I finally bit the bullet and just got the pawpaws all processed, the seeds are in to ferment.
I never did find a truly good recipe for pawpaw preserves, so I just kind of 'winged it'.
When I processed them, I actually got more seeds than pulp, I suppose that partly is from the drought?
I even saved the peels, if the twig tips are good to get rid of bugs, how much would the peels do? I don't know, but I am going to ferment them, and try them out on some stinging caterpillars!
I had to put lemon juice on the pulp as I processed it, to prevent browning much like apples or bananas do.
Quite a slow process, I see clearly why, they are mostly eaten fresh!
I had done 5-6 previously and not a big deal for a loaf of 'banana bread'.
But with a huge bowl full, it was a major project.
I cooked them a bit and tasted... wow the bitter after taste was quite apparent. So, I looked up how to deal with that.
It said salt, sour, and sweetening would deal with it.
Okay, I sprinkled some salt on them, more sugar, another TSP of lemon juice, and warmed it up tasted again. I kept doing this until most of the bitterness was not apparent.
I decided to really play on the banana flavor, I found that I had 5 frozen bananas (I freeze them for making smoothies) and I added these to it.
Then I got out the Sure gel, since there is no pectin in pawpaw and bananas. It needed 5 cups of sugar. I had added 2 cups already.
I cooked it down a bit, then I mixed the Surejel with some water, and added it to the pulp. I boiled it, then, I dumped in 4 more cups of sugar, to be sure there was plenty in there to gel this concoction.
While I was filling the canning jars, I had hubby taste test... he said it tastes like "peaches". Whoa wait a minute, peaches? I took pawpaw, lemon juice, banana, and salt and made peach jam?
But, he is right, it tastes just as much like peaches as it does pawpaws, banana or lemons! How weird!
This morning I checked out my jars, they are pretty, not really gelled, kind of like applesauce in color and texture. My camera is on loan for a bit, so no photos. But I got 14 half pints done!
Now on to the seeds. I have a huge bowl of them to ferment.
Anyone want some speak up now...
I am going to process about half for in frig storage to send to folks.
The other half, I am going to dry out.
Then I am going to try to grind them in my blender.
I read that Native Americans used them to get rid of head lice!
Wonder how they would work on fleas? I do plan to grind them, and have them on hand to try them on various vermin issues. If the grandkids come home with head lice, it would be a less toxic way of dealing with them. We normally do alot of hot oil treatments, and blow drying of their hair to prevent an infestation but, you just never know when that won't be enough and they will get head lice. I have the seed, so why not try?
I also plan to go harvest some twig tips and boil these up into some insecticide. Hey they will soon go dormant anyhow. Worth a try!
I feel like a 'mad scientist'.
Suggestions and cautions welcome.
Talk to your plants.... If your plants talk to you... Run!