Posts Tagged ‘fresh’

Fresh Fruit

Since discussing fresh, free, fruit before (http://bit.ly/r8WPnK and http://bit.ly/qtyNkb), John and I have done quite a bit of fruit scouting on our (usually regular) intermittent Saturday walks. We started ‘clocking’ wild (or at least, in the public domain) fruit trees last autumn and have spent this late summer, checking them out.

We started picking some apples about a month ago around the area where my grandma used to live (now waste ground), on Willow Lane and they are fabulously sweet but quite small. Yesterday we decided to start picking the others!

There’s a beauty down by the Incinerator that’s easy to climb and ripe for picking. There’s another at the end of 15 arches that has tiny but sweet, bright red apples and yet another just by our parking spot on King’s Mill Lane. Furthermore, my grandma’s tree is still full of fruit – so yesterdays’ haul was a big bag of apples each!

Today, I washed and dried all of the unblemished ones and wrapped them in newspaper – they can wait in the garage until I’m ready for them. The damaged and blemished ones have now been peeled and cooked for sauce (and or anything else).

Free food? Fabulous!

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I went downstairs today to make a cup of coffee and half an hour later, there I was shelling peas!

I’d bought a kilo of peas in their pods on Leeds Market on Tuesday and didn’t even think about when we’d eat them, what with or indeed how long it takes to carry out the shelling/podding.

But it’s quite therapeutic. I remember as a child, sitting at the kitchen table with my mum or my grandma (who me and brothers called ‘mam’ – ‘cos that’s what our mum called her) shelling lots of peas for tea. Seasonally, the same used to happen with broad beans too.

Back in those days there were no frozen peas, just tinned or dried. The tinned versions were either ‘garden peas’ or ‘processed peas’ and the dried were ‘marrowfat‘, used purely for the mushy peas that were eaten with pork pie or fish and chips. Sometimes we’d have one of the tinned varieties with our meal, but as the season came around we’d look forward to fresh, podded peas. There was no faffing around with mange tout back then either!

I’ve just seen peas at our local farm shop @ £1.75 per kilo – I paid £1.00 in Leeds Market. You would probably get around four good portions for that.  I’ve put some into tonight’s rice and the rest has been blanched and refreshed (dropped into boiling salted water, brought back to the boil for about 10-15 seconds then drained before plunging into ice cold water and re-draining) for freezing.

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