It is common for me to take fruits after having the main meal. Either it is lunch or dinner. I take fruits as a dessert but this is not always the case. Sometimes, I take fruits in between meals.
The habit of eating fruit because I’m hungry like one hour before the meal is a norm for me. It is because I do not want to gain extra weight by having a heavy snack before the meal. I’m health conscious too.
I always have had fruit from my garden. Trees like papaya, soursop, jackfruit and coconut bear a lot of fruits in my garden. These trees bear fruit throughout the year. There is no season.
There is a phrase in Malay stated about gardening and soil. The phrase is Berbudi pada tanah. Literally, the phrase says ‘Good deed to the soil’. The phrase in Malay means if someone cleans the soil from the weed and later plants a seed. The tree grows to bear fruit. When the fruit matures we can eat it.
That’s what I am doing. Be good to the soil and plant anything that later benefits human beings.
Fruit to be eaten and drink freshly
In my house compound, there are three jackfruit trees producing fruit continuously. Each of them is cultivated in different ways. In the compound area, cultivated from a young tree that we bought, the second tree is growing near the kitchen porch and the third tree located outside the fence is heavily fruiting.
Unfortunately, it has fallen because a driver who lost focus accidentally bumped into the tree. Now, it is slowly sprouting back. However, it took a long time to grow. This tree is derived from the seeds that are thrown away after the fruit had been eaten.
Now, the trees have grown high, surpassing the roof of the house as well as heavily fruiting. All the family members are satisfied with eating fresh jackfruit and now I want to diversify the jackfruit into different cuisines. The jackfruit is diversified to make pudding, cocktails and juice drinks.
The idea is to make something from the fresh fruit because this juicy fruit does not long last after peeling. The fruit looks shining with orange or yellow colour once taken out and is very sweet. It is a very tedious job to peel and take out this seedy fruit and yet to let it spoil gone to waste.
From this ripe jackfruit tree, I managed to make a few styles of dessert such as pudding and Malay cake. Jackfruit cocktails and juice to quench the thirst. It’s worth it, especially in our Tropical weather.
The young jackfruit can be made another dish such as curry or with coconut milk gravy. Nice to be eaten with rice. There is another creative way to boil the young fruit, to eat it as salad garnishing with our authentic Sambal Belacan (Shrimp Paste Chillies). The skin has to be removed before boiling.
Even though I live in an urban area, I am planting coconut trees because of my home has a large compound. This coconut tree beautifies our compound. At the moment, the tree is about two metres tall.
The coconut tree at my house bears fruit. It is not for cooking but drinking consumption. The tree is young and because of that the coconut water is sweet and the flesh is jelly-like.
It is a really cool drink during the hot weather. Malaysia has a tropical climate, a climate that is warm to hot and moist all year-round. The coconut drink serves its purpose.
The young coconut is expensive compared to the mature coconut. Young coconut more for drinking while mature coconut for cooking. We reserve coconut that we plant for drinking purposes.
Soursop or in Malay, Durian Belanda has well grown in my compound. We have plenty of durian belanda trees. The dark soil helps the tree grow. To have more fruits, we put fertilizer for fruit. When the tree produces small fruit, I wrap in plastic to avoid insects going through it. The fruit is green from young to mature but the flower before turning to fruit is yellow in colour.
I plucked it up about two months later when the fruit was soft when we touched it. It tastes better when it matures on its own. To pluck it, I twist the soursop that hangs to the branch and the soursop is in my hand.
I cut the fruit piece by piece. The flesh is white with black big seeds. It tastes sweet-sour and tender.
Papaya trees grow a lot in my compound. We have very long fruit and medium size. It is easy to plant. It grows naturally from the seed that we throw on the soil. Sometimes when we have to harvest more, I eat the whole fruit by myself because fruit cannot last long.
We do give to neighbours when the fruits are too many to eat. Birds and squirrel have a share in my garden. The young papaya is green and turns yellow when it ripes.
Those are the trees from homegrown that I eat. For other fruits that I want to eat other than these four, I buy it in the market.
When I wanted to drink fresh sugar cane, I chopped down the plant in my garden. There is a lot of sugar cane in my garden and I chopped about 10 stalks to make a drink.
It takes about two hours to peel. After peeling, wash it and send it to the seller selling sugar cane drinks to machine the sugar cane. The taste is sweet and refreshing. Since the 10 sugar cane stalks can produce a lot, I keep it in jars and keep it in the freezer to last longer. If we keep the sugar cane juice in the refrigerator, it spoils the taste of the juice. The juice turns sour and not fit for consumption.
Yes. It is hard to do work in the garden. Clear the weed. Tender to the plant. Later the tree gave back what we did to them by bearing fruits. Gardening is also known as exercise. This open secret does well to the body and brain.