Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Backyard Treasure Chest: avocados are my emeralds

The few, the proud, the un-nibbled . . .

I’m in my free-food excitement mode again. Well, yes, technically we paid for the avocado tree when we bought the house, but since it isn't a Haas, I've never given its yield much respect or much thought. Also, most of the avocados have bites missing, courtesy of the squirrels who nibble-and-toss, nibble-and-toss, leaving the ground covered with avocados every day and making the territory under the tree a hardhat zone. (I’ve been conked on the noggy before by an avocado-chucking squirrel, and believe me, it HURTS!)

I’m thrifty, but you have to draw the line somewhere. I will NOT carve off the squirrel gnawings and eat the rest! The idea of squirrel cooties just doesn't sit well with my appetite.

It irks me to have to throw away so many avocados. So if I find any on the ground that have dropped of their own accord and have no bites missing, I grab them up and trot inside with them. Since I can gather so few for our own use (occasionally I manage pull one off a low branch with the edge of the hoe), it's as if they're a wild plant that I've happened to run across. And if you’ve been following my blog, you know that I also get excited about harvesting and eating things like nettles, dandelions and chickweed that grow wild in my yard.

Okay students, let's review: the young dandelion and the chickweed just starting to grow in and among these chives are as important to me as the chives themselves.

I recently found a book on avocados and ID'd the type that of tree grows in our yard. It's the fuerte, so named because of its vigorous nature. It turns out that you really can do a lot with this variety. The book even suggests roasting, which I’ll have to try.

Considering how expensive avocados are, and increasingly so in this economy, I'm going to have to develop a taste for our variety. It's nice not having to drop lots of green on this quite pricey green.

Hmm, let's see, dips, shakes, soups,
sandwich filling, salad ingredient, omelet topping . . . This could involve more avocados than I can rescue from the greedy little paws of the squirrels we collectively call Chunky. Perhaps squirrel stew with an avocado garnish? . . .

No comments: