Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Way the Kiwi Crumbles

One morning about a month ago, my otherwise-perfectly-pleasant breakfast was sabotaged by this devastating little video:

David played it for me – because he just loves me that much – and I immediately burst into tears. I continued crying for about ten minutes, my sobs interrupted only by unintelligible words along the lines of, “He just wanted to fly!”; “He put in all that work!”; and just, “Why? Why Kiwi?!”.

Since then, David has delighted in exacerbating any slight dip in my mood by Kiwi!-bombing me. He can use his phone to control what appears on the TV in our living room, so more than once I’ve been innocently reading a book on the couch, only to have my peaceful evening shattered by Kiwi! suddenly appearing on the TV.

It was becoming ridiculous. I needed to fix my negative word-association of “kiwi,” but I didn’t know how. Amazingly, an answer was delivered to my door on Tuesday.

In my Plow to Porch box this week, I got not just one kiwi, not just two kiwis, but a full pound and a half of kiwis. That’s freaking twelve kiwis. They’re from Mallard Lake Ranch in Nipomo, CA (distance from me: 70 miles), operated by Don and Jane Criswell, their son, Bob, his wife, and their two children. They bought the ranch in 1988 and use only sustainable farming practices.

Kiwis have always seemed kind of random to me, but as it turns out, they pack a ton of potassium, fiber, and double the vitamin C of oranges. The only thing to be done with a fruit this healthful, in my opinion, is to negate any nutritional value by adding butter and sugar. Duh.

Kiwi-Apple Crumble

The Fruit Mixture
2 fuji apples, skinned and chopped (from Cuyama Orchards in Cuyama Valley, distance from me: 60 miles)
4 kiwi, skinned and chopped (from Mallard Lake Ranch in Nipomo, CA, distance from me: 70 miles) 2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

The Crumble
1 cup rolled oats
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 handfuls crumbled walnuts

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and began skinning and chopping up the apples and kiwis. I put the fruit in a small sauce pan over medium-low heat and added the brown sugar and cinnamon, slowly stirring it around until the apples were kind of soft. Then I added the vanilla extract and removed the pan from the heat.

While the fruit mixture was heating up, I made the crumble in a separate bowl by just mashing everything together with a fork until it stuck together in little clumps and was, well, crumbly.

Then I poured the crumbly mixture on top of the fruit mixture in a ceramic dish and popped the whole thing in the oven, easy peasy. After 20 minutes, I opened the oven to take a peek and it looked like this:

Erm… not crumbling the way I had hoped it would. So I reached in with a wooden spoon and kind of tooled around in there, 1950s-lobotomy-style, until it looked a bit more mixed up and a bit less dry. After another 10 minutes (30 minutes total), it looked like this:
Much better! I have to say, I crumbled the heck out of this crumble. Next time, I’ll use a bit less flour so it turns out a little more moist. I just wish I had some vanilla ice cream to put on top of it!

At least now when David decides to prank me by surprising me with the Kiwi! video, I can comfort myself by binge eating this delicious kiwi dessert. And the kiwi apple crumble isn’t going to throw itself off a cliff just to experience flying… for once in its life… because it only has those adorable stumpy wings… and it put in all that hard work to nail those trees to the side of the cliff… oh, Kiwi! Why?!

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