Friday, 10 August 2012

sharing the spoils

A while ago I heard about a great idea to collect excess and unwanted fruit and other produce from home gardens and distribute it to the needy. This idea recognised that many people particularly the elderly with established gardens are capable of growing more fruit than they can possibly handle. Foodbank in Victoria has been involved with this idea, first in Wodonga in country Victoria and more recently with a  similar initiative called Urban Street Harvest in the inner west of Melbourne.

While I am not exatly needy, over the past month or so I have managed to scrape into meeting my challenge of eating one home grown ingredient by utilising my own personal network for a home grown version of this idea.

A few weeks ago I got a massive bag of oranges from my friend. They were given to her by someone else with a tree. After taking her share passed them onto me. As a result I have come up with a couple of creative uses for excess oranges.

1. New favourite salad of the month: Orange, avocado and rocket salad (this is based on a ruby grapefruit salad recipe) very simple- rocket, avocado, walnuts, spring onions and orange slices with a vinaigrette dressing.

Orange, avocado and rocket salad 

2. New favourite dessert of the month: Orange and polenta puddings (based on a recipe using mandarin that featured in a Sunday Age Magazine from 2004)

*The bonus for this recipe is that it requires 2/3 cup of marmalade (perfect to use one of the collection  of homemade marmalade jars I have been gifted!)

2/3 cup marmalade
1tbs water
8 orange slices (rind removed)
1/3 cup polenta
1/2cup juice
125g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar
2 eggs
1 1/4 cups of self raising flour

Step 1. Grease 8 individual single serve oven proof dishes or pudding moulds.
Heat marmalade and water together over medium heat until melted and smooth. Divide into the dishes and top with a slice of orange.

Step 2. Combine juice and polenta and set aside.

Step 3. Beat butter & sugar until smooth, add eggs one at a time. Fold in half the polenta mixture, the flour and then the remaining polenta mix. Spoon mixture into the dishes.

Step 4. Place the dishes in a pan and add water to reach halfway up the sides. Cover with foil and place in preheated oven (180deg)  for 20-25mins. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out.

This dessert was great served with some of my 'home made' marscarpone. (this was made using UHT cream with the addition of starter culture from my recent cheesemaking adventures. The marscapone was set using a highly technical method of placing a sterlised jar containing the cream and starter with a hot water bottle in a 'cool' bag to maintain the temp at 37-45deg for around 8 hours)

As a bonus in addition to the oranges I also got some cumquats. I didn't have time to turn the cumquats into jam so I passed them onto a colleague at work - who did manage to transform them into jam and gave me a jar! how good is that! Thank you E!

1 comment:

  1. I do like gifted excess fruit. I have a friend with an apple tree and one with an apricot both of whom always have excess fruit. I do need more citrus though - I want to make polenta puddings too.