Posted tagged ‘pineapple’

“A basket of ripe fruit is holier than any prayer book.”

February 19, 2018

When I got the papers this morning, I expected a warm day, but I was disappointed. It’s a chilly day. The sky is cloudy and rain is predicted for tonight. I do have a couple of errands to do later.

This morning, while my coffee was brewing, I had a surprise burst of energy. I polished a shelf, swept the kitchen, washed the cat dish and cleaned the sink and counter. That’s the most housework I’ve done in a few weeks. I’d like to think this burst of energy will be a rare event.

I treated myself this morning and had two lemon biscotti with my coffee. I love the taste of lemon so much I could live on lemon squares. Lemon meringue pie tops my list of favorite pies. I think we were one of the few families where a lemon meringue pie was traditional for Thanksgiving. I even learned to cook a few dishes with preserved lemons.

I’d never turn down anything made with pineapple except maybe pizza. In Ghana I ate pineapple just about every day as part of my lunch, always a bowl of fresh fruits. I like Thai food with pineapple. I almost don’t care about the other ingredients. In my cook book from Peace Corps Ghana was a recipe for pineapple upside down cake. I always wanted to make it, but I had no oven, only a charcoal burner. A couple of old cook books from the 50’s have pictures of a finished pineapple upside cake. They are perfect and have a cherry in the middle hole of the pineapple.

When I was kid, only a few fruits were available all year. My mother bought bananas, oranges and apples. The apples were always red. The oranges had seeds. In the summer we had watermelon and grapes, green grapes. At Thanksgiving we had tangerines, our parade snack. I didn’t even know fruits likes mangoes and papayas existed. Coconuts were on tropical islands in the books I read. We were fruit deprived.

“To find perfectly ripe fruit, catch it.”

September 2, 2017

Last night I needed an afghan, and this morning is chilly again, but hot weather is coming back next week. Rain is due late tonight into tomorrow, but Sunday will be lovely. Monday will be traveling home day for the tourists. I’ll be happy to wave goodbye and have the roads back, especially on rainy days.

I have a thoroughly empty dance card this weekend. I toyed with inviting friends for dinner and a movie but decided just to hang around and do whatever. I have to go to the dump sometime this weekend because of the full trash bag sitting on the kitchen floor. I dare not put it outside on the deck. Critters attacked a bag the last time I put one out, and it was gross cleaning up all that garbage and trash, especially the coffee grounds.

When I was a kid, I used to spit out the apple skin. My mother would sometimes peel it for me, but not all the time so I’d spit. Oranges needed to be cold. Bananas couldn’t have black spots or be green. Peaches had fur so I never ate peaches. I liked pears even with the skin. I ate strawberries but only in strawberry shortcake. I liked the biscuits my mother made for the shortcake, and I loved the whipped cream. Lemons were only good for lemonade, but my mother preferred a short cut, frozen lemonade. At Thanksgiving we had date-nut bread and tangerines. My mother kept boxes of raisins as a snack for us, but I preferred cookies for snacks. Coconuts and pineapples seemed exotic for me though I probably didn’t know that word back then, but I do remember thinking they belonged on a tropical island, someplace like Hawaii. There were other fruits available but we didn’t eat them.

Every day in Ghana, I had a fruit salad of sorts for lunch. It had cut up pineapple, oranges, bananas and sometimes mangoes. That was the perfect lunch for the heat of the day. The fruits came from Southern Ghana. They didn’t grow where I lived, in the savannah grass land, only the pawpaw did. I could buy whole coconuts but I never did. From small girls who carried a display box of sorts on their heads I bought toasted coconuts balls, brown and sweet. I could buy oranges from aunties selling them along side the road. They would cut off the top and peel a bit around the cut with a single edge razor blade so I could get at the juice. Oranges didn’t have to be cold any more.

“All sorrows are less with bread. ”

May 21, 2017

Today is glorious. It is sunny and squint your eyes bright. There is barely a breeze. The high today will be 65˚. I’m thinking a perfect early spring day.

I woke up at some time during the night as I was cold. When I checked the thermostat, it said 63˚. I turned the heat on and it started right away. I went back to bed and fell asleep snuggled under a second afghan and warmed by the dog next to my legs.

This morning I had English muffins. I used them to hide Gracie’s pills. She was suckered by the butter. Sometimes I am too. It melts into those nooks and crannies. Coffee was the rest of my breakfast, a blend from Uganda. I had three cups.

I love bread. When I buy a loaf, I try all differents sorts of bread. I really have no favorite though Scali bread is right up there. When I was a kid, I thought bread came only in squishy white except for Saturday night’s brown bread which really didn’t seem to me to be bread at all. I like cornbread which always comes in squares. In Ghana, the bread was sold as an uncut loaf. At stops on the road, women ran to the windows to sell fruit and those loaves of bread. They cost 20 pesewas, about 20 cents. We used to pull pieces off the loaf and eat it plain. My last bread purchase was naan. It makes a good toast and an interesting sandwich. When I’m out, the choices are limited. I usually end up with rye.

Crackers are another favorite of mine. When I was a kid, my mother always bought Saltines and Ritz crackers. I’d put saltines in soup and wait to eat them when they were mushy. They also made a great snack, a peanut butter and jelly or a peanut butter and Fluff sort of cracker sandwich. Now I buy all sorts of crackers mostly to go with cheese. I really haven’t any favorites.

My favorite pie is lemon meringue, and I always have some lemon curd around the house. I also love pineapple. When I was a kid, we only had canned pineapple, and I don’t remember eating it all that much. I don’t even remember seeing a fresh pineapple in the supermarket. We always had apples and oranges and sometimes tangerines and strawberries, always as strawberry shortcake. I first tasted a variety of fruits in Ghana. I was amazed at how good mango and pawpaw (papaya) are.

It was Africa which introduced me to different foods. It gave me a willingness to try new things, some of which I still can’t pronounce, but that doesn’t matter as long as whatever it is I’m eating tastes good.