Sunday, August 30, 2015

Going Apes for grapes! Is it a Muscadine or is it a Scuppernong Grape? Learning on The Garry Farm

Bowl of Bronze Scuppernongs from The Garry Farm

Going "apes for grapes" and with grapes on my mind wanted to "blog it".
Are you one of millions who believe that if that Southern grape that starts coming out in August and September is determined by color of the grape. Do you believe the following (true or false statement)"

Up until yesterday, I thought "true", but "surprise, surprise", T'aint exactly so....The search for knowledge about grapes came when I wondered how grapes were different colors and what that meant and after I stared at our small vineyard and wondered why colors did not mix!   So after  looking at our long rows of grapes I decide I wanted to learn more about grapes.   I felt like I was grape ignorant other than knowing I love to eat them.... So on to the search I went.

You are always safe to say every grape that is light in color a Scuppernong but you cannot call any Muscadine a Scuppernong. Why? A scuppernong is a type of Muscadine   So basically the lighter skinned grape has great, great, great, great etc. parentage from the darker colored grape.   It will breed "true" for color of skin as the modification began early 1600's and so Scuppernongs are neither hybrid or cultivar.

                Muscadines on the vine....See how they ripen at different times!

Now that you have been by the Farmers Market in your area.... Ours is Cotton Mill Farmers Market, it's time to get those grapes.   Buy plenty because they freeze very well in plastic bags unwashed (those skins help prevent frost burn and remember to use a straw to get the last bit of air from the freezer bag!)  In your freezer at the right temp they will last up to a year.   Try to buy them grown with NO chemicals. Be sure to ask, because grapes are one of many HIGH RiSK fruits that pass that chemical quickly to you!
                           The Garry Farm Scuppernongs Ripen on The Vine

How to Use
  1. Rinse and eat and spit out the seed. Skin is edible, flavorful/vitamin full
  2. Make a pie of pulps - very easy
  3. Make the grape cake - I haven't done that yet but I'm tempted
  4. Wonderful for a saute when you like to cook special, You can do it! 
  5. Smoothy them and add frozen bananas and yogurt or whatever you like!
  6. One of my favorites - Juicing them The Garry Farm Juices Grapes
Be ready to laugh at UTUBE as I was taking the video with  the phone camera tucked under my neck made it in Jan 2015....  

Yes we have grapes for about the next month or so...Have a blessed day.  Hope you learned a little and are thinking of that Southern mystery of wonderful grapes, fresh and delicious and truly local!  LITLA

Monday, July 13, 2015

Walk in my sandals if you can.............

I am so thrifty, truly truly, I am.   Years ago, I won some Clarks shoes as part of a survey group to evaluate advertisements for their shoes.   Loved the shoes and surely was delighted to get a free pair of their shoes. They were so comfortable, up until today.  I've slowly watched the shoes deteriorate over time and  knew that though they had lasted for years it would not be forever.  Today, 7/13 I experienced the total demise of these wonderful shoes.

Several things were funny to me.

My sandals were nearest the door and looked fine when I slid my feet in them. I was running late and usually cannot find matching shoes, so I think the angel with the sense of humor put my shoes together.   At first I was excited to find two shoes the same color and matched style.  You see when I get in the house I just kick off my shoes and they land in quite a haphazard fashion all over the mudroom.  These were near the door and I was on the way to some doc visits and I just slid my feet in them. First it looked like the heel on the right shoe was deteriorating more rapidly than the left shoe.   I wondered why?  In the car, I noticed the left shoe was more deteriorated than the right.   I was nonchalant about the deterioration of the pair of shoes because I always keep a pair of sandals in the car because often my first pair of shoes are uncomfortable if I'm end them a long time!

And then while walking into the ophthalmologist office, I noticed that the left shoe was totally disintegrating. Then, as I walked over to my Gastroenterologist office my right sandal was hanging on by a thread - most literally.

I thought to myself, " it's Monday..... My gastro office probably needs a smile or two!"  So I showed my sandals to the front desk on the way out and barely got a smile..... LOL....Maybe it was in my presentation. I have lost my silly Phyllis Diller style or maybe it really was Monday morning for all of the!  I used to be able to get people to laugh ALL the time.    Maybe all of them had had a really bad weekend.  Or maybe they were not allowed to laughed.  I did cue them that I wanted to show them something funny.  LOL  Ah well, good thing I wasn't going to make a living by being a comedienne.

Now, if someone had shown me these shoes and told me that they literally fell apart on the way into the office I would have just laughed until I cried.  Or maybe the ladies were waiting to laugh until I left the room. 

Would you have laughed?   I hope so......  Maybe I should have sung the Chorus to "walk a mile in my shoes" and inserted sandals for shoes...   LOL...........Please don't forget to smile and laugh folks....God did give us a sense of humor.... I am living proof......Have a blessed day. 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mushroom Risotto Recipe - The Garry Farm way

Mushroom risotto the Garry Farm way

This recipe makes 6 very large servings or about 3 if my beloved joins us for dinner ….such a hard worker!
6 cups chicken broth (I used home canned and only had about 5 cups so added one cup water) (remember to add slowly bit by bit per instructions)
4 to 6 tablespoons olive oil (to be divided per instructions)

2 pounds of mushrooms (used a variety of kinds here and was more like 1 ½ pounds – Chanterelle, portabellos and small buttons – sliced  - all organic)
2 shallots, diced Had none used about ½ cup shopped of garlic scapes! Regular garlic clove would be great or small green onions
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup strawberry reduction or you can use ½ cup white wine if you prefer (used strawberry reduction)
Sea salt (skipped as I had home canned chicken broth that was full flavored and salted)
Freshly ground black pepper to taste (add at the end, didn’t need, didn’t add)
2 tablespoons finely chopped chives (add at the end, oops I forgot – tasted fine without
4 tablespoons butter (I didn’t measure this – was a bit heavy handed – closer to about 5 tbs
1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  1. In a saucepan, warm the broth over low heat.
  2. Warm 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the mushrooms, and cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Remove mushrooms and their liquid, and set aside.
  3. Add 2 tablespoon olive oil to skillet, and stir in garlic scapes or scallions or you can use small onions. Cook 1to 2 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat with oil, about 2 minutes. When the rice has taken on a pale, golden color, pour in reduction, stirring constantly until the wine is fully absorbed. Add 1/2 cup broth to the rice, and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente, about 15 to 20 minutes.  The secret is stirring continuously.   I found that the Arborio was a bit dry and added more like ¾ cup of strawberry reduction and also gave it more olive oil in the browning stages – probably about 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil.
  4. Remove from heat, and stir in mushrooms with their liquid, butter, chives, and parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (confession – forgot to add chives and it was fine and hubby doesn’t like parmesan so his risotto was not cheesed, just mine) and no, LOL, I didn’t eat all 1/3 cup of cheese on mine, but it was a great idea!
                                                    Pic of the risotto browning
          Pic of the mushrooms after cooking resting in their yummy broth!
My review….. first real risotto in years. A splurge in times of cost and time and stirring, but well worth it. Glad I picked up super sale bag of arborio rice at Kroger.  My motley assortment of mushrooms was just fine….Time to find a source for this rice! Yum. I have read you can substitute barley or even quinoa for the rice, never been there but willing to try it! Use your best olive oil on this.  The splurge on olive oil – not too bad, it was ½ off at Ingles a few months back and I had a great coupon so this jar was about $3 …. A deal!    Notes:  Should have doubled the recipe for more left overs but I ran out of mushrooms.  Flavorful real chicken broth is a must on this.   I recommend Organic chicken broth, and if you have your own all the better!!!  Key is stir and stir and stir and modify your ingredients by what you have and your taste as well.  Use as many farm products as you can. Remember that risotto is a la dente, and the arborio is a sturdy rice - it is hard to mush out but I suppose it could be overcooked, but it would take a really long time.  Putting the recipe together makes me hungry for more!  Enjoy!