Monday, April 2, 2012


"The quince has a noble history, having been presented to Joan of Arc after the Orleans siege, being considered all over Europe as a gift appropriate to royalty and, in the form of small balls of fruit, being tossed into the bridal chariot for good luck after wedding ceremonies in ancient Athens."
We have a neighbour who years ago planted a lavish orchard of citrus and stone fruits as well as pears, apples, avocado, feijoas, nashi, macadamias and more. We also have relatives on the family farm with an abundance of produce this past month. The problem is that the quantity of fruit produced by so many trees is far greater than what can be eaten. So this month I'm sharing two simple recipes which you can adjust to what you have a surplus of.

When it's busy we often end up with fruit rotting in the fruit baskets. Here's a simple way to process and use this fruit before it's 'beyond-it'.
 " Put 5 cm of water into a medium saucepan and heat on the stove.
 " Wash or peel, core and slice 4 - 6 pieces of fruit and put into the water  
     once it boils. Put the lid on.
 " Cook for 10mins or until the fruit is soft.
Cooking in little batches like this, means you save some of the fruit. Once cooked, ladle it into a plastic container and while hot sprinkle sugar over the top, as desired. Stir through. If you have time do a second or third batch in the same water, and put on top of the first batch. Keep in the fridge. As you eat it, you can cook up new small batches and add them in, so the mix changes.
My batches included apples, pears, peaches and quince. If you have never eaten quince, hopefully the above quote will entice you to seek some out and join the royal class. You can use any seasonal fruit that can be cooked. 
The cooked fruit keeps in the fridge and is safe to eat for a couple of weeks.
Apples, pears and peaches all have vitamin C, but quince is rich in vitamin C, making it an appropriate food leading into winter. It has a short growing season of March-April.
Apple cucumbers are rarely found in the supermarket but when properly home grown, can be deliciously sweet and juicy. Home grown tomatoes can be likewise. 
 " Peel the apple cucumber then slice in large chunks into a serving bowl.
 " Wash the slice the tomatoes in too.
 " Refrigerate and give some generous slurps of balsamic vinegar as you 
     serve it.
The cucumber has been grown since ancient Mesopotamian times. They were so loved by the Romans that Emperor Augustus and Tiberius devised ways to grow them in hothouse conditions.
The apple variety of cucumbers is said to be easiest to digest. Some cosmetics include cucumber in them as it has health benefit for the skin, hair and nails. The cucumber has excellent vitamin C levels, is fat and cholesterol free, low in salt and gives good fibre if eaten with the skin on.
You can swap cucumber for capsicum and still get a great supply of vitamin C. Capsicum also has vitamin A,B and E, potassium, is low in salt and cholesterol and fat free.
THISWEEKWITHTHEKIDS~ don't leave the fruit or vegies to rot - add a salad to dinner tonight or cook up a small batch of fruit for dessert or breakfast. If your kids are 5 years or older, they can be your assistant cook.


  1. I love tomatoes and cucumber with vinegar, perfect to have on a bbq night :)

  2. I love quinces! And its so nice at this time of year to have an abundance of fruit.