Saturday, August 20, 2011

TOO MANY ???? (INSERT FRUIT OF THE MOMENT, HERE)

 In March, I put up a post called "ACRES OF PLUMS!:NOW WHAT?
 Between last summer and this, while nobody was looking, the tree that supplied most of those gorgeous, rose-colored plums bit the dust. But not to worry. As you can see, the other plum tree, La Regina Claudia, with her yellow fruit beloved by so many Umbrians, went into overdrive.
Here are this summer's royal plums, waiting for the Plum Fairy to wave her magic wand and do something with them....QUICKLY!



  This is how they looked earlier, during their branch-busting phase.

NEXT ON THE "TOO MANY" HIT PARADE:
TOO MANY PEARS
Pears usually come in the fall, well after I have left, but these came in June--go figure!

This is the little tree that sent me googling "too many pears" in search of what to do with this bounty.



NEXT UP ON THE "TOO MANY" HIT PARADE:THE EARLY CROP OF FIGS (THIS YEAR, EXCEPTIONALLY EARLY)
 In truth, the way I gobble up figs, it is ALMOST impossible to have too many, but even so...

WHAT'S NEXT ON THE "TOO MANY" LIST?
Why is that load of peaches taking a siesta on a lawn chair? Because it REALLY was a case of TOO MANY: the branch busted and, until the peaches ripen, the future of these fruits rests with this chair.

To readers with an eagle eye and a good memory, this chair may look familiar. It starred in a post from July, ADVENTURE ON THE HIGH SEAS (OF OUR SWIMMING POOL), where it had a cameo in a still life photo called "Bird food relaxing in the summer sun." It even got a second showing as the preferred seat of Tropical Finches Prestige 100% Pure Nature brand bird food. **We give EXTRA CREDIT to anyone who actually recognized that versatile chair.**


SO WHY IS SHE TELLING ME ALL OF THIS?
Well, judging from all the research I did on the internet while looking up "too many," I am far from the only one to have had the problem of too many fruits. And now, HERE COMES THE SOLUTION.
Looks like a dusty old Renault, right? Well, look again.
What's that on the dashboard?
Behind the insurance sticker, in the foil-lined Ikea broiler pan...
If you guessed "too many pears," you are right! And what might they be doing in the hot, Umbria sun? Drying to perfection, of course. 


After a few hours on the dashboard of a dusty, ancient, insect-free Renault, this is what happens. Now maybe you are worried that the car will end up smelling like fruit, but by some miracle (The Good Fruit Fairy?), this never happens. That's a very good thing, too. Even though my husband loves dried figs, he would have had a fit if he had to drive around smelling like one. 


The bottom line? These drying pears may look a little funky, but they are delicious, and this is the less--work-for-mother way to deal with TOO MANY fruits. The figs become especially luscious and caramelized, after which they can be eaten, stored, used with gorgonzola as a pizza topping, or turned into more lavish dishes. One of my best experiments involved stuffing the windshield figs with soft cheese and pancetta, all warmed together in a pan with garlic and olive oil and topped with parsley, sage, and basil:yum! 


Now I have to confess that I did not invent the Renault food dryer concept myself. I found a single, apologetic reference to it on a British blog, while desperately googling "too many plums." When I proudly announced my own twist on this technique, a British friend married to a Greek gentleman said, "hey, when in Greece, we used to dry tomatoes in the boot of our VW." But even she had to admit that the windshield could have some advantages. I have an admission of my own: to have a batch of fruit drying on the windshield is a safer use of the car than me hitting the open road!


In case you're wondering who's up next on the TOO MANY??? HIT PARADE, here she is, complete with shadow of nutty photographer with her IPhone camera of choice:






   

No comments:

Post a Comment