Tag Archives: Jonah Bear

Pineapple Update!

Our pineapple babies are growing nicely. I realized it’s been forever since my last update, and I thought you’d like to see how they’re doing. This year, we have four. FOUR! Well, four actual fruits. We’re currently up to eight pots and over a dozen plants. If you add in the ratoons (offshoots) that will have to be replanted soon, we’re up to 25+ potential pineapple plants. It’s practically a mini-plantation now. Watch your back, Dole. I’m coming for you.

Pineapple Collage - Aug2013

In my head I call them Eenie, Meenie, Miney & Mo. This is Mo (below).

Pineapple Close-Up - Aug2013

Judging by our last pineapple harvest in 2011, I’m guessing these are still at least 4-6 weeks from fully ripe which means late September or possibly even early October. But that’s okay, because we got another surprise this month – a new batch of bananas – and they’ll be ripe at about the same time.

Bananas - Aug2013

{sniff….sniff…} I smell daiquiris!

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Filed under Miscellaneous Thoughts, Things I Love

Random Thoughts Thursday

It’s early Thursday morning and I desperately need coffee. So while I’m making a cup, feel free to browse a few random things that came up this week.

1. Bake Sale for Beka (aka Cookies for Crohn’s)
My friend Megan from Country Cleaver is hosting this amazing on-line bake sale benefitting the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America for the second year running. I’m participating again by baking four dozen of these Cherry Almond Shortbread Cookies dipped in dark Guittard chocolate. Holy yum!

Cherry & Almond Shortbreads - Inside NanaBread's Head

Made with flour & almond meal, dried Michigan cherries, toasted almonds & real butter these shortbread cookies stand on their own without any chocolate. But what fun is that? Seriously, when things can be dipped in dark chocolate, they absolutely should be. If these beauties have captivated you, you can bid on them! If you win, I’ll ship 4 dozen directly to your home, dipped in whichever type of chocolate you prefer – white, milk or dark. Winner’s choice.

To bid or browse the other selections generously donated by a plethora of fabulous food bloggers go to Megan’s website THIS SATURDAY, JUNE 22, 2013. That’s right, folks… this is a one day on-line auction benefiting the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation and celebrating Beka’s first half-marathon for the cure. For the record, on a scale of 1 to 10, Beka is a 15 kind of amazing. So mark your calendar and drop in on the Bake Sale for Beka to watch the bidding shenanigans. And if you end up with the winning bid on my cookies, I might just throw in a jar of homemade jelly. It’s been known to happen.

2. The Complete Package went to the Republic of Texas motorcycle rally in Austin and all we got were photos & disco light sabers.
Okay, that’s true but not entirely true. TCP (my beloved) DID attend the ROT Rally in Austin where his girlfriend (if I may brag a bit) took first place in the Metric Customs category. Yes, I refer to his motorcycle as his girlfriend. Here’s a snap in case you’re curious about her. Meh; she’s okay I guess. :)

TCP's Honda Fury

Each year, on Friday evening, participants in the motorcycle rally ride from the Austin fairgrounds into downtown in a bike parade that stretches more than 10 miles. MILES, people. And each year, My Baby and I take the grandkids downtown to watch the parade so they can see their Papi ride in. They get the biggest kick out of seeing him in the parade. It’s his rock star moment.

After he gets downtown and parks, we all walk Congress looking at the motorcycles and snapping photos. Here are a few from last Friday night. This first one is of Jonah Bear & Lilly Bug with ‘The Cat Lady’. She’s really popular.

ROT Rally 2013 - Jonah & Lilly with Cat Lady

ROT Rally 2013 - Strolling on Congress

ROT Rally 2013 - State Capitol

3. I took the kids back to Springdale Farm.
Remember last week when I mentioned I had the privilege of visiting Springdale Farm for the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance dinner as part of the BlogHer Food conference? It was a wonderful, magical night under the stars and trees.

Springdale Farm - US Farmers & Ranchers Dinner

I enjoyed it so much I vowed to bring My Baby and the kids for a visit, and last Saturday we did just that. Despite the heat, the kids had a great time and enjoyed walking the farm, spotting fresh vegetables, and picking out some to take home. In case I haven’t been clear in past posts, I L-O-V-E a good farmer’s market or farm stand and Springdale Farm is now one of my favorites. If you’re in Austin, please visit and support a local farmer. Food doesn’t get any fresher.

Lilly & The Chickens - Springdale Farm

Jonah & Lilly - walking the herb garden at Springdale Farm

Farm Stand at Springdale

Ever wondered what an artichoke looks like when it’s left to bloom? Well now you know. You’re not going to see that in a grocery store, folks!

Artichoke Blooms - Springdale Farm

We also attempted to take Jonah & Lilly on a mural hop around Austin. More on that later, but here’s a glimpse of what we did before we died of heat stroke.

Lilly & Jonah at Austin Mural

4. Nothing rocks summer like the glitter polish.
It started with pale pink glitter polish over raspberry red and it has now morphed into pale teal glitter over a dark teal base. For a girl who doesn’t usually paint her nails, I’m totally digging the disco glitter. Hello summer!

The Megan - Teal Sparkle Nails

5. Don’t forget this weekend’s Bake Sale for Beka on-line auction!
I mean it, people. Buy my cookies and I’ll make it worth your time & money. We’re talking FOUR DOZEN HANDMADE FROM SCRATCH COOKIES and homemade jam or jelly. If I could ship a puppy, I would. I’m not above bribery. Whatever it takes. Just bid. It’s for a good cause and there are cookbooks & cookies to be had. LOTS of cookies. For a preview, CLICK HERE.

BakeSale4Beka

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Filed under Blogger Collaborations, Family Stuff, Food & Recipes, Miscellaneous Thoughts, Things I Love

A Pineapple Update

If you’re a regular reader, you might remember that in 2011 we grew and harvested our first ever homegrown pineapple. It was the best of times.

Our first ever pineapple; summer of 2012

Our first ever pineapple; summer of 2012

We’re such dorks, we called our kids & grandkids and invited them over for the weekend so we could harvest it together. The Complete Package helped our grandson, Jonah Bear, cut the first pineapple. Go Jonah Bear!

Jonah Bear puts some muscle into harvesting the pineapple.

Jonah Bear puts some muscle into harvesting the pineapple.

Then Jonah & I immediately cut it up and baked a birthday cake for our granddaughter, Lilly Bug. What a great adventure that was. And so much fun.

Lilly Bug blows out the candles on her homemade cake.

Lilly Bug blows out the candles on her homemade cake.

Well, this year – we have four baby pineapples. FOUR! It’s so amazing. Of the ten pineapple plants currently growing on our back porch, four have bloomed and produced fruit. We are so excited! Here are a few shots of the new babies.

This snap shows the baby pineapple on its stalk.

This snap shows the baby pineapple on its stalk.

This one shows the crown starting to form on top.

This one shows the crown starting to form on top.

If you look closely at the tips, you'll see the purple flowers almost ready to emerge.

If you look closely at the tips, you’ll see the purple flowers almost ready to emerge.

So hold on to your britches, folks. This summer promises to bring All The Pineapple Goodies. While I’m sure there’s another pineapple upside-down cake in our future (because last year’s cake was beyond delicious), there’s no telling what the others may become. Pineapple preserves? Pineapple sherbet? Pineapple tarts? Feel free to shout out suggestions! Like all other mothers with new babies, I’m sure I’ll post additional photos as they grow.

Ever the proud pineapple momma,
-Jeanne (NanaBread)

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“Avast, Ye’ Scurvy Dogs!”

Avast, ye dogs! We’re here to blunder yer booty & yer ice cream freezer!


Ahoy, matey! I just got back from 11 days in Austin with my kids/grandkids and now I’m off again for another week of travel. If things don’t slow down, I’m going to need a vacation from my vacations. What a terrible problem to have, right? While The Complete Package and I are off celebrating our 30th anniversary (yes, I got married at the tender age of 7 – wink, wink) I’ll leave you with these little scallywags. Fair warning – hide your wallets. These tiny pirates must be in search of treasure, because they’ve already stolen our hearts.

Captain Jack Sparrow & Elizabeth Swan in their early, more formative years.

PS – Yes, they are the greatest grandkids ever. PPS – Yes, I am totally biased.

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Howdy, partners!

Pardon my absence, but our wagon was hijacked by these rowdy cowpokes.

The Complete Package & I had an absolutely fabulous week with the greatest grandkids on earth. As we say in Texas, “it ain’t bragging if it’s true!”

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Republic of Texas Bike Rally (ROT) Austin 2012

The suns sets over the Texas state capitol during ROT 2012


If you read my blog, you’ve occasionally heard me reference The Complete Package (my beloved husband) and his girlfriend (his beloved motorcycle). Each year, TCP takes his girlfriend… er, motorcycle… to Austin to participate in the Republic of Texas (ROT Rally for short) Bike Rally. And every year, I pack my Jeep full of his gear, my stuff and our Boston Terrier and fulfill my destiny as the driver of the support vehicle. Lest you think I’d rather be riding on the back of said motorcycle, think again. But that’s a story for another day.

Each year, approximately 50,000 motorcycle riders and 200,000 participants join in the fun at the largest motorcycle rally in the state of Texas. One of our favorite events of the weekend is the bike parade from the Austin fairgrounds northeast of town where the rally takes place to downtown Austin in front of the state capitol. It is really something.

With the parade route stretching about 11 miles long, bikers riding 2-across will stretch the entire length of the route for more than an hour. To give you an idea of how many riders take part, when the first riders pass the state capitol and turn onto Congress Avenue, there are still riders parked at the fairgrounds waiting for their turn to leave. That’s a solid line of riders stretching out for more than 11 miles riding across Austin, revving engines, honking horns, flashing lights and high-fiving onlookers as they pass. Even if you’re not a motorcycle enthusiast, it’s an impressive spectacle.

Here are a few photos from this year’s ROT Rally parade into downtown Austin.

Here they come! Escorts lead the first riders down Congress Avenue.

Lilly Bug, our granddaughter, takes in the parade from atop mommy’s shoulders.

Bikes of all shapes, sizes & colors parade past.

Some are stretched out choppers…

Some have stretched out riders…

Some get a big ‘thumbs up’ from event staff when they pass.

Some bikers share their ride with pink-haired cuties…

And some ride solo while rocking a spiked yellow helmet for color.

Some like to hide their identities like these mysterious luchadores.

Some represent the ‘older’ crowd on an ultimate trike…

While others represent the younger crowd like this green Ninja hottie.

Some riders are too cool for school…

While others are too fabulously outlandish for words.

As downtown fills with bikes, the first riders into downtown fill Congress Avenue starting at the state capitol and parking their way down to the river.

When a traffic jam occurs, some riders are friendly enough to stop and chat with our grandkids and pose for pictures.

Eventually, Congress Avenue becomes a giant parking lot filled with thousands of bikes and people begin to mingle and take it all in.

I love that the downtown parade is a family-friendly event. People of all ages, races, backgrounds and tastes come out to see this once-a-year event. Rally organizers throw a giant party downtown each year. There really is something for everyone – from bikes to live music to stunning architecture.

When all else fails, you can always break out the light sabers and battle to the death, as My Baby learned at the hands of Jonah Bear. Lilly joined in, too.

Every year, friendly riders show off their bikes to anyone who asks. Some will even let the kids sit on them and pose for photos. Jonah Bear loves that part. I think he likes dreaming of the day when he’ll be big enough to ride a bike into downtown Austin with his Papi. And to that, I say “let the boy dream!”

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Patching Knees – the NanaBread way

This is my grandson, Jonah Bear. At 5 1/2, he’s smart and funny and wonderful.

{Hi there, Jonah Bear. I love you, buddy. You light up my life.}

He’s really hard on the knees of his jeans. Oddly, just the left knee. It’s his knee of choice, evidently. Jonah Bear L-O-V-E-S his blue jeans. What he doesn’t love is holes in his knees, so My Baby brought a few with her at Easter and asked it I could take a crack at patching them. Here’s what I came up with:

{One, two, three. Three - ah, ah, ah.}

A funny kid deserves funny knee patches. Don’t you think? Something like this. Something that says, “Oh, please don’t go! We’ll eat you up; we love you so!” Can you name that book?

{Don't let the sharp teeth fool you. This guy's a pussycat.}

Or this. Peek-a-Boo! I see you! I’m a little concerned about how these buttons will feel if he slides on that knee. We’ll have to see how this one plays out.

{I'm calling this guy Bashful Buttons.}

And this last one? He’s a cheeky little monkey. All attitude, this guy.

{Double & Triple Stitched - because you know someone's going to pull on it.}

To make these, you’ll need some colorful felt, a few buttons, and a sewing machine. There’s no pattern. I just free-handed it. But I will tell you that it’s MUCH easier to stitch the pieces on to the background color before sewing them into the jeans. If they won’t fit over the base of your sewing machine, you can stitch them by hand. It will take a little longer, but it will work.

Now I just need to box them up and send them to Jonah Bear. I wish I could see his face when he opens them. I have a feeling he’s going to crack up laughing. Man, I love that kid!

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My Baby ran her first half-marathon!

My Baby {right} & her friend Lindsay stop for a picture at Mile 3

That’s right. My daughter is a rock star! After running a handful of 5Ks and one 10K, our daughter took on her first half-marathon and not only finished, but did it with a big smile on her face. Seriously… who runs 13.1 miles and still has a smile on her face? That’s right – My Baby!

TCP & the grandbabies bundled up

The Complete Package & I took Jonah Bear and Lilly Bug to the race so they could see Mommy run. Getting them up and dressed at 5:30am was not their idea of fun, but once we were out on the course staking a claim on a great vantage point (& unpacking breakfast snacks), they started to get more excited. It was freezing cold, or at least felt like it, but it was important to us to be there cheering from the sidelines and documenting her first half-marathon experience. It was so worth the cold and wind when the kids saw Mommy running up the street at Mile 3. I have to admit, I got excited, too. Once that first runner and his escort passed, it was a blur of runners for a good solid hour.

Here are a few snaps of the runners we cheered for until My Baby and her friend Lindsay ran past. I was amazed at the diversity of runners.

I don't know this girl, but she gets my vote for "Best Dressed in a Tutu"

This "Beer Run" sign was wildly popular with runners.

Oh, wait…. here they come! Here they come!

Coming into view at Mile 3 - all smiles and pure awesomeness

Hi, girls! We're all so proud of you two! Whoo Whoo!

This is where they stopped to have their picture taken (that first photo above). We were at the bell tower on Cesar Chavez near City Hall. It was a perfect vantage point for the early part of the race, and it was just far enough from the start line that they could shed their outer layer of clothing and leave it with us.

Once they were past us, we gathered up the kids, hit the port-o-potties (TCP has a special place in heaven now for taking 2 toddlers into portable toilets on a race course), took a stroll around downtown Austin, and made our way to the First Street bridge, where we saw the girls cross the river at Mile 8 – still smiling.

Matching hot pink shirts & black headbands made them easy to spot.

I snapped of a few quick shots of them coming across the river at Mile 8 before they spotted our son-in-law and his friend Marcus directly across the street from us. They rode their bikes to the race, and pretty much trailed the girls along the course. It turned out to be a perfect way for them to cheer the girls on, but also mule all the gel packs and energy bars they might need along the route.

My Baby stops for a gel break with her hubs {left} & their friend Marcus

It was right after this point that the kids hit the wall. Jonah Bear was tired and Lilly Bug was frozen like a popsicle. Her little hands were like ice. We agreed to meet the kids later for a post-race lunch and we headed home to give the babies a break and let them thaw out. At lunch, the girls celebrated with giant beers and a platter of carbs. They laughed at the looks they got walking into Pluckers in their full running gear and medals, but who cares? They had an awesome time, and met their goal – to finish together in under 3 hours. Their final time as they crossed the finish line side by side was 2:39:37.

Smile, ladies. You're about to win your 13.1 badge of honor.

I’m no expert, but I think that’s pretty awesome for a first half-marathon, and we couldn’t be more proud. As we celebrated over lunch, we asked our daughter if she would ever shoot for the full marathon. She immediately said, “Oh, no way! I can’t even imagine it!” Then I reminded her that she said the same thing about moving up from a 5K to a 10K, and from a 10K to the half-marathon. Her response? “Good point, Mom!”

So it’s settled. 2013 = 26.2. You might as well dream big.

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Yup. It’s’ Thursday.

And that means Friday is just around the corner. Do you have any big plans for the weekend? Our family will be celebrating a birthday.

Happy birthday, Jonah Bear! You're five and I'm stunned.

Jonah (our grandson, if you’re a new reader) turns 5 next week. I can hardly believe it. I honestly remember the day he was born like it was yesterday. He scared the water out of us. We thought we’d have time to drive to Austin for the big day and be there to hold My Baby’s hand to see her through the birth of her first child. Instead, little Jonah Bear went into distress and an emergency c-section was performed. That drive from Houston to Austin was the longest 3 hours of my life. Don’t worry. The story has a happy ending. He ended up being fine and we got there just about the time our daughter was settled into a room. When we saw Jonah for the first time, he was pink and swollen and wearing a knit cap. He looked like a tiny boxer that lost a really long bout, and we immediately fell in love. Now he’s a healthy, happy, funny boy who absorbs every detail like a sponge. He has a heart as big as Texas and a smile that will melt your heart. He is one of our greatest joys in life (as is his spunky little sister, Lilly Bug).

Hang onto your hats! Lilly Bug is in da' house!

Be A Good Cookie Week benefiting Cookies for Kids Cancer continues! It started with Kirsten at Comfortably Domestic on Sunday night when she announced what our blogging circle of friends was up to via the Cookies for Kids Cancer: Best Bake Sale Cookbook. (Sidebar: For a great take on what we’re up to this week, click here). On Monday, she started the week with a walk on the savory side with Parmesan Cheese Bites laced with cayenne pepper. My mouth still waters just thinking about these little gems. They are on my holiday “to do” list for sure. My Toasted Coconut Shortbreads were up next (on Tuesday). I’m saving these for a cookie exchange playdate next week, and let me tell you – it has been a challenge not to dig into that tub-o-cookies in my fridge. Yesterday, Megan at Wanna Be A Country Cleaver knocked my socks off with German Chocolate Cookies. Coconut, nuts and German chocolate in a warm, gooey cookie? Yes, please! This morning, I awoke to Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies by Kat at Tenaciously Yours. Now THAT is a breakfast, my friend. And because oatmeal is involved, you can bet I would use that excuse to eat them at 7am. Or 8am. Or all day. Her 1-to-1 chocolate to cookie dough ratio rocks.

Still to come this week – Mads at Le Petite Pancake and Allison at Decadent Philistines Save the World. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see what these ladies are baking. There’s a rumor going around that homemade gingersnaps may be in the works. GAH! Oh, and hey let’s not forget there are two giveaways going on for Be A Good Cookie Week! Click here to enter Kirsten’s giveaway and click here to enter mine. That’s two fabulous baking giveaways so you can bake your own holidays favorites and support Cookies for Kids Cancer at the same time. Better hurry – both giveaways end this weekend. You don’t want to miss your chance to win, or these fabulous recipes.

Parmesan Bites, Coconut Shortbreads, German Chocolate & Oatmeal Chocolate Chip

With all the decorating, shopping, baking and everything else that goes with the holidays, I’ve noticed that I’ve let a few things slide. For example, I really need to strip our beds and wash all the sheets. My pantry shelves are a mess and need to be emptied, cleaned and reorganized. Don’t even get me started on the closet in my sewing room. I’m afraid to even open that door. Most shocking, though, was what crawled out from under my sofa yesterday.

Hello, little dust bunny! If I weren't horrified, I'd think you're kinda cute.

Best thing about wood floors: they’re easy to care for.
Worst thing about wood floors: dust bunnies made of rug fuzz are highly visible.

Okay, kids. That’s all I’ve got. I’m off to strip beds, bake more cookies, and avoid closets at all cost. Hope you’re having a wonderful week, and that your weekend is even better.

PS – Did you hear about the reindeer that got loose on I-45 in Houston yesterday? Evidently, they busted out of their trailer and ran amok on one of the busiest freeways in town. Chaos ensued. Reindeer wranglers were called. No animals were harmed by their shenanigans, and all is well. I wish I’d seen it with my own eyes, though. Just the thought of it sleighs me.

And I’ll leave you with that golden nugget.

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Pineapple Update: A Harvest Tale

Once upon a time there was a young, hip grandma who planted the top off a store-bought pineapple and hoped for the best. For 6 1/2 years, this vibrant funny grandmother babied the pineapple plant. She watered it every third day. She set it in the sun and turned the pot so that all corners of the plant would thrive. When it dropped below 40F outside, she brought the pineapple plant indoors and lovingly wrapped it in a blanket. For six long years, she loved the pineapple plant. And then one day, just as all hope had been lost that the plant would ever produce an actual pineapple fruit, the plant finally bloomed.


Now, you should know that the average pineapple plant takes approximately 2 to 3 years to bloom and fruit. But this one was a late bloomer; a very, very late bloomer. On that day, the incredibly patient, horitculturally gifted grandmother cried a little. Not because she was a borderline wackadoo as her beloved husband hinted, but because her hard work and dedication had finally paid off. Her dream of nurturing a home-grown pineapple to fruition had finally been realized. Love triumphed over despair yet again… and it was a beautiful thing.

As the summer passed, the baby pineapple continued to grow as the caring yet brilliant grandmother was surprised and delighted daily. Together, they talked about the weather and sunlight and water and grandkids. Soon, the two of them became inseparable. The grandmother’s friends would see her and say, “Well, hello! And how is our baby pineapple doing?” And the grandmother would smile with pride and answer fondly, “She’s getting bigger and more beautiful every day” which was true, because the baby pineapple had begun to flower with lovely purple blooms the likes of which the scintillating grandmother had never seen.

As time passed, the baby pineapple matured and grew into the adult pineapple the loving grandmother had always known she would become. Slowly, her purple blooms turned into the traditional pentagon shape patterns of an adult pineapple fruit. Yes, the baby pineapple had blossomed into a lovely young woman, and the illustrious grandmother was very proud. Her hopes and dreams were not only realized but exceeded as the pineapple plant began to produce offshoots that in turn, produced six additional new pineapple plants. At this, the vibrant and charming grandmother was pleased beyond her wildest dreams.


But the wise, all-knowing grandmother understood that the future would eventually bring the inevitable. Some day, the pineapple fruit would mature to the point of harvest, and their more than six-year adventure together would end. This made the tender-hearted grandmother sad, but also hopeful. For the grandmother had a grandson, the gentle yet effervescent Jonah Bear, who – like the grandmother who planted the pineapple top and wished for the best – also had a dream. A dream of homemade pineapple upside-down cake.

And so, the day arrives when their more than six year journey ends

And so, with both sadness and excitement in their hearts, the family gathered this weekend to celebrate the second birthday of their beloved granddaughter Lilly Bug and the life and noble sacrifice of their beloved pineapple plant. Together they gave thanks for the blessings of nature as Jonah Bear (with help from the adults) at long last harvested the fruit from the pineapple plant.


And the family’s sadness was transformed into a joyful celebration of life.

A celebration of dreams come true, of a homemade pineapple upside-down cake, and of a little boy who couldn’t quite harness the excitement of it all.

With the creative and yet humble grandmother at his side, the boy known affectionately as Jonah Bear began his adventure in baking a birthday cake for his baby sister. He sprinkled brown sugar and melted butter into the bottom of his prepared pan. He carefully placed the fresh pineapple rings and pieces. He meticulously and lovingly nestled the maraschino cherries into place.

He waited until he thought the grandmother wasn’t looking and tried to snitch all the cherries back out of the pan without success because the patient but ever vigilant grandmother wasn’t born yesterday. Or the day before that.


And when all was said and done, the boy’s pineapple upside-down cake dream at last became a reality. A beautifully fragrant, homemade reality.

And a tiny princess got a birthday cake made with love by her personal hero.


And this made the grandmother happy. Blissfully happy. The End.

To see more about NanaBread’s pineapple plant adventures, simply type pineapple plant in the search box on the right hand side of this blog. It has been a long road from planting to harvest, but we enjoyed every minute of it. Thanks to everyone who came along on our pineapple adventure!

PS – the top of the pineapple has already been re-planted so it can grow and produce fruit of its own some day. I smell a sequel!

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