Thursday, March 06, 2014


It is guava season here on Norfolk Island. We call them "porpay" in the Norfolk language. They grow wild EVERYWHERE here.
We seem to have crops of them two or three times a year, at unpredictable times. At the moment, they are big, plump, sweet, juicy and free of grubs.

 We would have dozens of bushes around Devon, and some of them would be 6 metres tall - which means a lot of the ripe fruit ends up on the ground. Never mind, there are still bucketsful to gather each day at arm level.

 Lots of Norfolkers make guava jelly when it is porpay season. It is so easy to make, and tastes yummy. The fruit that is around at the moment is full of pectin, and nothing needs to be added, not even lemon juice.
 First you gather your guavas. At the moment they are so big, it takes very little time to fill your container.
For the best jelly, you go for the fruit that is just ripe, or even under ripe. Meanwhile you pop the lovely dark ruby red ones into your mouth...they are so sweet!
 Then you wash your fruit and boil it up with some water until it loses its colour. I always leave a few leaves in the mixture..I don't know if there is any good reason to do so, but it does no harm!
After straining the pulp, you take a cup of sugar for every cup of juice, bring it to a rolling boil on the stove, and in no time you have the lovely rich red jelly to put into your jars.
 I think I must have processed 10 - 12 litres of jelly so far! Usually I have to smack my hands when I am tempted to start "preserving" jams and pickles. So often they sit on the shelf for a couple of years before we end up throwing it out! We are not great jam eaters ourselves.
 But this lot is meant for Charles at the Pitcairn Settlers' Village. Some will be used to spread on biscuits for afternoon teas, and some will be sold to the visitors in the little shop.
 While having a cup of coffee this morning, I went surfing the net to see how other people make guava jelly. Some folk make it sound so complicated! And I felt sorry for all those people who had to BUY the fruit first!

Here on Norfolk Island, they are actually a weed, the seed being spread by the birds.

The trees are still laden. I have more jelly than I need! But I am sure I will not be able to resist picking more and making a few more jars just to give away!
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