Apples

Apple tree

Apple tree

My grandparents planted quite a few fruit trees in their garden. There was a fabulous pear tree in the front garden and in their allotment (now our fruit garden) there were damson, plum, greengage cherry and even a apricot tree. Only one fruit tree from that time remains: an old, hugely prolific, cooking apple tree. All the others succumbed to old age, the 6 foot high brambles around them or storm damage. For the past few years I have been selectively pruning the tree (in a rather haphazard, inept manner of course) and it continues to thrive. It produces wheelbarrows full of apples which we eat throughout the winter. I wrap the apples individually in newspaper (thanks Harold and Cathy for helping with this last year!) and store them in wooden trays or cardboard boxes. I use them in desserts, I make jellies and chutneys with them and I have them for breakfast. They keep very well, but by April it is time to start using the last of them up in case they go rotten. Hence we are busily eating apples.

stored apples

stored apples

Every morning I have this for breakfast – the fruit changes seasonally. It was inspired by the breakfast of my great gardening friends Nathan and Christine whose allotment in London I will do a post about one day.

Breakfast

Breakfast

Fruit Muesli yoghurt – basically you layer stewed fruit, add fresh fruit, 2 tbs of muesli, and yoghurt in that order

stewed fruit such as apple (just peel and slice apples and cook slowly with a small amount of water to loosen –  no sugar you could also use stewed plums or red/black currants, rhubarb). Fresh fruit can be bananas or strawberries, raspberries, plums etc when in season) – you want the texture change between a puree and a firm fruit

home made muesli – I mix a selection of the following into a container and use that as my topping: oats, nuts (cashews, almonds, walnuts), seeds (poppy, sesame, pumpkin) dried fruit (apricot, sultanas, cranberries)

muesli ingredients

muesli ingredients

muesli mix

muesli mix

mixed

mixed

yoghurt – I am hoping to make my own in the next week or so – I eat a lot of yoghurt and need to start making it. I will let you know how it goes.

N.B we have replanted my grandparents’ allotment with fruit trees and also started another orchard on our smallholding. We have planted varieties of apple, pear, plum, greengage, damson, medlar, quince, and cherry. I am planning a (small!) expansion of my jam business in 5-10 years time when the trees are mature – hopefully we will be overwhelmed with fruit.

replanted orchard

replanted allotment

Breakfast in the sun

Breakfast in the sun

smallholding orchard

smallholding orchard

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