Monday, November 07, 2011

30 Day Photo Challenge, Day 7, Fruit

One of my favorite tropical fruits are guavas.  I don't like the smell so much, and especially not the way the smell of them makes everything else in your fridge taste like guavas.  But I do like the taste of them and they are very nutritious. I prefer the pink variety over the white ones, though I did get a few white ones in this bunch.  It's pretty much impossible to tell them apart from the outside.


I will also take this chance to do a tutorial on making guava jam since that's what I spent much of my morning doing.  First, slice off the ends and then cut each guava into quarters.  Put the pieces in a saucepan and add just a little water.  Cover the pan with a lid, then simmer on a medium heat, stirring often, cooking until the guavas are soft.  It helps to break them up with a wooden spoon and even to mash them with a potato masher.


 When the guavas are cooked down, let them cool a bit.  Then put the soft guavas, a little at a time, into a Foley food mill.  I've had mine at least since I got married 25 years ago.  I'm not sure if I got it new or if it was passed on to me from someone else.  But I checked on line and you can still buy these....one of those necessary items for your kitchen that you might not use that often, but it sure is nice when you need it. What it does is pushes the good parts of the guavas through into a bowl below while keeping back the seed and peeling junk that you don't want in the jam.  When you've turned and turned it and all that's left in the mill is dry stuff (which really doesn't look very pretty!), then you've gotten all you're going to get out of it.


The next step is to measure the guava sauce into a measuring cup, and then dump it into the same saucepan you cooked the guavas in.  Then measure out the same amount of sugar and add that to the pan. Finally, throw in some lemon juice.  I used about 6 tablespoons for the amount of guavas I had.  John squeezes lots of lemons at one time and then freezes the juice in ice cube trays.  So all I had to do was use three of the ice cubes.


Return the pan to the stove, keeping the burner on medium-low.  My modus operandii in the kitchen is to cook at high speed, but that's not a good idea with guava jam.  For one thing, you'll scorch the jam, giving it a nasty taste.  And for another thing, once it starts boiling, if it's on high heat the jam will spatter everywhere making a mess to clean up.  And it will spatter on your hand, burning you.  You also need to stir constantly, especially when it really starts boiling.
So, how long does it have to boil?  I really don't know.  I go more by the consistency of it than anything.  If it drips very slowly off the spoon, you have cooked it long enough.


I got one large jar and half a small plastic container of jam.  When we moved from the village to the city I got rid of all my canning stuff.  We thought we weren't coming back to Africa, and I didn't have a place to store it.  Now I wish I'd at least kept some of the jars.  So I was limited in how much I could make. But that size jar is good for just the two of us.


The final thing you do is enjoy!

2 comments:

Dusty Penguin said...

For some reason, we never got many guavas in Gambia. I never saw the white ones, and never made jam from them. Bravo! Like you, I cook everything on the highest heat possible, usually resulting in burned on the bottom pans!

Ashley L said...

Wow! That looks delicious!

I was just stopping by to let you know that things are going again at Missionary Moms! It would be great to see you! =)