I’m turning into a parrot because I started another blogsite by mistake, so I’ll be repeating myself in the blog I share with my friends – http://thenextbigthinksg.wordpress.com/
I love my friend Hwee Hwee Laurence’s contributions to my blog. It takes me from tropical heat and humidity to open spaces and produce from tree (or bush, or ground) to kitchen table. The closest I have to homegrown edibles are my papaya and banana trees, and the occasional mango we filch from the little park behind our house. And now, a message from Hwee Hwee in the south-west of France –
When my husband plants, he plants enough to feed the whole village. When he harvests, he does not leave a single fruit on the tree.
I used to get very stressed about this. Wouldn’t you be – when after you have cooked, preserved, conserved and given away what you could to the neighbours, yet the fourth (and certainly not the last) pail of cherries or plums still arrives at your kitchen table for you to ‘do something with it’? I used to consider all this a chore, something I do grudgingly and try to get it over with as quickly as possible.
The turning point came when, during my second visit to Singapore, I realized that I miss my little village. When my friends came over here and said how blessed I am and I saw, through their eyes, that indeed I have a very simple but blessed life. When one day, I decided to make crepes and deliberately used the hand- instead of electric whisk and spent a pleasurable time watching the flour and milk turning slowly into a smooth batter.
This change in attitude is not a resenting resignation to my life as a country bumpkin. It is a realization that life – my life – at this point, is what it is. It might change or I might want to change it in the future. But for now, in making the best of what I am and what I have, I have become a much happier person indeed.
So, today, when my husband sheepishly puts a crate of melons he has just harvested from the garden, I look at him squarely in the eye and said – Bring it on!
(There is really no hard and fast rule to the amount of each ingredient. Make it up to your own taste, and use different fruit if desired.)
1 ripe melon, peeled, seeds scooped out and cut into chunks
250 ml fresh lime or lemon juice
150 g sugar
1 tablespoon vodka or Grand Marnier (optional, but this prevents sorbet from freezing solid)
1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger (optional)
Place all ingredients except ginger in a food processor and process until smooth.
Stir in ginger, pour into a freeze-proof dish and refrigerate until very cold.
Place dish in freezer, and once every hour or so, use fork to stir and break up mixture while it freezes.
(Do not worry if you forget and your sorbet freezes solid. Just use a fork to scrape and break it into coarser granules before serving – a bit of hard work here – then change its name to Melon Granita!)