Saturday, October 18, 2008

You with the stars in your eyes.....

I am going to tell you a little story.
I was on the phone with my mom, and I was driving. Yes, I was doing Both Things. Please. Spare me the lecture, mkay ?

ANYWAY, I was driving along, and there was this huge, hideous thud.

Of course, my very first thought was that I had run over a chicken. Meh. I didn't even slow down. But then I realized, a grapefruit the size of my head - no, wait, you know what, it was BIGGER then my head - had fallen off a tree and landed on my roof as I drove by. I pulled Right Over. Thank goodness it had gotten caught in my roof rack. I love grapefruit.

I have to admit, there is free produce all over the place here in Maui. Fruit that you would pay ridiculous, insulting prices for in the store will literally fall on the hood of your car while you are driving through town. You will see people stopped, in the middle of the road, sometimes standing ON their car, picking avocados and grapefruit and lilikoi, and the things seen in the photo above.

Those are star fruit. My dear Mai has these growing all around her house, and the kids love 'em.

While they are usually seen as a garnish in fancy restaurants, they can be eaten just like an apple. And they are delish. The skin is very thin, and easy to bite through, and the fruit is kind of sweet/tart. Yummy.

The fruit here in Hawaii is like the tomatos and zucchini of New England. People will bring bags of them everywhere they go, trying to give them away. Avocados, in particular, are a real pain in the ass. They are heavy, and tend to break windshields, so if you have a tree near your driveway you have to park elsewhere when the tree is in season. Fruit litters the ground, rotting in the sun. People carry avocado pickers in their car (or strapped on the roof) so that if they see a particularly loaded tree, they can help themselves.

avocado picker

I am still trying to figure out tomatos - this should be a great climate for tomatos, but I think it's TOO hot - I am going to try to figure out some sort of a protectiver shade cover for my tomato plants, and I think they need more water then I give them (uhm, none, actually) so that is my next project. I got some cherry tomatoes to grow, but then we stopped watering and the plants died and there were no more tomatoes. Oh. It was sad.

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