dad’s famous fruit salad | a thomas family tradition

Christmas decorations are in the shops – already! They seem to be creeping in earlier and earlier each year. At the beach for the school holidays, Mum and I’ve been discussing how exciting it is to have Elles Belles and Jez home for Chrissie.

Which got me thinking about our Thomas family Christmas.

Mum’ll have presents wrapped under the tree come the start of December and the girls will be asking “how many sleeps till Santa?” from now until then. There’ll be croissants with ham and cheese for breakie, endless cricket games played in the backyard and plenty of cold beers on ice. The inaugural ‘Tomalong Open’ kicked off last year and the boys are all geared up to try and take the trophy from Uncle Dave. Between the golf, cricket, swimming and the occasional netball match (I think we’re down to one goal post these days) we’ll have earned our tucker.

img_1830Hmm not sure about the finger in your nose Annabubby?

The highlights of our Chrissie lunch are always the glazed ham, Mim’s Christmas pudding and gosh do I look forward to Aunty Di’s mashed potato! Pete turns up with more fresh seafood than you can poke a stick at, Elles makes the best turkey stuffing, the twinnie bubbies always seem to have the house stocked up with sweet treats and Jen comes armed with her damper dip. Paper hats and bad jokes are shared around the table, while Dad’s at everyone to come and “sit down”. Roasted pork belly with homemade apple sauce was introduced in more recent years – a very welcome addition indeed.

img_5319Uncle Dave and Aunty Di. 

And if there’s one thing certain in life it’s that there’ll be Grandad’s famous fruit salad for dessert. Always there to accompany the pud and Meemar’s delicious homemade custard, we carry on Nanny’s tradition of hiding threepence’s in each serve.

So in the spirit of Christmas and family, the girls and I made Dad’s special fruit salad this arvo to enjoy with some yoghurt – the good kind. Taught to me by the master himself and always made on Christmas Eve, this fresh fruit salad tastes of home.

img_1143Enjoying a cuppa with Aunty Ali, the girls and Blue Dog (AKA Rudolf) | Chrissie time 2017. 

And don’t even think about adding anything extra or you’ll have Grandad to answer to. Banana? No way – it just goes soggy. Rockmelon? Are you kidding? Talk about being a ‘filler fruit’. Keep the blueberries, peaches and kiwi’s for another time and take care when cutting up the fruit. It has to be cut in to as small a pieces as possible so that you can get all of the fruit on the one spoon!

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Dad’s always taught me to layer the fruit, with the Granny’s hidden underneath the citrus to avoid them browning and you should always mix it together on Christmas morning. Don’t even think about leaving a watermelon or orange seed behind either; that’s a big no no.

A fruit salad too good to enjoy at only one time of year though, it’s perfect to have in the fridge to snack on throughout the day or to eat for breakie. We’ll be eating Dad’s fruit salad for many years to come and I’m happy to carry the baton until one of my girls’ knife skills is up to scratch.

So with Chrissie on the mind, fruit salad in my tummy and now that it’s just clocked over to October, surely it’s not too early to draw the names for the KK?

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dad’s famous fruit salad

1 x wedge of watermelon
1 x pineapple
3 x Granny Smith apples
2 x oranges
1 x punnet of strawberries
5 x passionfruit

  • Simply remove the rind and seeds from the watermelon and cut it up in to very small pieces. Add to a large Tupperware container or glass serving bowl.
  • Next, remove the skin from the pineapple (being extra careful to get rid of all of the “spikey bits”) and cut in to small pieces. Add on top of the watermelon.
  • Peel and core the apples. Cut in to small pieces and layer on top of the pineapple.
  • Remove the skin and any seeds from the oranges, cut in to small pieces and layer over the pineapple.
  • Wash and cut the strawberries in to pieces, placing on top of the oranges.
  • Half the “pashies” and spoon the insides out over the strawberries.

Simply pop the Tupperware lid on or glad wrap and refrigerate until needed.
Stir the fruit salad before serving and serve with some vanilla yoghurt or my favourite – some vanilla ice cream.

Dad’s tips

  • Make sure that you smell and taste the oranges first before throwing them in. A bad orange will ruin the entire salad.
  • Always cut the pieces of fruit up in the smallest possible pieces.
  • Best served with vanilla ice cream and Chrissie pudding, or otherwise with some custard or yoghurt.
  • Make sure that you scrape off any of the juices from your chopping board and pour them in over the fruit salad.
  • The apples always have to be Granny Smith as red apples are too sweet.
  • Dad has taught me to cut up a pineapple by removing the skin and then quartering it. Slice the hard woody inside off (refer to the pic below) and discard (or if you’re like him – you’ll think that’s the best part to eat) and then finely chop.

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If you make Dad’s fruit salad, please leave your comments below. xx

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