We're two sisters who are craft book publishers and found ourselves in the midst of an avocado grove. We bought this house where we planned to conduct our publishing business and in the deal got 4 acres of avocado trees thrown in. Now we're not only publishers but ranchers as well! This blog is all about avocados and anything else that strikes my fancy.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday in the Grove

So many people ask us how to ripen avocados. Let's see what the California Avocado Commission has to say on the subject:

Ripening a California Avocado

  • To ripen a California Avocado, place the fruit in a plain brown paper bag and store at room temperature 65-75° until ready to eat (usually two to five days).
  • Including an apple or banana in the bag accelerates the process because these fruits give off ethylene gas, a ripening reagent.
  • Soft ripe fruit can be refrigerated until it is eaten, but not for more than two or three days.
  • The California Avocado Commission does not recommend using a microwave to accelerate the ripening process.
Then once an avocado is ripened and you use just a small amount, what do you do with the remaining avocado?

Storing or Freezing California Avocados

Ripe fruit can be stored in the refrigerator uncut for two to three days. To store cut fruit, sprinkle it with lemon or lime juice or white vinegar and place in an air-tight container in your refrigerator. If refrigerated guacamole turns brown during storage, discard the top layer.
When you have an abundance of fresh avocados, consider freezing them. Pureed avocados freeze very well and can be used in salads, sandwiches and dips.
  • Wash, seed and peel the fruit as described above.
  • Puree the flesh, adding one tablespoon of lemon juice for each two pureed avocados. Pack the puree into an air-tight container, leaving 1 inch of headspace.
  • Seal and label the containers.
  • Freeze and use within four to five months.
Here's a great recipe that will definitely use up all the avocados you've just ripened:

Vickie, a member of our book club and a fabulous cook, brought these avo treats to share with us and now I'm sharing the recipe with you (with her permission, of course):

Vickie's Tasty Taco Treats
6 - 6" flour tortillas (or corn if prefer)
1 rotisserie chicken, shredded
2 cups white and yellow corn (4 ears), cut from cob (or use frozen corn , defrosted if you're in a hurry)
1 cup red and yellow bell peppers, diced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 - 2 green onions, sliced
fresh baby lettuce mix
1 cup jack cheese, shredded
2 California Haas avocados, sliced
1 tomato, cut in wedges
pickled jalapeno slices
fresh cilantro

Mix together the corn, bell peppers, black beans and green onions. Top with a dressing of:
2 T olive oil

1 T lime zest

juice of 1 lime
1 T fresh cilandro, chopped

salt and pepper to taste
Refrigerate for about 1 hour.

Then bake the tortillas. Vickie used fluted tortilla baking cups like these (from Amazon.com):

Preheat oven to 350ยบ. Soften the tortillas by microwaving on HIGH for 30 seconds. Press tortillas into the fluted bowls. You might want to spray the bowls first with a bit of oil. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove tortillas and then assemble.

Fill each bowl with the baby lettuce, shredded chicken, corn salad, sliced avocados, wedges of tomatoes, jalapeno slices, shredded cheese and cilantro. Fill a small bowl with your favorite salsa (Vickie used Trader Joe's Cilantro, Chile and Lime Salsa).
Serve at a luncheon or maybe your next book club meeting.

The Hummingbird and the Crow
The strangest thing is happening in our grove. We usually eat lunch on our back patio where we can stare out at the grove. There's one really ugly, dead avocado tree right in the line of vision and I keep thinking, "why don't we have that tree cut down?". It's really, really, ugly. But then everyday a beautiful hummingbird comes flying at jet speed and heads straight for that ugly tree and sits on her favorite ugly branch. A couple a minutes later a big black crow comes swooping out of the sky and lands just a few feet away from the hummingbird on his (or her) favorite branch. And the crow's favorite branch is a weird one - it's kind of crescent-shaped and the crow is beautifully framed in the branch. But the weird thing is, this happens every day - first the hummingbird, then the crow. It's almost like they're friends. Has anyone ever heard of hummingbirds and crows being friends?

So far we haven't been able to get a picture with the two of them together - you'll just have to take my word for it. We'll keep trying though, just to prove that the burgeoning friendship is really happening.

Here's the hummingbird on her favorite branch:

And here's the crow on his sideways crescent:

Now if we can just get the two snapped together...will you believe me?

    1 comment:

    1. Thanks to the nice comment you left on my blog, I've now discovered yours! I love the story of the crow and the hummingbird and scrolled down to read the first post too. I would never have guessed the two could be friends!