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Friday, January 25, 2008

Apple Facts

Okanagan Fruit Facts

Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, yellows. Two pounds of apples make one 9-inch pie. Apple blossom is the state flower of Michigan. 2500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States. 7500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world. Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol free. A medium apples is about 80 calories. Apples are a great source of the fiber pectin. One apple has five grams of fiber. In 2001 there were 8,000 apple growers with orchards covering 430,200 acres just in the USA.

The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.

The science of apple growing is called pomology. Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit. Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.

Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit. Apples are propagated by two methods: grafting or budding. The apple variety ‘Delicious' is the most widely grown in the North America. In Europe, France, Italy and Germany are the leading apple producing countries.

The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea. Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans. Apples are a member of the rose family. Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each. 25 percent of an apple's volume is air. That is why they float. The largest apple picked weighed three pounds. Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually. Many growers use dwarf apple trees. Charred apples have been found in prehistoric dwellings in Switzerland. Most apple blossoms are pink when they open but gradually fade to white. Some apple trees will grown over forty feet high and live over a hundred years. Most apples can be grown farther north than most other fruits because they blossom late in spring, minimizing frost damage. It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple. Apples were once called winter banana or melt-in-the-mouth. Apples have five seed pockets or carpels. Each pocket contains seeds. The number of seeds per carpel is determined by the vigor and health of the plant. Different varieties of apples will have different number of seeds.

China is the leading producer of apples with over 1.2 billion bushels grown in 2001. World's top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy. The Lady or Api apple is one of the oldest varieties in existence.

Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London. In 1730 the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York. One of George Washington's hobbies was pruning his apple trees. America's longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.

Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated. A peck of apples weight 10.5 pounds. A bushel of apples weights about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce. Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C. The world's largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976, in Rochester, NY. It was 172 feet, 4 inches long. (She was 16 years old at the time and grew up to be a sales manager for an apple tree nursery.)

It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider. Apples account for 50% of the world's deciduous fruit tree production The old saying, “ an apple a day, keeps the doctor away ”. This saying comes from am old English adage, “ To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”

Don't peel your apple. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.

The five most popular apples in the United States are Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Gala, Fuji and Granny Smith.

The most popular apples are:
McIntosh, a deep red color with a green background.
Red Delicious, deep red, elongated shaped and five bumps on bottom.
Empire, dark red, blush with a splash of yellow or green.
Idared, bright red with greenish-yellow patches.
Crispin (or Mutsu), greenish-yellow exterior with an orange blush.
Golden Delicious, yellow or greenish-yellow exterior, elongated shape, five bumps on bottom.
Spartan, dark red skin.
Cortland, bright red with yellow cheek.
Northern Spy, red-striped skin with green color. Northern Spy is the number 1 baking apple.

Best Apples for Eating
Red Delicious
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Freezing for Sauce
Yellow Transparent
Freezing for Baking
Northern Spy
Golden Delicious
Yellow Transparent
Cortland Jonathan
Grimes Golden
Stayman Winesap
Rome Beauty
Grimes Golden
Rome Beauty
Yellow Transparent
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Rome Beauty
Grimes Golden
Stayman Winesap

Freezing for Slicing
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
Red Delicious
Grimes Golden

Cider The best cider is usually made from a blend of different varieties of apples. Varieties are grouped into four groups according to their suitability as cider material.

Sweet Subacid*
Rome Beauty
Grimes Golden

Astringent (Crab apples)
Florence Hibernal
Red Siberian
Red Delicious
Golden Delicious

Mildly Acid to Slightly Tart
Stayman Winesap
Jonathan General Use Jonathan
Golden Delicious
Stayman Winesap
* Usually furnish the highest percentage of total stock used for cider.

Johnny AppleseedApple trees were grown and prized for their fruit by the people of ancient Rome. It is believed that the Romans took cultivated apples with them into England when they conquered the country. Apple growing became common in England and many other parts of Europe.

Both the seeds of apples and the trees themselves were brought to America from England, probably in 1629. John Endicott, one of the early governors of Massachusetts Bay Colony, is said to have brought the first trees to America. The cultivated varieties of apples gradually spread westward from the Atlantic Coast. John Chapman is said to have helped spread apple growing in America. He carried apple seeds with him wherever he went, and planted them in thinly settled parts of the country. For this reason, he became known as "Johnny Appleseed".

The logical place to start our exploration of the apple's history in Canada is in Atlantic Canada. Fruit growing was introduced to Nova Scotia by the early French settlers sometime in the early 1600s. They were a self-sufficient lot; each homestead had several apple trees. By drying apples, settlers could have the fruit available to them year round to make pies, puddings, tarts and many other dishes.
An adventurous soul named Nicholas Denys was one such settler who came to the new world with dreams of managing a string of fur-trading posts in Northern Acadia. When his venture failed, he retired to a small farm where he tended a garden that included fruit trees. Denys kept a journal of his garden's progress, in which he recorded information about fruit propagation in the area. It became a valuable resource for fruit growers who came after him.

In 1862, Nova Scotia apples were being showcased in an exhibition in London, England to wide acclaim. By the 1930s, Nova Scotia was exporting 75% of its production to the UK, but that changed dramatically with the outbreak of war, and by the time the war ended, Europe had beefed up its own production.

In 19th century Québec, seedlings were grown from seed imported from the U.S., France, England and Russia. Fruit growing was a family affair; most family-owned orchards contained about 40 trees of varying varieties. In 1875, 25,000 bushels of apples were harvested in Québec from about 21,000 apple trees. Most of this crop ended up in Montreal, and still today, most Québec apples are destined for markets along the St. Lawrence River.

Apples were introduced to Manitoba in 1874 using stock from Ontario and Russia. The harsh prairie climate discouraged growers, however in the 20th century, breeders at University of Saskatchewan and the Canadian Department of Agriculture research farm at Morden, Manitoba, developed some hardy varieties.

Tree fruits were introduced to B.C. by the early settlers with seed that they carried with them from Fort Vancouver as they explored the interior. By the 1850s there were plantings of small orchards in the Fraser Valley. A fellow named Thomas G. Earl established the first orchard at Lytton. Cold winters forced Earl out of business, but other growers, including an Oblate missionary named Father Pandosy, had discovered the okanagan Valley, an area boasting a warmer, although much drier, climate. Pandosy planted his first trees where the City of Kelowna now stands. Dry soil proved a barrier to production until growers rigged pumps and open flumes to direct water from lakes and creeks into the Valley.

Historical records in Ontario indicate that apples were propagated in the Niagara region as early as 1790. By 1880, 84 apple varieties were in production in Ontario, but the granddaddy of Ontario apples, the McIntosh, had yet to be discovered...

The first McIntosh orchard was started in 1811 in the heart of Dundas County in Ottawa Canada when United Empire Loyalist John McIntosh bought the Dundela farm and discovered 20 apple trees in the woods.

He transplanted them into a garden next to his log shanty, but all the trees, save one, had died by 1830. Forty years later, his son Allan used the seedlings to plant a red apple nursery where the original tree survived, bearing fruit until 1906.
Today, every tree growing McIntosh apples descended directly from John McIntosh's orchard.

For best quality, buy apples at the height of their season:

Late July through August--Gala, Gravenstein
Mid August through September--Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Fuji
Late October through November--Granny Smith, McIntosh
Year Round--Red Delicious, Newtown Pippin, Rome Beauty

The best apples to buy out of season are Fuji, Granny Smith and Rome Beauty, as these hold especially well.

Don;t forget to order Chef K's latest e-cookbook, Chill N Grill just $8.00 send me an e-mail at and we'll let you know how to get it.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Grill N Chill

Grill N Chill

Have you ever wondered why a man who otherwise has no knowledge in cooking suddenly becomes a expert when it comes to the back yard barbecue? Or, why the food grilled over an open flame seemingly taste just that much better? Well the answer to these perplexing questions are found in the next few pages. No man is really better than the next, it could be just that he has learned the simple rules of the barbecue. Like all rules they should never be broken or the very best product will not result. Here in Grill N Chill, we have refined the rules for you. Grill N Chill is a great cookbook in that with every grilled dish we offer a wonderful chilled beverage, instead of beer and sodas there is a whole range of mixology for everyone and as always Grill N Chill is Simply Delicious.

Use the best ingredients, this is the first rule of all cooking, not only for food ingredients, but all ingredients, including the charcoal. Woods of mesquite, hickory, alder or apple are best suited to barbecuing and grilling. Using charcoal made from these woods are more preferable than using other oil base type charcoal. Charcoal alone, provides a mild smoke flavour and thus is preferred for lamb, seafood and fish. For a stronger smoke taste for beef, pork and game meats, use wood chips of the same type as the charcoal. When using wood chips soak them in water for a half hour or longer before using them. Then place them evenly over the charcoal for short term cookery with plenty of smoke for that "just right" flavour.

Use a covered grill so all the smoke flavour will penetrate into the food and not escape into the air before it has seasoned the food. Plan ahead, meaning follow your recipe and be sure to begin your fire at least 40 minutes before you want to cook the items. Use only a grill which has been cleaned well and oiled in the same manner.

Allow food ingredients to come to room temperature before grilling them. Use a hot fire to seal meats quickly then transfer them to a cooler part of the grill to finish their cooking. Always cook fish and seafood on the cooler part of the grill, they require no sealing. Cook meats which have more fat than others over a drip pan placed directly upon the coals. Having followed these simple rules you'll cook far better than the weekend chef ever thought he\she could.

Remember too that, if you own an indoor grill (such as a Jenn Air) these recipes will provide the same pleasure inside, even though it may be below freezing outside.
There are many barbecue recipes found through out this book but the ones specifically to this chapter are a sure "fire" way to the hearts of your guest. These are the recipes that could make you a champion barbecue master.

From Grill N Chill you will be able to select such exquisite barbecue dishes like our Red snapper in raspberry sauce, or for the more hardy appetite try the Gourmet T's. You will find Chef K's favourite scallops or you may have great fun with New York's folly. Whatever you choose, your assured of great times, fantastic memories, and wonderful food that will always be SIMPLY DELICIOUS.

2 cup lemon lime soft drink
3 oz frozen pink lemonade concentrate
3 oz frozen orange juice concentrate
4 cups pineapple juice
6 oz mango nectar
6 oz guava nectar

Pour the soda into a large punch bowl.

Add the frozen juice concentrates and whisk until dissolved.

Add the remaining ingredients in the bowl and continue stirring.

Place crushed ice into large glasses or tumblers and pour the beverage over, garnish with pineapple wedges and cherries.

Alcohol variation: Try serving rum, coconut rum, lemon grappa, vodka or melon liqueur, do not exceed 8 oz. (250 ml).


½ cup white wine vinegar
½ cup water
½ cup orange juice
1 cup crushed pineapple
⅔ cup sugar
2 tbsp tomato catsup
1 tbsp canola oil
½ tsp salt
1 garlic clove
1 cup stewed tomatoes

1 lb large Portobelo mushrooms
3 tbsp red pepper grilling oil

In a sauce pan combine the vinegar, water, orange juice, crushed pineapple, sugar, catsup, canola oil, salt, garlic, ginger and tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until sauce has thickened.

Brush the mushrooms to clean, place into a large shallow pan. Brush with the red pepper oil.

On a medium hot grill, grill the mushrooms for 5 minutes on each side. Brushing frequently with the sauce. Plate the mushrooms and brush one final time with the sauce before serving.



8 cups water
2 tea bags
1 cup sugar
½ lime
12 oz mango nectar
12 oz guava nectar
lemon lime slices for garnish

Place the water in a kettle and bring to a boil, add the tea bags and leave in the water for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and add the sugar.

Squeeze the lime in the tea, and the nectars. Whisk until sugar is completely dissolved, cool the tea then chill.

Serve over ice in large tumblers and garnish with lemon and lime slices.


¼ cup canola oil
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
2 minced garlic cloves
1 tsp fresh cracked black pepper
2 tsp brown sugar
¼ cup mango nectar
¼ cup guava nectar
1 tbsp molasses
1 ½ lbs tuna steaks 1" (2.5 cm) thick

Combine all the ingredients except the tuna steaks in a large mixing bowl.

Place the tuna steaks in a large shallow pan, pour the marinade over and marinate for 4-6 hours.

Grill the tuna over medium heat for 5 minutes per side, brushing with the marinade.

Plate the steaks, brush one final time with the marinade and serve.



4 cups pineapple juice
2 cups grapefruit juice
2 cups orange juice
3 cups pineapple chunks with juice
3 tbsp coconut cream nectar
4 cups lemon lime soft drink
4 cups lemon lime sorbet

In a large punch bowl combine the juices, pineapple chunks and coconut cream nectar with the soft drink.

Scoop small amounts of the sorbet into the punch and serve at once.

Alcohol variation: Try serving rum, coconut rum, lemon grappa, vodka or melon liqueur, do not exceed 8 oz. (250 ml).


1 avocado
½ cups mayonnaise
½ cup sour cream
½ cup thick coconut cream
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup papaya nectar
1 tsp crushed red chilies

1 ½ lbs tiger shrimp
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp each of salt, cracked black pepper, fresh chopped basil, fresh chopped thyme, chili powder, paprika, crushed red chilies
1 minced garlic clove

Peel and seed the avocado and place into a food processor, add the remaining ingredients and process into a smooth sauce. Pour into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until shrimp is ready.

Peel and de-vein the shrimp, place in a large shallow pan. Pour the oil over the shrimp and sprinkle with the seasonings and garlic. Grill over medium hot coals for 4 minutes per side.

Plate the shrimp, smother with sauce and serve.



½ cup passion fruit nectar
½ cup pineapple nectar
2 tbsp orange syrup
2 tbsp lime syrup
1 cup crushed pineapple
1 ½ cup raspberry sherbet
1 ½ cup lemon sherbet
1 cup crushed ice
4 pineapple wedges
4 large strawberries

In a food processor combine the nectars and syrups. Add the pineapple and sherbets process for 1 minute. Add the crushed ice and continue to process for an additional minute. Pour into milk shake glasses and serve garnished with the pineapple and strawberries.



1 ½ cup chocolate wafer crumbs
3 tbsp confectioners’ sugar
3 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
½ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 cup whipping cream
1 ½ medium size bananas
1 cup vanilla ice cream
3 cups whole strawberries

Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).

In a mixing bowl combine the crumbs, confectioners’ sugar and melted butter. Press into a 9" (22.5 cm) springform pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, remove from the oven and cool completely.

Combine the gelatin, granulated sugar, cocoa powder in a sauce pan, add the cream, cook over medium heat until the gelatin is dissolved, cool.

In a food processor blend the ice cream and cooled mixture. Spoon into a mixing bowl. Slice the bananas, stir into the mixture. Fold the mixture into the shell and chill until set.

Wash and stem the berries and place on top of the pie. Slice the and plate the pie serve with the two sauces drizzle over the pie.



½ cup fresh ginger root, peeled & grated
4 sticks cinnamon
4 whole cloves
2 cups sugar
2 lemons
1 lime
3 ¼ cup water
Soda water
lemon, lime slices for garnish

Put ginger into a saucepan and add the cinnamon, cloves, sugar, juice and zest of the lemons and lime. Add the water. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, boil until a thick syrup is formed. Strain the syrup through a cheesecloth, cool.

Place 3 tbsp’s (45 ml) of syrup in 10 oz. (300 ml) tumblers, add the soda water, garnish with lemon and lime slices, serve.

SERVES 10-12


6 large cooking apples
¾ cup apple juice
2 tbsp unflavoured gelatin
4 eggs yolks, lightly beaten
¼ cup lemon juice
¾ cup granulated sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
2 tbsp finely chopped candied ginger
4 egg whites
1 cup whipping cream

Core the apples, place into a saucepan and add ¼ cup (60 ml) of apple juice, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the apples are very tender. Press through a sieve or food meal and discard the skin, reserve the plup.

Soak the gelatin in the remaining apple juice in the top of a double boiler for 5 minutes. Add the egg yolks, lemon juice, ½ cup (125 ml) of the sugar, and 1 ½ cups (375 ml) of the apple purée. Simmer stirring until the mixture is thick. Add the lemon zest. Transfer mixture into a mixing bowl.

Place over a second bowl with ice, stir the mixture until it begins to set, fold in the ginger.

Beat the egg whites until foamy and gradually add the remaining sugar. Fold into the cooled set mixture. Whip the cream and fold into the mixture. Pour the mixture into a mold and chill until completely set. Remove from the mold and serve.

1 lb Regular or Whole Wheat Pizza Dough
1 lb large shrimp
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp each of salt, pepper, basil, paprika
2 large sliced tomatoes
2 cups Bocconcini cheese
½ cup sliced green onions

1 minced garlic clove
2 tbsp pine nuts
3 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
3 tbsp chopped parsley
1 cup seeded and diced roasted red peppers
3 oz freshly grated Romano cheese
¼ cup olive oil

Process the dough according to the directions. Roll the dough into small 7" (17.5 cm) rounds. Set aside and allow to rise for 20 minutes.

Peel and de-veined the shrimp, place in a mixing bowl. Add the oil and seasonings, marinate for 20 minutes. Grill the shrimp for 3 minutes per side. Cool.

In a food processor, process the garlic and pine nuts until very fine. Add the basil, parsley, peppers, Romano cheese and process into a purée. Slowly add the oil and continue to process into a mayonnaise like sauce.

Brush the pizza lightly with oil and grill over medium heat or coals 1-3 minutes or until the dough is bubbly. Turn the pizza over and grill 3-5 minutes, remove from heat and top with the pesto, shrimp, tomatoes and dot with the cheese. Reduce the grill’s temperature to low, return pizza’s to the cooled grill and continue to grill for 5 minutes covered.
If using coals place the pizza’s around the edge of the coals where the grill is coolest, cover and grill for 5 minutes.

Sprinkle with the green onions and serve at once. YIELDS 4-7" (17.5 cm) Pizzas


2 cups soda water
2 cups cranberry juice
2 cups orange juice
cranberry juice ice cubes *
blood orange or navel orange slices

Combine the soda water with the juices. Place the ice cubes into tall tumblers, pour the beverage over and garnish with the orange slices.

* To make cranberry juice ice cubes (or any juice ice cubes) prepare the juice as directed, pour into ice cube trays and freeze. Alcohol variation: Try serving white or light rum, rye or cherry whiskey, vodka or orange brandy.


8 Bosch pears

1 un-baked pie shell
1 cup all-purpose flour
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ cup butter
½ tsp ground ginger
½ cup chopped pecans

3 tbsp cornstarch
¼ tsp ground ginger
pinch salt
2 tbsp melted butter
½ cup maple syrup
½ tsp lemon zest
½ tsp pear extract
1 ½ cup sweetened whipping cream, whipped

Pare and slice the pears and grill over medium heat or coals for 2 minutes per side, remove from heat and cool.

Mix the flour, brown sugar, butter and ginger into a coarse crumbly texture. Stir in the nuts and set aside.

In a mixing bowl combine the cornstarch, ginger, salt, melted butter, syrup, lemon zest and pear extract together.

Arrange the pears around the pie shell and pour the filling over. Sprinkle with the flour mixture and bake for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool then chill before serving. Slice and serve with whipped cream on the side.


To order the entire Grill N Chill E-cookbook for just $8.00 e-mail Chef K at of

Lose wieght NOW just by eating great tasty food.