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Bedford Ramblings
Steve Mills

Garden club social meeting to be TODAY Friday, September 25th.

Posted Wednesday, September 23, 2015, at 7:44 PM
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  • Oh, the ones I got at the last meeting are not the same round looking as this creature....Fuzzy "cornfused" me!...Which is easy too do...This one resembles pie making material...

    Fall spices and a little roasting might prove to be kind of tasty!...Hmm! my culinary wheels are turning...there's nothing like a cooking challenge for me you know!

    Caution though...I've been known to "test cook" a gourd or three...just out of curiosity of course!

    This time of year they can get decoratively deceptivly confused in the markets

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Sep 24, 2015, at 11:41 AM
  • That brings up an interesting questions Chef. (Well, at least to me) What makes a gourd inedible? Texture, taste, all and more?

    This one is in the same family but definitely different from what you have. In its early stage, they are very much the same.

    I would say that later, the winter melon firms ups more, but we rarely let it go that long, so maybe espoontoon can elaborate on one that has been stored for a while?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Sep 24, 2015, at 12:38 PM
  • Most young gourds are edible but, as they mature become thick skinned, seedy, bitter or sour.

    Asia grows a lot of gourds and are a regular staple in their diet, however there are a few (the ones you see with the multi colors, bumps, and knots that are mostly used as ornamental and are not vary appetizing. If you do try to eat them, most likely you will find yourself with a very upset stomach after the fact!

    Here in the states we are not accustom to not only those kinds of foods but the flavors just aren't our cup of tea much, so to speak! We mainly eat with our eyes first (what food looks like after cooking and on our plates), then we consume it. If you fixed a fresh bowl of gourd, most might turn their nose up at it! Availability would also be a factor because we don't grow a lot of them here and food purveyors would not carry them if they were not profitable. I am sure that is the main reason you only see them this time of year from Halloween through Thanksgiving, most use them for decorating.

    Gourds are also picky critters! Most gourds will only grow one at a time, if you pick it the vine gets signaled to grow another, it's rare to find a gourd vine with more then one at a time on it however there are a few variety exceptions. Like pumpkins, if you do harvest one make sure you cut a little above the stem to keep it intact, this prevents air from getting in on the inside and rotting it. Once harvested, stem intact, it should last and stay fresh like close to 3-4 months.

    There are a few plants that grow a gourd-like fruit that are poisonous, one was spoke of in the Bible in Solomon's time, I think it's in the book of Jonah and had to do with Castor or Castor Oil or something. I'll have to check that further and see, my memory is lacking these days since my theology classes! I do know that when working with crafts and gourds the dust can cause severe respiratory problems.

    Interesting topic you have here...y'all know of any other poisonous gourds...isn't the buffalo gourd?

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Thu, Sep 24, 2015, at 2:43 PM
  • You are right, squash and gourds are more interesting than I thought. Here is some interesting stuff on the Buffalo gourd. http://www.texasbeyondhistory.net/ethnobot/images/cucurbitabg.html

    From what I read, squash have three basic types. The summer squash has an edible skin, the winter squash skin is tough but there is still edible "meat" and the gourd has a very tough skin and "meat" which is as you said not very palatable. This hard skin and meat is easier to dry and preserve, thus the decorative use.

    Hmmm, interesting indeed.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Thu, Sep 24, 2015, at 5:15 PM
  • I've changed the picture to a immature winter melon. It looks a lot more like the fuzzy melon now, doesn't it?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Sep 25, 2015, at 10:34 AM
  • Is there a way to insert a picture into the blog response or at least a revised primary post? That way I would not have to completely erase the original picture.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Sep 25, 2015, at 10:35 AM
  • By the way, I am always bragging on the relationship I have with the deer here. A few days ago they trimmed the top eaves off some Lima beans I plant to show me that the beans are ready to pick.

    Short of picking and shelling them for me, what more could I ask?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Sep 25, 2015, at 10:37 AM
  • Might, might be able to make it. We will know a little later today.

    If so, I may bring an oriental themed planting of jade plants inside a Chinese cookie tin. Nothing earth shattering, but we can use it as a door prize and it would be a nice/easy plant to have inside during the cooler months to come.

    -- Posted by stevemills on Fri, Sep 25, 2015, at 10:51 AM
  • The Social was great fellowship, we sat on the patio which was slightly cool to a few of us.

    The young man that waited on us was kind and patient with trying to understand our southern English in how we wanted our food made without peppers. I did not mind trying to use my broken culinary Spanish for the occasion to explain the peppers while in turn learning as he tried in English to tell me dessert had a cherry on top and they had no bananas for the sopapillas item explained that way on the menu.

    I have been doing pretty good lately with the little Spanish I know! At the same time, I always welcome to be challenged it's what makes for a good day in my book.

    By the way,

    Todos los postres vienen con una cereza en la cima. Me encantan las cerezas! Dos siempre que sea posible!

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sat, Sep 26, 2015, at 8:04 AM
  • I always like it when an ethnic restaurant employs the who make their food special. Although I can make some sushi, I would not be enthused to eat at an all Caucasian Japanese restaurant.

    Sorry we could not make it. Mommy had the sniffles and we did not want to expose her to anything the might add to it.

    Cherries with stems? What do they "pickle them in? Is pickle the right term?

    -- Posted by stevemills on Sat, Sep 26, 2015, at 10:16 AM
  • LOL... With a cherry on top....no pickling required...

    They did have a stem!

    I've never been able to tie one in a knot, can you?

    -- Posted by chefgrape on Sun, Sep 27, 2015, at 7:41 AM
  • No, but Deb has.

    I found this for a description of making the modern maraschino cherry.

    A cherry "is soaked in a salt brine to remove its natural color and flavoring. They are then pitted and soaked in a sweetener for around a month.

    The final step of dipping in artificial coloring gives the modern maraschino its overly brilliant red color (or any other color desired).

    -- Posted by stevemills on Mon, Sep 28, 2015, at 12:16 PM
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