Archive for November, 2012

Ginger and Starfruit Jam

November 15, 2012

Starfruit and Ginger Jam

Hurricane Sandy did a number on some of the beaches in Rincon, taking away the sand right down to the bedrock in some areas.  My friend, Judy, lost several beautiful fan-palms on the beach side of her home leaving an eight foot drop off.  Fortunately the rest of the property was intact and the fruit trees were unharmed.  Judy had one starfruit tree loaded with fruit so I brought home about 10 pounds of fruit for chutney and this jam.

Tropical fruits are very sweet when ripe with delicate flavors and its important not to overcook them or add ingredients that will overpower their intrinsic flavors.  A couple tablespoons of fresh grated ginger was all that was needed to turn a batch of starfruit into a jam with just a hint of sparkle.  Starfruit tastes like a strawberry with apple tones and has the texture of watermelon or ripe pear depending upon the ripeness.

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Snowmen with Paper Mache Clay – Weekend project

November 14, 2012

Puerto Ricans are mad about snowmen…who knew!  I suppose its a novelty for those who haven’t seen nor experienced real snow.  I had lots of requests last year for snowmen so I made these little ornaments from 1-1/2 inch and 2 inch styrofoam balls with paper mache clay to form the noses, eyes, buttons and hats.  They’re sitting on cork platforms with paper mache clay filler so they’ll sit by themselves on a mantel.  Red and green pipe cleaners were used for the scarves and ear muffs.  The cap and scarf on the snowman to the far right was made of stretchy T-shirt fabric.

Paper mache clay is one of my favorite mediums for crafting.  Its used in place of paper mache (paper strips and paste) over an armiture.   It’s simply toilet paper soaked in water, squeezed dry then shredded fine in a food processor.  Joint compound, homemade white glue, flour, bleach and gylcerin was whirled with the shredded paper until a smooth dough was achieved.

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