My elderly neighbour recently went to stay with his son, and kindly asked if I’d like to take the leftover pieces of fruit from his flat, among which were a few peaches and apples that were well past their sell by date.
My first response on looking at their wrinkled skin was “Wow, that looks just like me!” I mean, to throw them out. But then something from my 1950s childhood kicked in. After 14 years, wartime food rationing finally ended in the UK July 1954, just a couple of months before I was born. Thus, I was brought up by adults who were very careful not to waste food, and some of that certainly rubbed off on me.
So, if you find yourself guilty of buying and hoarding too much fruit and veg, don’t add insult to injury by throwing it away. Think of it as an opportunity to create something amazing, or, at the very least, nutritious and unselfish.
Here’s what I did with the fruit:
Slice the apples and peaches – I cut each each fruit into 8 slices.
Remove all the stalks, pips and stones.
If the skin comes off the peaches easily then take it off, but if not just leave it, it’s perfectly edible.
Place the apples in a saucepan with a very small amount of water and a cinnamon stick if you have one. Cook on a medium heat until it begins to bubble, turn the heat down to a low simmer and place a lid on the pan. After 5 minutes add the peaches for another 5 minutes.
Remove the cinnamon stick, taste a piece of the fruit and add a little sweetener (maple syrup, honey or sugar) if it’s too acidic for you. You can mash it up a little more if you like.
I ate it for breakfast with granola. You can also serve it in a pancake, or with this wartime recipe for Railway Pudding, recently rediscovered by my old schoolfriend Charis, written down for her by her beloved maternal grandmother, Florence Melksham (pictured below).
(Up tomorrow – find out what I did with way too many green beans).