Posts Tagged Fruit
The weekend is a good time for grazing. This is a summary of some of the delightful Blog articles I have been reading during the week. I invite you to graze through these, and also through the archives of the creative writers who wrote them.
Food canning equipment, tool carts, compost bins, growing kits, cider and fruit presses, the Squeezo Strainer, food dehydrators, juicers, smokers, cold frames, greenhouses and so many more innovations contribute to making our lives organized and healthier and to turning our homes and properties into an oasis where the living is good.
All of these things exist because we are creative and because we have a unique ability to adapt to our environment. In truth, foodies, homesteaders and gardeners who write about their experiences are telling the ongoing story of our inventive spirit. On their pages, every tool and appliance is like a paint brush; ready to express a new vision.
You can access the entire Weekend Highlights series to date by clicking on that category in the sidebar at left.
This week, I suddenly realized that every article I had selected pertained to food. I felt this was fitting for Easter weekend and for the beginning of spring, when we think of gatherings with friends and family. The last selection is the only one that is not about food, but it feeds the senses in its own way. Let’s begin.
It has been a while since we have stopped by Savory Simple‘s kitchen and we arrive just in time for sweet, healthy and fun bites. Often, simplicity is the one ingredient that makes a difference. We honestly try to change our diets, often forgetting along the way to keep it simple and fun. We want our children to accept better alternatives for treats, but providing healthy home-made options can be time-consuming. How about a 3-ingredient treat that is healthy and easy to make?
With Easter at our door, we think chocolate. Savory Simple offers an attractive alternative with Fruit and Nut Bites. I could see children helping to make these. They love playing with food and healthy ingredients make it even better. These would probably hold pretty well in animal-shaped cookie cutters, such as bunnies perhaps… a great little recipe with infinite potential.
“Truthfully, I think the simplicity of these bites is what makes me love them so much,” shares the author, “there are only 3 ingredients… This recipe is a blank template open to your interpretation…” [Read Full Article]
Sharyn Dimmick, of The Kale Chronicles, kindly took the time to write to recommend an article she felt might be a good addition to this review. Let’s add The Botanical Baker, Baking inspired by nature’s botanical garden, to our list.
“For centuries, people have used ingredients from across the botanical spectrum,” explains the author, “and the recipes in this blog are based on those I find appealing and tasty…”
Spring flowers – just in time to eat! This is quite different from our usual food-related reads. “I’m so excited to see all the Spring flowers coming into bloom,” it begins, “Did you know that a lot of these are edible? Let’s start with tulips…”
Indeed, let’s start with Primavera Tulips (I did not post the picture so you would be curious and want to discover it for yourself), Chrysanthemum and Dandelion Frittata, Rose macrons… and did you know that rose petals have a sweet taste and can be used in jams and teas? And, “Who new dandelions would work well with eggs?” asks the author. “It does though so get florally creative…” [Read Full Article]
And a side dish with panache…
On the menu: Twice-cooked French fries with sriracha mayonnaise and Lamb sliders. Daisy’s World suggests an elegant reminder that general commentaries about fries and burgers miss the mark. Home-made with attention to quality and presentation, they are worthy of a feast and a gift to feed the body and the senses. The author turns fries and burgers into something to experience fully. I dare anyone to not want to pause between each bite. [Read Full Article]
Living Large in Our Little House tells us why Muffin Tin Cooking Makes Meals Fun, why muffin tins are for more than just muffins, why they are green, why they are suited for veggie dishes, why they help manage portions and why they help get kids interested in cooking. Imagine the presentation on a dining guest’s plate or lunch-sized portions to bring to work, or a hearty and fun way to get the kids to take a healthy lunch to school… and eat it too! And what say you to Cornmeal-Crusted Mustard Chicken with Sweet Potato Coins?
“If you’re living in a small space, you’ll find that you can make many dishes with just a six-cup muffin pan which is easy to store and doesn’t take up a lot of room in your cupboard…” [Read Full Article]
We close with a song, thanks to Curtiss Ann Matlock’s Wordless Wednesday… Click on the image!
Thank you for stopping by to read this Weekend’s Review. Please take a moment to leave a few words on the Blogs you enjoy, if you feel so inclined that is.
Do you remember this episode of Seinfeld (if you were a fan, that is)?
Is it human nature to have double standards? I gave this some thought after posting a joke on our Facebook wall on Wednesday. It goes like this: A waitress is explaining to a guest in the restaurant that the specialty of the day is calf tongue in beautiful port wine sauce. The guest shakes his head and says, “I don’t want anything that comes from an animal’s mouth, just give me some eggs.”
Need I say more?
In all honesty, we do lift our noses at perfectly good food, sometimes, for arbitrary reasons. It is true, however, that the compost pail is an environmentally friendly option to which we resort with increasing frequency. We get points for this, don’t we? But, “I don’t like broccoli” is a personal choice, not a universal truth. Now, who likes mush? Raise your hand.
Usually, we change our minds when an irresistible option presents itself. The trick is to not wait for someone else to offer the proper circumstances. It’s a matter of presentation. Take juicer pulp, for instance. I could tell you that juicer pulp has amazing cholesterol lowering properties. If you’d rather eat cardboard, or disregard your cholesterol and hope for the best, you might miss out on a delicious culinary experience. The problem is that making a point with scientific data has little effect most of the time; or a very short-lived effect at best.
It is true that juicer pulp constitutes a very impressive source of fiber. A juicer produces tasty juices no one refuses… where were we? A juicer produces juice by removing the bulk of the fiber from fruits and vegetables. Thus, in reality, to get the full benefits from the nutrients that are present in any fruit or vegetable, one must consume the juice and the fiber.
Juicing opens the door to many delicious concoctions so that it is not only the compost pail that benefits from juicer pulp. Also, don’t forget the pulp from the food strainer and sauce maker. Juicer pulp used in recipes is an excellent way to include fruits and vegetables in your children’s diet. You can also store pulp in the freezer for later use. Here are 9 tasty ways to “re-purpose juicer pulp.”
1. Use vegetable and fruit pulp in recipes that call for layers of various ingredients, such as in lasagna.
2. Add a vegetable pulp mixture of carrots, cabbage, beets, celery, apple and parsley to hamburger, beaten eggs and oats for a delicious and smooth meatloaf.
3. Use vegetable pulp to thicken and flavor soups and stews.
4. Add vegetable pulp to your home-made salsa.
5. Make carrot, apple or mixed fruit pulp muffins, cookies and cake.
6. Mix berry and grape pulp with equal amounts of water and the juices that were extracted from the fruit, pour into Popsicle molds and freeze, for a healthy treat.
7. Add fruit pulp to sorbet and yogurt.
8. Add fruit pulp to oatmeal.
And don’t forget the critters:
9. Apple and carrot pulp make a healthy addition to home-made dog and cat treats. Also add to their food.
A brief history of the apple from unique angles
Paradise – 401 B.C.
Xenophon, a Greek historian, finds much inspiration at the sight of Persian fruit gardens. It appears that wanting what the neighbor has might be as old as history itself. In any case, he eventually established a personal estate, complete with walled fruit garden, known to the Persians as “pairidaeze”. From Persian to Latin, paradisus; to English, paradise.
Fruit – 200 B.C.
Latin has evolved from a dialect to a rightful language. The word “fruor” meant “I delight in”. This is the root of the word fruit today, and a very appropriate one, don’t you think?
Apple – 100 B.C.
The Roman Empire has a significant impact on the migration of apples. Romans had adopted the cultivation methods established by the Greeks and Persians and proceeded to bring the apple along as they conquered new territory (or attempted to do so). Thus the sweet fruit of paradise found its way to Europe and Britain. The Roman goddess of the fruit tree is named Pomona. In French, apple becomes “pomme”.
Paradise – 1571 years later
Hugo Van Der Goes depicts The Fall of Man in a now famous painting. Its main subject is, of course, the apple tree of Biblical proportions, along with Adam, Eve and a certain devilish figure who needs no further description. Interestingly, while Biblical text had been known and reserved mainly to the few who could read, this initial painting inspired so many other artists to depict the famous account of The Fall of Man by inserting apples and apple trees into their work that illiterate Christians began to consume more apples. An act of defiance, or temptation?
Traditional stories about the forbidden fruit and our aspiration to enter a paradise and take part in a feast of abundance, exist in one form or another in most spiritual and religious beliefs.
“Man’s idea of paradise centers on an abundance of cultivated fruit, its sensual irresistibility and the consequential calamity of its seduction,” observes the Midwest Apple Improvement Association, “[fruits] have taken their rightful place in the pleasure gardens of the wealthy throughout the world in spite of the almost instinctive knowledge that eating them may lead one to a life of chaos and destruction.”
How did we get here from there?
Historians and archaeologists date agriculture back as far as 8000 B.C. You may have heard the term “fertile crescent”. Roughly, this is the land around the Lower Nile, Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Hunter/gatherer societies began to settle here and to establish means of acquiring sustenance in the form of cultivation. Apples originated in eastern Kazakhstan. As these early civilizations traveled and traded, so did the apple migrate to ever broader territory. This, it turns out, is also the beginning of gene transfer, presumably through their seeds, allowing trees issued from different regions and species to share the same space.
Dried apple slices dating back to 2500 B.C. were unearthed from the tomb of Queen Pu-Abi in Southern Iran, thus linking the apple to social status and royalty. A thousand years later, a northern Mesopotamia apple orchard is sold. How do we know this? A receipt, in the form of a tablet, records the sale and cost: 3 sheep.
Horticulture is well on its way by 323 B.C. as Greek philosopher Theophrastus begins the science of botany. He observes and describes at east 6 varieties of apples and writes extensively on the practices required for optimum production and quality.
By 200 A.D. Hippocrates, one of the most outstanding figures in the history of medicine, recommends sweet apples as aids to digestion and sour apples constipation and fainting. Makes one wonder about people’s overall dietary habits at the time. However, it appears his instincts were later confirmed by the Medical School of Salerno, Italy, where in 1100 A.D. students learn the therapeutic value of apples specifically in the case of bowel disturbances.
The fascination with apples is not limited to the fruit or its consumption, in 1240 A.D. Bishop and naturalist Albertus Magnus of Cologne, incessantly ponders the possibility that a fruit tree might have a soul. By 1665, the apple reveals yet another area of focus for the inquisitive, scientific mind when Sir Isaac Newton observes an apple fall to the ground in a straight line and immediately surmises there must be a logical explanation.
By the 20th century, test with monkeys where an apple or other fruit is dropped in different slots behind a wall to hide its trajectory, the animals invariably place their hands straight below where the apple was released at top even though they do not see its course. Perhaps they grasp the literal meaning of “the apple never falls far from the tree”, rather than toil over its deeper significance. When sweet sustenance is at hand, gravity, though not out of sight, is out of mind.
Let us chew on this for a while and take a bite at the rest of the apple’s history in a later article, shall we?