Today is very rainy, and I am glad I didn’t have to forage, since I did a lot of food gathering yesterday just to be ready.
Breakfast is the same… still no eggs from those goofy chickens (they are very friendly, and very nice to each other, but they are very late to lay)… blue corn mush with lilikoi jam, bananas, and coconut crumbles.  A smoothie of two types of lilikoi, bananas, blueberry guava, and lemon.

Lunch:  hurray for avocado!  The avocados we picked a week ago growing alongside the old highway road are ripe!  Absolutely MAKE the garden salad, which also had lettuce, mizuna, cress, tsoi sim thinnings, cilantro, and nasturtium flowers, seasoned with basil, garlic chives, green onion, lemon, and dried hot pepper.

Speaking of the old highway, this is the road that parallels Route 19, or the “Belt Road”, which is 2 miles down the hill from us and our only connection to Hilo town to the south or Honokaa up north.  The old highway twists and turns and goes over low bridges down in the gulches, rather than the high spans of Route 19.  Several of these old bridges have rusted or washed out, thus we can’t go all the way to Hilo on the old road.  It is incredibly beautiful, with lush foliage all around and many mature fruit trees we visit, and I consider such pickings fair game for Marketless Monday.

Plenty of latex in this immature jackfruit.

Yesterday in our garden, we picked a jackfruit that we thought was ready because it had turned quite yellow and brown, and we didn’t want it to fall and rot the way the first one did.  We should have waited until it was soft.  It was way too immature to eat the tasty fruit. I googled “immature jackfruit” and learned that the meat and seeds are still used even when green, so I plan to use the meat in tonight’s stirfry, as well as the seeds.

One source said “The latex is not found in unripe jakfruits used for cooking.”  HAH! (The spelling of jackfruit can be with our without the ‘c’, I guess.)

Even with an oiled cutting board and knife – I knew that much – what a mess.  I believe jackfruit is not only the source of Juicyfruit gum but also of Dr Seuss’s oobleck.  I seem to have a knack for taking on incredibly messy kitchen jobs.  A lot of it is my inexperience.  That’s why this is a great relationship – you can learn from my mistakes and I can feel like it was worth it!

Yakon

Yesterday we harvested taro and yakon from the garden. Yakon is the tuber of a tall plant with an orange blossom.  The blooms are a signal that the roots are ready to harvest.  It is also called ground apple, and is crunchy and sweet, raw or cooked.  The longer it sits out once harvested, the sweeter it gets.

Dinner plan: curry stir-fry and taro patties.  To make the curry, I’ll use leaves from a curry bush and saute with bunching green onions, lemongrass, and hot pepper in coconut oil to start; then add boiled jack fruit seeds (like chestnuts), green jack fruit meat, tsoi sim,  peppers, Russian kale, eggplant, yakon that has sweetened picked several weeks ago, finally, coconut milk.

Note the casual reference to coconut oil!  After all that work last week! My only cheat today will be salt if I find I really need it on the stir fry.
I’m hoping I have enough oil to make taro patties. I’m boiling the taro
now, and will mash it when soft, and make patties with onion, which I have to run (slog… boots required) up to the garden to get.  I plan to add that as well as some garlic chives, coconut flakes and thick coconut milk and fry ’em up.  (p.s. they were very good!  Needed salt.)
Interestingly, I wasn’t going to make taro, then as the day went on I felt I just wanted to have a pot of it cooking, just in case… I think it makes me feel good.  Kind of an aha moment, here in Hawaii, eating off the land and realizing “hmm… what I really need is taro…”  Maybe this week I will ask Bear or David how to make poi.

The taro patties were really good! The stir-fry would have been kinda boring without them. The jackfruit seeds are wonderfully soft and chewy.

A view of the community garden this week. The paths are mulched with bamboo and banana leaves, both to keep down weeds and to be able to walk on when it's really muddy.

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