The Prettiest Color

Until now, my favorite color has always been blue. Or green. Or turquoise. Or anything that is considered green or blue. However, I think I may have a new favorite color. Could it be that I’m having a mid-life crisis? Nah, I just changed my favorite color. You might change yours, too, after you see this!

I have been harvesting prickly pear fruits lately. Just as the name implies, these are the fruits of a prickly pear cactus. You can’t find them everywhere, but I found some right here in my little hometown! I saw two really nice looking cacti growing on a friend’s property and I asked him if I could pick the fruit to make jelly. He said “Yeah, get after it.” So I did!

Prickly Pear Cactus

Prickly Pear Fruit

I used a pair of tongs to fill my corn pot with the beautiful, stickery fruits. Then I called my sister-in-law, Angela. I knew she’d be game to juice some prickly pears! In fact, she had already juiced some, and she had a mason jar full of the juice. She brought it over and we made Prickly Pear Margaritas! Do you see what I mean about the color? LOOK at that color!!

Prickly Pear Margarita

Prickly Pear Margarita

Then it was time to get busy. We washed the fruit, then burned each one over a camp-stove flame to get rid of those pesky cactus spines, which cover the fruits:

Burning cactus spines

Then we decided to peel the fruit. We blanched each pear, sliced off the ends, then peeled the skin off.

blanching prickly pears

Then, all of a sudden, Angela got mad at me and ripped my heart out!

Peeled prickly pear

Just kidding! That’s a prickly pear that has been peeled. Sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you like that. Besides, you should have known that my heart is much bigger than that

We put the peeled fruit into a large pot with a little water (not much, maybe 1-2 cups, because the fruit will make plenty of its own juice) and let it boil for quite a while, like 2 hours or so.

Do you see what I see? There it is again… THAT COLOR!

boiling prickly pearsAfter that, we mashed the fruit inside the pot really, really well with a potato masher, then we strained it through a colander and then again through a mesh strainer, collecting the juice of course.

straining prickly pears

After all the straining was completed, we had a nice bucket full of prickly pear juice, about 10 cups!

Prickly Pear JuiceWe refrigerated the juice and made plans to get together again so we could make some JELLY! Do you want to know the recipe for Prickly Pear Margaritas? Here you go:

Trader Joe's Margarita Mixer

2 oz. Trader Joe’s Margarita Mixer, 1 oz. Tequila, 1 oz. Prickly Pear Juice. Combine all in a shaker with some ice and shake it up, then serve over ice with a lime wedge. Yummy!

I will be back soon to tell you how we made the JELLY! Hint.. there’s a secret ingredient that can also be used to make letters and spell words on the sidewalk! Read more here: Chile Love

Green Chile

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