When we moved out to the suburbs of Atlanta over two years ago, my mind went into cultural shock from being one of the very few couples in our neighborhood without children to having a 40 minute drive get to midtown Atlanta. Luckily (or not) I happened to work from home and a daily commute wasn’t something that I needed to worry about.
Over the past couple years, I went through phases of “I hate living out in the ‘burbs” to “well, I love our house so I guess I’ll deal” back to “when are we going to move already?!”
Well, I am glad to say that I’m finally, really(?) starting to warm up to living in the suburbs. It may be from joining a gym that I really enjoy or having new neighbors that we like chatting with or finally realizing that we won’t be able to have a monster-sized backyard if we move back into the city.
What do you do with a large backyard? You plant things of course!
Edible things, that is.
I’ve been wanting to plant a fruit tree in our backyard for a little while now and when I heard about Atlanta Local Food Initiative‘s Incredible Edible Grow-It-Yourself Fruit Tree, Vine & Berry Bush sale (wow, that was a mouthful!), I immediately hopped over to Georgia Organics’ website and pre-ordered a brown turkey fig tree and a blackberry bush.
Figs and blackberries – two of my most favorite fruits in the world. If we can manage to nurture and grow our little plants, just think of the lovely fruits that can be picked right out in our backyard!
Pick-up of our new plants was over this past weekend at the Atlanta Community Food Bank. Despite the crazy thunderstorm that morning, we picked up our little ones and brought them home, safe and sound.
Then it was time to place the fig tree in the ground. Of course, my lovely husband was kind enough to do the hands on part:
And put up some chicken wire to deter our dig-happy pups from the new tree.
“Hey Mom… whatcha doin’?”
Grow little one, grow!
Our figs and blackberries won’t be ripe and ready for picking for another year or two, so in the meantime, I thought I would satisfy my fruit craving with a nice coconut panna cotta with pomegranate jello inspired by my brilliant friend, Jen of Use Real Butter.
Coconut Panna Cotta with Pomegranate Jello (4 servings)
1 can coconut milk (15 oz)
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 teaspoons agar agar, divided
1/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup pomegranate juice
1/4 cup boiling water
For the panna cotta, mix 1 teaspoon agar agar in a small bowl with 1/4 cup warm water, then set aside.
In a small saucepan, combine the coconut milk, agave and vanilla. Mix well and bring the mixture to a boil for about a minute. Pour the agar agar mixture into the coconut mixture and stir to combine.
Divide the coconut mixture evenly into four serving containers and place in the refrigerator to set for about 4 hours.
To make the pomegranate jello, mix 1 teaspoon agar agar with 1/4 cup boiling water. Then pour into a small mixing bowl with the pomegranate juice. Mix well, and then pour onto the panna cotta after the panna cotta has set.
Then place the containers back into the refrigerator to set for another 4 hours.
Note: If the pomegranate juice is too tart or sour, mix in some agave or sugar to taste. The result should still be tangy.