Tuesday, September 09, 2014

The Inga Bean and the Ice Cream Tree

ABC Wednesday
September 10th, 2014
The letter is I - for the Inga bean and the Ice Cream Tree


Oh, do you know the Ice Cream Tree, the Ice Cream Tree
The Ice Cream Tree

Oh do you know the Ice Cream Tree, - it lives in Peru
and all sorts of other tropical places that are warm
and damp and swampy.

Any climate that does not dip below freezing is friendly to the Ice Cream Tree
(well, that makes sense!)  It has great appeal and is found in many of the warmer parts of the world.
Definitely not a desert tree it prefers shaded spots and finds the driest months
of summer too harsh.  The monsoon months of summer are much more soothing.

And it grows beans that quite often are at least a metre long and is also known
in some parts as the Inga Bean, and in other parts as the Pacay Tree.

Wonderful beans that are naturally perfectly packaged,  ready to delight as one devours them.

To eat them 'one has to break them like snapping a stick, which is relatively easy, and then peal back the sides.  The edible wedges can then be taken out one by one and eaten.  Each wedge contains a seed which separates cleanly from the fiber around it'.  

It is light and refreshing with a hint of vanilla and a mildly sweet flavor.

The tree itself is native to the Brazilian Amazon.  It grows along river banks,
has wide spreading branches and
bears beautiful white and yellow pom pom flowers when in bloom.
very fragrant and arranged in crowded heads, rich in nectar and
most attractive to bees and humming birds.

Besides providing delectable dessert the tree is medically inclined.
A concoction of the bark is favourable in treating
dropsy and bowel irritations, and provides a lotion for arthritis and rheumatism.

It improves sight, relieves coughing, and the seeds are a good source of protein

A wonderful shade tree, it is a strong wood and provides building
material for beams.   It produces a permanent mulch which encourages rooting.

And most importantly, although lacking in potassium and magnesium,
 it is "nitrogen fixed", providing nitrogen to the soil rather than taking it away.

Truly a friendly tree!!

For more interesting takes on the letter 'I' visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise and all iconic helpersw.

Monday, September 08, 2014

Wonderful busy-ness

Threatening rain, but I stop on my way down to the back garden where I must rescue cushions from the dampness by stuffing them in the garage....

I have just added one more welcome visit to this week's agenda, and I am so pleased with all the little notes I have made of things to do and people to see, I just had to stop and write it all down, here, in my first 'activity' posting since summer arrived and I started to vegetate with books and knitting and keeping thirsty pots satisfied.....

Today I will go and visit Margaret after a trip to the bank, and then on to a Museum meeting.

Tuesday I will take my knitting to visit with the crafty ladies at the Senior's Centre and on Wednesday dear family from the Fraser Valley will arrive for tea and orange muffins!

And then out for prawns at the Branding Iron with the regular seafood enthusiasts.

Thursday a baking session as I make a dessert for the Royal Purple Centennial Tea on Saturday, - recipe will follow.  It was introduced to the church and the community by Mrs. C., and also on Thursday I will be meeting with her daughters to arrange music for a Memorial service for her on the 20th.  I have been practicing 'Keep me in your heart awhile' as I have had advance notice that they would like this to be part of the service, - perhaps a postlude as the family departs?

Friday is the day for church bulletins and Altar Guild duties, and Saturday busy, busy, busy with this nice tea we are hosting for the community, - everybody welcome.  The Senior Singers will also be a melodious part of the afternoon...I do not have Charles' fine, sweet voice, but it is nice to share his friends in the group.

Somewhere in the week I have the offer of a Camera Drive with #3 son and that will be a treat.  I have not been down to investigate Ginty's pond for a long while, and although I had a lovely day with #4 son recently, when he was down from the Meadow, I didn't take as many pictures as I would have if the day had been sunny when we went to Summerland.

Well there, - I am infinitely grateful for September and renewed friendships, and here is that recipe I promised you.  Always a great attraction at teas, bazaars, fairs and other gatherings.

First of all you will need two sleeves of unsalted soda crackers, two packages of instant pudding mix (your choice of flavour - be creative even with vanilla) a litre of Cool Whip, thawed, four cups of milk and a 9x13 glass pan.

Beat the pudding and milk until smooth.

Line the bottom of the glass pan with crackers and spread one third of the pudding mix over top.

Add one third of the Cool Whip,  spreading it evenly.

Repeat this twice and then refrigerate for forty-eight hours.

Cut in squares on to a dessert plate and top with a fruit sauce of your choice, made thusly.....

Two cups of fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, or any other berry or fruit your heart desires)
One cup of water, one half a cup of sugar and two tablespoons of cornstarch, cooked until thickened.

The texture of a French Napoleon and an enticing sweet sauce - bound to be a hit, and so easy!