way too. Even just boiled with EVOO drizzled on top is wonderful. Fran

Anonymous said...

Yeah yeah and yeah! I am really liking the viandas and find each has a little different property to it - name is more solid and "clean" tasting, yucca absorbs all kinds of flavors, guineos are more solid, plantanos more sweet and on and on. The best tostones by far are breadfruit! katrina (calabaza is pretty versatile and yummy too - for desserts and a meal)

Minerva said...

Love the photos of your kitties playing with fountain grass! Princess is starting to resemble my Sweetie when I found her.

Anonymous said...

Jeff and Katrina,

I hope you are enjoying your first full summer season in PR. My parents just spent 3 weeks with my brother in OH and 2 with us here in VA. They wanted to see our trees with leaves on them since they always travel to mainland during Christmas. We had some very hot days (hotter than what they remember in PR) specially when we traveled to DC.

Anyway, I just wanted to suggest to you that you try adding pieces of your calabaza (when ready) to your habichuelas guisadas. Its flavor mixed with the sofrito is truly a delight.