Thursday, September 30, 2010

Carpenter Bees and Pink Pearl Apples

A few days ago during our Fifth Season heat wave I hung a load of clothes out on the clothesline in the late afternoon to dry overnight.  The following day I gathered the dried clothes off the line.  Once inside beginning to fold up the clothes,  I heard a buzzing sound coming from inside a pair of jeans just removed from the clothesline.  Then I noticed four very large what looked like bumble bees flying around with buzzing continuing from the pair of jeans.  After about fifteen minutes of removing the flying insects outside and shaking the buzzing from the pair of jeans, I moved to the Bugs of Northern California by John Acorn, illustrations by Ian Sheldon in search of identifying these insects. On page 87 I found a picture of what I had just seen in bedroom . . . Carpenter Bees often misidentified as "big, black Bumble Bees."  This reference goes onto to explain these insects burrow into wood to make their nests,  but a pair of blue jeans?????

I thought Carpenter Bees were small.  I am so happy to have come face to face, so to speak, with real live Carpenter Bees!

Several weeks ago I drove with Rose to Pt. Reyes Station to pick Pink Pearls from my baseball buddy and dear friend's large apple tree.  Here at MuRefuge the two 10 year old Pink Pearl Apple trees' roots were eaten by gophers leaving nothing but listing stakes. The newly planted replacement trees are not yet producing enough apples to make a Winter's supply of applesauce.  A lovely excuse to visit Rose's Auntie T's magical place.  

Pearly colored skin and luscious marbled dark pink flesh identify this just right apple for pink applesauce.

No other word but abundance can describe what we picked and brought back to MuRefuge for our enjoyment.

The following day all these extraordinarily beautiful apples, my very favorite apple, this Pink Pearl, were made into applesauce. 

These quart jars were added to the pantry for Winter use.

Pink Pearl Applecake

  • 3 C. organic sprouted flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 T. organic ground cinnamon
  • 4 organic duck eggs                                                              
  • 1 C. organic maple sugar
  • 1 C. organic ghee
  • 2/3 quart Pink Pearl Applesauce
  • 1/2 C. water or organic Kefir milk
  • 1 C. organic chopped walnuts (optional)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease with organic ghee a 9" by 13" cake pan, set aside.  In large mixing bowl add all dry ingredients and wisk.  In quart glass measuring cup add ghee and sugar, beating well with hand mixer until the sugar has dissolved, then add eggs, one at a time until well beaten.  Make well in the dry ingredients into which pour the egg mixture and applesauce, nuts too if you have chosen to include them in your cake.  Mix well and pour into greased cake pan.  Spinkle with  cinnamon and maple sugar (1:4 ratio) and set in oven to bake for 35" to 45" when a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes clean.  I often serve this for breakfast with the remainder of the quart of Pink Pearl Applesauce warmed and pour over each individual piece.  This will provide 10 generous servings.

Please add your comments below on your experiences with beneficial insects, food preservation or heirloom apple cultivation.  Your experiences with gophers would be an addition, as well.


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