Saturday, October 11, 2008
Lowcountry Pumpkin Patch
Pumpkins? Okay, maybe not. But around here this a much more familiar fall scene than a pumpkin patch. This is the fallen fruit of the pindo palm or jelly palm (or Butia capitata if you aren't on a more friendly basis) interspersed with the green sprouts of past years' seeds.
The fruit is pretty tasty if you nab it before it has fallen to the ground and turned into a pile of stinky rotten gunk. Some folk make jelly out of the fruit and our local paper ran a recipe for the jelly a couple of weeks ago (see http://www.charleston.net/news/2008/sep/21/palm_jelly_one_mother_natures_tasty_gift55167/). I'm kind of tempted to try making it.
Whoa, who am I kidding? That whole hoodoo-voodoo thing with boiling and jars and lids and seals scares the bejeebers out of me. My finished product would probably be so full of whatever it is that is supposed to be sealed out (bacteria?) that whole neighborhoods would have to be evacuated everytime a jar was opened. Anyway, I'm pretty certain that you can only make jelly if you learned at your grandma's side. If you missed out on that window of opportunity with grandma you don't get a do-over: your jelly-making fate, if not your jelly, is sealed.
Until recently I'd lumped almost all palms around here in as Sabal Palmetto (the SC state tree). I'm still not good at id'ing palms but have finally figured out that Sabals have fan-shaped leaves while pindo palms have feather-shaped leaves. Gee, that sure is easy!