|White-Lipped Green Tree Frog|
Writing about my mate Hieronymus, my in-house tree frog in my previous post got me thinking. If you’re wondering...my ability to think started long before now. I think I’ve thought often throughout my life, not only lately.
This post also answers a question put forth by a couple of my readers in my earlier post re my cats showing interest in their housemate. For whatever reasons, my cats, not just Remy and Shama who share my life, but other cats that played major roles in my life throughout the years never showed interest in any interlopers who loped into their and my territory. They, my cats, appeared to take it in their stride....they'd just give a sigh and go back to sleep.
Hieronymus’ tale triggered recollections of frogs that have hopped in an out of my life over the years; and there’s been quite a few. Silly me! I failed to kiss even one of them! No wonder no prince has made an appearance. On second thoughts, I do now have Hieronymus aka Harry in my life.
I don’t understand why some people hate frogs, or are scared of frogs. What’s to fear?
When I was kid a floorboard on our front verandah had a piece broken off it where the floorboard was attached to the supporting beam at the top of the stairs. The gap caused by the missing piece allowed us a view of a fat, glossy green frog that lived on the beam beneath the boards.
Each day my brother and I checked to see if the frog was still there; and for a long time it was. We’d chat with our green mate, but we never disturbed him. Each night he hopped out to do whatever frogs do at night. Every day we found him back safely ensconced in his protected sanctuary, pretending he’d not moved. No matter how many questions we put to him he wouldn’t divulge what he did during his nocturnal ramblings.
One of our favourite pastimes when we were kids was collecting tadpoles. We built a little free-form pond under the front stairs. It became their home.
Do today’s kids still go in search of tadpoles?
With keen interest we’d watch the metamorphosis the tadpoles underwent; the growing of limbs, development of lungs, of how the tadpole’s body absorbed the tail. The process fascinated us...the circle of life. Once the adult amphibian developed, without a backward glance, it hopped off to greener pastures.
That’s gratitude for you!
When I had my greengrocery/healthfood shop in Noosa often, while unpacking cartons of lettuces often I found cute little green tree frogs hiding in the produce. Fortunately for the frogs, strategically placed about the shopping arcade where my shop was situated were solid, inbuilt garden pots. I’d place the frogs in the foliage out of sight of birds. After the vast distances they’d travelled to reach me, to end their adventurous lives on a bird’s dinner plate was not on the plate! Perhaps in the cloak of darkness they hopped across Hastings Street to go for a swim in Laguna Bay when no one was looking. Skinny-dipping is lots of fun! I wouldn’t have blamed them one little bit for doing so. I’ve done it myself!
At the resort on Hinchinbrook Island there was an abundance of plump green frogs and white-lipped tee frogs. A few claimed the cabins as their own. I left them alone. There was no point telling them to hop it. They’d return before anyone could say “Kermit Robinson!” After all, it is Tropical North Queensland.
The magnificent white-lipped tree frog, a giant green tree frog, reaches 11-14cm in length. They lived in perfect harmony with the regular green frogs and tree frogs. There was room enough for them all, including the guests.
And then, Grofế hopped into my life when I was living in the house at Yorkeys Knob, the beachside suburb north of Cairns. On the large rear deck, as well as throughout the interior living area of the house many potted plants and palms enhanced the atmosphere and decor.
When I relocated from Yorkeys Knob to Clifton Beach my plants went with me, and so did Grofế, I discovered soon after I’d settled in.
Grofế, a well-rounded green frog hitched a ride in one of my potted plants
I named my new green housemate after Ferde Grofế , the composer of The Grand Canyon Suite.
There the pot in which he’d set up home sat on top of my fridge. Grofế was comfortably content in his spot in the pot. From there he had an ocean view.
At night I’d hear a “plop” as he landed on the kitchen floor. From there he would hop through my unit, out the front door across the small patio onto the lawn and garden out front.
My two cats, Pushkin and Rimsky, ignored him. When they heard him land on the floor from his elevated site they’d half open their eyes, but they never bothered to stir much more than that before nonchalantly drowsing off once again. Knowing Grofế was part of the family, they were familiar with his nightly habit. He didn’t interfere with them and vice versa.
From Clifton Beach I headed southwards to live on Newry Island to take care of the accommodation cabins, bar, dining, boat transfers etc., etc. , and all else that needed taking care of in that capacity. Pushkin and Rimsky joined me on the island, but sadly Grofế didn’t. He remained at Clifton Beach. I’m sure he was happy to do so.
So you see, having Hieronymus in my life isn’t that odd! Remy, Shama, Hieronymus aka “Harry” and I live harmoniously in this humble abode.
Lettuce & Rocket Soup: Warm 1tbs olive oil in pot over med-heat; add 1 thinly sliced onion; cook about 4mins; add 750g diced potatoes and 4c chicken or veg stock. Bring to simmer over high heat; reduce heat; simmer, covered until potatoes are almost tender; add 2 cups rocket or spinach leaves and 1c torn lettuce leaves; simmer uncovered 3mins; transfer vegetables to blender; pour in enough stock to cover; add 1/4c cream; season. Blend carefully. Pour soup back into pot with remaining stock; stir; pour into bowls; top with sliced goat cheese.
Lettuce Wraps: Put 800g green, peeled, deveined prawns, salt and pepper into pot; add enough cold water just to cover; bring to boil; reduce to simmer; cook about 1min. Transfer prawns to colander; cool. Put about 100g cellophane noodles in a bowl; cover with hot water; set aside 15mins; drain; cut into 2-3 inch pieces; return to pot; drizzle with 2tbs rice vinegar; toss. In bowl, mix 3/4tsp chilli flakes and 2tbs lime juice; let sit 5-6mins; add 2 minced garlic cloves, 1tbs sugar and 4tbs fish sauce; whisk until sugar dissolves; transfer to serving bowl. Arrange noodles in middle of lettuce leaves; top with prawns; garnish with finely julienned carrots, sliced basil leaves, coriander leaves, mint leaves and finely chopped roasted peanuts.
Pasta, Lettuce & Prosciutto: Cut 85g thinly sliced prosciutto crosswise into ½-inch wide strips. Put 1tbs olive oil in pan over med-high heat; cook prosciutto until crisp. In boiling, salted water cook 455g pasta al dente; drain; reserve a little liquid. Melt 2tbs butter and 2tbs olive oil in pan over med-heat. Add 1 small onion, finely chopped; cook 5mins. Add 2c fresh or frozen peas, leaves of 1 butter lettuce, 4 chopped shallots and 1/2c chick or veg stock; cook 5mins; add pasta; stir until just heated through; add more stock or reserved liquid if needed. Toss with 1c finely grated Parmesan; garnish with prosciutto.
Green Delight: Put 2 celery sticks, 2 green apples, 1 cup of honeydew melon, diced and 1 lime through juicer; then place in blender with ¼ cup fresh mint and 1 peeled Kiwi fruit; blend; serve garnished with fresh mint.