Blossom End

possibly the last plum this year
possibly the last plum this year

The trees keep throwing food at us. Acorns are falling. Pecans are falling. I have never eaten acorns but I can vouch for the pecans. They taste a bit like maple syrup. mmm. I saw an older couple gathering the last of the Mexican plums at the park a few days ago. Sticky sweet. This is a time and land of plenty: the year’s golden hour.

A truly local Central Texas cuisine could be so amazing. Why in the land of weirdness hasn’t any chef done this?

I suppose they are out there even though I’ve never spotted one. I once met a forager who was snipping bunches of green mustang grapes. I asked what she was going to do with them. “Pickling! Local chefs love stuff like this,” she said with some gusto and a little gleam of greed in her eye. I was too shy to ask which local chefs. Regret.

pecan braaaaaains
fresh pecan braaains
October mockingbird
October Mockingbird

That couple gathering plums must have sharp eyes. The trees have been nearly stripped bare. Looking at you, Mockingbird and Co. …

Speaking of fruit … is that really a giant crater at the bottom of the moon? Imagine if it was the mark left by a flower — like the dent made by the stigma at the bottom of a tomato or melon. I wish I knew some pre-school kids. I’d love to ask them to imagine and draw A Flower for the Moon.

blossom moon

 

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21 thoughts on “Blossom End

  1. I often wondered what acorns would taste like so once, many years ago, I tasted one. I picked one (didn’t want to try one off the ground because it may have bugs in it) that had the least green thinking that would be the ripest. I assumed it wasn’t poisonous or I would have heard about it. That same logic should have led me to realize it probably doesn’t taste good or I would have heard about it. Looking back I realize I’ve never heard of acorn pie, acorn bread, honey roasted acorns, etc. Bitter is not a strong enough word to do justice to the taste experience. A green persimmon might be close approximation of the taste. I’ve tried one of those too. In short, my wilderness culinary experiences have taught me that natural and organic do not automatically mean good.

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    1. =D You are so brave! I am imagining the horror. Sounds awful. I usually stick to ripe berries because I am a bit of a chicken. I have heard that acorns do need some processing before they can be considered edible. The acorns need to be ground into a kind of flour and then the tannins have to be removed. That sounds like a lot of work. But in case of a zombie apocalypse remember that burr oaks have less tannin than some others. Nutritionally they could keep a person alive: 5% protein, 5% carbs, lots of minerals and 14% fat.

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        1. In our situation the critters around here are welcome to eat their fill. Our trees produce far more than we could ever use and I really enjoy watching some of their antics.

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  2. We do see catbirds around here, not mockingbirds. I’ve considered planting our natve wild plum in the garden (Prunus americanum) but held off because a) birds aren’t that crazy about the fruit; and 2) they send nasty sharp spurs up out of the ground when they sucker.

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  3. “Throwing food at us.” Ha! I never thought about it, but you’re right–fresh pecans do taste like maple syrup. Mmm, pecans. Pie. Pralines. Toasted in salad and quinoa. Mmmmm, pecans.

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  4. I like pecans. I haven’t had any freshly fallen from the tree like that.
    Watch the Moon eclipse some of the Sun Wednesday just before sunset. Make a pinhole viewer to protect your eyes.

    Our Grey Catbird is related to your mockingbird. It is one of our favorite birds with the jazzy songs it performs.

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    1. ooooh eclipse!!! How exciting. Now that I’ve visited I can hear & see the family resemblance. And new word: kwut. Thanks =D

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  5. I think you have the beginnings of a wonderful children’s story book there (“Has anyone seen the moon’s flower?)…

    There are indeed multiple restaurants around town where chefs are crafting menus highlighting local ingredients. Several of them have their own gardens and many others highlight regional and seasonal delights. The locavore movement is going strong in Austin as well it should. The publication “Edible Austin” often shines their light on that process. And….have you ever shopped at a Wheatsville Food Co-op? One of the fun bits about shopping there is reading all the labels provided that tell how far away the food was grown (or a product was produced) from the store.

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    1. I recently read Chef Dan Barber’s book and was struck with the idea that the environment of Central Texas is a lot like the Spain he describes: savannah, wild pigs, game … There certainly is a locally grown and farm to table thing going on here (hurrah!) but I’d love to see someone take the next few steps: helping us as diners appreciate the things that naturally want to grow here and having chefs with vision craft them (and the weird or normally less palatable) into amazing things. What would a truly sustainable self contained farm look like here? What food would it produce? What seasonal meals could someone with imagination create from that starting point? I have only leafed through a few copies of Edible Austin but you are right … that is a great starting point. Thanks =)

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  6. Oh I would love to taste fresh pecans…can’t get enough of them…and I love the idea of the Flower for the Moon.

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    1. If you get the chance I do recommend trying them. The first year I lived here I just left them all for the squirrels because i -wrongfully- thought they would be the dry cardboard sold in those little bags at grocery stores. I kind of wonder if pecans can make a syrup — they are that sweet.

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