Remember my post from 2 weeks ago? The one with the pineapple update? The update where I said we probably had at least 4-6 weeks until harvest? Well, we went to Austin last weekend to visit the kids and came home to this:
I don’t know how this happened. They went from firm, mostly green and this:
to completely, thoroughly golden-yellow ripe in 4 days. FOUR DAYS!
I can only attribute it to:
A.) four days of intense Houston heat, followed by
B.) a good solid day of rain during drought conditions, and
C.) my lack of experience growing pineapples (even with 15+ plants)
We had no choice but to harvest them before they got too ripe, which was disappointing because we really had hoped the kids would be here to participate. Instead, The Complete Package & I cut them down. No kids; no celebration.
Here’s a peek behind the curtain at how we’ve accumulated so many pineapple plants over the past few years. Each plant, while it’s fruiting, puts off several shoots (ratoons) that can be removed and replanted to form new plants. Each of our four fruiting plants put off at least 2 to 3 ratoons.
I’m no math whiz, but if each pineapple plant produces 3 ratoons PLUS a pineapple fruit, that means you now potentially have FOUR (4) additional future pineapple plants, because you can replant the ratoons and replant the top off the pineapple fruit. We started six years ago with the top of a pineapple plant we’d bought at the grocery store. We now have over 15 plants because we keep re-potting the ratoons & pineapple tops. I joke about our mini-plantation, but it’s actually kind of true. They’re taking over our back porch. Two years ago, we harvested one lonely but gorgeous pineapple. This year, we got this:
Which brings me to our new little gadget I just have to show off. My friend Kirsten of Comfortably Domestic (my sister from another mister) and her four boys were so excited about our pending pineapple harvest, they sent us the new OXO ratcheting pineapple corer & slicer. Oh, baby!
To use it, lop the top off your pineapple, leaving about 3/4″ so you can replant it later and become a semi-obsessed mini-plantation pineapple farmer like me.
We set the pineapples into a mixing bowl to capture any juice so I could make marmalade (always thinking ahead), then TCP set about coring those golden puppies. The OXO pineapple corer tore right through each pineapple in seconds.
It was amazing to watch and surprisingly fun to use.
Did I mention it ratchets? You don’t have to turn the bowl or move the pineapple or anything! Just twist the handle on top and it ratchets after each cut until it reaches the bottom. Once done, you simply pull the rings right out of the shell. That’s right – I said rings!
It cuts the entire pineapple into perfectly even rings. Shut up! I know!
We set aside one tub of rings for Jonah Bear & Lilly Bug, since they both said they’d like to recreate our pineapple upside-down cake from the 2011 harvest, and poured most of the pineapple and juice into the Dutch oven to make my first ever batch of pineapple upside-down marmalade (pineapple, brown sugar & maraschino cherries). With that, there was only one last task to conquer.
Remember that post I mentioned in the first paragraph? The one where I said we probably had a few weeks until harvest? Well, I may have mentioned in that post that I’d also like to make fruity cocktails with this batch of pineapples. And since the OXO corer/slicer did such a nice job of creating the perfect vessel, there was just one last thing to do.
You should know me well enough by now to know that I never turn down a fruity ‘pinkies up’ frou-frou girly cocktail. So here’s to you, and here’s to friends who send friends kitchen gadgets, and here’s to the great pineapple harvest of 2013.
Oh, and just in case you’d like to join me:
25 responses to “I don’t know how this happened.”
WAHOO! Pineapple Harvest 2013 was a rousing success! Congratulations my fruit farming friend. The Sons were thrilled to see their gift in action. They were even more thrilled seeing the pineapple shell as a beverage glass for your “juice.” Now I’m tasked with making mocktails so they can do the same. I feel a luau coming on…
I love a good luau. :)
Holy Pina Colada Jeanne! Those pineapples are BEAUTIFUL! So sorry the kids could not be there for the celebration harvest. But you and TCP could have at least worn grass skirts! I’m with Kristen….those cocktail cups make it a celebration! And I can’t wait to see the upside down cake again!
Thanks, Anne. We were bummed the kids weren’t here, but that didn’t stop us from having fun. The pina coladas in the pineapple shells were fabulous, and I can’t wait for that next upside down cake either! The last one was so delicious. Jonah Bear will be a baker some day. And a rock star. And a rocket scientist.
Yummy! I’m eating pineapple as we speak. Please send me a piece of the pineapple upside down cake.
Hahaha… no way, Thoughtsy. I share dessert like you share Pop-Tarts or fro-yo. :)
Ummm…but it’s for the baby?
Oh, snap…. she played the Baby Card. And so it begins…
Ahhh, another successful harvest at the NanaBread Farm! Looks like it is a yummy one. :)
Indeed it was. I’ll bring a jar of that pineapple upside-down jam to Thanxmas so you can try it!
How exciting! I would love to have a pineapple tree.
I’m sure you could probably grow them in west Texas, Meagan. Just bring them inside when it drops below freezing. All you need to get started is a pot of dirt and the top off a pineapple. It really is that easy! Congrats on your big move & the new shop, by the way. I’m cheering for you! -jeanne
How COOL is that and to have the end result in being able to eat what you grew!!! Happy Tuesday – thinking about tropical paradise and pineapples now:)
Hey, Renee! You know what? Pineapples taste much sweeter when you grow them yourself! Thanks for dropping in to comment. -jeanne
I must try. It’s so fun to see your plantation grow.
It’s even more fun to eat them, Pilar!
Jeanne, I’m so glad you’re sharing your pineapple farming with us. I love fresh pineapple and you can’t get any fresher than what you have. It’s a bummer the kids missed this harvest but I’m sure there will be many more. Great tool that Kirsten sent you too! Cheers!
We’ve had so much fun growing our own pineapples. It’s such a novelty item. It is a bummer that the kids missed out on cutting them, but we saved a tub of pineapple rings for another upside-down cake. That’s what they’re most focused on anyway. That OXO pineapple corer was a hoot! It made quick work of those pineapples and the rings came out perfectly even. I loved it!
I am so impressed with your harvest Farmer Jeanne! If your amazing success with planting pineapple tops didn’t inspire me enough to give it a go, one look at those pineapple drink containers had me convinced! :)
Inspiring the world to grow pineapples – one cocktail container at a time. Ha! Thanks, Wendy! You’ll have to let me know when you plant your first
:) :) Will do!
Coladas, cake and marmalade…oh my! I’m so smiling right now Jeanne. The golden hue of the fruit is glorious and I can’t say I’ve seen a plant-ripened ones before. And what a pal Kirsten is to send the coring tool too. Betty sends her regards―I’m thinking of potting her up a little friend.
You need to do it, Brooks! Not sure if it’s scientifically accurate, but I think mine fruited faster when they had other plants around. Cross-pollination, maybe? Or it could just be they were happier. Whichever, it seemed to help. Please give Betty all my best wishes. I’d say give her a hug, but I’ve been poked by those little thorns too often to go there. :)
You are too funny Jeanne! The fruiting/ripening agent is ethylene gas emitted by the fruit itself. It’s a natural hormone trigger that gets things going whether it’s reproduction or ripening. But that’s as far as I’m going with hormones. ;-)
Thanks for the science lesson! I had no idea. Ethylene gas or not, though, everyone needs friends. Betty included.