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!
Lots of love from Alice and Raymond XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX