Thursday, August 20, 2009

The Nectarine Newbie

Yep. I'm the newbie. Ever since last year when my friend, Mama JJ, mentioned in her blog how nectarines were her new favorite thing, I had that little fun fact tucked away. She's usually right about things, you know. So, this year when I placed my order for peaches, I went ahead and ordered a bushel of nectarines, too. What was I going to do with them? I didn't know.

So, we spread them out on a table and tasted one. It was okay. To be honest, I was a little scared of them. I've never bought nectarines from an orchard before. Actually, I don't think I had ever bought a nectarine in my life. I needed to get educated. So, I got out my handy Food Lover's Companion and read this...

"The nectarine's flesh is sweet, succulent and firmer than of it's relative, the peach. When ripe, it's smooth skin is a brilliant golden yellow with generous blushes of red. Nectarines are available from midspring to late September with a peak during July and August. Look for fragrant, brightly colored fruit that gives slightly to the touch. Avoid those with bruises or other blemishes as well as those that are hard or overly green. Slightly underripe nectarines can be left to ripen at room temperature for a couple days. Ripe fruit should be refrigerated and used within 5 days. They are wonderful eaten out of hand and can be used in salads, a variety of fresh and cooked desserts and as a garnish for many hot and cold dishes. Nectarines contain a fair amount of vitamins A and C."

Then, I re-read Mama JJ's post and did some other looking around online. I decided we would mostly dry these fruits. I still wasn't all that excited about them. But, then a day passed and Jamey announced that it was time to do something with them- some were getting too soft and attracting fruit flies (my arch enemies, if you'd like to know). So even though I had errands to run, 8 loaves of zucchini bread to bake, laundry and diapers to wash, lawn to mow and meals to make, I squeezed in slicing nectarines for the food dryer. It really didn't take that long. You don't have to peel them and the pits just pop out.

I am in love with nectarines. They weren't that good the other day because they weren't ripe the other day- I didn't know any better. But, then, oh my, they are amazing. Fresh, dried, fabulous. It took about 7 hours at 140 degrees in the dryer for them to become gold. We like our dried fruit still a little chewy, so we fill up jars and stick them in the freezer. The kids love them and I cannot tell you how many I ate today. Really, I can't. I'm waiting for the repercussions. Just waiting....

Eleven good-sized nectarines sliced (no need to peel) on 7 food dryer trays = 1 quart dried nectarines. Talk about efficient use of space.

Note: If you buy nectarines, check them daily. Ours didn't turn very yellow-they stayed mostly red even though they had ripened. Pin It

1 comment:

  1. how have you gone your whole life without ever purchasing a nectarine? they're quite possibly my most favorite fruit - i'll have to make sure darin gets some nectarine exposure now. finally, something food related that he's missed out on!


Just a friendly reminder, if you know me personally please try to refrain from using my name. There are those who may try to locate me, break into my pantry and steal my pickled beets. Thanks:-).

Please choose the Anonymous option if you prefer not to sign in to comment.

Related Posts with Thumbnails