by Judy Ann Davis
Each year, May Apples--having other names like the “umbrella plant, duck’s foot, hog apple, ground lemon, wild jalap, Indian apple, raccoon berry, and American mandrake--bear a small lemon-shaped fruit that can be eaten and collected to use in preserves or summer punch. But it must be dead ripe. By dead ripe, the fruit or fleshy berry is clear yellow, with no green, and the pulp should be translucent with the berry ready to fall to the ground. Many people who collect the May apple’s fruit won’t pick them until the fruit actually has fallen onto the ground. By that time, the plant’s foliage had died off and only dry, bare stems and the fruit remain.
Although I’ve never tasted the May apple’s fruit because we always cut them down to allow the ferns to flourish, I’m told the taste is a sweet, mildly acid, exotic flavor. There are actually May apple recipes beside that of a trail side nibble. It can be the basis for a cold drink, or used for jelly (add pectin) compotes, marmalade, pies, and a sauce like applesauce. May apples can be canned; and they freeze well. Do not eat the seeds. Remove them before cooking. This year, I may try to allow a few plants to survive to a mature state with ripened fruit. And if I'm daring, I might try a couple.
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Four White Roses - Just released on May 17th
"Can a wily old ghost help two fractured souls
find love again?"
When widower Rich Redman returns to Pennsylvania with his young daughter to sell his deceased grandmother’s house, he discovers Grandmother Gertie’s final request was for him to find a missing relative and a stash of WWI jewels.
Torrie Larson, single mom, is trying to make her landscape center and flower arranging business succeed while attempting to save the lineage of a rare white rose brought from Austria in the 1900s.
Together, the rich Texas lawyer and poor landscape owner team up to rescue the last rose and fulfill a dead woman’s wishes. But in their search to discover answers to the mysteries plaguing them, will Rich and Torrie also discover love in each other’s arms? Or will a meddling ghost, a pompous banker, and an elusive stray cat get in their way?