Wednesday, April 03, 2013


Oh! My Gourd! It’s a-maizing! I think I’m going bananas, particularly when everything around me is going pear-shaped; but no one else appears to give a fig; so, why should I?

It gives me the pip when my voice gets husky from sprouting forth too much; or, more appropriately, from not having spoken to a fellow being for a while. There are times my eyes feel a little grainy; there are even moments I feel a bit seedy. My wild oats were sown years ago, during which time I stumbled over a few forbidden fruits; and enjoyed the stumble! I didn’t need a gooseberry as chaperone.

When the last mangoes at season’s end I’m distressed; but I blow a raspberry; and then, move on.

Don’t upset the apple cart by misguidedly prejudging me. I might appear to be as withered as a raisin in the sun or as a dried prune, but nuts to that idea! My pulse continues ticking over at a regular rate proving there are still signs of life in this old sugar plum.

I’m as cool as a cucumber. I’m no damson in distress.

I have no fear of turning into a pumpkin because I’m never out late nowadays; nor am I out late now at night. Come to think of it, I’m not out late afternoons, either. In other words - I yam what I yam; and I don’t give a jackfruit!

I always turnip early! I’m not a bad apple, and, if you must split peas rather than hairs, I’m not a tough old chick. I’m not always an angry old broad, either; only when I get cranky; and then I’m as prickly as a prickly pear!

There are times I’ve a few sour grapes, but I’m no melon collard, baby! I can have my cake and eat it, too. I use my coconut, and triple the quantity; and then, everything is just peachy!

The point is - I love fresh vegetables, fruit, raw nuts, pulses/legumes/lentils, sprouts and grains. I have done so since I was a kid; nothing has changed in that department. All have starring roles in my day-to-day menu.

As a child I needed no cajoling, coaxing, blackmailing, duping or tricking into eating the wide variety of food types placed before me. My brother and I had absolute, unfailing faith in our mother and grandmother. We knew they had no evil intentions of poisoning us. Our little family unit may not have had a lot of money in the coffers, but our cupboards were always full (as were our stomachs); there was always food on our meal table.

Refrigeration and refrigerators were what other folks had; in our home, we had an ice-chest. The "iceman cometh" every other day. Protecting his shoulders from the hessian sugar bags filled with the cold, damp block ice was a piece of leather. One important chore for us kids was to keep an eye on the tray underneath the ice-chest that caught the melting ice water. If our diligence slipped we all were in danger of slipping on the water-drenched floor!

Always, during our formative years, there were healthy productive vegetable gardens out the back and down the side of our house, along with a few fruit-bearing trees. In the backyard, an orange tree grew at one side of the laundry shed; a lemon tree on the other. Of course, a choko vine crept over the chicken coop. The chicken poop fed the vegetable garden; the vegetable scraps fed the chickens; around and around cycle cycled. As well as the backyard orange and lemon trees was a mulberry tree; and keeping it company was a peach tree. The peaches were hard little bullets. My brother and I ate them, anyway. Our silkworms ate the mulberry leaves. In the front yard was a loquat tree; the fruit flies’ favourite. A war continued between the pests and us to see who’d get to the fruit first. I think it was a draw each loquat season! My brother and I were fair combatants in the battles.

Loquat jam and chutney, as well as loquat crumbles and tarts were constants on our table.

Now I pine for an apple. Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana. On that note, I’m going to make like a banana and split…bye!

Chickpea-Corn Rainbow Salad: Steam 240g green beans, chopped into thirds, 2-3mins; immediately place under cold water to stop cooking process; put in salad bowl. Sauté 340ml drained corn kernels (or fresh) until browned; about 8mins; add to beans. Add 1 can drained, rinsed chickpeas (or cook your own), 1 large red capsicum, diced, 1/2c diced red onion, 1 diced avocado, 10 torn spinach leaves, 2c halved cherry or grape tomatoes, 4 sliced shallots and a 6-8 torn basil leaves. Add 1c cooked quinoa – optional. Whisk together 2tsp lime or lemon zest, 3tbs lime/lemon juice, 3tbs olive oil, minced garlic, salt and pepper; pour over salad; toss gently. Toss in some sliced, pitted black olives if you like.

Grilled Vegetable-Chickpea Salad: Cut 1 eggplant and 2 zucchinis lengthways into slices (not too thin); core and quarter a red and a green capsicum so pieces are relatively flat. Toss vegetables in olive oil; season. Heat a grill or hot pan until quite hot; cook the vegetables until just tender and caramelised. Cut vegetables into equal-sized pieces; toss with well-drained can of chickpeas, crumbled feta, to taste, 1 crushed garlic clove, sliced fresh parsley; season; drizzle over olive oil and juice of 1 lemon.

Kale & Sweet Potato Salad: Cut 450g sweet potato into 3/4-inch cubes; toss cubes in a little olive oil, 1/4tsp thyme; season. Spread cubes on lined baking tray; roast in 200C oven until light golden on edges. Grab a bunch of kale; tear leaves from stems. Chop a few at a time into thin strips; place in colander; rinse and drain well. Put into bowl; add dressing; toss to coat, making sure all the curly bits are dressed. Pile roasted cubes on top; sprinkle 1/4c each sunflower seeds and dried cranberries over top; serve.

Sprout-Spinach-Rocket Salad: Combine 4c sprouts (any combination e.g. mung, lentils, chickpeas, quinoa, alfalfa etc.), 3c spinach leaves and rocket, 1 small red onion, diced, 4 carrots, grated, 3 mushrooms, sliced and 1 sliced red or yellow capsicum; toss with dressing; top with 1 cucumber, sliced, and 1 diced tomato.

Loquat-Srawberry-Macadamia Nut Crumble: Preheat oven to 175C (350F). Toss 2c peeled, seeded, halved loquats and 1c halved strawberries with 2-3tbs chopped crystallized ginger, cinnamon, 1/4tsp ground cloves, 1tbs lemon juice and 1/4c raw sugar. Place in oven-proof pie dish. Combine 3/4c raw sugar with 3/4c plain flour, 1/2c or so of chopped macadamia nuts aka Queensland nuts. Using your fingers, rub in 1/2c cold butter (or use processor on pulse); until mixture resembles semi-moist breadcrumbs. Add some dessicated coconut if you like...and balance out the butter etc. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit in the pie dish. Bake around 35 minutes. Serve warm with custard, whipped cream or ice cream (or all)!!


  1. Mince what, Adullamite?

    I like mince...I love rissoles and meatloaf. I love savoury mince and I often make lasagne and bolognese sauce from beef mince.

    I don't mince words, though! ;)

  2. Broad smiles here. You are a very punny woman. And yes, fruit, vegetables, nuts and grain are my choice of sustenance. And I am partial to legumes and their ilk as well. We always had a big vegetable garden and several fruit trees when I was growing up. And I think that people who don't grow up with fruit/vegies as fresh as that lead a deprived childhood. Yes I know, I am a dinosaur.

  3. The only difference between me and a fruit bat, I don't sleeping hanging upside down from my ankles...but then, I sleep and live alone, so maybe I do! ;)

    I'm not a huge meat eater; I have no intentions of giving it completely. I do eat red meat; chicken; fish and other white meats; but over a period of a normal week I eat more of vegetables, fruit, legumes, raw nuts etc.

    Nice to see you, EC, as always. :)

  4. What a minute, there seems to be a running theme to this... No, don't tell me. I'll get it.........eventually!

  5. Concentrate, Jerry...concentrate! You will get there!!!

    I'll have a coffee while I wait.

  6. Speaking of constipation...

  7. If you eat all that I've mentioned in my post, Jerry (not all at the same time, of course - mix it up a bit) you won't suffer from constipation!

  8. Umm, my dear Lee, I was not referring to myself, and that is all I have to say about that...for now.

  9. Hmmmmmm.....I won't even dare hazard a guess about whom you refer, Jerry! ;)

  10. What? No bat recipe? Damn!

  11. We had the "ice box" -- a refrigerator misnamed from history.

    Oh to be an ice man.

  12. Cosmo...I just knew you'd come to bat for me!

  13. Hiya Relax Max...along with the ice man...the milkman delivered the milk; a fellow came around delivering fruit and vegetables; the baker still did his rounds in a horse-drawn cart...and that was in the early Fifties!

    And Santa came with Rudolph and the rest of his crew; the tooth fairy paid her visits; and either the Easter Bird or the Easter Bunny (depending on the household) dropped off the eggs at Easter!

    Guy Fawke's Night was on 5th November and we built our Guy and happily burned him on the bonfire while setting off fireworks, giving every dog in the neighbourhood the shakes for days!

    And Innocence was there all the time!

  14. Lol half way through this post I wandered "how many glasses of vino has my friend had" But as I read on I knew it was only you unique sense of humor at work. Peace

  15. No wine was harmed during the composition of this post, Lady Di! :)

  16. What a great post! I think I'll show it to my students, to do food idioms.
    I'm sorry I didn't get over to wish you a happy Easter but I am going through a very difficult time at the moment.

  17. Hi Pat...I'm glad enjoyed my bit of nonsense.

    I hope things get more on an even keel for you soon....hang in there...that corner isn't far away up ahead; and all difficulties will then be far behind you. Take good care.

  18. Elephant's Child said it best---you are a very punny woman Lee! I know I need to eat more fruit and veggies---maybe this will inspire me. I love them when I do. It's habit that gets you. Fruit especially was more of an occasional treat when I was growing up, but it's abundant here --- so, no excuses!

  19. Hi there, Molly. I'd be lost without my fruit and vegies. When ever I get a visitor or visitors they always comment on the amount of fruit I have in bowls...and it's not there for show...I eat it...and when my supplies get a bit low...panic stations set in and I have to go and replenish it all! lol

    I've got half the greengrocery store on steaming at present - I'm cooking my main meal is during the day...I never have a meal at night it's some fruit and raw nuts!

    Thanks for calling by, Molly. :)

  20. I'm guessing your favorite characters are Vegetales.

  21. Hahahaha...Good one Cliff...those and Vegemite, too! ;)