The Tale of a Squillion Guavas

Next to our deck, there is a guava tree growing.  It is not a big guava tree, but all Summer I watched with anticipation as these tiny little hard green balls got bigger and finally, after months, started to turn red.

Even though the tree is growing very close to the deck, I was concerned that the many birds that live in our yarn would eat them before I could get to them, so I sat Raymond down and told him that he had an addition to his job description starting now, and that was to guard the guavas from the birds. 

When the guavas first started to ripen, the birds got a few, but in general they stayed away.  I’m not sure if that had anything to do with Raymond as he didn’t seem to spend a lot of time “actively” guarding the tree,  but I was at work all day, so have no proof that he was not doing as he was told between 8am and 5.30pm.

It seemed like it happened overnight, but suddenly the guavas all ripened and the tree was covered in lovely pink balls of Vitamin C filled goodness.  And it turns out that the guava tree is the most abundant guava tree ever and there were more than enough to share with the birds anyway.

I’m picking about a bowl full each day and we suddenly have bowls of guavas in the fridge, on the bench and at work and I need to find something to do with them!

Other than eat them by the handful of course!

Have you ever eaten a guava that didn’t come in a can?  They have little pips that are a bit smaller than a pin head- about four per fruit, so require caution in case you break a tooth, and I like my guavas just before they get really ripe, so they are still a tiny bit sour.  They taste like limes mixed with strawberries and grapefruit- kind of like a cosmopolitan cocktail and they are DELISH!

But not 1000 at once… that is a stomach ache  waiting to happen.

Last weekend I put a potful of guavas on to boil and shook in a little bit of allspice. 

I boiled them up and then mixed them with some apples I had stewed at the same time.  It bugs me when fruit goes to waste, it bugs me that there are people living in the same city as me who can’t afford to eat fruit and vegetables, while fruit falls off the trees and rots in other people’s gardens.  It bugs me that we say organic food is too expensive to eat, yet organic food is growing in people’s gardens and not being used.  So I try to do my very best not to waste anything at all, especially fruit which is so easy to stew and freeze.

Once stewed, I had a bowl of delicious apple and guava goo.  Naturally, I bake a cake with it.

I shared this recipe with you ages ago, my fail-proof, go-to cake recipe which is just delicious.  This time, I used GF flour for KB and it was delicious.

The only drawback to guava cake?  Tiny little stones…  HEAPS of them.  I have no time to strain the guava and apple and get all the stones out, so told KB to chew carefully.  So this is not a cake to share with my colleagues or to bake as a birthday cake unfortunately… a shame, as guava cake is delicious and moist and guavarific perfection.

I was going to bake another one today, but KB just informed me she doesn’t like guava cake, she gets the little stones stuck in her teeth… got any other ideas?

While I’m popping in, I thought I’d have a little chat with you about knitting too!  This week I have been knitting more monsters.  I am on a total monster jag.   I love to knit them out of my hand dyed, hand spun yarn, they make me incredibly happy and excited.  A few weeks ago, while I was on my spinning jag, I spun this braid….

I navajo plied this yarn and over spun it terribly… it looked and felt like rope, I was terribly disappointed to be honest, being that it was one of my favourite braids that I had ever dyed and I was saving it, hoping to spin something lovely.  So I washed it and whacked it, hoping that would make it softer, but no luck unfortunately.  In the end, I stuffed it in a box of wool and carried on with this spinning jag I am only just coming out of.  (If you are wondering about the spinning process, I am planning a post to show you from start to finish so please hold off asking me any questions about washing, whacking, etc,etc because rather than answer them individually, hopefully all of your questions will be answered later.)

But then I felt like knitting a monster, and thought I would use this yarn because there was nothing else I could use it for, and Marvin was thus born into the world.

And it turned out that the yarn was perfect monster-making yarn and I could not have hoped for a better outcome.

I wish I could reach into that photo and straighten his eyes… believe it or not, I did before I took the photo.  Naughty monsters…. As I said above, this yarn is navajo plied, and for those who do not spin, navajo plying is a techniques where you ply one single with itself meaning you get long strips of colour rather than mixed colour when you spin two singles together.

An example of navajo plying is below…

And spinning two singles together…

I personally love both results and am impartial, it just depends what I want my end result to look like that determines the way I ply my yarn.

But lets get back to Marvin…  because I heart him.

When I had finished knitting Marvin, I still had about 1/3 of the ball left.  Coincidentally, one of my lovely colleagues is leaving our office and moving to a different office (same job)and I wanted to knit her something special for her desk.  I knew she loved my monsters, so I knitted Richard.  (Please excuse Richard for being a tiny bit out of focus, it’s dark here in the mornings and early evenings and my camera likes nice, light environments to take pictures in!)

Richard is a very cute, little monster.  I was tempted to keep him *shhhhhhhh* but knew that he would be well-loved by Vicki, so wrapped him up knowing he was off to a good home.

Compared to Marvin he is quite small… smaller than one might think!

But then again, Marvin is quite large.  All of my monsters, I regret to tell you, are free-styled by me so I have no pattern to share.  I’ve been taking bits of patterns and adding them to get my monsters looking exactly as I want them to, so if you want to make one of your own I highly recommend doing a pattern search in Ravelry and seeing what pops up.  And if you don’t like a bit of a monster, take a bit from a different pattern and make something lovely and unique!  And I know there are a lot of hookers out there who have asked me about hooking a monster, I personally prefer knitting toys, but I know there are millions of crochet toy patterns out there and I recommend a Ravelry search for them too.

Phew!  What a post!  That’s me for today, I’m off to stew some guavas now… Hope you’re all having a lovely weekend!


About Crochet with Raymond

I'm a crochet obsessed, reiki master, crystal healing, yoga junkie, counselling student, in a happy long term relationship... and Raymond's mum!
This entry was posted in Fooooooooood!, Knitted Monsters, Spinning. Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to The Tale of a Squillion Guavas

  1. We have a guava pastry here–Cuban inspired. It is a sort of brioche filled with guava preserves/jam/paste. I’m not sure how this jam is made. Maybe you can cook guava like a fig perhaps? Not sure about the stones though. The yummy taste is worth some investigating.

  2. Melissa says:

    Love those monsters! So adorable!

  3. rachel says:

    What about some guava jam or relish?

  4. Kelly says:

    Oh, I’m sure Raymond was busily guarding your tree while you were away. But, being a cat, he couldn’t actually let you see him doing what he was asked to do. (That’s in the Cat Handbook somewhere) 🙂

  5. Cleanlilhippie says:

    Your comment about fruit going to waste and others not being able to get good food, perhaps donate a few bowls to your local food pantry? We always did that with our garden as kids. Also there is the obvious of canning or freezing some.❤

  6. Deborah says:

    The cake sounds wonderful – minus the stones of course! You need a good old-fashioned Foley Food Mill to get rid of those stones. A nifty hand crank job, convenient for making all sorts of fruity veggie sauces. You can find vintage ones and new ones. Here’s a link to one so you can see what I’m talking about:
    I got mine from my Grandma Alice and use it mostly for tomato sauce and apple sauce to mash the pulp from the skin and seeds.

  7. Those two monsters are so cute. Your yarn is over the top lovely. What a fabulous gift Richard will be. Thanks so much for sharing with us. cheryll

  8. baamekniits says:

    Lovely post Alice. We get guavas but the bigger variety so the seeds are easier to remove and they are one of my favourite fruits. We have trouble with the fruit fly here so we have to get in quick once they ripen. Your cake looks like a winner, maybe just seive the guava then you could share it 🙂 I love your little monsters….great idea for a present 🙂 Raymond is looking super happy in his new home xx

  9. One of the best desserts I ever had was guava crumble with custard. I don’t have the recipe because I was at someone else’s house and I’ve never seen her again (that isn’t as odd as it sounds) but I still dream of that guava crumble.
    Marvin and Richard are so beautiful. I love Marvin’s ears. You have a unique style!

  10. Rita says:

    Your Pictures are beautiful and this fruit I d’ont see bevor!
    The cake looks great!
    I love your monsters? Are the patterns from this monster-knit-book?
    I wish you a nice weekend!
    XX Rita

  11. Colette says:

    How about jam or jelly? Over here we have red currant ( slightly sour fruits) to have with cold meats.

    • delphine says:

      I know what you mean about being bugged by fruit being wasted!!! Though I don’t have a clue what guava is???? Never tasted any! Here, we rather use abricots, pears, and wild blackberries for jam and compotes. But about making juice or jelly to pour on top on yogourts?

  12. Patch says:

    How wonderfully to have a guava tree in your garden. I think apple and guava crumble would be lovely. Love your monsters, especially the colour… And their little fat tums!

  13. HillyT says:

    Guavas I know nothing about, though they look yummy.
    As for monsters, I am quite sure that the toy making sprites deliberately formed your yarn in that way with the intention that it should become two fabulous monsters. I often make toys and genuinely believe that somewhere in the process the toy takes over and becomes what it wants to be. The monster just took over a little earlier. I have socks I have never worn because I know that they want to become sock monkeys and I am powerless to resist them.
    Sorry, I’m a bit strange about handmade toys. X

  14. Nikki says:

    I find it so interesting that the guavas growing in gardens here in South Africa are larger (size of a small apple) and they have yellow skins when ripe and a light pink inside – and LOADS of pips… wonder if they taste the same. There are two trees at school and the kids are always climbing into the trees to search out a snack… AND you have inspired me to make my own little monster from some leftover handspun – will put him on Rav when finished… thank you!!

  15. lu douglas says:

    Oh this posting is just the best!! You made a Freudian slip that is just gorgeous – ‘the birds in our yarn’. That’s priceless, Alice! And just check out Monsieur Raymond in that shot! I don’t think he was LOOKING to see if those birds were coming; he was sunbaking so he looked good for the local felines. He has a web presence that must be maintained, you know…😉 Did you notice that the guava and apple looked like the colour of your wool??? I have enjoyed your post muchly. Take care. Love Lu x

  16. redloon says:

    Hello from Pakistan Alice, my name is muna. just an idea for your future crop of guavas. we have a lot of them here and use them in many ways. one is to make a “chaat” (a local fruit salad made with guavas (sliced thin n deseeded), bananas, pieces of orange and then sugar, salt, lemon, black pepper and the smalles pinch of red chillies, chill and eat. Also guavas make the most AMAZING jellly gorgeous red/pink and yummy with peanut butter. And finally, we make a sort of fruit ‘leather’ out of it, we call it guava cheese, because it is made into rounds (about 4inches diameter) like a camembert and then sliced like a cheese for toast or to eat on its own, in fact, it goes great with many cheeses with a strong taste! enjoy. will try and send you the recipes I have if you give me your email address or let me know at if you would like me to post them here.

  17. Adrienne Sharman says:

    We used to make guava jelly – like jam but strained through muslin – so no “goo” or “pips”. It was my favourite spread to have on bread as a child!

  18. Quin fruit més preciós! Aquí no en tenim de guayabas

  19. gracey says:

    Never had a guava……and those monsters are adorable

  20. Heather L. says:

    I don’t think I’ve tasted a guava since I lived in Uganda 20 years ago. But, with your picture I could almost smell and taste that guava pulp and the jam we made back then.

  21. When I lived on the Big Island in Hawai’i = big yellow guavas grew everywhere!! We made lots of jam and sent it to our mainland friends for the holidays🙂

  22. Just thought of something — think you can juice them and use it to dye yarn? They are such a pretty color!

  23. kris says:

    Hi Alice, I’ve never written on your blog before and I’ve only followed your blog for maybe six months now. I found you orignally looking at crochet blogs, you are simply a delight. I first fell in love with that darling goat ( or maybe it’s a sheep) closeup photo you had on a post and I look forward to your posts now on a regulars basis. I live on the other side of the world, Minnesota to be exact, and love to see your nature photos, and of course, Raymond photos, and especially your crafts. You have a cheery outlook on life, I delight in getting inspiration from you, and wish you much joy and happiness!

  24. Darlene says:

    Hi, Alice, I’m ashamed to admit this but I’ve never had a guava! Maybe I will look for one at the store. But I do know about not wanting veg and fruit to go to waste. My husband puts bags of cut up rhubarb in the freezer because he has so many plants and doesn’t want to waste a single bit. Also this spring I harvested our Jerusalem Artichokes (they are not artichokes but known as Sun Chokes by some). Kind of a root veg like a potatoe, in case you haven’t got them there, but they grow like mad and I harvested about 12 pounds of them from one small area. Illusive little buggers too, hiding away in the ground, and you can never get them all either. Anyway, I’ve got bowls and bowls of them in my fridge and freezer! I think giving away some guava sounds good and I also like the guava jam idea. I recently saw a recipe in a mystery book for guava coffee loaf and it used guava jam.

    Love the monsters – they are so cute and colourful. I’m glad to see a post from you. Thanks for sharing your world.

  25. ComTassa says:

    Thank you for enriching my life with your blog! I’ve not once read your musings and not felt enlightened, cheered, encouraged, amused, loved or warmed. I finally have a question I just MUST ask you. Did you not at some point post you’d share with us how to make those cutsie feet that you give your monsters? Did I miss that explanation? I have (I think THE) monster knitting book but I dread making the feet. Yours looks wonderful and more what I would like to knit. And while I’m asking: where can I get those button eyes? Maybe I just haven’t looked hard enough online….
    In any case, I make strong wishes that you will continue to benefit yourself and all of the people directly and indirectly in your life and that the good impressions that generate spread to all beings.

  26. sara says:

    I would make jam, but then I love to make jam. Not that I eat a lot of it, but it makes me feel secure to have jars of homemade jam lined up in my cupboard. Good presents too. But I have a Guava story to share and I will try to be brief. I grew up in Venezuela and when I was sixteen or so, I had pheumonia and had to be in the hospital in Maracaibo for over a week. My home was several hours away, so my family couldn’t come to visit every day. A friend of my Mother’s lived in Maracaibo however, and she would come every afternoon. Because it was hot (no air conditioning) and I was miserable, she brought me a popsicle, hidden in her purse! I so looked forward to those popsicles. But one day, it was a guava popsicle. It was awful!!!! But she had brought it to me and so I ate every bite while she visited with me. I don’t think I have had a guava since. I will have to try them again……

  27. minaandme says:

    That is so neat that you have a guava tree in your yard. I’ve never had guava before. The look tasty though, especially that cake! it’s a shame the stones get in the way. I hope you can find a good way to use all of your fruit. I saw someone above mentioned giving it to a pantry; I think that’s a great idea! And I am happy to see yet another monster🙂 I recently acquired Rebecca Danger’s Big Book of Knitted Monsters and I’m excited to try it out! I must say though, I adore the little round, mouse looking ears I’ve seen on a few of your monsters. Very cute! I’m sure your co-worker will love the little mouse-eared Richard.

  28. Marilyn Burgum says:

    The guava´s look really good but here in Southern Spain where I live they grow on a cactus like plant, never picked any tho´, the plant looks too spiteful!! As they grow on the roadside lots of people pick them so they do not go to waste. Little Richard looks lovely.

  29. Linda says:

    I make homemade applesauce every year, and after I stew them and get them nice and soft I put them in a food mill. You don’t have to worry about skin or seeds getting through. I’m sure that would work for the guava pits too!!!!! Good luck!

  30. cybercita says:

    Hello Alice,

    I live in Manhattan and guavas in the markets here are ridiculously expensive and always disappointing, so how lucky you are to have a whole tree for them!

    I have a few suggestions. One is to invest in a food mill, a very handy device when stewing fruit with tons of pips. You just turn the crank, and the mill keeps the pips and skin and nasty bits. The other is to think about organizing a neighborhood swap with others who have more fruit than they can use growing in their gardens. Or turn it into jam, and make fabulous holiday presents out of it! {Another good reason to invest in the food mill.}

  31. Deco Cat says:

    What a marvelous use for gorgeous homespun, I love your monsters!

  32. My nana used to make Apple and guava conserve with hers and she’d strain it as much as possible to catch the seeds. Apple and guava juice is another nice thing…add geletine to it and you have jelly. Happy guava cooking.

    Love the monsters!!

  33. WoollyBudgie says:

    I havent had guava in its from the tree form but I have had quava juice which was lovely! Maybe you could try that with all your surplus supply! I love Marvin and Richard! They are great! Rachel xx

  34. lisette says:

    As every Cuban does, I love guavas. I use to get to eat them off the tree when visiting my great aunt’s farm outside Havana. I haven’t been able to find good fresh ones since, you are so lucky!

  35. Your cake is such a lovely color and it looks so moist! Couldn’t you strain it somehow? Richard is nice, but Marvin is just the ‘bee’s knees’!🙂

  36. lyn says:

    guava jam?
    I am glad Raymond kept the birds away from the tree and I am sure he was rewarded!
    Love Marvin and Richard too.

  37. gert says:

    my aunt minnie used to make guava jelly. it was soooo good. using a ricer takes out the little stones. try it, bet more people would love your guava cake. know i would. and by the way, love raymond. and your monsters. might have to look into crocheting them. love your yarn also. great job. gert

  38. bartynboz says:

    Hi Alice – love your blog – the guavas look so pretty on your tree, reminds me of a tropical island; we are still waiting for summer in England and I have just bought a red current bush and can’t wait to get some fruit from it . Your cake looks delicious, good on you for using your fruit!
    Love the monsters – they are so cute and your yarn is gorgeous – clever you.

  39. Andrea says:

    Yumm.. that cakes looks awsome, though I know the little stones are a bit annoying, we have a lot of guava trees here in Mexico, ours are yellow though. I absolutely love your monsters as always, specially Ricahrd, I think Richard an Alfred are my favourites till now. Have a nice weekend Alice! By the way I did a Lotus Mandala Prayer Flag garland, oh i’m inlove….it’s such a great pattern…I’ll post it soon and show you my result!

  40. Hahnsmum says:

    l hadnt heard of guavas until a dear friend, ( about 20 yrs ago) though dearted now, landed one day on my doorstep wiuth guava jam…WAS delicious..l will certainly look for the recipe for you but maybe if you googled Guava jam, you would get recipes by the dozens…The cake looks pretty good… But l have feeling my friend strained the guava thru muslin…Very time consuming & veryt fiddley.. Love yr little monsters.. Damned cute.. Best Wishes, Hahnsmum.. New England, NSW, Australia..

  41. Hahnsmum says:

    BLIMEY, MEANT to say- DEPARTED now.. Sorry..

  42. Those recipes look amazing – so lovely to have such a crop of fruit on your doorstep.

    BTW — congratulations on being mentioned in Let’s Knit magazine as a blog to add to your daily blogroll – well done:))

  43. Tabby P. says:

    I love your little monsters! I’m very partial to purple and orange as a color combination. Is it difficult to spin yarn? All those pieces make it look so daunting to me! Also, I don’t think I’ve ever had a real guava. Good think Raymond was there to guard them for you! They do look tasty.❤

  44. bubble says:

    love your blog and all the lovely colours. What gorgeous yarn it looks very soft in texture.❤

  45. denise says:

    I had no idea that guavas were so small!! Like grape sized. I was thinking guava jam or guava chutney. I think Raymond did a great job guarding the tree.

  46. val says:

    cute monsters🙂

  47. Heather says:

    I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve never seen a guava. I have heard of them and seen them used in ready-made things but I have never seen a real live guava. Would they work in muffins?

  48. Carol says:

    I’ve never, ever eaten a guava. Heard of them but never tried one, hadn’t realised they were so tiny. Most fruit in our garden, that isn’t eaten fresh, usually ends up in crumbles, pies, jam or chutney. I shall have to try your cake recipe one of these days.
    Love your monsters, what wonderful yarn.
    Raymond looking as handsome as ever.
    Today it has been sunny, blue skies, white fluffy clouds but………… freezing. Just been to greenhouse to put plants to bed and I’m absolutely nithered!
    Carol xx

  49. Karen says:

    I loooooove guavas and miss getting them to eat now that we live in UK. In South Africa they are abundant and delicious, bigger and with yellow skins and pale pink inside. Have you thought of pulping them and making fruit leather (dried fruit). There is a you tube video I saw once on how to make dried fruit leather. What about bottling them?

  50. sue says:

    Raymond must be doing a proper job to keep the birds away from those delicious looking fruit, I’m sure the birds would have had more of them! I’ve never had a fresh one, I shall be looking out for them in our shops.
    Your monsters are just too cute.
    Have a happy week.

  51. omlair says:

    I hav never had a real guava. Only dried.

    Love the monsters, and I especially love the idea of having awesome decorations on one’s desk.

  52. Melissa says:

    I have never tasted a fresh guava before but just had my first bite of guava jam recently….delicious!!! If you’re a canner (or know one), I vote for a batch of guava jam with your major bounty! You’re lucky I don’t know where you live, since I DO make jam and know now that Raymond thinks guarding the tree means he should close his eyes and nap🙂

  53. Becky says:

    Thank you for the smile, Marvin. I sure did need it just now!

  54. Jill_R says:

    HI ALice! Your litte guavas look so cute. I have really only eaten guavas with sharp cheddar and crackers, but i agreee that food milling or juicing would be the way to go to use up your little guys! Your little maonsters are adorable as usual!

  55. Hi Alice,
    Here in Mexico, we have Guavas but they are yellow color and they have lots of seeds. The way that we prepare them around here are:
    -Guava juice (you place maybe 10 or 15 of them in a blender add half cup of sugar for 1 and a half liters of water, if your blender’s blades are sharp enough, you wont have to strain the juice and it tastes great).
    -Guava Jam (which it is a loooooooooong process and it involves lots of sugar and stirring until you get a very hard jam) people around here uses wood to make it because it takes hours to boil and get rid of most of the water but it is worth the trouble because it can lasts for months without any refrigeration.
    -Guava preserve ( this is one of my favorites because the only thing you need to do is cut the ends of the guava fruit and boil it in water with plenty sugar, and pinch of salt; boil till you get the little guava’s balls cooked all the way through and when you eat them you’ll be able to separate the seeds) you can save them in very nice jars as any other preserve and save them for months.
    I’ll try to make a cake with the yellow guavas (my husband will be very pleased since he loves sweets and guavas are very inexpensive in this season about 1 dollar a kilo).

  56. Susan says:

    I didn’t even know you could get Guava’s in a CAN! My mum makes the best guava jam. It’s fantastic and I’m so jealous because we have no guava tree’s near us and my 6 year old girl LOVES them. xx Susan

  57. We have a wild apple tree across the road, the other night i went out and picked HEAPS, stewed them all up for Pixie, had so much we gave half to her best friend Kayla~Rose! Wild organic apples!!

  58. Muna Nana Saigol says:

    Hello, Here in Pakistan, where I live, we have a LOT of guavas. There are several ways in which we use them commonly. The first is to make GUAVA JELLY, this can be made like any other fruit jelly (as in to use on toast!), and is delicious, pink and clear and EASY TO MAKE. Another use is to make GUAVA CHEESE; for this you can find many recipes on the internet (as in fruit cheeses or leathers ) we form this into a ‘cheese wheel” shape and slice it the way one would with cheese. The other popular way to use guavas is to slice it thinly (after removing the center part with the seeds, and then mix it with other thinly sliced fruits, like apples, bananas, orange slices and pomegranate seeds, then sprinkle some sugar, a little salt and some lemon juice and have it as a delicious nourishing fruit salad, we call it AMROOD CHAAT (GUAVA SALAD). I hope this has given you some unusual, but interesting ways in which to use it… do let me know if I can send you the recipes for them or if you try any of these out. My email is muna. nana(at)gmail(dot)com. Regards, Muna

  59. G says:

    I can’t tell you how OBSESSED I am with your blog. It’s up on my browser constantly. Now that I have mastered the granny mandala and some of the buntings I am venturing out some and making up some little guy monster because of this post! Thank you so much! -G

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