Not now…

The fruits started coming out last month in July which would be something rather unusual if it had been in my growing up years in the 50’s and 60’s. Way back then, the fruit season would be, without fail, during the rainy or landas season around the end of the year, not now, but these days, it could be anytime at all. At times, it seems that we have those very much coveted fruits all year round!

The sad thing, however, is that even though we have all those fruits in abundance, they do not come cheap. I bought some dabai (our local black olives) the other day for RM25.00 a kilo. When they first appeared, believe it or not, they were going for some RM40-50 a kilo. I simply can’t believe that there were people willing to buy at those cutthroat prices.

I did buy those cheaper ones a couple more times and the other day, I bought these…

…that came from Sarikei, at RM30.00 a kilo at the same place, our neighbourhood shop in the next lane from my house. Even the boss said that he could not understand why there is so much dabai in the market now, mountains everywhere alongside all the durians, the mangosteens, the rambutans and so on, and yet the prices never come down!

These were quite good, more lemak (richer) than the cheaper ones I bought earlier but there were parts in every fruit that would remain hard no matter how long we waited so we just ate what we could and threw the rest of each fruit away. For this reason and at that kind of price, I sure would not want to buy those from the same area again!

There are durians too…every day but no, I have not bought a single one. I told the lady boss that we are not into the fruit, will eat when there’s any like when somebody gives us some but we never buy our own and she was shocked to hear that especially seeing how everybody else loves the fruit so much.

My missus loves the wild ones, the buah pakan/pakon a lot though and it so happened that when I was at the shop that day, there was a van there delivering boxes and boxes of the fruit…

Of course, I asked for a few and the boss picked four for me, RM25.00 a kilo. In the past, these would appear only after the durian season but not now. At this point in time, the market is still flooded with durians and these have made the appearance already. Time sure has changed – it really isn’t the same anymore.

Back in those days when my girl was teaching in the rural school in the jungle, when in season, you will see all the makeshift stalls all along the road and the ethnic inhabitants would be selling them to passers-by at only RM10.00 for four. I paid RM25.00 for the 4 I bought that day. Sigh!!!

Thankfully, they…

…were really very good and my missus was thrilled beyond words. She said they were exceptionally good…

…because they had ripened in the tree before dropping off by themselves as opposed to those that people plucked and left there to ripen eventually. Well, that was quite a lot that we had that day. I guess I shall not be buying anymore, not at those prices.

Moving away from the fruits, there was some leftover rice in the fridge so I fried it for my breakfast…

…the other morning.

I usually fry with ikan bilis (dried anchovies) and at times, with sambal belacan too but that day, I saw Nancy’s fried rice with dried shrimps (hay bee/udang kering). I never used that ingredient because I usually wake up at around 4.00 a.m. every day and I would be cooking breakfast at 5 something. I told Nancy that I could not imagine myself pounding away and waking up everybody in the neighbourhood and she told me that she did not pound them – she just cut the dried shrimps into small bits.

I decided I would do the same that morning and I threw in some ikan bilis and also some of the chor liao (use as ingredient) prawns that the nice and generous lady at my favourite fish and seafood stall gave me that day when I stopped by to buy some sotong (squids) to cook the Thai glass noodles seafood salad that my girl requested for. She did not have any pek hay (seawater prawns), big or small, that morning but I spotted a bit of this teng khak (hard shell) ones in a bag by the side. Those would be cheaper, not so nice, but beggars can’t be choosers.

I offered to buy from the lady but she simply refused to sell them to me. She said they were leftovers from the day before and she had already kept it in the freezer overnight. Instead, she insisted on giving them to me free of charge and she even helped to remove the heads and shell! Isn’t she great?

The fried rice was nice with all the added ingredients but no, I could hardly detect the taste of the dried shrimps. Perhaps I can pound some in broad daylight and keep in a container to store in the fridge for use as and when I need it – I bet it would be more prominent then.

SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441) is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket.

I had my hopes up high…

My friend classified the tee peang here, our Sibu Foochow version of the oyster cake, as her favourite in town so of course, I was keen on going there to grab some and try.

The first time I was there, it was around 9 something in the morning and they were all sold out so I went some place else. The second time I went, the people making the tee peang had taken the day off and the couple running the coffee shop kept reminding me to go early, around 7 to 8.00 a.m. as they would be sold out very quickly. That was why I had my hopes up high – they must be really good if they sell so well, like hot cakes!

I was out and about early one morning so I decided to try my luck and yes, the very nice and friendly old couple were there. Obviously, they were the ones making and they sat there selling their kuihs themselves. The couple told them that I had been there so many times and finally, I managed to get what I was looking for.

I bought the tee peang, kosong (no filling), 5 for RM2.00…

…but no, I did not think they were like what we used to eat and enjoy in the good ol’ days…

One look at it and you would be able to tell right away that they were different – those way back then did not look anything like that but yes, it was all right, nice, just that it was not the same if you are looking for the original authentic taste.

I was there early, around 7.30 a.m. and there were only five left – the ones with the meat filling (RM2.00 each)…

…and I bought all of them.

These too were nice…

…but I think I prefer the former pasar malam (night market) ones or even these homemade ones

…available at our neighbourhood shop in the next lane in the morning – go early to avoid disappointment!

I must say that I was kind of disappointed because as I have said earlier, I had my hopes up high and they did not live up to my expectations. However, if it is any consolation, their chai peah (vegetable fritters)…

…also 5 for RM2.00, were really VERY good. I loved the taste and also the lovely chewy texture plus the crispy edges, crispy but not hard like some and if I were to go back again, without doubt, I certainly would buy more of the chai peah.

You can park your car at the parking area at the back and come in via the back entrance – very convenient, no need for any close encounters with other fellow human beings who may be at the coffee shop at the time.

ZHEN SAN MEI CAFE (2.312704, 111.847134) is located in the block of shops to the right of Delta Mall along Jalan Pedada, now Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, beside Dynapower, the shop selling all the electrical appliances and what not.

Plain and simple…

In 1978, I got my first posting as a qualified college-trained teacher in Kanowit where I rented this little room…

…on the first floor of one of the shops for RM60.00 a month for two years. Of course, there wasn’t any air-conditioner there at the time and the room was like an oven as it got the sun on the wall by the side in the morning and through the windows in front all afternoon.

In 1980, the Kanowit Garden was completed and made available for occupancy. My colleague and I rented the upper floor of the double-storey terraced house and I moved there that year. The house owner had a shop in town and he and his family stayed there but every night, he would send his old father over – he slept in the room downstairs and every morning, they would send him his breakfast, something very plain and simple – just a bowl of plain porridge and one fried omelette. The old man would eat that and later, he would stroll to their shop in town where he would stay till they sent him to the house again in the evening, probably after dinner.

Personally, I do enjoy a simple breakfast like that – plain porridge with some simple condiments to go with it, nothing fancy and that was what I had the other morning. There was a little bit of rice left in the fridge so I put it in a pot and added a whole lot of water and boiled it till it had dried up a bit and there wasn’t that much water anymore…

This is the rice that we are eating right now – my missus says it is freshly harvested unadulterated lakia bee (ethnic Dayak rice) that is a whole lot nicer than what you can get at the shops and supermarkets.

To go with the porridge, I fried an omelette (two eggs)…

…and a handful of dried anchovies (ikan bilis), deep fried and sprinkled with a pinch of low GI brown sugar to balance its saltiness. There wasn’t any leftover vegetables in the fridge and I did not feel like cooking any so I took my girl’s pickled daikon and cut a few slices of it to go with my porridge. She uses it to make her sushi and whatever Korean dishes that she would cook sometimes.

I was not planning on having porridge for breakfast that morning otherwise, I could have defrosted one of my kilat in the freezer and fried it …

That would go so well together, I’m sure.

Of course, I still have a bottle of the imported made-in-the-UK real beef Bovril…

…so I could enjoy a bit of it in the porridge. I bought two bottles in May and I’ve finished one since – and just the other day, I heard somebody complaining that it is presently out of stock, not available again!!! Looks like I’ve to scrimp and save and must not be too generous with it when using it to cook my Bovril noodles…or eating it with my porridge.

We also had some salted eggs and 皮蛋 (pídàn) or century eggs in the house but I did not bother with those as I felt that what I had was more than enough for how I would like to have it – plain and simple!

You gotta share…

Now that we are at home most of the time, for want of something to do to pass the time, we have been watching a lot of television. No, I do not watch my missus’ favourite Korean channels; most of the time, I would watch those food and travel channels and of course, the news channels.

Last Saturday afternoon, when I got up from my nap, I saw my girl cooking something in the kitchen. She said she was making some calzones…

…probably inspired by the ones we saw time and time again on those western cooking and travel shows.

For the uninitiated, a calzone is an Italian oven-baked folded pizza…

…often described as a turnover, made with leavened dough, stuffed with whatever filling you choose…

My girl had minced beef in hers with Bombay onions and potatoes, lots of cheese, some pasta sauce (with extra mushroom, it said on the bottle) and whatever else. She and the mum shared one for dinner that evening and they were too full after that to eat anything else. I tried a little bit and I loved it – it was really very nice but it was so big and I did not have anybody to share it with so I just ate whatever we had for our meals that day.

I did send one to my sister for her to enjoy and there were another two left so the next morning, I took one…

…out of the fridge and heated it up in the oven for breakfast.

It seemed that the reheating made the bread pastry a bit crusty and it came across like thin crust pastry in pizzas – that was very nice and I liked it! Of course, it was way too big so I only had half of it…

…and left the other half in the oven for later.

A calzone is similar to a stromboli, an Italian-American pizza turnover, and the two are sometimes confused. Unlike strombolis, which are generally rolled or folded into a cylindrical or rectangular shape, calzones are always folded into a crescent shape.

Tea time…

I did mention the Chinese pancake or ban chang kuih (慢煎糕) stall…

…in the next lane a number of times already but I never blogged about it.

It used to be parked right in the middle of the parking area in between the two blocks of shops along Jalan Ruby and perhaps, for the simple reason that it was so popular, its location is indicated quite prominently in Google maps, despite being just a makeshift stall, set up under a temporary canopy. I don’t know what transpired but it has moved to the five-foot way beside my regular food and fruit grocer there (and the vegetable seller by the side has moved to the front of the coffee shop in the other block at the very end).

Probably the reason why I’ve never featured it in my blog was the fact that I did not patronise it all that often. It used to open at 4 something and our tea time every day is around 3 o’ clock plus I am usually very lazy to go out in the afternoon. A long time ago, he used to close his stall come evening time and move to the pasar malam (night market) but eventually, he said he did not do that anymore – his mother would run the business at the other end. I don’t know if they still run the stall there or not but I’ve noticed that they open earlier here now, around 3.00 p.m. and I noticed that many customers would call him and place their advance orders to be collected later.

The other day, I hopped over to one of the shops there to buy a few things that we had run out of in the house but I was way too early, around 2.30 p.m. and the guy had not set up everything yet, much less started cooking/making the ban chang kuih (慢煎糕). He kept apologising even though it wasn’t his fault but I told him it was all right as I could just buy some of the other things that he had for sale.

I bought these chai peah/vegetable fritters (5 for RM2.00)…

…which we all agreed were a lot nicer than the more expensive ones that I bought that day (3 for RM2.00) even though those might be a little bigger and had a lot more chives.

As a matter of fact, my missus once told me that she met my cousin (staying at Rejang Park) who made a detour here after work (from the bus terminal area) just to buy the chai peah – she insisted they were her favourite in town even though they do have some pretty nice (and popular) ones at a stall at Rejang Park itself and there were only 3 left that day so she grabbed all of them (they were 3 for a ringgit then).

I also bought these tee peang (also 5 for RM2.00)…

I did not want to buy the ones with meat filling so I did not ask how much those were but we were of the opinion that the ones here paled in comparison to those that we have bought elsewhere so we would just give these a miss next time.

I saw these deep fried chiew chu kuih/tapioca cake (5 for RM2.00)…

…and I thought they looked very good so I bought some to try. Yes, they were indeed VERY nice, not very sweet but they were sweet nonetheless and since I am on a low-sugar diet, I should not be buying these too often – once in a while and just a piece or two should be fine. I thought the serimuka and the kao teng kuih (Chinese layer cake) looked very nice as well but I was able to resist the temptation and did not grab those too, thank goodness!

The Chinese pancake or ban chang kuih (慢煎糕) stall is located on the five-foot way in front of the TCM clinic between Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket and Swee Hung (2.316161, 111.840441) along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end.

Thank you, thank you…

Last Friday, early in the morning, I went over to my favourite fish and seafood stall close by. We did not feel like eating the kilat and the prawns nor the slab of salmon that we had in the freezer and I was hoping there would be some nice sotong that I could buy for my girl.

She loves those squids a lot but unfortunately, that morning, they only had those small ones. They are such a chore to clean, I told the boy, and after cooking, they will shrink so badly that there would not be very much left. He agreed with what I said and did not insist on my buying those that they had. They are not in season yet, he replied.

In the end, I decided to buy one HUGE or chio/ikan bawal hitam (black pomfret) to cook and eat that day. I did see it the other day but I did not buy any. The lady said this variety, RM25.00 a kilo, could be steamed but no, I think we would prefer it deep fried. There were those small ones but I bought so many the last time and we would fry one for lunch and another one for dinner again and again and after we had eaten all of them, I felt we had had enough of those for a while.

This was just half of the or chio

…so you can imagine how big it was, definitely more than a kilo, definitely more than enough for two meals, lunch and dinner.

In the meantime, I spotted some fairly big ikan terubok (toli shad), around 600 gms. each, going for RM25.00 a kilo too. If it had been any bigger than that, it would not fit into my Tatung pot nor my mini counter-top oven. I did not see any on my previous visit so my guess was these were new arrivals. I asked for a few and I cooked one…

…with the intention of sending it to my aunt in the kampung to enjoy but as soon as I got home from my marketing, it started pouring cats and dogs and did not stop till afternoon. Left with no other choice, I changed my mind as I did not fancy going out in the nasty weather and we ended up eating the fish ourselves. I suppose I can take another one from the freezer some other day to cook for her.

I sure hope the rain did not ruin their business for the day that day – they only open when there is fresh supplies till 1.00 p.m. and that was the time when the rain stopped that day. I really pity these people on days like this.

We had the or chio

…on Sunday instead – my missus served it sweet and sour as our girl loves fish that way and despite its size, the meat was so good, smooth and very fresh and sweet. We absolutely enjoyed it to the max and I certainly would want to buy a few more to keep in our freezer should I happen to drop by the stall again.

Back to that morning when I was there, the nice and generous lady was filleting some fish to make fish paste (for making fish balls) and she gave me all the bones to make fish stock. That would be very nice for soup, she said, very sweet. I took them home and my missus saw that actually, there was still a lot of meat stuck to the bones so she patiently used a spoon to scrape it all off and made fish balls with it and together with the stock, she cooked this awesome dish of creamy tom yum

Boy! That was so so so good!!!

No, that wasn’t all! The lady also gave me this green papaya…

…and said that I could cook soup with it. I think I did that before and yes, it was nice but I had something else in mind.

I overheard my girl asking the mum to make some som tam (Thai papaya salad) sometime ago and I did see the latter buying some of the fruit but eventually, they ripened and they peeled them and ate, no som tam. Perhaps the fruits were not green enough, already starting to ripen so they were not so suitable for the Thai salad dish.

Yes, we did have som tam

…in the end that day and that too was absolutely out of this world which prompted my girl to make a special request for the mum to make some yum woon sen or seafood glass noodles salad…

…this coming Friday. Yes, we have those big prawns in the fridge and lots of tang hoon (glass noodles) in the pantry. Hopefully, I can get some nice fresh sotong over the next few days.

In the meantime, I really must give a BIG shout out to say thank you, thank you to Madam Lau, for the freebies. With this kind of PR and customer service, of course, you will see me going back there for more, that’s for sure.

The fish stall is located to the right of CCL FRESH MINI MARKET against the wall at that end of the block to the right of the Grand Wonderful Hotel (2.309601, 111.845163) along Jalan Pipit, off Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, if you go in via the entrance where San Len Tyres is located, just before the Petronas petrol station a short distance from Delta Mall.

Take two…

I did mention in my blogpost yesterday that I took two of the steamed paos…

…that day at the stall located at the back of the coffee shop. Well, there were only two left so I did not have much choice.

The skin did not look that good – it did not have those nice creases on top and actually, it was not quite there. I found it kind of hard, not soft and cushiony so I was rather disappointed with it. On the other hand, the filling…

…was very nice. I would say that of all the steamed paos that we have around here, I like the filling in this one the most…

…just that I was wishing the whole time that there had been an egg in it, even if it had been just one eighth of it.

Honestly, I cannot understand why these people making steamed paos are so stingy with the egg especially when it is actually not expensive at all. I cannot remember how much I paid for these, probably RM2.00 each but unless they do something about the skin, never mind the egg, I do not think I will buy them again. However, much to my surprise, my missus had the other one and she liked it a lot! Ah well! Like what I always say, to each his/her own!

After making my purchases at the stall that morning, I stopped by my neighbourhood shop in the next lane and much to my delight, I saw they had midin (wild jungle fern)…

I asked for TWO bags full, RM6.00 each. I did not bother to find out the net weight even though RM6.00 did seem a bit on the high side. The boy did say that they had smaller bags, RM4.70 each but no, I was quite happy with the big ones. I remember vaguely that it was RM4.00 a kilo or something like that a long long time ago – that was what I paid for the paku I bought that day and boy, we sure enjoyed that to the max.

Usually, we would buy these wild jungle ferns at the jungle produce section at the Sibu Central Market but I was always so pissed off by how dishonest those ethnic sellers were. They would tie the ferns in bundles, wrapped in some leaves and sell for RM2.00 each but upon reaching home, when we opened up the bundle, we would find all the withered ones hidden in the middle and those would have to be thrown away. In the end, we would not have very much left. That was why when dealing with those people, it would be best to buy two bundles at a time.

I did mention time and time again that I have not gone to the central market since the outbreak of the pandemic, not when we see news of cases among the sellers or the customers again and again and again. Thankfully, we can get these ferns around here once in a while.

That day, my missus fried one bag with sambal hay bee/udang kering (dried prawns)…

…and one can see quite obviously from the photograph how fresh and “fat” (fertile) they were and yes, they were really very crunchy, so very nice, indeed…unlike the miserable shrivelled, semi-withered ones from those people selling the jungle produce at the market, may God forgive them!

ZHEN SAN MEI CAFE (2.312704, 111.847134) is located in the block of shops to the right of Delta Mall along Jalan Pedada, now Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, beside Dynapower, the shop selling all the electrical appliances and what not while SWEE HUNG (2.316161, 111.840441) is located along Jalan Ruby, in the block of shops on the right – next to a hair salon at the extreme end and on the other end, to the left is the Kim Won Chinese Medical Store and Mini-supermarket.

Day off…

A friend of mine told me once that she bought her favourite tee peang, our Sibu Foochow version of the oyster cake, from this coffee shop here

…but all this while, I did not bother to go and check it out.

Finally, at long last, one fine Saturday morning, I decided to stop by. It was only around 9 something in the morning but I was told that they were all sold out. That was the morning when I went to this stall at another coffee shop to the left a stone’s throw away. They told me to come back on Monday and advised me to go a bit early, around 7 or 8 as they would be sold out quickly.

I did not go back on Monday but on Tuesday morning, at around 8, I went to check it out. Unfortunately, I was told that the one making was taking the day off and they asked me why I did not show up the day before. Gee! They remembered!

In the end, I decided to buy their popiah (RM1.20 each)…

…for breakfast since I was already there. I can vaguely recall buying it before to try and though it was all right, it just wasn’t anything to shout about, nowhere near the ones we make ourselves. Probably that was why I never went back for more.

True enough, it was all right…

…much nicer with my missus’ own blended chili.

There were only two steamed paos left; according to the guy, they were made by the same people making the popiah but I did not take a photograph of those before putting them away in the fridge. I’ll blog about them if they are any good, otherwise they will join the ranks of the rest of the forgettables I’ve had the displeasure of sampling before.

I also bought these huat koi/发糕 (RM1.20 each)…

…and while the texture was nicely done, I would agree with my girl that it was a bit too strong on the fermentation smell and taste. I’ve had nicer ones elsewhere.

I guess the tee peang will just to wait till another day. If anybody is heading this way soon, park your car in the parking area at the back of the shop where the “stall” is – that way, it will be much easier to go and buy without any close encounters with the customers dining in at the coffee shop. #staysafe #staywell

ZHEN SAN MEI CAFE (2.312704, 111.847134) is located in the block of shops to the right of Delta Mall along Jalan Pedada, now Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, beside Dynapower, the shop selling all the electrical appliances and what not.

Running back for more…

We enjoyed the prawns that my missus cooked that day that I simply had to run back to my favourite fish & seafood stall for more. Of course it was super delicious because of her recipe and her superb cooking skills but for one thing, those prawns had been in the freezer for way over a month before we took them out to cook and eat.

We were amazed by how they were still so very fresh and sweet, so firm and succulent unlike some that we might have had the displeasure of eating outside especially when most of the time they were so minute!!! That was why I decided to go back to the stall and buy some more.

Yes, this time around, the lady had three different sizes and prices and of course, I picked the biggest ones…

…going for RM38.00 a kilo. I think that was a little cheaper than the previous time but they did look a little bit smaller. There were 30 altogether, RM1.27 each.

Much to my delight, I saw that she had these…

…that morning. Gosh! I cannot remember the last time I had those, probably way before the outbreak of the pandemic. My missus would buy them sometimes when she went marketing.

We call these mini pek chio/ikan bawal putih/white or silver pomfret kilat which means lightning in Malay or shining, a word to describe a nicely polished car or pair of shoes, for instance. Normally, they are somewhat small but the ones I bought that morning were bigger than the palm of my hand! They were not all that cheap though – RM25.00 a kilo, same as or chio/ikan bawal hitam/black pomfret but I went ahead and bought 2 kilos, nonetheless, considering especially that we had not eaten these for such a long time and the nice lady was kind enough to ask her young assistant to clean all 18 of them for me – it would probably take me a long time if I were to do it myself.

We cooked half of the lot and kept the rest in the freezer for another day. We love them fried…

…till nicely done and a little crispy at the edges so I would just eat it all up except the head perhaps and parts with some bigger bones!

My goodness!!! They were so fresh, so sweet!!! I had never had any that was so so so good. You would usually find this fish at the chap fan (mixed rice) places, very small and absolutely bland, tasteless, not nice at all. They probably use those cheap frozen ones that they buy in bulk from the supermarkets or the frozen foods suppliers, this and all the other kinds of fish like kembong and the rest.

I certainly was pleased with my purchases, definitely worth it, value for money and look at what the kind and generous lady gave me…

She said that a friend of hers gave them to her, quite a lot, and asked her to make some chiew chu koi (tapioca cake) to give to her so she picked two good ones and said that I could have them.

I did manage to get to eat some when I went to Miri in 2019 and I did buy some here as well, also way back in 2019. That did not look like a lot but there was enough to fill one big bowl…

…and yes, it was very good. Actually, I dread buying this as sometimes, the texture of the tuber is not good, not edible and we would end up throwing it all away.

I sms-ed my sister to ask her if she wanted any and of course she did…and in no time at all, she was at our gate! We enjoy eating it with gula apong but since it is starchy and I am on a low-carbs, low-sugar diet, I have to refrain from going overboard – just a bit will do. After all, we do not get to eat this all that often.

I must say it was truly a really good day that day!

The fish stall is located to the right of CCL FRESH MINI MARKET against the wall at that end of the block to the right of the Grand Wonderful Hotel (2.309601, 111.845163) along Jalan Pipit, off Jalan Dr Wong Soon Kai, if you go in via the entrance where San Len Tyres is located, just before the Petronas petrol station a short distance from Delta Mall.

I want to know…

I did mention in my previous blogposts that I have not been all that active in my gardening these days. I just do a bit of trimming and weeding and I get somebody to come around once a month to cut the grass. I also mentioned before that the ladies, on the other hand, have started to spend some time in the garden planting vegetables. So far, I could see some ladies’ fingers, brinjal, tomato and kangkong.

The two brinjal plants seem to be thriving pretty well…

…but it has been some two to three months now and we have yet to see anything coming out of them. That was why when I saw Nancy’s beautiful eggplant and green brinjals, I was so envious – some people are so blessed with green fingers!

That prompted me to comment, “My daughter’s brinjal is growing very well, plants look good but they do not bear any fruit, dunno why. So sad to see!!!

She was kind enough to give me a prompt reply, “Brinjal takes a longer time to fruit. Just need to be patient. The flowers come and go before they finally turn into brinjals,” to which she added, “Fertilizing the plants will help too.” I guess we do not have a choice but to be patient and wait, hoping and praying for the best.

Needless to say, I was delighted the other day when I saw this…

…and what I want to know is whether that is a flower or a fruit and is that an indication that we shall have something to harvest soon?

We do not have any problem with the ladies’ fingers. The plants have grown so very tall now and they are flowering and bearing fruit…

…regularly but the ladies did not plant that many so each harvest…

…we probably have enough for one plate for a meal only.

Talking about fertilizing, my rambutan tree sure is in need of some tender loving care. It has been doing very well

…since I got the guys to come and they sure did a great job with it…

Unfortunately, I’ve been neglecting it for a long time now and it does not seem to be flourishing anymore. The leaves look kind of sparse and there are some withered branches here and there. It certainly is a pathetic sight and I wasn’t expecting anything from it this year.

Much to my surprise, it has started flowering!…

A bit slow considering that they are selling mountains of the fruit everywhere all over the town right now even though it is somewhat out of season – we usually have rambutans and all kinds of fruits including durians and dabai at the end of the year.

I do not expect a lot of fruits and I won’t be surprised if they are small and not all that juicy…but I promise to fertilize it and give it some new organic soil and water it regularly once the fruit season is over (they say I can’t do that when the tree is flowering and bearing fruits).