Passionflower juice

dedicated to Claire

a bowl of passionflower fruit

As I have said in the past, I’ve been a city boy all of my life. Lived in apartments for most of it; and even when I lived in houses, they were squeezed into the city block, with only symbolic patches of earth around… not enough to get on a personal relationship with plants and trees. I’ve loved nature, but gotten to know it in parks; and when traveling, in forests, and in the desert… and sometimes even in the fields. But always as a visitor. I did have a short stint on kibbutz (the unique communes found in Israel), and while there, learned to grow bananas. Aside from that, I never had much luck, even with potted plants. I’ve tried a number of times, but always failed. I got advice. I was giving too much water or not enough water… too much sun or not enough sun.

explaining how to do it, Rivka

Fortunately, my children have succeeded where I have failed. And it has been a great pleasure for me to watch them grow fruit trees, and beautiful flowers. For most of them have chosen to bring up their children in the atmosphere of the country, living in little villages scattered around the country. It has been especially gratifying, to watch the successes of Rivka, my daughter. She moved into a new home, just a couple of years ago, a home that she and her husband built themselves. A beautiful home, designed by her husband, Giddi.

the hand press and fruit

One of the first things they did after moving into the new home, was to plant trees and a beautiful garden. Rivka, though working full time outside of the home, made the vegetable patch her special project. And often, when she comes to visit, she brings with her, fruits of her garden. I have enjoyed eating all manner of home grown vegetables, and wonderful vegetable salads. I especially love the little red peppers that she brings me, and they seem to last forever after they have been dried, and retain both flavor and sharpness.

the juice, the sieve, and the seeds

Recently she told me about her success with passionflowers. Not only did they give fruit, but she had to generously supply them to her friends, because there was much more than she could eat. When she brought me a big baf of the fruit, I told her that it was a waste on me, ‘cause I found them difficult to eat because of all the seeds. ‘Oh no’, she said… ‘You’ve got to try these. They are so luscious and tasty. I’ll make you passionflower juice’. I thought that that too would be a waste. How much juice could we get out of a passionflower fruit? But she insisted.

we ate cheeses and crackers

She came by, the week before last, with a huge bag filled with fruit, and went to work trying out all the different tools I have for making juice, including an electric juicer which I use to make carrot juice. She let me know, diplomatically, that my juicer wasn’t the best I could have found, and as she checked out the different tools I had, it turned out that the oldest one, the hand press that I use to make pomegranate juice, was the best suited to the job. But a lot of the seeds still remained in the juice. So she got out a sieve, and poured the juice through that, afterwards squeezing more of the juice through the net of the sieve with the help of the back of a soup ladle.

sweet potatoes made the dinner a special treat

We sipped the juice that had been produced by the juicer too, and the taste was not as good as that made with the hand press and the sieve. Seems the juicer crushed some of the seeds too. And those seeds influenced the taste of the juice. The purest, sweetest taste came from the juice made with the hand press. And it was wonderful. I think that a good part of my happiness, as I drank the juice, came from knowing that it had been organically grown, and grown by Rivka in her own garden… and of course, watching the process of the juice in the making.



67 responses to “Passionflower juice

  1. This was a very fun post, Shimon. It was fun to see your daughter, and so sweet to know that she brings you fruit and vegetables from her garden. It reminds me of my Grandpa Gus, who used to bring us baskets of tomatoes or big bouquets of dahlias.

  2. WOW! I haven’t known till now about them… I only know “passiflora” in the past I used it as a medicine…
    I am same as you dear Shimon about gardening… but I love too. Your daughter seems doing great. Thank you for this wonderful post and photographs. I learned something new again… Have a nice weekend, Love, nia

    • We call the Passiflora too, and I was looking for the word in English, and this is what I found; passionflower. Thank you very much for the article that you pointed out. It was great fun to learn more about all the different members of the family. And thank you for your good wishes. My best wishes to you too, with beautiful flowers, and tasty fruit always.

  3. Reblogged this on photographyofnia and commented:
    This is great post!

  4. I don’t think my passion flower will ever produce such wonderful fruit. I am grateful to you Shimon for sharing this. I will buy some passion fruit and see how I get on..

    • From what I’ve heard, Chillbrook, there are male and female plants and you have to have cross fertilization in order to get the fruit. Also, they only give fruit for a few years, and then they remain beautiful… but without the fruit. I really love the taste of them, though, and hope you’ll be able to get some fruit.

  5. That was some adventure for a city boy. The passion fruit is of course too exotic to my knowledge, but making hand pressed juice from localy grown organic produce, thats life.

    • Yes, I thoroughly enjoy the pleasures of country life, if only by way of my children. I have a son who has raised goats and sheep, and others who are more connected to the earth than I ever was. Thank you for coming by, Bente. It’s very enjoyable getting to know your fine photography, and your wide interests regarding the world around us.

  6. I love the sharp taste of passion fruit. It used to grow on vines in Nigeria where we used to live. Juice sounds delicious, and I love sweet potatoes too and eat them a lot.

    • Actually, it took me a while to appreciate the taste. I was expecting sweet, and it is sort of sweet and sour, but I’ve learned to love it. And the juice is wonderful. And I love vegetables too; both potatoes and sweet potatoes. Thanks for your comment, Gill.

  7. I really enjoyed this Shimon, right up my street. As I read I became hungry for the cheese and crackers with sweet potato and passion fruit juice. I have always loved passion fruit and eat the seeds too, lovely and crunchy.
    How wonderful that your Daughter grows her own food and shares it with you and others.xxxxx

    • So glad you enjoyed the post. Yes, this is a perfect meal, snowbird. It’s light and tasty.. gives you all you need, and doesn’t leave you heavy afterwards. I think I prefer it without the seeds, but it took me some time to learn to appreciate the taste… maybe I have to grow used to it. Thank you.

  8. Loved reading this post – this lovely family tale 🙂

  9. Gardens are indeed a labor of love….glad to get a glimpse of the bounty your daughter shared.

  10. Love the story and the communion and the excellent pictures! Thank you for blessing my day with this, Shimon!

  11. Things made right from the garden always seem to taste wonderful; and it’s good you experimented with the different tools you had on hand.
    The sweet potatoes look delicious…those are my favorite!

    • I agree with you, Angeline. The tastes are richer when we harvest vegetables and fruit just as they become ripe. And sweet potatoes are very rich. Thank you for your comment.

  12. My dear Shimon, indeed there is an undeniable simple pleasure from living off the good earth. I can feel your pleasure derived from a glass of hand-pressed nectar and the warm pleasure a father feels for his children. Thank you for this sweet, uplifting post. My heart feels full from yours. My loving greetings for the weekend. Sharon p.s. we get our sweet potatoes from Israel and it’s excellent.

    • You are so right, Sharon. Especially for those of us living in the city. We become so absorbed in man made situations, and in culture, and material objects… that it is easy to forget the breadth and depth of nature. It also makes me happy to think that you are able to taste the fruit of my country. How wonderful. My best wishes to you too, for a very beautiful weekend.

  13. Delicious food good for the health.Great post.Jalal Michael

  14. I saw some pre-packed fruits in the shop last weekend. I was not sure should you buy the ones which are round and smooth or the ones with the dimples? Great post.

    • That is a good question, GB. I think you have to try the different varieties till you find something you really enjoy. I love avocados, and they come in so many different shapes. The ones I love the best are the ones with dimples. They are called Haas. And for a while we used to get some really wonderful ones, very little… just a bit larger than a nut, and they were so tasty! But I haven’t seen them for years. Thanks for coming by.

  15. They remind me of kiwi fruit and I feel a great longing for them… must have a look in the market tomorrow.Rivka looks so happy…good to see her.

    • As it happens, I don’t care that much for kiwi. They are too sour for me. But there is some similarity in the taste of the two fruit. Rivka does bring a lot of good spirits when she comes. Thanks for your comment, Kathryn.

      • I don’t think we get passion fruit here but I’ll have a look on line,
        I love tools so was intrigued by all the different ones you have.The old mechanical ones are often better.But electric food processors are very good too.

        • I like the electrical devices, and have a few… but sometimes the old mechanical ones do better. For instance, in grinding nuts. But you need very specific contraptions for each activity.

          • I have solid black metal grinder for coffee beans and an old metal meat mincer….would help to keep my arms stronger if I used that.

  16. …. What a lovely experience. Enjoying food and drink prepared together etc is such a basic and fundamental thing and so satisfying – and for it to have been grown by your daughter makes it extra special. I almost felt the satisfaction and pleasure just reading this post! 🙂

    • Very glad you enjoyed the post, Arose. Of course, it’s very different, and very special when friends get together in the kitchen. And this time, the preparations were as much fun as the food itself. Thanks for the comment.

  17. Your pictures are great, everything looks very tasty. 🙂 I too have a hard time growing things, but have been much more inclined to try recently. I’ve managed to get peppers and that’s about all, but there is something extremely satisfying in eating things you’ve grown yourself. Nice post. 🙂

    • How nice that you are inclined to try some more. As I get older, I find that my tendency is to reduce activities, so I doubt I’ll ever accomplish much in that direction. But it is good to identify with others who have more success than I do. And you’re right, it is something special to eat home grown fruit and vegetables. Thanks for your comment, livesinstone.

  18. Interesting fruit. Looks very similar to our granadilla but seems like it has more juice and softer skin. Probably from the same family. Will google it.

    • I’ve never heard of granadilla, but I have heard that the passionfruit has many variations and ‘family members’. I don’t think that the skin is edible. Some people spoon out the insides, and that is very tasty. Thanks for coming by, TDV.

  19. Wouldn’t mind some of that … cheese and passion fruit. Love fresh figs with cheese too. Big fan of sweet potatoes .. love them baked with bacon, sour cream and sweet chili sauce.

    • Yes, fruit and cheese is a very fine combination. I like figs too. They are a very rich fruit. And you have something in common with Rivka, my daughter. She too spent quite a few years working as a chef. Thanks for coming by Viveka. Had a look at your blog, and enjoyed a good chuckle. And I appreciate your very positive view of life.

      • Din dotter har valt ett tufft, men mycket stimulerande jobb – Bra för henne. En av mina franska läromästare sa att man kan servera all frukt med ost – utom vindruvor på grund av syran och att den i regel förstör vinet man dricker till osten. Har aldrig fått vindruvor med ost in Frankrike. Nice of you to replay .. pleasure meeting you *smile

  20. I think we call it here passion fruit, and it so happened that I had some last night, visiting a friend who’s as passionate about his garden as your lovely daughter Rivka. I find that most Americans know less about fruit trees than Israelis. The passion fruit is only one example. “Shesek”, which is so popular in Israel, is not eaten here, and most people let the fruit rot! It’s called Loquat in English.
    I loved the post because it made me feel like I’m visiting with you and Rivka in your kitchen!

    • I wasn’t sure how to call the fruit. As you know, we call it passiflora here. But I found a reference to passionflower. And it seems that there are quite a few variations of the shrub, which appears as a vine, and a tree too. When I was in America, I did see a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables, but never saw Shesek, which is one of my favorites. Glad you enjoyed the post. And thank you for your kind words, Rachel.

  21. What a gift from your daughter, and the photos are lovely.

  22. I have never seen, nor had the opportunity to taste passion fruit, but it does indeed look very good and I assume it is excellent. How very kid of your daughter to share the bounty of her garden with you and her friends. Nothing is more delightful than to see our children do well wit things that we were not especially good at. I love the simple meal you shared together!

    • I do hope that you will someday have the opportunity to try this wonderful fruit, Josie. But I know you have many good fruit in the states, and we can’t know everything. Every now and then, I am surprised by a new food that I never heard of before. The internet and globalization is exposing us to more and more possibilities… and we don’t need them all. Thank you for your kind words.

  23. As TDV mentioned, we know them as granadillas here in SA. It was the one thing that, when I lived in a cottage with a small garden and I did try my hand and gardening, I was able to grow quite successfully (more by accident I think). It was one of my favourite fruits and quite expensive if you buy them in the supermarket. Granadilla cake is also very delicious 🙂

  24. Thank you for the dedication Shimon. Thank you!
    and reading the comments I’ve learnt something from you, about the male and female passionflowers. I don’t think I’ve ever tasted passionfruit juice, I’m intriguesd as to it’s flavour. But what is special is that you enjoyed your daughters company, ate some wonderful looking cheeses, no doubt chated of this and that, and drank the juice so carefully prepared for you. Delightful. and a rich life! And the colours of the fruit, the flesh, pips and skin make for a wonderful photographic subject
    They say when you move house you should start the garden first as that it takes the longest to really get growing, it sounds like your daughter thought of that and even better planted fruit trees, planting trees is planting for the future. Happy days 🙂

    • Yes, Rivka and Giddi have moved a number of times since they were married, but I think that this time it was meant to be permanent, and they really worked on having just the home they’d always wanted, which included a very nice garden. And you’re right, spending time with my children is a very positive influence on my life, and Rivka comes about once a week, and we always have a very good time. I often think of you, when she brings fruit or vegetables from the ‘back yard’.

  25. Wonderful, Shimon! We agree that there’s no better taste than that which is truly the fruit of your labor.

    We are up to our eyeballs in backyard tomatoes, have a smattering of gooseberries and a few squash. Not bad for our postage stamp sized yard, especially considering that most of the plants are growing in containers instead of the earth.

    • So true, Bill. Work can be a pleasure in itself, but the fruits of our labor are precious indeed. So happy for you that you do have a vegetable patch yourselves. I love gooseberries… any sort of berries, actually. And tomatoes make such a wonderful salad. I’m sure that adds a lot to your meals.

  26. Dear Shimon, a lovely post. I’ve never had luck with plants myself, but I think that has to do with lack of knowledge 😉 My husband has searched many supermarkets and farmers markets here for passionfruit as he’s wanted to make sorbet and ice cream with them – to no avail. He had to buy passion nectar at the store! Maybe one day, if we have a garden, we’ll try our hand at growing produce like your daughter and her family!

    • That’s interesting, Marina. I’ve had sorbet, and that was wonderful, and recently I also found yogurt with passionfruit, that was very interesting because you wouldn’t expect that slightly sour taste to go with yogurt, but it was good. It would be wonderful if you had a garden and could give a try to growing them.

  27. Reblogged this on katzideas and commented:
    Some great photographs here

  28. פסיפלורה טעימה

  29. Makes me hungry. 🙂 My recent experience with passion fruit is quite different from your family’s. 🙂

    • You’ve made me curious, elmediat. But my guess is that you had beautiful flowers, without fruit. From what I’ve learned on the subject, one needs certain conditions in order to produce the fruit. But it sure is worth the effort.

  30. The next best thing to reading your blog would be to share some of Riva’s passion juice with you and Nechame, of course:)x

    • Yes, I know, Janet. How I would love to watch your lips sipping that juice… ah, life has great surprises for us sometimes, along side of countless pleasures…

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