The Flip Side

 

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A storm ravages,

With dime-sized hail stones laying

Waste to this year’s crop.

 

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A couple of days ago I was invited over to a friend’s place for a visit, mostly for sharing some food and lots of catching up and fun conversation.

Since it was my first time there, all of us who had gathered went for a walk in the adjacent fields for some exercise and to see for ourselves what devastation had occurred after a recent severe thunderstorm in the area.

My friend’s family have a huge cherry orchard that they have been tending for a couple of generations.  Such a weird fluke of a storm luckily happens infrequently; however, when it does, the effects are essentially a year’s fruit production completely gone to waste.

I was told that the cherries on all the orchard trees were only days away from being fully ripe to be picked and processed.

And then nature stepped in….

In the next photos you will get to see the flip side…..no beautifully formed cherries hanging from the branches, which would usually tempt us to pick them for a treat.

 

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The last two photos show the specialized machinery that is used to shake the cherries from the trees – as the fruit has to be collected regardless – to clear the trees for the remaining growth and recovering phases.

 

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Let there be purple!

Happy News!

Referring to my recent post regarding the photography assignment on the topic of “Moving Water,”  my photo of the fountain frog spouting water was picked to be displayed on the group’s page banner.  That’s for the duration of a week.  So exciting!

And now this week’s assignment is called, “Purple.

So, here are my four submissions with purple in them.

 

Purple #1 – (Taken two days ago) One of my HUGE favourites in terms of colour and scent – after all, purple in spring! – Lilacs in my garden.

I like the combination of open blooms alongside unopened buds, both in two tones of purple.

 

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Purple #2 – (Archived Dec. 2015) When a girlfriend and I went to see a concert at the NAC (National Arts Centre) in Ottawa. This is the view before the show started, and I loved all the purple accents via the lights to be seen on stage.

 

Photography; Dec. 12, 2015 my original to copy to FB

 

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Purple #3 – (Archived; July 2016) After a wedding catering job, there were table centre-pieces that were left behind, so I had an opportunity to snap some shots of the purple orchids set off so prettily among the white hydrangea blooms.

 

Photography; July 10, 2016 my original to copy for FB

 

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Purple #4 – (Archived; July 2015) Some raspberry and blackberry plants went a bit wild in one corner of our backyard. Took the picture first….and THEN gobbled up some delectable berries! 🙂

 

Photography; July 22, 2015 my original to copy to FB

 

 

The Fig Story, Part 2

Yes, true.  The title is a bit misleading.  Considering I didn’t ACTUALLY post The Fig Story (as a part 1).  But you may remember this one from a few weeks ago…..”Tried Something New Again!”  (July 2, to be exact)

 

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In the other post I had photos of fresh figs that I had bought at a grocery store, along with how I came to choose them.  And they were a different variety…..more maroon in colour and shaped as a larger kind of water drop.

Yesterday I happened to stop by that same grocery store, following my music lessons, and I just wanted to pick up a few things.  As I passed by the fresh fruit section, I decided to peek and see if they had the figs in again.  As they aren’t in such high demand, the store only stocks about 4-6 boxes at a time, and there are times in between when I have gone to look and none were there.

My lucky day!  They had a few boxes!  And as I pulled them out from the shelf – they are in such a snug shelving place that you really can’t see much until you pull the whole box out – that’s when I saw these ones!  Definitely figs. Yay!  But quite different from the ones I had been buying before.  They certainly looked more like the figs in photos I had seen in foodie books over the years in terms of colour and shape, as well as in how the dried figs had looked that I had eaten on occasion.  They looked fresh and plump, and so I picked up TWO boxes.  Because I now know that I will gobble up several at a time!

And so I munched gleefully on a few on my drive back home, savouring their texture….AND their lovely sweet flavour!

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Ohhhmmmm! What a lovely, tasty treat on a summer’s day!!

And I love looking inside at the seed patterns they have…..once again the imagination gets going….see those white-caped invaders, trying to raid that peaceful village.  They seem to want to break down the wall only in that centre area.  Silly invaders!  🙂

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Figs are a most delicious fruit, and I am SO glad that I got to discover them even now….in my middle years……so I have many more years to enjoy them.  And it’s never too late to discover yet another new delicious food!  Right?

 

 

Tried Something New Again!

 

Dark purple, maroon;

Soft inside and flavourful,

Small, water drop shape.

 

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“The darker, the riper,” I was told.

 

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Figs!

FRESH figs!! Le Yum!

I picked up a small box of ’em the other day at one of the grocery stores in my area that I frequently visit. Yep, a box of 15 figs. Don’t they look cool?  And there’s one sliced in half so you can see the inside of one (see second photo). Well, just in case you’re like me and hadn’t seen a fresh fig before.

I hadn’t. But I’d seen a fig tree once, over 30 years ago – my Italian landlord had one growing in his tiny front yard, where we were living in Little Italy in Toronto (in the vicinity of Yorkdale Shopping Centre). He watched over it protectively.  And he had a little veggie garden growing in the backyard. So, I would see him tend to his fig tree and I’d always wonder what fresh figs would taste like.

Then two years ago, my friends Susan and Steve introduced me to the most tastiest dried figs I’d ever had – prior to that I’d only had the usual ones at the grocery store. Theirs came from Costco and were packaged in such a way as to be like a snack food (in a resealable bag; and organic). It opened my eyes and taste buds to the world of dried figs.

Still, my tummy hoped that one day I’d get to try a fresh fig.

So I found myself in Jacquie’s line-up at the Metro with two single figs — I only wanted samplers and I didn’t know if they’d be weighed like other fruits. How lucky that I should have picked her cash to go to, as she immediately helped me correct myself, by telling me that the figs were sold in those small boxes – she might have laughed on the inside, but she sure didn’t let on.
Eagerly I ran back to the produce section and picked up the box from whence I had picked those two figs, put them back, and brought the box to the cash. Jacquie then told me how much she loved fresh figs and always enjoyed the season when they’d be in the store. These ones, she said, came from California. She described their flavour to me, which ones to eat first based on their colouring ie. ripeness, and other nifty tidbits. Clearly, she’s a big fan! How could I not enjoy them after all that?

I immediately started munching on some on the drive home – and I do find them quite enjoyable and yummy!

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Soft edible seeds; you can just bite into them like eating an apple – eating everything but the tiny stem at the top. Skin and all. SO good!

 

 

Basket of Asian Fruits and Treats

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Such exotic names,

Tasty and juicy delights;

Trying something new!

 

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For Christmas this year, my daughter brought with her a basket filled with goodies she’d bought at an Asian food market.  Since we  enjoy exploring new foods and cuisines, there was a good chance we’d love this treat basket!

Looking at the above photo, things look a bit sparse, but that’s because we had already sampled some of the fruits that had lain on the top layer (same ones as can be seen in the bottom layer).  Everyone gave it a fair taste sampling, and it seems that it’ll be an acquired taste for some of them.  🙂

Left to right (top row) – Pocky, Coconut, Prickly Pear, Dragon fruit

Left to right (bottom row) – Prickly pear, some cupcakes, Passion fruit

….and little orange, blueberry, and cranberry nougat candies interspersed throughout.

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Prickly pear (above) sliced open – has a refreshing, somewhat pear-like flavour….and many seeds the size of apple seeds which are edible.

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Passion fruit (above) sliced open – Also first time for me to try…..only eat the seeds, and they are bursting with flavour! So juicy!

 

Dragon fruit sliced open…..seeds and fleshy texture somewhat similar to kiwi fruit – refreshing and tasty!  This fruit’s outer skin is so handy – just scoop out all that lovely dragon fruit!

 

Here is the coconut without its usual harder outer skin….

…..and a favourite Asian treat are the Pocky, which come in different flavours.  In this package the sticks are biscuity in flavour….with the chocolate dip and crunchy matcha tea bits in it.
Such a neat idea!

Surprise Berries!

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Blackberry Treasure!

Popped up anew….Ripening

Pinks to dark purple.

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Note:  Originally there had been blackberry and raspberry plants growing along the back of our house, and then it seemed in the last two years that those plants had stopped growing and producing – I thought perhaps the location and sunshine (facing east) had some impact – and then I found to my joyful surprise, a few days ago, some new plants had found a home in the front area of the house on their own!  Small but healthy looking plants bearing blackberries and raspberries. Only just enough at this time to snack on a few.  However, it may mean more to come next year!