“Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.” - Benjamin Franklin
Loquats (Eryobotrya japonica) are in season now. These are delicate, beautiful and tasty fruits that you would rarely find at your greengrocer or the market. They bruise easily and they don’t have a long shelf-life. Therefore they are not particularly marketable and thus not planted in plantations for profit. The best way to enjoy them is to plant a tree in your garden, if you are lucky enough to have one. The tree is a beautiful, evergreen, specimen tree and its blossoms are wonderfully fragrant. The fruit is juicy, tart and sweet and have a subtle, delicate aroma that is quite unique.
We had a wonderful early dinner tonight with our house guests. The theme was seafood: Vol au vent with smoked oysters and taramosalata, caviar on blinis, smoked salmon with a lemon and dill sauce, prawns with mayonnaise and capers, crab meat and lobster salad. All washed down with champagne! A lovely dinner and quite filling – our guests were quite impressed! The perfect dessert was a delicate loquat and Kiwi fruit salad:
LOQUAT AND KIWI FRUIT SALAD
• 15 large loquats
• 2 Kiwi fruits
• 2 peaches
• 2 nectarines
• 1 lime, juiced
• 1 orange, juiced
• 2 tbs sugar (optional)
• Cherries (pipped) if available
Peel and slice the loquats into a bowl you have placed the citrus juice and sugar. Discard the loquat seeds. Peel the Kiwi fruit and cut them longwise into quarters. Slice each quarter and add to the salad. Peel the nectarines and peaches and slice into the salad. Add the cherries and mix well. Refrigerate and serve with double cream or ice cream.
Tonight we are staying in and greeting the New Year in with a night of card playing, music and the cutting of the traditional Greek St Basil’s cake, which we made earlier today.
Happy New Year to everyone!