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Posts Tagged ‘melon’

Prickly Pear, also called tuna, is the fruit of the Opuntia ficus-indica cactus.  You can see it growing on the roadsides in South Texas and other areas of the South through to Mexico.  I don’t recommend picking them by the road, instead find them at the grocery store or possibly at local farmer’s markets.  There are spines on the fruit just like the green pads of the cactus, be careful that these have been removed before handling the fruit.

I cut open the fruit and scraped out the seeded pulp.  Then I squished the pulp to release the juice in a fine mesh strainer.

Strain the pulp twice to get a juice that is clear and sweet.  I didn’t have any alcohol to make a prickly pear potations true to the name, but you could certainly try adding a shot of tequila or vodka over ice.  I added watermelon juice prepared in the same way using my fine mesh strainer.

The cactus fruit tastes sweet and succulent, a little grassy too.  It’s a different but refreshing drink for summer.

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The jungle that is my garden, has gone from mildly unruly to devouring every inch inside the green house.  After a solid week of rain followed by hot clear days, there is quite a difference.

Green House busting at the seams

The melons won’t stay inside either.  That vine on the outside found itself too cramped with the others (sorry guys, I over seeded!)  Being the worry wort that I am, plus last summer’s drought and subsequent total crop failure, I planted three seeds per hill and refused to thin them out.  Same story for the lot at the south end of the yard.

South Patch doing pretty good exposed to the elements

As I poked around in the morning, I found another melon nearly full size.  That brings the total to ten actual melons!  There are more babies in the green house and south patch is starting to convert blooms to fruit.  South patch was planted about three weeks after the green house seeds (I was worried the first batch wouldn’t produce anything).

I will be overrun with orange cantaloupes by the end of summer.  Agua fresca anyone?  Suppose they will be handy when summer just.won’t.end. we will be rolling in melons.  In the meantime, I’ll be babysitting the younglings and checking the bigger melons regularly.

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A heavy cantaloupe melon from the garden.  I hope the other baby melons grow this big!

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