It was Eid-ul-Adha holiday last weekend so I went back to my home town, to my mom and dad, to where my heart belong *cough* *cough* LOL. It is true...I'm not lying. And so there was I from Friday to Monday recalling childhood memories, meeting old friends and devouring my mom's home cook meal. Ask any man (or woman) and they will tell the same thing.
I enjoyed going back home because my mom is a 'plant whisperer'. Anything that she put in the ground will grow, as she would say 'bukannya susah nak tanam, campak je mesti tumbuh' (it is just easy to grow, just throw the seed and it will grow). Gardening is just so easy for her even on a sterile soil. So, I got my supply of fresh veggies and seeds every time I was there. Anyway, words can't describe it better than picture, so enjoy these pictures taken during the holiday...
The Sireh (Betel)
Limau Purut (Kaffir Lime)
Pisang (banana) IForgotTheName - hehehe. The 'heart' of the fruit (that purple coloured part) can be cut off if you want less but bigger banana. The heart can be boiled and eaten as a side dish/ salad, considered as delicacies around this region.
Limau Kasturi (Calamondin)
Kacang Botol (Winged Bean? Heh can't find a better name aren't cha) flower and young fruit
A tiny part of the backyard
One of the few durian trees at the backyard
The young leaves of Gajus (Cashew) are eaten raw as salad during meal. Do not eat it on its own because it has slight tannin that will make your throat sore afterwards.
Various plants and veggies in front of the house. Note the soil, I can't get anything to grow on that! See the lemon grass growing at the back there, and those plants on the ground...those are not grass but is either leafy veggies or sweet potatoes.
Bunga Telang. Used in the famous kelantanese nasi kerabu. This flower is boiled with rice so that the colour of the rice will change to purplish blue. Most people use colouring nowadays.
The Pandan Leaves
The Ciku (Sapodilla). I just found out that this fruit and the cashew above is not actually native to Malaysia! Both are originated from Mexico and the surrounding region, how it ends up here....duh! my mom grow it of course!
The Ciku fruit, don't touch that latex if you don't want sticky fingers afterwards...or stained clothes.
Damaged by fruit flies.
If the stem refused to snap or too hard to snap like this one, it is probably still too young to get ripen. To confirm it is good, brush off that brown spotted skin, if it is brownish green then it is good for ripening process.
Notice the long grass in the picture above this one? During rainy season, there is always one creature lurking for food in there; the leeches! There are two types commonly found here, the one that got on me is the 'dry' type which lives on land called the 'pacat', the other one lives in water called the 'lintah'. This blood sucker injected a blood thinning agent into our blood stream so it is easier for them to suck the blood out. After they are done, the wound will keep on bleeding for more than an hour before it stop. And if you are lucky, it will itch for a few days....not nice leech, not nice at all!
To clean and prep the ciku for ripening process, put them in water and scrub the surface of the fruit lightly with a brush or the abrasive side of a sponge. Traditionally we used coconut fiber. After cleaning, rinse the water and leave the fruit in it for an hour...or so.
Rinse the water and let them dry. Set them somewhere cool and dry to ripen, ideally wrap them separately in a newspaper. Do not put them in a covered container as the fruit sweat a lot. They will smell sweet and turn brownish and soft when the ripen.
There are many plants/ trees I didn't mention here. Too many off them even I didn't know/forgot their names and their use. If you can come home to something like these, give yourself a pat in the back because not many people can have this kind of experience. We are just the lucky ones ;D