Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Tuesday Thoughts

I picked about nine pounds of apples off the James Grieve yesterday. James Grieve is an old variety of apple that gets its name from its breeder, James Grieve, who raised the apple by pollinating a Pott's Seedling with a Cox's Orange Pippin in Edinburgh some time before 1893. It is a savoury, juicy apple with strong acidity at first, which then mellows as the fruit matures during September, but the flesh softens soon thereafter. When picked early, it makes a sweet and delicate stewed apple, but then can be used as a dessert apple. James Grieve apples used to be grown all over Europe and were delivered to the city markets via train or horse-and-cart, but because they bruised easily they had to be carefully packed in laundry-type wicker baskets filled with straw. Unfortunately, the fruit cannot sustain modern supermarket handling, and so they are now only grown in gardens and for direct sale to consumers. We'll be having apple crumble today!

Apple Crumble was not on the menu when Jo’s father flew trans-Atlantic on BOAC in the 1950s. While sorting things we came across a menu from one of his journeys to South America around 1955.

The first course was Cayman Island Turtle Soup with Amontillado. This was followed by Cornet of Smoked Salmon with Asparagus tips. Then came Chicken. The dessert was Lemon Chiffon Pie with Fresh Double Cream. All rounded off with assorted cheeses and a basket of fruit, coffee, bonbons and dinner mints. BOAC's catchphrase was 'BOAC takes good care of you". They certainly did.

I’ve just made myself hungry. It’s time to go and get breakfast. Toast and dripping, perhaps?



  1. The first--and last--time I heard of Amontillado was (of course) in Poe's "The Cask of Amontillado." I just now realized that it existed not just at the time of the story, but well after that, too.

  2. OHHHH and now there is NO excuse to bottle up some of those sweet apples or better yet just make several apple pies and pass them around or freeze them for later! Sever posts back I posted an apple pie filling receipe, VERY easy to do, or I would have not done it! YUM!

  3. I've also got a james Grieve tree in my garden and it never fails every year to produce loads of apples , unfortunately the wasps are fond of them too !!!

  4. Once again I owe you a big thank you for the hearty laugh. I love the 'attempting to give a damn'. The apples look wonderful in the photo. All the talk of food has made me hungry. I know toast but dripping is not something I've ever eaten that I know of. Care to clue me in?

  5. The old airline menu is such a nice souvenir. I have a couple of old Pan American menus I've saved. They used to have the loveliest pastel maps of various parts of the world. In the 1960's air travel was considered very posh, and everyone got menus, even those of us in coach. One day I'll frame the maps and hang them in the hall.
    Enjoy the apples. The Canadian Chickadee

  6. Ah. I must be v-e-r-y slow today. Lately, we've been having so much trouble with our wretched PC that util I read Tricia's comment, I didn't realise that the "Attempting to give a damn" was something you'd put in, SS. I just thought our machine had gone berserk again! Yolk's on me! :0)
    The Canadian Chickadee.

  7. Oh my gosh! Imagine getting that kind of food on an airline today!!!

    Keep your eye out for a "new" apple called a Honeycrisp. I promise you, it is the very best apple I have ever eaten! I learned of it a couple of years ago in Michigan. I swear, it is the most crisp, juicy apple EVER!!! And yes, they are more expensive, but they are so very worth it!!!
    Let me know what you think after you have tried one!

  8. James Grieve apples qualifies as an heirloom variety of apple and make great additions to fruit baskets.


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