I am forever on the lookout for more free foods that are otherwise going to go to waste. Some foods I plan on preserving for later and other foods are more intriguing simply because I find it odd that there are foods that grow in PA that I have never tasted or possibly even heard of. In the next few weeks I hope to taste my first Paw Paw fruit as they ripen since I now know of a tree on campus I can forage from.
I recently was walking around Dickinson and noticed a berry-type fruit on a tree that looked like a raspberry on steroids. After a bit of research I realized that it is edible and it is from the Kousa Dogwood tree. It’s an odd little fruit that has a soft, creamy custard-like center but the outside is bitter. I can’t imagine ever harvesting them for any real purpose although I did read about people milling out the centers for smoothies or even making it into wine.
It’s fall which means it’s apple picking season! Good friends of ours have 2 apple trees in their backyard and they are always so generous to share their bounty. The kids and I swung by with the new apple picker I bought earlier this year. We picked about 15 gallons of organic apples that will become chutney, dried apples and maybe some cider. The apples have some blemishes but now that I have my apple-peeler-corer machine, I can easily remove any bumps or bruises.
I have never preserved corn during any past seasons, mostly because I don’t grow enough to make it worth my while and I never remember to buy a large amount to process. Project SHARE is the local food bank in Carlisle and they posted that they had such a large drop off from a farmer that there was actually too much to give out to only their recipients so they wanted anyone and everyone to come by and take some off their hands. My office is only a block away so I grabbed box and filled it up. I really wasn’t sure how many were in it until started shucking with the kids. We had about 90 ears and this made absolutely no dent in the amount they were giving away. They had four 4 foot bins filled with corn. After cutting and bagging I ended up with 18 quarts to freeze.