When Fruit Flirts With “Funky”

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Am I the only one that allows produce to flirt with funky?? You know what I mean, you bring it home from the grocery, you place it in a bowl and feel a little surge of pride at your healthy choices sitting there on display. Then they often are forced to sit there for long periods of time…just waiting to be placed in a salad or eaten as that all important fresh fruit and veg portion of  a meal. So what happens at the end of the week when the fresh fruit has grown a little tired…a little wrinkly…and a little funky….well, this was my attempt….

The other day my mother-in-law brought me a whole box of plums. I was very appreciative for the bounty of her sweet gift, but I confess, I have never been a huge fan of plums. For some reason, I can’t get away from the fact that plums are actually pre-dehydrated prunes…and I’m sorry, those have one single purpose in my book which I will not go into right now. So, I wasn’t sure what to do with them and frankly I kind of forgot about them…for an entire week.

So finally I walked into my kitchen and that box of plums caught my eye. I felt a wave of guilt wash over me as I realized how wasteful it was to just leave them there, sad and neglected. What in the world am I gonna do with a box of plums? I looked them over and they were pretty sad so I could not in good conscience try to pawn them off to my boys. Thankfully, I have trained them well and they have discerning palettes. “Fresh” fruit? They wouldn’t buy it…what am I going to do?

After a brief brain storm, I came up with a solution…a plum crisp! Of course, it was a wonderful solution, if I do say so myself. Ha! Ok, have I ever made one of those??? Well…no, but I have made apple crisps several times…it can’t be that different. I was satisfied with my choice so I decided to employ my boys in this task. Armed with a plan and my 6 and 4-year-old helpers, we got started.

In the spirit of crisps, I decided to use up some apples (which were also kinda tired looking…) and make an apple crisp as well. I put my oldest son to work peeling apples while I cut up the plums. I was feeling quite industrious as I took in the production taking place at our dining table. I finished up with the plums and then decided to check in on the progress of the boys.

I had given Nathan a pan to put all the apple peels on and a bowl in which to place the apples. I was quite pleased to see that the bowl was full of (mostly) peeled apples, but as I looked at the sheet pan, I saw that the peel to apple ratio was way off…like,  I was wondering where in the world he put those apple peels…..

Upon further investigation, I surmised that the boys had consumed the vast majority of the illusive apple peels…great, either I am going to have two bound up babies or…well, the other equally unpleasant alternative. Sigh….

Ok, so I managed to laugh off the apple peel party my boys had thrown after making doubly sure neither one of them were suffering with a severe tummy ache. We finished assembling our crisps, placed them in the oven, and anxiously awaited our first taste.

So, the apple crisp turned out quite tasty, but I have to confess, as much as I wish I could report that my funky fruit intervention was a success…well, it was kind of awful…it was sooooo tart, it really was inedible. I forgot to put a little flour in with the fruit, so it turned into a molten cauldron of purple goo. It was a lovely color, however! The other issue was that I did not put nearly enough sugar in it and let me tell you, it was stout. I hated that because I really was trying to salvage those plums.

Anyway, so the frugal point of this lesson is that you don’t have to give up on your funky fruit and vegetables. You can give them new life in a crisp or put them in a smoothie. When your bananas are more brown than yellow, make banana bread! You can roast soft wrinkly tomatoes with some garlic and red onion and either use them as a topenade on toasted french bread, or you can place them in a food processor with some olive oil for a lovely dressing. I think that the lesson I learned is to follow a recipe next time, girlfriend! Haha!

From my kitchen disaster to yours!

God Bless! ~Shanna

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