Friday, August 31, 2007

Friday Florida Food Fest Minus Muscadines

That was my plate of delicious shrimp creole that Mrs. FC made during Dave and Tami's visit. You can tell it's my plate if you look carefully at the salad.
Notice the absence of tomatoes?
Yet, the shrimp creole is obviously resplendent with essence of tomato.
I just don't like them raw and semi-whole. Cook 'em and I'm good. Dice 'em up and mix them with salsa ingredients and I'm good even if they are raw, but never, ever expect me to eat a fresh tomato slice or chunk.

Continuing our little Friday food jaunt brings us to the Scuppernong grapes above. Scuppernongs are members of the Muscadine grape tribe, but they never turn purpley black so these were almost ripe. When ripe they would have a bronzey luster to them.
There are few things fruitier than these wonderful southern grapes and I look forward to them each summer.
I waited all year for these to grow and ripen. The crop on several vines was heavy and just about ready for picking last Friday when I went out to feed the chickens ... the outside chickens.

On Friday the vines were heavy with fruit, on Saturday they were devoid of fruit.

I suspect a squirrel - deer alliance, and I'm not ruling out coons and possums either.

I may have an axis of evil in my very backyard.

I know the squirrels are involved, because I saw one scamper off with grape in mouth. I suspect the deer are involved because some of the lower grape leaves were browsed.

This grapegrabbing has never happened before and I'm wondering if the lack of a pond or other surface water might be a factor. Huge, succulent, sweet, wet grapes would be mighty tempting to a thirsty animal.

It's frustrating. I feel like the critters took off one of their gloves and slapped me across the face.

My wife likes to do Sudoku puzzles to challenge her brain.

I challenge MY brain by trying to garden in the middle of a subtropical forest.
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Anonymous said...

I just stopping by to let everyone know that the creole was even better tasting than it looks! YUM!
Tell all hello!

Mark said...

Those scuppernong look huge! I kind of expect your scuppernong-swipers will be back next year, now that they have found them, even if your pond returns. Muscadine vines are taking over large areas of the wooded part of our yard. The vines look almost as healthy as the kudzu nearby. But there are very few muscadines on the vines this year. The drought, I guess.

pissed off patricia said...

Oh god, your salad is touching your creole. That's just so wrong.

Have a great weekend and beware the hairy backyard terrorists. They hate your freedom to have a garden so they destroy it for their own benefit. :)

ArtfulSub said...

Looks yummy. Raw tomatos are to be fed while GREEN to cows. That's their only use. Except Gazpacho.

Hope that site I posted allows you to sex your chicks. If not, just google "sexing chickens".

Be sure to use a filter, though!

robin andrea said...

I'm surprised that the critters hadn't found your scuppernongs before this. You've been lucky. They lulled you into an unsuspecting confidence and then struck when the grapes were at their best. It's why we call them beasts.

Thunder Dave said...

I agree with Lightnin', Mrs. FC's Creole is probably the best I've ever eaten!

I always find it amazing how the critters seem to know the exact moment when fruit is ripe, and are able to get to it before we do!

jojo said...

Same here with the tomatoes. and i'm italian... can't stand them whole.. but sauteed on a bit of bread, or sauce..YUM!!

Sharon said...

No raw tomatoes, huh? You and my are both weird!! LOL Works for me though, when we go out to dinner, I get all his tomatoes off his salad and we're both happy. ;)

SophieMae said...

YUM-O! Good thing I saw that before the weekly trek to Publix. Must add a few items to my list...

Those darn critters! They ate my pawpaws, as well. Reckon I'd better go check on my grapes. >8\

Scott aka Florida Native Musings said...

Me I try to reason with Hurrican Season.

I still think the Dog from Bush's Baked Beans is in the area since your trip out to the Gulf. Maybe that's whats in the secret family recipe.

Yours in the Bond

SwampAngel65 said...

Ah scuppernogs are deeeelish! I don't blame the critters for stealing them. I rarely see ANY on the vine down here. I can buy them at Publix for $4.99 for a little box! Can you believe that??

Hurricane Teen said...

My mom hates Scuppernongs...I love them. I think she ate too many of them as a child! Your situation reminds me of my Satsuma situation last year. Wait ALL year for them, and have them be gone in one night. I guess they need to eat, too.

Deb said...

And I challenge my brain trying to garden in this subarctic tundra where we get frost every month of the year.

I am among those who relish a fresh tomato...must be a love it or hate it thing. I'm loving it, as we're getting more and more of them now.

pablo said...

I saw a squirrel spill a Diet Rite in your Jeep!

Floridacracker said...

Thanks Lightnin!

They were huge! Darn it!

I like my salad to blend a little :)

LOL! The girl at Tractor supply said to grab them by the neck and if they kick their legs, their roosters. Sheesh!

Ha! "It's why we call them beasts"
Exactly ... no manners.

They do. The always eat my beans the day before I pick them.


My wife gets the same deal ... weird husband and all the tomatoes she can eat.

I've yet to eat a pawpaw with substantial flavor. Books always describe it as banana like, but I say tofu, tasteless.
What do you think?

So it's Duke that's stealing my grapes?

I love them too. The flavor is so heady. They don't keep well, so the grocery stores price em like blackberries.

I'm eating the wild muscadines in place of my tame scuppernongs.

And I stand in awe of your fortitude!
I was telling someone the other day that my blogger pal has frost every month of the year and they were flabbergasted even though they were of the Yankee persuasion. They guessed you were in northern minnesota ... and I was like ... duhhhhh, all of minnesotarctica is northern!
Some people ...

Did you just date yourself? Does such a cola still exist?

pablo said...

I thought it was as common as sweet tea down there in the South.

Rurality said...

You have some really odd tastes in food... maybe you should try some squirrel...? :)

We don't have any sqs because the coyotes eat them all. Of course they eat the chickens too so that situation isn't really ideal.

My cousins always called scups "scuppernines".

Floridacracker said...

Not much of a soda drinker, so I may have missed it. I thought Diet Rite went out with cyclamates.

Too ratty for my taste. The coyotes eat the squirrels? Are your Alabama coyotes arboreal?

threecollie said...

I could almost taste those grapes...they looked so succulent and good...and then, DANG, they vanished. What a shame!

roger said...

i was thirty before i ate a tomato. now i'm hooked on fresh, homegrown tomatoes, one of two things money can't buy, the other being true love.

ImagineMel said...

Since I live in the city, I have grapes and Mama does too. Help yourself! When I was little I had a grape stand instead of a lemonade stand. Also, I ate tomatoes like apples! Would still do it too if I could find good homegrown ones. There's fresh tomatoes, fried green tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, tomato pudding, tomato gravy, salad tomatoes, pickled green tomatoes, tomatoes with okra... :)

Floridacracker said...

SOMEONE enjoyed them ...someone furry.

i've heard you can rent true love with money ...

The city ... ROFL!
You DO like tomatoes.