Fresh for the picking

by spiceaholic on December 24, 2009

Mr. Spice and I are turning into quite the snowbirds — we decided to head south for this weekend to visit his parents, and after seeing and hearing about the snow everyone else is getting, I have to admit I’m glad we don’t have to deal with it.  Of course, this Kansas-raised girl does miss the snow at times, just not the aftermath of it.

I almost hate to gloat about the lovely weather we’re having here, but when you wake up to this, it’s kinda hard not to:

Mr. Spice and I drove down to Orlando after work last night but ended up getting stuck in traffic for almost an hour just outside Atlanta.  We finally made it there around 1:30 am and my mother-in-law had been waiting until we got there to eat dinner.  So we all sat down to eat dinner at 2 am.  I wasn’t hungry since it was so late and because we’d eaten before we left and snacked on the way, but motherly guilty works wonders on me.

None of us got up before 11 today and we didn’t eat brunch until about noon.  Since it was so nice out, I insisted we eat outside on their patio.

I love when we visit family, we always get nice big Bengali-style breakfasts!

I had some pita bread, an egg, some chicken curry, and some grapes. Yum!

After we ate, they took us around the backyard a bit and then we stopped in front of some plants. They asked if we saw anything. I couldn’t. And then, all of a sudden, I saw what looked like snow peas.

But these aren’t snow peas. They called them “sem” in Bengali and said they were a type of bean. I’ve heard the name sem before and seen a recipe for them in one of my cookbooks. I just looked it up online and apparently they are also known as “sword beans.”

Anyway, apparently they had been waiting for our visit to pick them! So we all took turns picking beans off the plants. We ended up with a big plastic bag full, some of which will get sent back with us.

We just had some of these at dinner. My mother-in-law chopped them into pieces, and browned some onion and garlic in a pan, then added the beans, some chopped potatoes, cumin, and panchphoran. Sooo good. I will be doing a re-make of this at home.

Last time we were here, we had gone to one of those “U-pick” orange groves, but since it was October we were too early for the good stuff. Apparently my father-in-law was very eager to take us back now that it was prime citrus season. So we headed back to the same place we went last time and made an afternoon out of it.

What a difference 2 months makes! Now the trees were loaded with all sorts of orange-colored goodies. We took 2 1/4 bushel sacks and went to town picking stuff. I got some kumquats, some Key Limes, and a ton of honey tangerines. The maps said there were blood oranges in season, but I never saw any. Pooey, guess I’ll have to go forage for them at the grocery store instead.

I liked the trip to this place much better today. Because there was more fruit in season, we could actually pick fruit off the trees and eat what we wanted. There were a few misses, when we picked stuff that wasn’t quite ripe yet.

Doesn’t that look so pretty? They look just like Christmas tree ornaments!

Anyway, we managed to fill both our bags full of lovely treats. Last time we were here, they had honey samples as well and I bought a jar of orange blossom or wild flower honey, which I have still yet to try. Today they had jars of honey with key lime or tangerine essence added to them. I picked up one of each for myself and an extra jar of the key lime honey for a future giveaway. 🙂

Here’s our loot, sans honey:

On our way back to the entrance, we ran into a flock of ducks and chickens in quite the hurry to get somewhere!

I think I can finally answer the age-old question of why the chicken crossed the road (or dirt path):

It thought my husband was going to feed it!

All the ducks and chickens began trotting post-haste in a line towards the feed enclosure when Mr. Spice wandered near it. I’m going to call him the Poultry Whisperer from now on.

We had quite the busy day today.  Not sure what our plans are for the rest of the weekend.  I wouldn’t mind having a lazy day, and tomorrow might have to be it since everything will be closed for Christmas.

Wishing those of you who celebrate it a Merry Christmas and a good rest of the weekend and I will see you soon!

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

christie @ honoring health December 25, 2009 at 7:39 am

Happy Holidays, Spice!

spiceaholic December 27, 2009 at 10:59 am

Thanks Christie! Hope yours were great!

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