Weird fruit alert! Just when I thought I’d seen them all. Have you ever come across a Buddha’s Hand? It’s a citrus fruit! It smells like yellow Starburst candy and tastes like a mild, un-sour lemon. It’s primarily used for its zest, among other things. Have you ever eaten one?
Are there any kombucha fans in the house? I got a kit from Kombucha Brooklyn, because I wanted to try brewing my own.
Here’s the gist of the process: you dump a SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) into a jar of sweet tea, and sample your brew for a week or two until it’s tastes the way you want. As the tea ferments, a new SCOBY grows on top. It’s like having a weird slimy pet that reproduces at an alarming rate. When your kombucha is ready you pull out the SCOBY and bottle the tea. (You can find more detailed brewing instructions here.)
Sadly I let my first batch ferment too long, and it ended up being too vinegary. No big deal though, I’m trying it again with my newly grown SCOBY. The process is a whole lot more forgiving than wine making, that’s for sure. Have you ever tried to brew kombucha?
I discovered another new-to-me fruit that was too wild not to photograph. Are you familiar with the dragon fruit? How magical looking is this thing? The inside is the same texture as a kiwi, but it’s very bland with only the tiniest hint of sweetness. Now that my curiosity has been satisfied I don’t think I’ll feel the urge to eat another one, but it was great fun dissecting this magenta, spiky wonder.
Mabel turned 7 last week, and Oliver’s 9th birthday is coming up, so I made them doggie cupcakes to celebrate! They were actually pretty tasty. Apple and peanut butter go so well together. I started nibbling one and would’ve eaten the whole thing, but the dogs were giving me a pitiful we-thought-those-were-for-us look.
Oliver was terrified of the birthday candles, but the scent of peanut butter was too much for him to resist!
It’s crazy how different my dogs’ personalities are. As soon as I gave them the go ahead to eat Mabel stole Oliver’s cupcake right out from under his nose, smeared it all over the floor, and began scarfing it down as quickly as possible. I scooted Mabel’s abandoned cupcake over to Oliver. He daintily ate the biscuit off the top, licked off the peanut butter icing, and carefully kept the cupcake on the plate as he ate. Love these pups.
Doggie Cupcakes Recipe:
1/4 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup cooking oil (or apple sauce)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons honey (optional)
1 cup shredded apple
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
additional peanut butter for frosting (optional)
dog biscuits for garnish (optional)
Whisk the egg, peanut butter, oil, vanilla extract, and honey together in a large bowl until well blended. Stir in the shredded apple. Sift the flour and baking soda together, then stir them into the peanut butter mixture.
Spoon the batter into a muffin pan lined with cupcake liners. They won’t rise too much, so you can fill each liner to the top. Bake at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes or until the tops are browned and spring back when pressed. Cool completely.
Before serving frost the cupcakes with peanut butter and remove the cupcake liner. Garnish with a dog biscuit.
Recipe adapted from Allrecipes.
My favorite grapes are in season! Have you ever had scuppernong grapes? They’re native to the southeastern US, and I can only get them this time of year. In addition to having a name that is absurdly fun to say repeatedly in funny voices, they are delicious! They taste different than standard red or green grapes. They’re more complicated somehow. They manage to be sweet, tart, and zippy all at the same time. To me they taste like wine in fruit form, since The local vineyards often wine-ify them.
The skins are very thick so I only eat the grape guts. They’re pretty tedious to eat between peeling and deseeding, but I must love fruit tedium since I’m also obsessed with pomegranates.
First I cut them all in half like so.
Then I dig out the seeds with a fingernail and pinch the bottom of each grape half while slurping the flesh directly into my mouth. It’s kinda like eating raw oysters (except not disgusting—sorry oyster lovers).
You may have noticed that my updated site is up! Now my blog pictures are so huge, it’s practically offensive. It should be easier to read/shop Wit & Whistle on your mobile phones now, and my new e-commerce system will make it simpler to find what you’re looking for in my shop. Just let me know if you notice anything that seems screwed up. I still have some tweaking I want to do, but overall it’s done. Ta-dah!