Using up the fruit

This week’s endeavor was inspired by all the wonderful fruit I’ve received in my CSA boxes the past couple of weeks.  I have no trouble clearing out recently purchased fruit, but I wanted to do something special with it this week.  I was flipping through my cookbooks and was inspired by Lauren Ulm’s Blueberry Grunts. I’m not much of a baker, but these seemed easy enough so I thought it was worth a try.

I ended up making two different “grunts”, apple sweet potato and strawberry rhubarb, because I had so many things I wanted to use, but not enough of any one of them to make an entire cobbler.

I started with the strawberry rhubarb.

I cooked the rhubarb and then added the berries to the mixture.  I set that mixture to the side and began on the apples and sweet potatoes.  After a lot of peeling and chopping, they were ready for the stove.  I added apple juice periodically to keep the mixture extra juicy.  I used my mom’s recipe to season the fruit and it was so yummy.  I always keep my phone nearby when cooking something new because I typically have to call my mom to ask questions.  She’s always happy to help and doesn’t mind if I call her several times 🙂

And the finished products…
I know the biscuits look uncooked, but they really weren’t.  I think the vegan ingredients prevent the golden brown color you would typically get.  But who knows, it could just be my lack of baking skills 😉

Also, I wish I could report on which one was my favorite, but they were equally wonderful.


When M1 asked me if I wanted to do the Blueberry Grunt recipe, it didn’t take me thinking twice.  Bake, rather than, cook?  Bingo!

Both of us knew that blueberries were most likely not our go-to fruit.  I don’t know about California, but here in Texas it would require that I sell my car for those needed in the recipe.  Those babies are pricey, but hopefully that will change soon. Arkansas likes to spoil us with their bounty, and here’s hoping that this year is no different from the past.

Each of us had agreed that apples ‘might’ be an option, but when M1 told me she was thinking about using sweet potatoes to supplement her apple supply I think my heart skipped a beat.  Apples + sweet potatoes + cinnamon + butter + sugar.  How on earth can we fail?

And while M1 was supplementing her apple cache with sweet potatoes, I was begging an apple or two of mine to sit out this weeks game.  There was one very lonely sweet potato that had somehow been abandoned from previous game action.

Once the fruits were divvied up it was time to play with the chess pieces in the spice cabinet.  Somewhere back in time I had fancied up an apple pie with the likes of something known as, Grains of Paradise.  Actually, I can’t take credit for thinking up the pie, the use of the spice, or even prior knowledge of this beautiful little gem.  Alton Brown whizzed into my living-room via the t.v. once-upon-a-time and attempted to instruct me with a fancy-pants idea of an apple pie.  Before setting about to bake that creation, I went on one heck of a scavenger hunt to find that little known (to me), spice. After countless searches of grocery stores it became obvious that I might just want to ‘ask’ someone, in the know-how, as to where I might find such an item.  And so it happened, standing amidst the bulk section of spices at a beloved market when I would brave the water only to be warned that they’d be right back, and we’d take it from there.

I usually do as I’m told, especially if the request is made politely enough and the diving pool appears to be free of shark matter.

A mere three or so minutes later, and this person returned with a bag in hand.   Noticing their tight grip, and a rather firm stance about the floor, it became obvious that a somewhat suspect transaction was about to take place.  In a hushed and ominous tone, the clerk warned how guarded and kept under wraps this thing was.  With this came an immediate interrogation:

What did you want this for?

Hey, I’m not interested in what others care to do with this stuff.  My intentions are to bake an apple pie.

How much do you want?  

I don’t know?  How much does it take?

What are you doing with it?

I said…I’m making an apple pie.

Are you going to do anything else with it?

No.  Should I?

There’s a deer-in-the-headlights look about me, yet I somehow manage to free myself before being harangued by the other associates.  Forty-four cents later, and I was driving free of the parking lot. I kept groping myself all the way home just to be sure  I hadn’t been packing, you know, concealed weapons.  Something about me wasn’t right.  I’d been shaken down in the spice aisle.

I dialed self-help immediately.

Mr. Google, can you help me?

Pricey.  Expensive.  Not-always available.

Secret ingredient, #2

I need to go now.  It’s apparent that there is money to be made, should one play their cards, just right.

No need for robbing a bank or getting oneself involved in other nefarious activities.

Organic gardening will be my answer.  Grains of Paradise, my method of deliverance.

Taste?  Somewhat lemony and peppery.  Put that with some cinnamon, maple flavorimg, lemon, and a few apples, a sweet potato, and expect to find yourself in the midst of an arresting development.

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