|My Pineapple Crush dispenser was similar to this...a little different, but similar|
To my neighbours’ delight I’ve no bells; no whistles, either. An extra bonus is I’m a hopeless whistler. I couldn’t hold a tune if I tried...and, I have tried! Dogs run off in the opposite direction if I whistle them. Also, Saint Clement’s isn’t hereabouts, but there are a couple down Wynnum way, a bayside suburb of Brisbane...maybe that’s where the bells peal.
There are lots of peels in my abode, though.
Every morning, of every day, of every month, all year through, I squeeze citrus fruit. I’ve been squeezing oranges first thing every morning for many, many years – not the same ones, of course.
Squeezing a fellow being (or a female being, if one insists on being pedantic) may not be allowed presently, but I am allowed to squeeze citrus, so squeeze them I do...and happily.
Oh! Boy! How I would like to squeeze the necks of the noisy motor bike riders who destroy our peace and quiet, while infiltrating our roadways! I wish they all would stay at home, in their own backyards! The bikers think this mountain plateau is their playground on weekends, and care not about the horrendous noise they make. If my little car made the noise just one of those bikes do...I’d be booked in a nano second! Over the weekends the bikers arrive up here on our mountain greenery in tribes of 10, 20, 30 or more at a time! Grrrrrrr!!!!! That’s my whinge for today...and yesterday...and the day before....
But I do digress....back to more pleasant things and activities....
Lemons from my generous little tree have joined the juicing, as have the grapefruit and limes given to me by my thoughtful friends from up the end of this lane.
Each citrus season they share their bountiful crop with me, for which I am always grateful! Also, the other day, I was given a jar of homemade marmalade jam...made from oranges, grapefruit, lemons and limes. Thank you, Lady Marmalade!
When Randall, my now late ex, and I were married, I bought oranges by the carton. He had arrived back from the States not a fruit eater. To solve the problem, I decided handing him a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice every morning was a good way to get some fruit into him. Slowly but surely, my plan worked. He, too, became a fruit lover. I didn’t mind sharing my stocks of fruit. It just meant I had to buy more to allow for the extra hand reaching out to the bowls!
These days I purchase oranges by the bag, usually purchasing two bags per visit to the local supermarket. Now with mandarin season in full force, I’m pigging out on mandarins, as well. Joy, oh, joy!
When I was a greengrocery-health food shop owner in Noosa Heads in the early to mid-80s, I was in fruit and vegetable heaven. Being surrounded by all that goodness, who could blame me?
My father-in-law loved mangoes. Many trays of mangoes went his way...from my shelves to his lap; only Aussie mangoes...never the imported ones. I wouldn’t touch them with a ten-foot pole....I still don’t.
My mum-in-law wasn’t overly fond of mangoes, but she didn’t miss out. She loved nectarines; and she feasted on them come stone fruit season. Actually, all year round my in-laws never had to worry about their fruit and veggie supplies. What’s the point if family can’t enjoy the fruits – and vegetables - of one’s labour?
A fun time...it was fun to run the shop. Being able to eat the stock was a major bonus for me. It was a wonder I had any left to sell to the public!
Harvey Norman and The Good Guys...and other such traders... can’t eat their Apples! I could mine...and did! They were delicious! Granny Smith didn’t mind.
Also, in my shop, freshly-made fruit salad and savoury salads were on offer Mondays to Sundays; as were hot soups, cakes, biscuits, dips, roasted and boiled peanuts, as well as tempting fruit smoothies, and freshly-squeezed orange juice, or juices of personal choice. All of the above were prepared by me in my shop’s little kitchen.
In the service area, to the side of shelves and bins that were filled with produce, the pineapple crush machine gently agitated quietly throughout the day. The container on the dispenser held quite a few litres...probably around 10 or 12 litres, if not more.
With the number of pineapples I crushed every morning to fill the machine it was/is fortunate pineapples grew/grow, in abundance, in areas surrounding the Sunshine Coast. I bought pineapples and pawpaws directly from local growers who, every couple of days arrived, by truck, at my shop’s back door to unload their healthy, golden bounty.
One morning, I was busy serving a customer when another was helping herself to a pineapple crush over at the machine, which is what customers did...help themselves to the pineapple crush.
To this customer’s dismay, the top of the tap came off in her hand. Pineapple crush flowed freely over the floor (the previous evening I’d had the indoor-outdoor grass-green carpet professionally cleaned).
By the time I flew (not literally) across the room to stop the flow there was not a lot of pineapple crush left in the machine...most of it was on the floor.
The poor woman, flustered, apologetic and red-faced, was left holding a half-filled drink’s container in her hand, and a desire to become invisible on the spot. It was not my intention to add to her embarrassment.
Putting myself in her pineapple crush-filled shoes, I felt for her. Laughing, I assured her it wasn’t the end of the world...that all was well. I bet she never again touched one of those drink dispensers!
The following couple of hours I spent...in between serving customers and explaining my “Sadie, the Cleaning Lady” persona...cleaning up the mess.
Worse things have happened...and will continue happening.
My double-door, glass-front, upright refrigerator and long, open refrigerated “bin” were both always well-stocked with tasty, tempting temptations upon which to dally over...and choose from...!
Having decided to add vitamin supplements to my wares, I wanted to include Blackmores products on my shelves. However, back then, it was necessary for prospective stockists to apply to Blackmores** to gain the company’s permission to carry their first class vitamin products. Fortunately, I received the company's approval, making my shop the only business in Noosa allowed to have the Blackmore brand on its shelves.
I stocked Nature’s Own vitamin supplements, along with Nature’s Way, just to keep customers on their toes, as well as a varied range of other interesting health food lines.
**Blackmores Limited is an Australian health supplements company founded in the 1930s by naturopath Maurice Blackmore, when Blackmore opened the first health food shop in Australia in Brisbane, Queensland.
Naturally, I got a shock when I bought a magazine from the newsagency a few doors along from my shop on Hastings Street. The colourful, glossy magazine was about natural living. I thought I’d be able to glean information within to my advantage; to learn from it, and add to my knowledge about healthy living practices.
I did learn a lot, but not what I’d expected.
It was a naturism aka nudism magazine, vividly describing the lifestyle advocating personal and social nudity within familial, social, or in a public context. I didn’t become a devotee; doing so would’ve scared away the customers...or attracted undesirables! Either wasn’t desirable....
Winter Salad: Put 2 cooked, crumbled bacon rashers, 155g spinach, 1/2c crumbled feta, 1 sliced red onion, 1/2c dried cranberries and 2tbs chopped, toasted pecan in bowl. Dressing: Combine 1/4c olive oil, 1tbs orange juice, /2tsp orange zest, 1-1/2tsps Dijon mustard, 1tsp maple syrup, 1tsp minced shallots and salt; drizzle over salad; toss.
Roast Veggie Salad: Cut 2 carrots and 2 parsnips in half lengthwise. Halve 2 capsicums, red, green, and/or yellow. Slice 1 red onion into thick wedges. Place on baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil; sprinkle with salt; toss. Roast in 230C oven, 20-25mins. Whisk 3tbs cider vinegar with 1tbs maple syrup, 1tbs Dijon, 1tsp dried thyme, generous pinches of dried sage, salt and pepper; slowly whisk in 1/3c x-virgin olive oil. Cut ½ bunch kale leaves or 142g baby spinach, about 8 cups. Rinse and drain 540ml can chickpeas, and/or canned black lentils. Coarsely chop cooked vegetables; place in bowl with greens and chickpeas, and/or lentils; drizzle with dressing; toss.
Spicy Soup: In pot, put500g cubed kumara, 1c chopped carrots, 1c chopped onions, 1c chopped celery, 1 diced red capsicum, 6 crushed garlic cloves, 1-1/2c rinsed green or brown lentils, 1-1/2tsp each coriander and cumin, 1tsp curry powder, or more to taste, 1/2tsp each smoked paprika, ground cinnamon and turmeric, 1/8tsp nutmeg and 6c veg or chick broth. Cover; cook on low until lentils are cooked through. Place half of soup in blender, with about 1/2c of broth; blend until “smoothish”. Add back to soup; stir in 2-1/2c roughly chopped spinach and 1/4c lemon juice; cover; cook until spinach wilts; season to taste with salt, pepper and curry powder, if desired.