Our beautiful red planet shimmers on most nights above us. This is about as good as I can get with our little camera, but still more than you can see with the naked eye. Mars is a bright spot in the night sky during this winter, and we’re glad our neighbor is so visible on our farm.
I’ve started some astrophotography projects, since we are out in the country and light pollution is relatively low. One of the really wonderful things to see is the moon each night gradually arcing across our tree covered backdrop.
We tried to produce our first double chocolate figs this year… It was almost a six month process, but they came out beautifully.
Here’s the text from our insert –
These Double Chocolate Brandied Figs will have a delightful splash of high end French Brandy, a Ghiradelli Granache, a delightful dark chocolate Christmas coat, and a hint of Georgia Walnut.
These figs were picked in late harvest from our fig trees on the farm, then lovingly prepared with walnut fillings and placed in oak casked smooth French Brandy for almost six months in our special fig cellar.
At peak flavor they have been dried, filled with a chocolate Grenache, aired, and then coated in decadent dark chocolate before being wrapped for you.
All food safety protocols were used in this process, to ensure the best quality and security for your enjoyment!
Don and Keri, Coverland Farms
Ingredients: Figs, Brandy, Semi Sweet Chocolate, Heavy Cream, Dark Chocolate, Salt, Walnuts.
We have chantarelle mushrooms earlier in the year, but all sorts of mushrooms appear in the fall. Here are a few of the ones we most commonly see on our farm. Guess which ones they are and send us a message to find out if you’re right!
October in Georgia is Guava Season, and Coverland farms produces a couple quarts of pineapple guava each day – https://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feijoa. What is really great about pineapple guava is that they have a beautiful flower of red, pink, and white in early summer that is stunning, as well as the fruit in the fall. The fruit tastes like a mix between a pear and a pineapple, with a “sour patch” taste for the skin. Often you’ll just scoop out the insides and pass on the skin.
Guava juice, jam, and served hot with vanilla ice cream are all traditional ways to eat this delicious fruit. It’s also quite good in muffins, pastries and salsas.
We had a limited crop of sweet potatos this year, due to some bugs ruining about half the crop. Still, a good set of sweet potatos can last for a month or so, and are great in soufles, casseroles, baked in a variety of ways, fried, and in soups. Of course the most flavor ways aren’t as healthy, but regardless of how you eat it… the satisfaction of digging them out each fall to see what grew is wonderful.
One of the best parts of fall season are the wonderful fruits that reach peak ripeness. We have two small pomegranate trees on our farm, and there’s nothing like a fresh pomegranate to add flavor and color to a sauce or salad.
When Don was in elementary school, he used to walk home from school each day, and one of our neighbors had a large pomegranate tree…it seemed like there were hundreds of them. I’d grab a pomegranate for lunch when they were in season. Ours don’t produce as much as that due to climate and size, but there’s still nothing quite like fruit off the tree as the weather calms and cools during the fall.
September is here, and that means that some of our native trees produce a very sweet fruit called “persimmons”. This is not the same as those that are native to Asia, although they are quite similar. The trees grow up to 60 feet high, and you need a pole with a hook, and maybe a tarp, to shake the fruit off the limbs and collect them up. Persimmons have a very short season, and if you get them before they are ripe they can be “cottony” and taste awful… but at the peak of the season, they are as sweet and tasty as the best dates or apricots you’ve ever had.
Traditionally they are made into a “pudding” which we’d call a cake nowadays. They are also good in jams, sauces, and over fresh beet salads.
Our favorite dinner meals with Figs include Fig with Brussel Sprouts, a southern favorite, and Figs with Pasta. The best of those pasta recipes remains the Fig and Olive Gnocchi (No-Key).
First, wash, destem, and dice the figs (4-6 figs per person)
Second, dice Castelvetrano olives (the King of savory olives, although other olives will work is savory and not overly salty in tast), roughly 12 olives.
Add in 3/4 to a bowl, set the rest aside.
Third, place in a medium heat pan with garlic and olive oil. I use pre-prepared garlic olive oil, but if not, then fry up 2-4 bulbs of garlic in olive oil. Add in butter to taste (1-2 tbsp) and salt.
Cook your Gnocchi, follow directions for it, then place Gnocchi in pan and fry until crispy on exterior in oil sauce, typically 2-4 minutes per side. Add in the 3/4 diced mixture and cook until diced elements stick to Gnocchi (optional adding of wine here for a light burre blanc sauce taste)
Plate the Gnocchi, and add the remaining figs and diced olives on top. Grate parmesiagno reggio until top is covered, and serve hot.
It’s vegan, it’s a mixture of cool and hot, crispy and soft, savory and sweet… perfect for a late afternoon or early evening repast.
One of the best things to freeze with figs is… Fig and Apple Pie. It’s great fresh, from the fridge, but can be frozen and thawed with great results. It’s a little bit of fall in the midst of any season.
First, take 2 granny smith apples, peel and core. Then slice evenly, no more than 1/4″ thick slices.
Second, rinse, destem, and then slice your figs in three equal top to bottom slices.
Place both in a cooking pot, and add fresh grated nutmeg (if you have it) 1/2 tsp, honey (1 tbsp), cinnamon 1 tbsp, 2 tbsp of corn starch and 1/3 of a cup of water. Mix/stir
Slowly heat up apples, and keep on burbling heat for 10 -15 minutes, until it thickens and you can see a brown, seedy mix around the apples and figs.
Cook your pie shells in the over for 10 minutes at 350-400 depending upon elevation and humidity… Then add filling and cook until crust is brown and pie looks even. Take out and let cool.. I recommend serving with vanilla gelato and some whipped cream.
The key is to get very tart apples and not overdo the honey, so the natural sweetness of the figs comes out.
It’s tasty and a great gift for later in the year.