Building the Perfect Pineapple

Pineapples have long been associated with the surfing lifestyle. Cultivated for ages in Hawaii, of course, and even since the late 1800’s here in Brevard County, Florida by early Japanese settlers in the south part of the county- until a nasty freeze stopped that for a while. They are great to help digestion, and I’ve had pineapple on a dive boat after a dive to get rid of the saltwater taste- it works fantastic. I’ve also been feeling under the weather lately, so it’s a great pick-me-up.
Now, I’m no gardener, and I don’t have a big yard by any means, but I have learned how to take a store bought pineapple and plant the top to make a new one, even in a small space. Here’s how.
First, start off with a whole pineapple- either one store bought or from a garden. Try not to steal one out of somebody else’s- they take two years to grow sometimes, and karma can suck.

Tasty.

Chop off the top part of the pineapple, not too close to the green, leaving a bit of the gold meat on:

 

Take the gold part in one hand and the green top in the other and twist the bottom away, getting as much of the gold meat off of the green top as possible. Peel away the bottom leaves of the green top to expose the stubby roots:

Place the top into a jar of water with the roots covered:

Here’s a top after one week of soaking in water that’s been changed out daily indoors- you can see the roots really beginning to show:

Once the roots are prominent like this, it’s ready to plant in soil. I usually overkill a bit on the pot size just because pineapples are tricky to transfer after the fact. I plant it up to the first leaves on the bottom, making sure the top is firmly in the soil.

Planted!

Now, it’s a wait, but homegrown pineapples are the best. Keep it well watered and in good sun. When it does get near ripened and begins to smell like a pineapple, make a small cage around it from chicken wire to keep the raccoons off or they will peel the fruit right off, trust me.
Enjoy!

La Sofia Surf Smoothie

One of my favorite surfers is Sofia Mulanovich. She won the Women’s World Title back in 2004, and it was a first for a South American surfer.

Sofia in action

Also, she’s from Lima, Peru, where my Spanish tutor’s from. I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot about Peru and would like to go there to surf, even though some parts, especially Lima, according to my teacher, have become overrun with some not-so-savory types these days.
Speaking of savory, though, she’s always introducing me to dishes from her native Peru, and fruits too, if she can get them at the specialty grocer. One fruit I really like in dishes in guanabana, or soursop, as it’s known here.

Picture of a guanabana fruit- I wonder who lost the dare to be the first to eat it?

Under my nose the whole time at the grocery has been guanabana nectar in the ethnic foods section! My teacher swears up and down that this fruit is supposed to be a cure all and a health improver (I need to follow a healthier diet anyway), so, I’d thought I would put it into a healthy pre/post surfing, good-for-you smoothie drink with a nod to the homeland of Sofia Mulanovich. At least it tastes better than Noni. Blech.

It’s got simple ingredients:

2 1/2 cups of blueberries (cheap ’cause they’re in season right now)
1 well ripened banana
2/3 cup Guanabana nectar (in the ethnic foods or health food section of a grocery)
2 1/2 cups of ice (give or take, depends on how you like your smoothie)
Blender

Makes 2 large servings.

Basic ingredients
2/3 cup of guanabana nectar
Before

I used the ice crush setting first, then the blender setting, just to make sure I wouldn’t have big chunks of ice left in the smoothie.

After

Now, to have some more fun with the drinks, I put gummy sharks into the smoothies (don’t do this if your trying to be healthier, of course!), but it’s a fun find when someone sucks their smoothie down. They do sink to the bottom, so I put some out in front to show you what they look like- I abstained from the sharks in mine, on the right, but they are cute!

This can work as a meal if you’re on the smaller side, since it’s got a lot of volume, and is something quick to eat so you can do those 5 hour sessions. The guanabana works well with the bananas, so you could replace the blueberries with bananas, but I really like keeping the bananas in somewhere, it just mellows the smoothie out.
Enjoy!

The Line Up Grillin’ Apron

We’ve been really fortunate this winter here in Florida with the warm weather. In fact, many people have their grills out and are driving me nuts with the good smell. That’s when I thought about this craft.
Something I found recently at the craft store was this printable cotton fabric. I thought this was the coolest thing. I’ve used iron on transfers, of course, but never heard about actual fabric that could be printed on a home printer.

Printable fabric

I picked up a pre-made apron at the store, or you can use one you already have. I wouldn’t make one, they’re cheaper to buy than make and you’re going to get it dirty.

Ready made cooking apron

I chose a fun Paddleboarding Line Up picture I liked that was interesting. I ran one of these fabric sheets through my ink jet, and set it to print on the whole page and in photo quality. The fabric sheet is backed with stiff peel away paper so it can go through the printer smoothly.

Picture out of the printer

Let the picture dry for a while. After that, the instructions told me to peel off the backing, leaving just the cotton cloth, then run it under some tap water until the water is clear. I didn’t have any bleed, I think since I let it dry overnight. Next, I wrung it out on an old towel then dried it with a hot iron.

Fabric drying on the towel

I got out some of my trusty Steam-A-Seam Light (a double sided adhesive for binding fabrics together), and started adhering the fabric to the 8 1/2″ by 11″ piece of Steam-A-Seam first.

Steam-A-Seam sheets and photo fabric

Before I placed it and steamed it in place on the apron, I cut out the picture a bit just to make it a little more interesting.

Fabric steamed onto apron

You can stop there, but of course, I have to make things worse. I did a baseball stitch around the image, and fabric marker’ed around it for fun.

Hosed up apron

The nice thing about using printed fabric is that I can chuck this all teriyaki’d up into the washer and not worry about the image chipping or peeling off of the apron. Of course, there’s a whole bunch of other stuff you can do with printable fabric too, which I’m going to try out this week. 😉
Time for the inevitable question: gas or charcoal? Propane’s my choice- there’s some trees I’d like to keep in the backyard. Friends don’t let friends use lighter fluid. Yuck!

Seahorse Cookies!

So today was a bit gloomy after having good surf yesterday, so I decided to make some sugar cookies from a roll of Pillsbury.
But, I wanted to make it fun, so I got out my ocean critter cookie cutters (yes, they make these!) and selected my favorite, the seahorse. When I rolled out the dough, I rolled it thin since these type of cookies can come out like a non-descript blob if they’re too thick (trust me, I’ve made a batch of fat, shapeless seahorses).

However, when I was looking through my sprinkles and cookie glitter to decorate the cookies, I had rainbow sprinkles, red glitter, and snowflake sprinkles. Not really suitable for seahorses, at least to me today.
Instead, I used brown sugar and hand sprinkled it over the cookies. As you can tell, I didn’t try to be too neat, just trying to aim for the cookies as much as possible. For the eyes, I used little sugar pearls.

Pre-baked cookies

I think they came out OK- at least they resemble seahorses this time.

Out of the oven
Seahorse cookies

I tried one, and they were great with the brown sugar on top.
I did feel guilty, though, eating a seahorse. Sounds like a really horrific Fear Factor, right? Ewwww…..

Holiday Surfboard Cookies

Every year, a lot of people make holiday cookies with their families, or on their own, just cause they get a hankerin’….. I understand.
This year, I thought I’d try making surfboard and shark cookies. Here’s my attempt.
First, I got some pre-made sugar cookie dough, a rolling pin, and a knife.

Dough, flour, knife, and rolling pin

Next, I rolled the dough out to about 1/4″ thick. When I cut the surfboard shapes out, I made them on the skinny side knowing that they would spread a bit in the oven. I made the surfboards freehand, and I had a shark cookie cutter (yes, they make those!). I used a silicone baking mat so I didn’t have to grease up a pan with more butter.

Ready to go into the oven

After about 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees, I took them out and let them cool for a good 5 minutes. I used white frosting as a base coat on the cookies:

Don’t use too much frosting…

Then I got out some colored sugar and chocolate piping icing and had fun!

Sharks
A little quiver
Yeah, they’re supposed to be bars of wax.

I’m no Martha Stewart or Rachael Ray, but they were fun to make and something a bit different for the holidays, or really, whenever.
Just don’t make a whole bunch of surfboard cookies and take a bite out of the side of each to be funny. Don’t be that guy. Really. That’s gross.
Easy way to get dibs, however.