Category: Food

Unripe papayas get a green light for taste

Although I have a flourishing garden, I rarely buy plants. Instead, I beg and gather seeds or wait to see what “volunteers” grow in my yard. A few months ago, I was surprised to see what looked like a papaya tree. I figured either birds had dropped seeds, or they were in the homemade compost I had recently spread. Either way, the tree was a welcome addition to my backyard “fruit salad” that also includes mangoes, figs, and pineapples. My first step was to check the internet to see what I needed to know about growing papayas. And the first warning I found was to not transplant them. They have deep roots that can be destroyed by digging. Despite the warning, I realized mine was in a shady spot with no room to grow. It had to be moved. My guess is, I got to it when the roots were still small because the move didn’t seem to bother it. After two weeks of hand-watering, it settled in and started to grow … and grow and grow. Today, it is over 15 feet tall. My next question was whether I had a male or female plant. Yes, you need one of each for papayas to fruit. Turns out, I had a female, but there must have been a male hovering nearby because I soon had long green fruits dangling...

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TGIF Cheers! Thyme Lemonade a Perfect Summertime Cooler, Spiked or Not

The path to this refreshing cooler starts with a trip through the herb garden, and ends in a Tom Collins glass. It can easily be made without the vodka; it’s sensational either way. Chef/owner Laurent Godbout of Chez L’Epicier in Palm Beach shared this easy recipe with Florida Food & Farm readers. Vodka thyme lemonade Granulated sugar, for rimming glass 3 lemon wedges 2 oz. thyme syrup (recipe follows) 2 oz. Tito’s Vodka Club soda Thyme sprig, for garnish In a Collins glass, rim the glass with the granulated sugar. Muddle 2 of the lemon wedges. Add thyme syrup, Tito’s vodka and ice. Top with soda and lemon wedge. Garnish with fresh thyme sprigs. Thyme syrup 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 cup water Handful of thyme leaves Make simple syrup: Bring the sugar and water to a boil in a small saucepan, stirring to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and add the thyme. Allow the thyme to steep at least 4 hours at room temperature; strain before using. Makes approximately 2/3 cup. Keep in sealed container in refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Tip: Try the thyme syrup in a real Tom Collins, too — thyme marries great with gin. And for leftover herbs – freeze ice cubes with leftover herbs, coarsely chopped, to use in your next round of drinks....

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