Thursday, August 25, 2011

Sweet, Sweet Pulasan

What looks like rambutan but sweeter than rambutan and lychee? Its the pulasan, a native of Malaysia. It looks almost like rambutan and some people do confused it if they are not familiar with our local fruits.They come from the same family Sapindaceae. While rambutan is called Nephelium Lappaceum, the pulasan is called Nephelium Mutabile or the Hairless Rambutan. The word pulasan comes from the Malay word pulas which means to twist. Thats how you open the fruit, you have to twist it at both ends to get the sweet fleshy white inside.

On my trip to Muar recently, I came across 2 bushy, laden with fruits, pulasan trees at my friend Som's house. It has been a long time since I saw one! Rambutan trees are more commonly planted in most compounds and I have one in mine which is about 40 years old! I think people prefer rambutan to pulasan because the flesh are more firm and easier to come out from the seeds although pulasan is much sweeter and juicier.

almost ripe pulasan on the tree

ripe ones

opened ripe pulasan to reveal the sweet flesh, the skin is thicker than rambutan's

unripe fruits on the tree

one of Som's pulasan tree laden with fruits, the tree is only about 6 feet, rounded with dense bushy branches sweeping the ground.....even the fruits are kissing the ground too!

comparing those of pulasan these are the rambutans

thinner skin of rambutan

the hairy rambutan (rambut means hair in Malay)

Both fruits are in season now and you can get them by the roadsides in make-shift stalls set up to sell them to passing motorists along with the King of Fruit, the Durian! On the way back, I loaded my small car boot with 30 durians, bags of rambutans from my friend Asiah's orchard and pulasans from Som's! They are my favourite fruits and was craving for them when I was pregnant with my first son!

Next Tuesday the Muslims here and all over the world, will be celebrating the end of the fasting month, Ramadhan, with the festival Hari Raya Aidil Fitri. There will be cooking, eating, visiting and be merry for the whole month with our local open houses. So enjoy your weight!


Thursday, August 11, 2011

First blooms

The orange and yellow blooms are very attractive and catch your eyes immediately. They are climbers and will make good decorative plants on your fence or a pergola. I bought this plant seedling last year and placed it behind the mulberry bushes outside the fence. If you stand in front of the fence you cant see them. Finally it has shown its bright and lovely blooms. The blooms are showing their lovely faces to the garden inside facing my small pond, gracing just above the fence.

But I dont know the name of this plant!

Well...since then, Stephanie of Steph's Green Space had provided the name of this vine, its called Bauhinia kockiana. Thank you again Steph!

Linking this to Tootsie's Fertiliser Friday/Flaunt your flowers.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Tomatillo in my garden?

I thought at first they were some new weeds, so was looking forward to some pretty tiny flowers I havent seen before. Then as they grew bigger, they resembled a lot like chilli plants, they even have blooms just like chillies but only tinier and yellow in colour. Completely forgotten about them much later until one day I saw small dangling fruits looking just like our local Chinese lanterns! They are paper thin and some have turned yellowish. I remembered seeing these in a few blogs and googled to find out more about them. Lol...they are called TOMATILLO! Pronouced as 'toe-mah-TEE-yo'. I was surprised but delighted indeed they can grow here and in my garden!

a ripe and unripe tomatilos

green tomatillos dangling like lanterns

I was curious when I felt that inside the paper thin outside covering called husk, is a small lump, so to see whats inside I tear the husk and...a small tiny fruit!

......with tiny seeds inside, though I havent tasted it yet...

the plants looking so much like chillies though the stems are softer not like chillies which are woody

the tiny yellow flowers

The tomatillo is called the husk tomato or green tomato by the Mexican and a staple ingredient in Mexican cuisine in making their green salsa sauce. It gives a tarty flavour to the sauce. Though called green tomato, it shouldnt be confused with the unripe normal tomato which is of the same family but of different genus. I dont know what to do with my harvest of these new fascinating vegetables in my garden. Should I cook them in my curry and stew or just toss them in my salad?
I guess you can never trust whats in the seed packets you sow!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Flaunting them but not mine!

Got 2 days break from babysitting last Thursday and Friday, so my friend Noni and I went visiting our friends in Muar, a small town in the southern state of Johore. The main purpose was actually to savour the local food there before the fasting month of Ramadhan, the gluttons we are!

I couldn't help myself, snapping away when we went over to our friend Som's small garden especially her orchids and euphorbia millis.

some striking colours of foliage

Then last but not least, blooming at the R&R stop at Seremban along the highway were the lovely plumbago....

Linking this to Tootsie's Fertiliser Friday/Flaunting your Flowers

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Floral arrangement from my garden

I love to have floral arrangement made from whatever blooms I have in my garden at that moment. It may be just a single flower or a few bunched up together for my dining or coffee table. And its so happen, Amy from Get Busy Gardening is also showing off her weekly
floral arrangement too!

Its a simple one, starting off with a single bunch of water hyacinth which is blooming in my pond, let it stand in a bowl of water

then I fill in the gaps with some blue hydrangeas and pink impatiens.....

there!...a bowl of low flower arrangement for my dining table

Do you have enough flowers in your garden now to make one flower arrangement? Go to Amy's garden and see her beautiful and colourful floral arrangement!