Evergreen tree…

When I was a kid, I lived in a wooden house in a very very big compound and we had a lot of rambutan trees. The weather was very predictable then – hot in the middle of the year and rain (and flood) around year-end. The fruit season would always be at the end of the year and our rambutan trees would bear fruit in abundance.

Rambutans/tk-yeoh's photo@www.flickr.com

There were two types of rambutans then – the local ones with the soft, jelly-like flesh that usually would stick to the seed or the Singapore ones, as they were called then, that were crunchier and sweeter and those from our trees would never stick to the seeds, that’s for sure!

Rambutan/jrozwado's photo@www.flickr.com

We would tie the fruits in bundles and I would sell them to the people passing by our house…and many years later, they could still recall seeing that (cute) little boy sitting by the roadside selling his rambutans…ummm the fruits, I mean! Ah…never mind! ROTFLMAO!!!…Later my father sold the land and the family had to move. He grafted the tree and planted one in the backyard of the new house, or were there two? It/They grew very well and we continued to enjoy the fruits. Then they moved again; by then, I had already moved out to stay on my own. Once again, my father grafted the tree and gave the seedlings to everybody. I also got one and I just planted it at the back of the house. Believe it or not, everybody else’s died but mine survived!

It was about two-feet tall for many years and it never grew bigger…and then suddenly, it did just that! Probably the ground was very hard and finally the roots could break through. It bore fruits many times – exactly like the ones we had long ago in the old wooden house. It had flowered recently and now, the fruits have appeared… 

Baby rambutans

Sometimes, if the weather is too hot, these young baby fruits would drop off…but lately, the weather has been quite kind. Not too hot and quite a lot of rain! So hopefully, by the time Stella gets here next month from Down Under, she can get to enjoy my rambutans…the fruits, I mean! Arghhh!!! LOL!!!

Don’t cha…

Well, don’t cha like fish? I most certainly do! But my in-laws do not (They have this phobia because of the bones) so most of the time, when somebody gives them some fresh fish, they’ll pass them to me. The other day, for instance, they gave me this fish but I do not know what it is called. It is something like ikan terubok but has fewer bones and the flesh is whiter and softer. I just cut a few pieces of ginger and some chilli into thin strips and peeled a few cloves of garlic and scatter these over the fish. Then I took some Foochow red wine, added a bit of ikan bilis (anchovies) stock to it and poured that over the fish…and steamed it…

Steamed fish 1

The photograph was taken as soon as I had removed the lid of the wok…so that’s why it appears “steamy”! It tasted very good indeed. I would have put some Chinese celery (daun ketumbar/daun sup) or chopped spring onions on top as well but I did not have any in the fridge. I heard that the chopped garlic helps remove the fishy smell…but they look like bits of fish and I do not like the taste of garlic with the fish, so I will usually just put them in whole.

Sometimes, my in-laws will give me some ikan bawal putih (white pomfret) which I would also steam. Here, you can see that some salted vegetables had been used together with ginger, chilli and spring onions…

Steamed fish 2

Sometimes, I would use Thai fish sauce that is available in bottles at the supermarkets or oyster sauce. Well, frying is also nice but I guess steaming is healthier. Don’t cha agree?

Now, moving on from fish, I received these photographs via email from rubberseeds
Wild mushrooms 1

Don’t cha think they look too colourful to be eaten? These are wild mushrooms and the only wild mushrooms I’ve eaten before were kulat ta’un. I think the Chinese call those “chicken mushrooms” because if you cook soup with it with ginger, red wine and egg, it tastes like chicken soup. Nice to go with mee sua too! But it has been years and years since the last time I saw any…and I do not think the cultivated oyster mushrooms come anywhere close.

I have never eaten these colourful ones though…
Wild mushrooms 2

…so if you have eaten them before, do share with everybody your opinion and perhaps, the recipe as well. If I’m not mistaken, the dark ones in the second photograph are straw mushrooms. These are available at the native jungle produce section of the Sibu Central Market…..

Selling wild mushrooms

Well, the weekend’s here. Going to cook anything special? Fish perhaps? Or wild mushrooms, anybody?