Tuesday, February 5, 2008

My 1st Homegrown Gourmet Entry! Carambola Quick Bread


I guess I have mentioned before how much I love participating in all of the challenges that I keep coming across. I find that they make me get out of my comfort zone and really learn a new trick or two. When I saw this one though I thought "mmm that should be so nice and easy...and the kids love quick bread". How could one simple thought be so incredibly wrong???!!!

This challenge is being hosted by Canela & Comino and the rules are to make some form of quick bread which somehow represents your home region, hometown, state, or area. Representation can feature a local ingredient, be a traditional dish from your area, or be a creative twist. Fresh and local foods are encouraged!

I live in South West Florida. We are way south and this is our growing season here. Just imagine my options for this challenge:oranges, limes, lemons, grapefruit, zucchini, mangoes and the list goes on and on! So what did I decide to pick? Carambola or Star Fruit. I picked this because it is my oldest daughters favorite fruit. The season here is very short so I knew I needed to get moving on this one.

I went to the market to get the nice ripe Carambola... but they were out! I went to Publix to pick up the nice, ripe Carambola...but they were out! I went to the Farmer's Market to get the nice, ripe Carambola...but they were out! It was not looking good for Carambola Quick Bread. I jumped into action and came up with a back up plan. I bought some nice, ripe, juicy mangoes and went home and made some Mango Quick Bread. The teachers at the girl's school loved it though!
Mango Quick Bread

But I wasn't really happy with it! It was everything that it should be moist and fresh tasting. Did I want to use it as the entry for this challenge...Nope! I still wanted to make Carambola Bread. The NewsPress (our local news paper) had just ran a special feature on them and I needed to try this recipe!!!

Over this past weekend we did a bunch of errands and the whole time I was secretly hunting for Carambola. Then on Saturday night neither of us felt like cooking so we went out to dinner. We went to Red's which is on Pine Island (the island is famous for mangoes and exotic fruits). I asked T. if he could just drive a wee bit past the restaurant...so patient with me he is! Then we saw it. A small hand written sign advertising organic, fresh picked Carmabola!!! We drove down this dirt road and found the house. T. went and met the little old lady who was selling the fruit from her home. He brought me out 5 of the biggest, ripest Carambola I had ever seen!!! Had a great dinner at Red's then went home and made Carambola Bread!!!

I helped put the girls to bed and then dove right into it!!! Can you tell I'm not a football fan...this was on Super Bowl Sunday...T. had the TV blaring as was shouting and cussing at the screen all while I baked. In retrospect I may have been a little distracted. I put the bread in the oven and then sat down at my computer to type the recipe out for blogging. I was typing away and got to the baking powder. What baking powder??? I had forgotten to add the @*?? baking powder. Crap. Jumped up ran to the oven pulled out the already cooking bread and stirred in some baking powder. Well as you can guess this bread sucked. Seeing though that I still had 3 Carambola's left I knew it would be alright. I hate to throw out food though and there was no one that I would have fed that to so I decided to make bread pudding out of it. Now that was really good!!!
Carambola Quick Bread Pudding

To make it all I did was cut up my brick of bread and placed it in a bowl. I then mixed up 2 eggs with about 2 cups of milk and 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 Tbsp of vanilla. I pour this over the bread and let it sit for about 5 minutes. I poured this into a 9 X 11 baking dish and put it in a 350 degree oven for about 45-50 minutes or until puffy and set. This was a real hit...but back to the challenge entry!

Finally yesterday morning with no distractions I was able to make some really incredible Carambola Quick Bread.

Carambola Bread Recipe

As Always...

Happy Entertaining!!!



Anonymous said...

They all look good. Did the caramblola bread taste better than the mango bread? Good luck on the entry!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Hey ga.farmgirl- Loved them both but the Carambola was much lighter. The mango bread was kind of heavy (I'm sure because the fruit was heavier! My oldest daughter loved the Carambola bread!

Heather said...

Ugh, I am SO JEALOUS that you have fresh carambola! And mango! The bread and bread pudding look wonderful.

Erika said...

I think your bread pudding looks the best- but maybe that's because I'm on a sweet kick lately. Y

our carambola bread looks so light and delicious. I lived in Florida (Tampa Bay) for a few years and never had carambola- looks like I am missing out!

Judy@nofearentertaining said...

Yes, we are pretty lucky here but try to remember us in the middle of the summer with 100+ degree heat and scorched gardens that nothing could survive in!!!

Erika- you did miss out if you have never tasted Carambola!

Gretchen Noelle said...

I adore drinking carambola juice but have never shopped it and baked it into anything. I look forward to trying this recipe out soon! Thanks so much for participating!

Anonymous said...

Your carambola bread looks so good. I love the way the top crust looks. Yummy!