August 11, 2009

A Slice of Paradise from a Hainanese Friend

Two of my Foochow cousins (brothers) married two Hailam sisters in Miri more than 40 years ago. They had come to Miri to seek their fortune and found jobs as teachers in a Chinese primary school. As children who grew up during the Japanese occupation they were the "missed generation" i.e. those who missed out some years of education and suffered the pains inflicted by war.

Thus in spite of the fact that they are grandchildren of a prominent pioneering family of Sibu they had come to Miri with empty hands and only the proverbial shirt on their back. Being good people they were blessed by God with good families and happiness and they looked after their excellent mother until she died at a ripe age of almost 100 years old.

While we lived very separate lives I made friends with a very amazing lady. And as you have guessed. Yes after some time we found out we had some Foochow Connection. What a small world. She is none other than one of the nieces of the wives. My friend Choon has very green fingers. Everything she tries to grow thrives. And we have been exchanging plants ever since. She was brought up in the famous Hainan Village of Miri which is now disappearing. And she has inherited the fantastic expertise of market gardening from her parents and grandparents.

Here is a series of photos which illustrate her dragon fruits which are just grown from two pots in her front yard. (BTW she grows other fruits and vegetables too and is rather self sufficient in vegetables.)

The dragon fruits are the sweetest I have ever eaten as they ripen on the tree (oops - cactus) She has already harvested 40 succulent and sweet fruits. During the hazy days like ours now one can only think cheerfully of eating juicy fruits like these...See the slice below! So tempting. Thanks to Ah Choon.

See the beauties for yourself!!


Uncle Lee said...

Hi Sarawakiana, nice pics.
This is one fruit I have yet to try or taste. Even though its sold here in all the Chinese supermarkets, we have given it a pass.
I guess not sure how to eat it.
The inside color that pinkish red?

You have Foochow genes? I have Hokkien or Fukien genes, ha ha.
I have heard Sarawak has its fair share of Foochow people.
Here we have Chinese from China flooding in and they speak all kinds of Chinese dialects too.
And a lot are tall, and the orang putehs here are surprised see so many tall Chinese above 5'10", and the women above 5'7".

You stay easy and have a nice day, Lee.

Sarawakiana@2 said...

Dear Uncle Lee
The Pitaya is from Vietnam originally. It is easy to eat the fruit - peal the whole skin off or slice lengthwise. You can also cut it into two (like papaya) and scoop with a spoon.
Excellent with yoghurt. I am glad there are lots of tall Chinese. We Foochows can be very tall (6 feet) or very short (5 feet).
And I wish you starry nights and great sunrises....
God bless..

Sarawakiana@2 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sarawakiana@2 said...

It is indeed very sweet but I am not sure about the supermarket goods especially if they are ripen in the containers during shipping.
The reddish pink is so strong (natural) you have to watch out in the morning. It is the onlyh colour that cannot disappear with human digestion so far.
The fruit does not have a fragrance. Do not buy fruits with darkish skins. Wrinkles also show their age.
Tell me about your purchase.

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