Sunday, August 5, 2012

Passion Fruit

Raquel is in the middle of a week of vacation.  We are both somewhat bummed as this was the week we were to be in Beaune together, but I am stuck here and so she went up north for a mini-break.  I managed the market today, which was uneventful, save one issue which I handled quickly.  The vendors are all very good and know the drill, so it was pretty easy.

I brought the huge copper bassine and filled it with burlap and produce, which got a lot of ooh’s and ahh’s.   Valdivia tomatoes, Sunny Cal peaches, Sage potatoes and Atkins grapefruits.  Every morning now Dad wants grapefruit and peaches and fresh orange juice.  Breakfast of champions, why not?  These were all great, and made a colorful arrangement, but were not the stars of the market…

passion fruit

Victor started to work for Atkins Nursery about 25 years ago.  He is now the owner.  He grows citrus, and supplies the growers; he can graft any kind of citrus you want, up to nine on a tree….wow…..  He’s big time, and he’s a really great guy. Today he had passion fruit, and I picked up a few.  My mind immediately went to passion fruit-infused vodka and teas for the party.  Victor also suggested Kumquat vodka, so I bought a bunch of those too….


Fresh passion fruit is something that is not really on my radar. This fruit is high in antioxidants, and the flavor of the fruit is amazing, better than any juice or dessert I have ever tasted. Victor explained that the fat ones are more acidic, the shriveled ones more flavorful.  I let with a large bag of both….I’m betting that the color of the rind will make the vodka turn a pretty pink.  And who wouldn’t love a pink drink at a party, especially if it tastes as good as these fruits?


The kumquats and passion fruits were halved or left whole and went into the two best jars R brought me recently from Wisconsin, his Mother’s oldest jars, which are now treasured in my collection.  I thought of Gladys as I filled these; she would be happy seeing this, even if it is vodka~


I have set the menu and will tell you about it this week.  Loved the day, love these jars and their provenance from Gladys & Carl.  I am refining the menu to include coconut and pineapple to go with the passion fruit.  It’s going to be great!!


  1. Andrea,
    Pretty fruit!
    I am enjoying my bag.....When will I receive the others, please? They were ordered May 1st, over three months ago!!!! Please respond.

    Many thanks,
    Helen Rockwell

  2. I love this idea for flavoring water as well. The vodka is going to be great!

  3. Andrea, It sounds like it was a wonderful market day in Rancho Santa Fe!

    Art by Karena
    2012 Artist Series

  4. Not exactly sure how I came upon you, but I've been stalking for ages...I love everything about your blog and I mean everything. When you mention "Atkins" I have to show my face of sorts. The Atkins family and ours grew up in Fallbrook together. We were compandres from the beginning - Carol and Billy were always our invites (as young kids) to the Del Mar Fair in the 60's. I LOVED, loved loved Ray and Lillian. What amazing people. Their home was always so inviting and represents everything your blog is about! Although I am so long separated from Southern California I am thrilled to hear that the Atkins name continues and glad to read your wonderful props for those that continue on in their honor. May the force be with you all ;)

    1. Hi Anon, thank you for the comment; I have heard such wonderful things about the Atkins of these days I will ask Victor to tell me how he acquired the nursery. He's carrying on their work and is also a very gracious man.

  5. Gee, that copper pot is gorgeous.

    I live just down the road from Atkins Nursery. Around 15 years-ago, when I was in Italy, I met a Spaniard and we struck up a conversation. He asked where I was from and I told him it was a little town north of San Diego that he would not have heard of called Fallbrook. He said he knew Fallbrook well because he had studied at UC Riverside (he was now a citrus virus expert) and one of his friends in school came from a family that had a nursery in Fallbrook, though he couldn’t remember its name. He would visit his friend’s family on weekends and holidays. I began to name Fallbrook nurseries and when I came to Atkins he said that was it…a small world…

    Kumquats are also nice hollowed out and filled with cream cheese and candied ginger. Thank you for a lovely blog.