Saturday, August 11, 2012

Passion Fruit Vine and the Story Behind It

Passion Fruit flower showing the styles, stamens and filaments. The
tendrils are just above and below the flower.

side view of a passion fruit vine flower showing the ten petals

a frittilary caterpillar on the lobed leaf of a purple passion fruit vine

Early missionaries to South America used the Passion Fruit Vine's flower to tell the story of the Passion of Jesus Christ. There are ten petals on the flower. Each petal represents one of the disciples that was present. (Peter and Judas Iscariot were not counted because the first denied his Lord and the second was the traitor who turned Jesus over to His enemies.)

The spiky-looking filaments represent the crown of thorns Jesus wore.

The five stamens represent Christ's wounds (two hands, two feet and his side).

The three styles represent the three nails of the cross.

The vine tendrils represent the cords used to bind Christ.

The lobed leaves represent the hands of the tormentors. (Though I don't know what this says about the red variety, because the leaves on it are single.)

The above information was obtained through the following book:

I would add that the frittilary butterfly uses the Passion Fruit Vine for every stage of its life cycle, which to me indicates the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Amazing Recipe for Salsa From Alabama Cooperative Extension System

I posted about comparing home-canned salsa recipes here and here. 

Surprisingly, I discovered that my favorite flavor of salsa was not the most beautiful. Several blog readers asked for a recipe. Here it is. (And thank you for reading my blog.)

Just to recap my opinions about this recipe, I found that of the three I made it had the best flavor. It is very loose and juicy, perhaps even runny. It is not thick. 

I followed the recipe as written, except that I doubled it after I made it the first time. This is the doubled recipe. 

Tomato Salsa (using slicing tomatoes) 
This recipe is from printed recipes I received from our local Alabama Cooperative Extension System when I requested them.

8 cups peeled, cored, chopped tomatoes
4 cups seeded, chopped green peppers
1 cup chopped jalapeno peppers (with seeds makes it hotter, without makes it milder)
1 1/2 cups chopped onions
8 to 9 cloves garlic, finely chopped
4 cups vinegar
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 tablesppons oregano leaves
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro
3 teaspoons salt

Combine all ingredients in a large non-reactive saucepan and bring mixture to a boil, stirring frequently. Reduce heat and simmer 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot into hot pint jars, leaving 1/2 inch headspace. Adjust lids and process in boiling water canner for 20 minutes. 

Yield: 8 pints. 

Enjoy. Try not to eat it all the first week. :)