Monday, September 22, 2014

K is for Kiwi

ABC Wednesday
Sept. 24, 2014

The letter this week is K - for Kiwi

So, what can I tell you about KIWI???

Well, it depends upon which Kiwi we are talking about - shall we start with the fruit!

Native to China, the fruit was first called 'yang tao' but was changed to 'Chinese Gooseberry' by the New Zealanders who began cultivation on a commercial scale, exporting to California where the fruit was re-branded as the Kiwifruit, after the Kiwi Bird (more later).

About the size of a hen's egg it has a fibrous, dull greenish-brown skin and bright green or golden flesh with rows of tiny black edible seeds.  The fruit has a soft texture and a sweet but unique flavor and grows on a fast growing woody vine in most temperate climates with adequate summer heat.

The vines require vigorous pruning, similar to that of grapevines, and the fruit is borne on one year old and older canes.

Firm kiwifruit ripen after a few days to a week when stored at room temperature, but should not be kept in direct sunlight.  Faster ripening occurs when placed in a paper bag with
 an apple, pear, or banana.

Would you like a recipe?  I found this delightful recipe for chocolate covered kiwi popsicles at Bare Foot in the Kitchen (a blog) and it sounds easy and fun to make - and tempting....

You are going to need six large kiwis, peeled and cut into 1/3 to 1/2 inch rounds, a cup of dark chocolate or semi-sweet chocolate chips, 1/4 cup of coconut oil and some popsickle sticks.

Slice the kiwis into rounds with a popsickle stick in each one and place on a tray lined with wax paper (or parchment).  Freeze for AT LEAST four hours, and up to 48 hours.

In a glass bowl melt the chocolate and the coconut oil over a pan of simmering water, and then dip each frozen kiwi into the melted chocolate - the chocolate will harden within a few moments of being dipped.  Eat immediately -  or re-freeze what you don't eat immediately!  A good way to get chocolate along with your vitamin C.......

Another Kiwi is the wingless bird, for which the kiwi fruit was named, and there is a marked resemblance, at least in shape.

During the Second World War there were many boys from New Zealand 
stationed in Canada with the Commonwealth Training Program, and a few I came to know.

They were affectionately referred to as 'Kiwis".

They had a wonderful accent to our Canadian ears and lots of expressions that 
soon became familiar to us.

Great was either 'choice' or 'cracker'
'Crikey' or 'Crikey Dick' expressed  surprise
'Get off the grass' meant go away, or calm down
and of course everyone has heard 'G'day mate' and 'Good on ya!'

I have heard Charles say 'I'll have your guts for garters' - no doubt
picked up from Kiwi airmen.

'Like a box of fluffy ducks' indicates happiness
and if you were 'On the pig's back' all was well and good.
'We're home and hosed'  meant successful and safe.

For more K's visit here at ABC Wednesday
with thanks to Roger, Denise and all Kool helpers.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

The first day of Autumn, and still Summer lingers with us.  
A warm day and I spent the afternoon in the back garden, reading, 
and then finally stirring myself to gather up the 
great leaves of the squash and cucumber and pumpkin that I planted,
 and alas, had only a very meager harvest.  However, before the lovely leaves
 began to shred and dry they made a wonderful show at the edge of the deck.

And the nicotiana perfumed the night so intensely that the scent wafted 
through the open window, along the hall, and into my bedroom

However, I am now with Rilke, and his words about Autumn. 
I think that I have posted his poem before, 
but perhaps not this particular translation by Galway Kinnell and Hannah Liebmann.

Lord it is time.  The summer was immense.
Lay your shadow on the sundials
and let loose the wind in the fields.

Bid the last fruits to be full;
give them another two more southerly days,
press them to ripeness, and chase
the last sweetness into the heavy wine.

Whoever has no house now will not build one anymore.
Whoever is alone now will remain so for a long time,
will stay up, read, write long letters,
and wander the avenues, up and down,
restlessly, while the leaves are blowing.

The grape harvest is not yet underway here in the valley,
but the orchards are busy with apple pickers and the alders and the poplars,
 high in the hills, mark the creeks they edge with gold.

I have determined to spend this coming week in the garden.
Those beautiful but ubiquitous yellow daisies have more or less taken over
even providing fierce competition for the Chinese Underground Railway
and the bright orange lanterns they festoon their
stations with.

I hope to move the daisies to another spot (not yet determined)
to make room for the lilies which suffered under the great growth and 
shade of the hazel nut tree this summer.  I think that this side garden
is going to end up being a haven for hostas
with the poppies and the delphinium also moving elsewhere.

Well, all these plans for the garden add a great
deal of enthusiasm to life
and I am not yet ready for the pile of books,
the easy chair, and my knitting!!

By the way, I didn't get to the Pepper Festival, but spent the morning yesterday
helping to provide coffee to fifty or so
Anglicans who were on a rally, visiting South Okanagan Parishes,
and the afternoon playing the organ at a funeral
for an old and dear friend I used to play hand bells with, but I heard
the music that sounded throughout the town
and it was hot and peppy!