Saturday, July 16, 2011

Fruit Care Tips from Eve

HOW TO TREAT RIPE FRUIT: FOR FRUIT SHARE MEMBERS

1) RIPE FRUIT MUST BE EATEN WITHIN A FEW DAYS OF YOUR CSA PICKUP.
The fruit in your share is picked no more than one or two days before we bring it to you.
Because it is picked ripe, it does not have a long shelf life. Therefore, instead of
engineering the fruit to suit your schedule (i.e. picking fruit hard and unripe, cooling it,
growing varieties that stay hard for a long time but have no taste, etc.) you will
sometimes have to mold your eating schedule to the fruit.

Ripe berries, heirloom tomatoes, ripe peaches, etc. will begin to soften and then mold
after a few days... that's just what happens. If you can't eat them by then, cut them up
and put them in the freezer, which will give you a source of delicious smoothies for the
reat of the year. You can also bake fruit muffins and pies using frozen fruit.

2) DON'T CONFUSE SOFT WITH ROTTEN
Some of the fruit and tomatoes you get may be soft. This does not mean they are
rotten. This means they are ripe or sometimes perhaps have spots that are slightly over-
ripe. Again, this makes them good candiates for cooking rather than eating raw. Even
moldy spots can often just be cut out of fruit and the rest of it used in cooked dishes.

Make a sauce, chop them up and put them in pancakes or an omelet, make jam or
cobbler or anything else tasty that occurs to you. Remember, our ancestors invented all
these dishes in the first place as a way of using up their over-ripe fruit! Follow their
good example of creativity and you will be rewarded.

3) LEARN HOW TO RIPEN UN-RIPE FRUIT
Some of the fruits you get will NOT yet be ripe, because they can't be handled at all
when they are ripe and soft. Peaches are picked and delivered to you hard. Some
tomatoes may need another couple of days to reach their peak. DON'T TRY TO EAT
HARD FRUIT until it is RIPE!

To ripen, just let the fruit sit on a counter OUT OF THE FRIDGE for a couple of days to
let the sugars develop. Some people it in a brown paper bag, which keeps the plant
hormones (ethylene) inside and aids ripening. You can put unripe fruit near some
ripening bananas etc. to speed ripening. Don't put it near anything you don't want to
over-ripen, like cut flowers, tomatoes, or fruit that is already ripe.

Good luck, and yum

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