Sunday, November 29, 2015

Thanksgiving Breadfruit

This week I peeled a ripe breadfruit for the first time. It was quite an interesting experience!

I've cooked breadfruit before—I've even written about it on this blog—but looking back on it I realize now those breadfruit were unripe. Peeling a ripe breadfruit is a very unique experience. The closest I can liken it to is to trying to peel a lump of soft, sweet, bread dough encased in a skin something like a pear's, or perhaps a potato's—and I can definitely see where the name breadfruit comes from now! The taste is also difficult to describe. The closest thing it reminds me of is bananas, but it's very definitely its own unique, mildly sweet taste.

I've been having a rain of fruit going on in my backyard this past week, which prompted the breadfruit peeling. The avocado tree lost a small branch loaded with fruit a week ago (in addition to other ripe fruit falling), and there's been a steady stream of small earth-shaking thumps from the intermittent rain of breadfruit.

I peeled the breadfruit in order to cut it up and make a sort of hash out of it, with sautéed onions and diced Spam, but I suspect a less-ripe fruit would have been better (unripe breadfruit is kind of like a potato in texture, although it also bleeds an extremely sticky latex-like sap, so there's a lot of washing involved). I'm still trying to figure out how to prepare one best; I cooked an unripe one in the oven, but it came out looking extremely unappealing. I cooked a ripe one on the advice of a coworker, but forgot to peel it first leaving it somewhat difficult to separate from the (sap-covered) skin (it's still in my fridge while I think how best to eat it). I'm thinking of just peeling a ripe one and eating it raw at this point, but if I can find a good recipe for it I may put it up here in the future.

And finally, on a different note, happy belated Thanksgiving everyone! I spent a very relaxing Thursday topped by dinner with friends remembering all the things I'm thankful for, such as trees dropping seemingly-endless amounts of fruit in my backyard. Hau‘oli Lā Ho‘omaika‘i!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Shore Acres State Park Pictures

In the confusion surrounding attending the International Astronomical Union session just a few days after getting home from vacation this summer I only recently realized that I had some pictures lying around on my hard drive that I'd intended to post. I put up some panoramas I'd made soon after getting back from the IAU, but forgot about some other, single pictures I'd taken. So here they are!

These pictures are from Shore Acres State Park in Oregon—once the estate of pioneer lumberman and shipbuilder Louis J. Simpson, now the site of a five-acre formal garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Looking over my pictures I don't seem to have been feeling like taking any wide-angle photos, as most of my pictures are more focused on individual things. So nothing showing the large-scale structure of the gardens, sorry.

These aren't real birds, they're just statues—but very nice-looking ones.

 Slightly-wider view of the pond they reside  in.

Do not adjust your monitor! This picture is not upside down—it's a reflection showing the lovely conifers surrounding the park.

The park had a small greenhouse full of various flowers and plants. This particular one caught my eye for its spiral leaf patterns. (The text says “rex begonia 'Escargot'”.)

Another picture of a second plant of the same type, showing off those radical foliage helices.

And that's all for now. A hui hou!