Still sticking with the basics, the new staples:  taro, coconut, papaya, hot pepper, lemon (ah!  that’s what this salad needs!), jackfruit, avocado.  It’s been a bit rainy here… something like 26 inches in the last 2 weeks… 13 inches alone in a 24 hour period a few days ago.  But today we woke to sunshine and blue sky.  Yeah!  A day to dry out, and poke around the gardens.

Breakfasted on a taro burger (I had frozen extras from last week) with fried banana, in coconut oil.  Late morning enjoyed my smoothie of papaya, lemon, lilikoi, banana and cane syrup.  I will do a separate post on how we make syrup from our delicious purple sugar cane.

The big find of the day was a huge, ripe avocado, first one we have eaten from the tree. Makes up for lack of oil to use in the salad. Also nice that to find that our avocado trees so far are producing in succession, ie ripening at different times giving us a near-continuous supply for the last few months..

Now am munching on a salad of grated green papaya (always seem to miss the ripe ones), quickly stir-fried greens, hot pepper, avocado, lemon, and coconut flakes.  Greens were – mint, basil, green onion, cress.  Normally these would go into the salad fresh, but it has been so wet that I don’t trust washing the veggies to get slug slime off.  I don’t see any slugs or slug damage in the garden, but am feeling newly cautious.  Last week there was a panel of speakers on the topic of rat lung disease, which is carried in slug slime as well as that of  snails and flatworms; even though the newspaper article said there were only 9 cases on the Big Island last year, everyone knows someone affected, and it raised our level of precaution.

To avoid the possibility of slug slime I try to choose high up leaves that look very perfect.  I inspect first when picking, then in the kitchen inspect again while triple washing including a soak in vinegar.  The good news is though that 3 minutes of stir-frying kills the nematode, and the greens tasted great that way!

Pan-roasting jackfruit seeds

A good snack item is cooked jackfruit seeds.  The main problem is how to get them out of their thin but inedible skins.  They are very satisfyingly nutty and bready – in short, a carb.

I found the key to getting off the skin is to peel soon after they have been heated – either by boiling or roasting.  The skin splits and when the seed is well-cooked it can be worked off… was very time-consuming but totally worth it.

Another snack today is ice cream bean, Inga edulis, fruit of an invasive species, but a fun one.  It’s a nitrogen-fixing, legume-type tree, so we let these fast-growing prolific trees grow and if they are in the way, chip them up for a nutritious mulch.  The part you eat is the white fluff surrounding the “beans” in the pod.  It’s sweet and just a bit like ice cream.

Some nice fat ice cream bean pods.

I see grey skies overhead… think we’re going to get rained on already!

Dinner was kubota squash from a farm we visited over the weekend, and a stir-fry of Okinawan spinach, kale, tsoi sim and other garden greens, yakon, bunching onion, lemongrass, and lots of jackfruit seeds.

Some more pictures of ice cream bean below…

Inside the pod is a lot of edible white fuzz surrounding the beans.

The shiny black beans are themselves inedible - they are very vigorous and usually have sprouted within a big ripe pod such as this one.

Looking up into an ice cream bean tree; has bunches of white flowers and you can see some of the long pods hanging down.

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