Sunday, April 18, 2010

Pizza and Loquats

We harvested our second crop of loquats today and the girls enjoyed it just as much as they did the first time.  We've been eating loquats directly off the tree for several weeks now, but I was surprised that there were so many left.  (This is my first experience with loquats, so it's all a mystery to me.)  

Our backyard continues to be a source of fun and excitement for the girls, which is the best part about our recent move.  When we picked this house we vaguely noticed that the backyard was full of various kinds of fruit trees, but it didn't occur to me that these trees would lead to our girls' first introduction to real crop production.  We started a little vegetable garden plot when we first moved in, but it was late summer and nothing did too well... we harvested two worm-eaten tomatoes and threw away a row of barren squash plants.  The broccoli did pretty well and watching my girls beg to eat tiny florettes of raw broccoli definitely gave me hope for the spring planning.  Now we're really starting to have fun.

When Tim first suggested harvesting loquats I supportively said, "Why?  What are we going to do with them?"

His response: "I don't know.  I think we should make jam."

Me: "Are you serious?  Those things are tiny.  That's way too much work!  But I'll be happy to take the girls out and pick them with you."

While we collected loquats I secretly started to plan my afternoon nap...

I figured Tim's enthusiasm would have dissipated by the time I woke up to start making pizza for Sunday dinner, but to my surprise, Tim presented me with a sink full of loquats and a batch of loquat preserves on the stove.  Tim had spent about an hour and half peeling and seeding loquats while the girls and I slept and he was so proud of his work that I couldn't resist offering to make him a loquat cobbler.  It was pretty good, but loquats are not the juiciest of fruits and they have a pretty low acid content, so I think our next cobbler would benefit from the addition of a cup of strawberries.  (When I reheated the leftover cobbler the next day I added some strawberries to the mix and although a little weird in texture, it had a great flavor.)

Tim seemed really pleased with the results of both  the cobbler and the preserves, which we ate on toast the next morning, and I was glad that his labor hadn't been in vain.  I even stashed half of the peeled and seeded loquats in the freezer so I can try again when loquat season is over.

In the midst of the loquat shenanigans, we also made pizza with the girls.  Everyone loves spreading out the pizza dough and eating cheese out of a bowl while pretending to top the pizza with it.  This used to irritate me, especially since so much of the cheese ended up on the kitchen floor, but I've decided to start thinking of this as our "appetizer".  We'll put almost anything on a pizza these days, but today we made pesto sausage pizzas and they were delicious, if I do say so myself.

I was pretty frazzled by the time we finished cooking, even though this was supposed to be an easy dinner.  But Tim was so excited about having a loquat cobbler for dessert that I couldn't help being glad that I'd made the extra effort.  As expected, Annabel loved the cobbler and Violet wouldn't go near it.  Par for the course around here.

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