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Holiday feasts are a great time to come together with loved ones, share delicious food, and express gratitude for the good things in life. Whether you're celebrating a specific holiday or simply enjoying a special meal, thoughtfully preparing a favorite dish can be a symbolic gesture of affection and care. Sure, classic pumpkin and pecan pies have their rightful positions at your gatherings, but some of the uncommon and unique fruits also deserve a premium seat at your table.
These quiet gems aren't boastful; their interesting appearance and backstories are enough to likely stoke the curiosity they warrant from some brave explorers. And when you create something nutritious and delicious with them, you also construct a tangible representation of the time, effort, and consideration invested in creating a meaningful and enjoyable experience for your guests. This is how fruits like quince, jujubes, medlars and ume make a lasting impression.
The next time you host a holiday gathering, break out the quince chutney (or membrillo) you preserved from your homegrown quince fruit. You can serve this with goat cheese and baguette slices to hungry and impatient kitchen-pacers while you prepare your main meal and before they have consumed too many liquid appetizers. Or, push the charcuterie board closer so they can better reach the pickled ume and dried jujubes you've carefully paired with your meats and cheeses.
Fresh ume fruit becomes..... Umeboshi (pickled ume)
After your guests have dined on your main entrée that perhaps incorporated your fall pomegranates or unusual persimmons, let a dessert of freshly baked apple pie punctuate your meal. The twist is to use elusive heirloom apple varieties that can't be found in the grocery store, but are plentiful in your backyard. Using aesthetic underdogs like russets or the obscure limbertwigs gives them a befitting opportunity to shine in culinary creations. Their superior flavor and texture will certainly satisfy discriminating palates.
If you run out of time (or effort) to produce something delectable from your harvest, try scattering the raw fruits around the holiday table alongside the mini pumpkins, pine garland and elaborate centerpieces. If a family discussion about politics becomes too heated, you can quickly segue to a conversation detailing the origins of the unique gems sitting on your tabletop. You might be thankful you did! We wish you a joyous holiday feast filled with delicious food, laughter, and cherished moments with those you hold dear.