Monday, January 21, 2013

2013 kick off harvest

 The first garden harvest for the year 2013 and I finally managed to take some pictures what we have been harvesting in this month of January. Frequently, we harvested butterfly pea flowers to make  syrupy blue drink  (popular in Thai known as nam dok anchan) for dinner. Quick to prepare while cooking dinner.
 Our winged bean plants has started to produce a lot that we have to make sure to harvest the beans twice a week. This is the first time our boys tasted the beans, I was really surprised that Ilhan like this bean very much. It is only a simple and quick dish to prepare for one very satisfied happy customer. I stir-fried the chopped beans with fried dried anchovies and just add a little bit of soy sauce. Ilhan made his mama speechless by saying spontaneously mama cook yummy vegetables. To be honest, Ilhan mama never like winged beans in her entirely life until Ilhan convince his mama that fresh home grown winged bean is delicious. Wonders how kids can change the mind set easily.  Rose apples harvest season is back in our garden for dessert. Lemons are also very generous this month. Chicken and ducks are laying eggs so we have enough supply for the kitchen. I also started to harvest our traditional leafy vegetables known to us as cekur manis and the botanical name is Sauropus androgynus (star gooseberry/sweet leaf). I like to stir-fry this sweet leaf with eggs. 
Harvested some jicama/ Mexican turnip before it gets too fibrous.
We also harvested some cassava. Boiled and ate with sambal tumis.
 Just a few strawberry fruits available. Of course the boys wants more and I said this is not like the Adelaide garden.
 We also harvested a few sponge luffa every week. I like them when the luffa fruit are medium size or zucchini size because more tender. Big ones are sometime starting to be a bit too fibrous for my taste.

What are you harvesting this month?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Nam Nam (Cynometra cauliflora)

 A few weeks ago, I posted some pictures of passion fruit bloom and asked to take a guess what kind of fruits were in our yellow basket next to the passion fruits. So today I will give you the answer and it is nam nam fruit. Nam nam fruit is native to Malaysia and also locally known as 'katak puru' (sadly some kind of a toad) due to its shape. But instead of a toad to me it kind of resemble like a brain. The kidney shape nam nam fruit skin is rough and mature fruit is not that big just fit the palm of my hand. Green fruit is sour and ripe fruit is sweet sour. If you are a fan of green mango like me, you will definitely like nam nam fruit as well. Yummy addition in 'sambal' belacan or dip into 'rojak' sauce. I like to add the fruit into my 'masak lemak cili api' (Malaysia yellow curry), guarantee you have second serving. How to pick ripe nam nam fruit? Yellow colour and when you shake the fruit you can feel that the seed rattle or loose from the flesh inside and when you pluck the fruit it easily came off no resistant. The fruit has large seed and yellow flesh.
 Nam nam tree comparing with other native tropical fruit tree is relatively small. Surprisingly the plant can produce fruit even in shaded condition. I think this must be a useful adaptation since it is rather a small tree that will nestled under the canopy of big tall tree if growing wild in the virgin forest. As I remembered our nam nam plant has been fruiting since I was still in secondary school. Back then, I did not really appreciate the tree much due to the fruit appearance but I remembered my father tried to coax me to it eat when I went back during holiday while studying in Japan. One of my sisters like this fruit very much since small, she has very high tolerance for sour food.
Nam nam plant blossoms.
Even fruiting close to the base of the plant. The nam nam fruit just beginning to develop.
Amazing how the fruit attach on the tree bark/branch.
 I did not realised we had so many self-seeded nam nam seedlings until last week when we were mowing the lawn. Hopefully when I have time, will pot up these precious little babies. Although it is a native to us, it is not an easily plant to obtain due to lack popularity. Sadly this fruit has now become very rare, you won't see it readily selling at any market. Especially now not many my generation knew about this fruit. 
Fruits all year round. I am addicted to the fruit. I can harvest some fruits every fortnightly. 

How do you enjoy your nam nam?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Cymbidium finlaysonianum

 I am not very good with orchids and my knowledge about them is close to nothing. But my mother likes to collect them if any caught her fancy. Once she had a spot in the garden especially for orchids. But now none of her orchids are growing in pots but attached to tree barks all over her garden. She said it looks best this way more natural and I agree with her. The main problem is now that I am the caretaker and the boss meaning 'mama' not around since she is living in Borneo island currently. I have no idea which type of orchids she is growing on which tree plant unless they bloom. This orchid has started blooming the second season since I have been back and caught my eyes. Thank you to Sean and Sophie Mohd for identifying this orchid as Cymbidium finlaysonianum.
 Living on a tall plant, makes blooming flowers of the cymbidium as falling from the sky. My simple and naive observation compare to other orchid type plants around the garden is that this one had longer and bigger leaves. I should cut off the spent stalk but will need a tall ladder to be able to do that. Another task list will be dividing some plants and allocate to other plants in the garden (with labelling).
 Buds and young blooms.
 Lacking knowledge in the world of Cymbidium, I did not know that some actually produce fruits until Sean informed me about it. So here one dried up fruit of the Cymbidium finlaysonianum that I managed to find. Fresh fruit will be greener and a little bit fatter I suppose. Length roughly guessing about 5cm~ 7cm.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Forming Fruit of Passion Fruit

 Passion fruit has been a weekly harvest here since we came back. The plants seems to be fruiting all year round here. The plants grow very tall here and some of the fruits are too up high to pick. I have been fascinated on how the fruit forms by stages from the pretty passion fruit plant.
 A small little fruit forming in the centre of the passion fruit flower.
  The middle one is unsuccessful?
 Passion fruits looks ornamental like decoration light bulbs around the pergola.
 Passion fruits from the garden to share.
Anyone can guess what fruit is in the orange basket?