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Archive for December, 2009

Texas Mesquite Tree

Mesquite seems to be everywhere these days. Folks making beer¬†hope to give it a sweet/bitter taste. Mequite syrup (recipe below) or flour can be used in baking. And rumor has is Blue Bell is coming out with a Mesquite Bean Ice Cream next year. Could be just a rumor though….Shhh…

Mesquite is also a pretty cool plant. According to wiki, mesquite is an extremely hardy, drought-tolerant plant because it can draw water from the water table through its long taproot (recorded at up to 190 ft {58 m} depth). However, it can also use water in the upper part of the ground, depending upon availability. The tree can easily and rapidly switch from utilizing one water source to the other.

Mesquite Bean Syrup/Jelly/Sugar

Pick the beans from the tree after they are ripe – – tan to reddish brown.
An apron full.
Break pods into short lengths.
Cover with water and boil slowly for 45 minutes.
Mash with a potato masher or the like.
Strain through cheese cloth.
Set first brew aside.
Boil the mashed pulp again for 45 minutes with water to cover.
Strain again.
Discard pulp.
Combine again, strongly over high heat at first, then low until liquid becomes light
to medium syrup. Add pectin or Sure-Jell and lemon juice (1/2 lemon for each of
cups of liquid) for jelly.
Continue boiling, carefully, until crystallization, for sugar.

© 1995 John Igo

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