Feijoas

I haven’t posted a recipe in ages. The other day I saw a Feijoa tree remembering the first time that I came across them. My sister-in-law had a bucket of them from her mother’s tree. I loved the enchanting smell and couldn’t wait to try them.

My family didn’t like them much, more to do with the slightly gritty texture than taste. No one wanted them, so I took them home. not even consulting a recipe book I concocted my recipe for jam. It was a huge success.

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Reflections on Ageing

Lady in the Park

Hearing her voice no one could tell,

She hid her age,

Wearing it well.

Her neatly coiffed hair shone in the sun.

Now over eighty,

She’d had a great run. 

She stood fairly tall,

Reluctant to stoop.

The little bend sideways not showing at all.

Seeing her silhouette ahead in the sun,

I realised slowly,

What age she’d become.

old lady

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Tomato Chutney Recipe

At work we have an outdoor area which is perfect for mobility assessments. It has a textured track, stairs, slopes and a raised veggie garden. Over the summer with plenty of water, the tomatoes, eggplants, basil and chilliest grew and grew.

May_Celebrity_Tomatoes

Initially we were reluctant to pick the ripening fruit but it became so abundant that cries of, “Yes go ahead, take all you want,” became common. There were no shortage of takers initially, the tomatoes red, plump and fleshy but as autumn came the  fruit became smaller, sunburned and less perfect.

Interest waned.

Resting on the mulch some of the tomatoes began to rot. Less people took them home. On Friday I took some and got the chutney making bug as I apt to do at this time of year. I love taking the abundant fruit and preserving it for use later on in the year.

chutney 2016

Autumn Chutney

Ingredients:

  • 2 kg tomatoes, ripe, green or in between
  • 3 large onions diced finely
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 cup sultanas
  • I cup chopped dates
  • 500 gm brown sugar
  • 1 -1.5 cups red wine vinegar
  • Salt, pepper, chopped jalapenos, star anise, cloves, mustard seeds, ginger (Just smell and taste until you are happy with the mix of condiments)

Method:

  • Gently saute the onions and garlic adding the spices to release the aroma
  • Add the freshly chopped tomatoes, fruits, vinegar and sugar
  • Simmer for 45 minutes or until the mix thickens
  • Bottle while hot into glass jars with metal lids

This chutney goes well with red meats, fish and cheese. Cheese goes well with wine. And wine goes well with family and friends. So share the chutney!

 

 

 

Quinces

“In Autumn we often drive through the Australian countryside to visit family. From the road I spotted it, an old tree there on its own heavily laden with bright yellow fruit. The ghost of an old home stood by, long forgotten.

Wanting to pick some my husband and I drove along the dirt lane. Soon a bucket full of ripe fruit sat on the boot of the car. The quinces were fuzzy and slightly oily. In no time their aroma filled the car, a smell so unique and rich; it immediately provoked a sense of comfort.”

quinces

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What on earth is a Medlar?

I discovered this word and had to google it. On a food sharing Facebook page in our region, a lady was giving away Medlars. Well I love to cook, preserve and experiment with new tastes.

Medlars are an old fashioned fruit that grows on a small deciduous tree with white flowers. As it drops its leaves small yellow fruits with a calyx at the end hang from the branches.  They need to be stored until they are soft at which time they may spit becoming brown and looking ominously rotten. This process ‘bletting’, another new word for me, is ripening.

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Lilly Pilly and Red Rose Jelly

Our writers group planned an afternoon of writing. The Lilly Pilly tree by the letterbox bore its fruits prolifically. Last year I watched the fruit fall wistfully thinking it a shame. Just this morning I watched my dog nibbling gingerly at the fruit. She is a Labrador. She is fond of apples, plums and Lilly Pillies.

Too distracted to google it, I kept wondering if the fruit was edible or were those bright coloured berries poisonous? I erred on the side of poisonous.

Not really wanting to know, justified my dislike for the tree and its annual mess on the driveway. Although a lot gardeners loved the foliage, I felt ambivalent. A fellow writer led me out of my ignorance educating me about this wonderful Australian plant. Here is what I found out. Now I feel totally different about the tree.  It had a use. I could make fruit jelly!

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