Feb 12, 2012

With Cranberry-Guava I spread the goodness of my childhood summers in India

Time for short sunday breakfast!

Thank you Dorie, for a wonderful idea. But also Thanks to my grandmother who, by the way, makes such wonderful jams, relishes and all things sweet. 

Summers in India are long and hot. So hot that the soil parches up and few fruits or veggies survive. Summer in India is not a fun time. Nor a flavorful time. But there are exceptions to rules. I still recall, with lots of fun, my school years when  summer vacation was a time of well-natured 'stealing' for me, my sister and all the kids in the neighborhood. 
Guavas, pineapples and watermelons are some of the few fruits that are at their best and ripest in summer. And in my grandmother's huge kitchen garden, there were all these fruits blooming away to glory during the summer. I particularly loved Guavas. There used to be three or four of these Gauva trees. Each one bore hundreds of fruits. I remember one particular type of Guava used to be red inside and green outside. 

Just when the fruits were still green on the outside was the best times to eat those. Fresh from the trees. We did not even bother cutting the fruits up. Usually I liked it best  with just a bit of salt. We bit into one, dipped into a bit of salt and finished each one that way. However, it was bad time to pick these fruits up, if of course you wanted them to ripen, which my grandmother did earnestly. There was an eternal battle between us kids and my grandparents. We tried our best to get to the fruits and my grandparents tried their best to protect them. There were no winners or losers in the end. We did munch away to glory to Guavas, that we often ended up 'stealing' with a bit of salt, a lot of laughter and amidst tales of who was the bravest and who ended up stealinst the best fruit.  

You see....I can't think of my childhood summer at home without thinking of Guavas.

But today's recipe is based on a concoction my gradmother used to make from the ripened guavas that she so dearly wanted to save from the group of bandits that we were. Jams and relishes from stewed guava with some sugar. That is also a reason to remember summer. When breakfast was fabulous with the homemade guava spread. 

So when I had a almost ripe guava and leftover cranberries in my refrigerator the other day, I wanted to recreate that relish...that goes so well with the concept of the French breakfast that Dorrie Greenspan writes in her wonderful book, 'Around My French Table'. Tartine with cranberry-guava jam. I tell you it it takes 15 in to put this together. And if you like it as I did, you will know and maybe get a taste of my summers in India. Almost now more than a decade or so ago.

Tartine with cranberry-guava jam

One  guava-- try to get a ripe one. Slice into cubes. My grandmother won't scare you away :)
about a cup of fresh or frozen cranberries. I think you can get away with using dried ones, but make sure to soak em up for ~ 30 min to

putt all the fruits together in a saucepan, add 1 cup pf water, 3-4 tbsf sugar, a pinch of salt and stew covered for 15 min. You will see it turning jamish in a short time. Add water if it sticks. But you do want a bit of stickiness. It is a jam after all. Keep mashing till you get a jam like consistency. 
Butter your bread slices, run them in a toaster or under the brioler till it turns brown.  Spread the jam, liberally. Now comes the fun part. Melt some nutella (or bitter-sweet chocolate) on a pan set over simmering water. Drizzle across the spread. Top it with walnuts. 
Have with coffee..
A breakfast, that promises to take you back to my grandmother's kitchen that smelt of everything good about Indian summers.
Happy eating and healthy living

1 comment:

The Japanese Redneck said...

I have several guava, but mine have only set a couple of fruit.

Will be glad when they start making hundreds of them!