Sunday, July 16, 2006
Thursday, July 13, 2006
After stipulating Granny Smiths for the Apple Crumble in the previous post, Miss Eagle thought a post about the Granny Smith would be in order. The Granny Smith is truly Food from Oz par excellence.
However, perhaps the most famous use of a Granny Smith is as the apple used in the logo for Apple Records, the record label, founded in 1968 as a division of Apple Corps Ltd. by The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr. A few years ago, Miss Eagle lived in the Sydney suburb of Macquarie Park just a stone's throw from Eastwood, in the local authority area of Ryde, where Maria Smith died in 9 March 1870. Her apple never became a commercial variety in her lifetime but continued to be cultivated by local orchardists. It was exhibited as 'Smith's seedling' in the 1890 Castle Hill Agricultural and Horticultural Show. In the 1891 show 'Granny Smith's seedlings' took out the prize for cooking apples. By 1892 many growers were exhibiting 'Granny Smith's'. In 1895 Albert H. Benson, Fruit Expert for the NSW Department of Agriculture, named 'Granny Smith's Seedling' as a suitable variety for export. He also initiated the first large scale cultivation of the apple at the Government Experimental Station in Bathurst. Maria Smith - our famous Granny Smith - was buried in St. Anne's Cemetery, Ryde. The lovely old church at what is locally known as Top Ryde is a familiar landmark to northern suburbs residents. Her husband died six years later. Their headstone still stands in the churchyard.
The residents are rather proud of their connection with Granny Smith and each year the Granny Smith Festival is held at Eastwood, this year on Saturday 21 October 2006.
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
Fifty years ago, Miss Eagle was a twelve year old schoolgirl attending St Mary's Convent School in Bowen at the northern end of the Whitsundays in North Queensland. Every two weeks, on a Thursday, Miss Eagle - along with the other girls in her Grade 7 class - would go to Bowen State School for domestic science classes. How did those nuns ever let us go - no prayers, no writing AMDG at the top of our exercise books. If Miss Eagle's memory serves her correctly, the very first thing we cooked was Apple Crumble. Miss Eagle notes that Apple Crumble, along with all sorts of fruit crumbles, are enjoying a revival in smart coffee shops in Melbourne. They are made as slices or individual puddings and have a biscuit pastry base: biscuit pastry in this case meaning a base made of crushed biscuits and melted shortening pressed into a pan with the filling then placed on top. The base is uncooked and, because of the shortening, it sets firmly in the refrigerator.
- Granny Smith's are the apples to use
- The coconut is dessicated coconut - that fine shredded coconut.
- If you are attempting the coffee shop model of Apple Crumble, because of the biscuit base - which should be about a quarter of an inch thick - you can use less fruit.
- Luscious served with boiled custard or thick or whipped cream.