A Sentiment

God knew what He was doing when He sent a gentle breeze and brought a lovely butterfly to set my heart at ease. The happiness of your friendship and the gentleness of your words have touched my life in special ways and now I feel assured. Thank you for your loyalty and for reading everyday. I only hope you find things to make a happy day.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

My Turkish Delight

Every year at Christmas time a package would arrive for our family from an uncle who lived far away. We always knew what was in the package, but never the less...we were excited to open it. It always contained a beautiful tray filled with dried, candied fruits and nuts. There was a little plastic pick like fork on top...to pick out our favorite fruit. It was much more filled with fruit than the ones you can order today.An assortment with dates, prunes, pineapple (Mom's favorite) figs, and my favorite...apricots. Dad mostly enjoyed the nuts of all kinds. Some of the fruits were stuffed with nuts. We didn't have many gifts under our tree in the years before and during the war, but this gift was the highlight of our Christmas gifts. My Mom always had dried fruit in the house. She and my Aunt Ruthie would make Christmas pudding, mince pies, and date cookies. They had special molds that held the precious pudding when it was steamed on top of the stove. I have one of those pudding molds still.Mom would stuff dates with a walnut and then roll it in granulated sugar. Fig newtons were and still are a favorite cookie. It has to be a Nabisco...not the off brands. A rolled pinwheel cookie with date filling was a favorite too. Date nut pudding and date nut bread were often on our table. Mom didn't do much with apricots, but they were eaten right out of the bag for a snack. Grandma cooked apricots and prunes together and added sugar to make a compote for breakfast. I still do that. I was at a dinner party and the dessert was a flaming compote of dried fruits warmed in a chafing dish....delish. I always go for the apricot danish. Mom and I made a trip to the loop in Chicago a couple of times a year. My favorite place to eat was in the basement of Walgreens. It was a cafeteria and had an array of salads to pick from. I always chose the fruit plate...lettuce, pineapple slices a peach half with a scoop of cottage cheese, maraschino cherry on top and dried prunes all around. I picked it because of the prunes. I remember when I had a kidney removed and the doctor told me to eat food high in iron. My neighbor, Ruth, got wind of that and when I got home she brought two bags of things, high in iron to my back door. Apricots were in the bags...cans and cans of them. She introduced me to Aldi's canned apricots. They have the best flavor of any I have had. My daughter loves dried apricots too. I buy them at Farm and Fleet. Turkish apricots...the best. Yesterday, I went to Farm and Fleet and bought a 1 lb. bag of them. They are so nutritious...full of vitamins and minerals, and fiber that our bodies need. Now, I use them as snacks right out of the bag, cut up and put on top of oatmeal with a little honey, cut up and put in nut breads, and my old standby...fruit compote. Sometimes I cook them and keep them in a jar in the fridge. I'm sure there are many ways to have these treats. Have you ever tasted a Turkish Apricot? Do you ever use dried fruits in your cooking or eat them right out of the bag?


Penny said...

I love dried fruits and put them in wild rice dishes and even in a pork roast with dried apples and figs. Loved your memories of growing up.

Balisha said...

I make a rice dish with dried fruits too....although not wild rice. I have seen chefs on TV use them when cooking a pork roast. Thanks for visiting and taking the time to comment.

acorn hollow said...

I remember those dried fruit plates that was always a treat for us also. I do not like apricots to sweet but a date oh yum. you mentioned mince meat I love mince meat.

Jean said...

My favorite of all the dried fruits is apricots too! Fresh figs trump them all. I am a fruit freak!

Sue said...

I love dried fruits, Balisha! We always had dried apricots and prunes when I was a kid. I' hooked on oineapple, now. I know that they're not as healthy for us as fresh fruit, but I still say I'm getting my nutrients! :-). Sue

judemiller1 said...

I love apricots!!!!! I have a bag by my chair and eat 5 each evening. 5 seems to be my perfect number to keep my system working well--if you know what I mean :-)