Friday, October 26, 2012

GUAVAS. SHAKING THE TREE.


Give it plenty of welly                             Mans


They say it’s guava season, although I’m not convinced. Well ok, it’s actually right at the end of the season (remember, I live in the southern hemisphere), so I had to make use of the fading window of opportunity and get me hands on some guavas. Via facebook, my friends Ez and Poley Moley, who have three or four guava trees in their garden, more than obliged by arranging a happy little gathering, where we all jovially chomped a fine Indian vegetarian meal with our hands. The highlights were Poly Moley’s delicious rotis, but this is hardly surprising, coz Poley is ‘The Undisputed Roti Champion of the World’.

Eat at least two while collecting them                     Mans

Anyway, before the happy chopping happened, I learnt the art of guava picking.

Guava Picking Technique
Put on crash helmet and place gum guard
Grab an appropriate branch and shake violently
Collect guavas off the deck, while eating at least two

Now, with a basket of guavas wot does one do? At our little gathering, Ez poached a few in a little water with a scoop of honey and served them up with a dollop of yoghurt with a little more honey drizzled over the top. Simple, but delicious. Coz I had a whole lot of them, I chose to try my hand at bottling them in a vanilla sugar syrup. After a little advice from my friend Anna, I blindly gave it a go. My method woz far from scientific. This is wot I did.


Rustic works for me                Mans
Wot you need
Guavas
Sugar
Vanilla pods
Water


Wot to do
Top and tail the guavas and chop them in half. I didn’t go with exact measurements, but rather felt my way with ratios. I put the guavas in a pot and memorized roughly the level. I then took the guavas out and filled the pot with water to about two thirds (I think  half would be better) of the previous guava level. I then measured the amount of water in the pot, tossed in an equal quantity of sugar, scraped the seeds out of a couple of vanilla pods, threw both the seeds and empty pods into the pot, bought the syrup to a boil, then gently placed the guavas in the hot syrup. When they returned to the boil again, I turned off the heat and bottled the little pink beauties in sterilized jars. My ratios were not quite right coz I ended up with a bottle of guava syrup as well. I mean, ‘how bad is that mistake?’. I know this method is far from an exact science; it’s all about guesswork and a lot of faith. I must say I was rather delighted how yummy they turned out, although the younger firmer guavas seemed to be better. I was not in a position to be fussy, coz at the end of the season you take wot you can.

Nothing fancy, but very homely and comforting                                                                                              Mans







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