When Melaney takes Gigi for walks, she picks up the fallen fruit. At this time it is citrus season, and there are oranges of many varieties, lemons and limes. Some fruit is lumpy with what looks like warts, but the inside of the fruit has good juice. We ate oranges till we were getting tired of them, and they kept gathering, because the Angus in both of us wouldn’t let it just lay on the ground for the birds and the insects.
Finally, Estevan agreed to juice the fruit. We gave him all the bags that we had collected, and asked for the return of half a gallon of juice. It came yesterday. The juice was divine. With the mixture of sweet and tart oranges, the juice had a perfect balance. It was free of pulp but almost thick. It certainly wasn’t the watered down juice that we had experienced in Canada on the commercial market. I had had some fresh orange juice in Florida a number of years ago, but this juice from this orchard far outshone anything I had experienced. There is only one fault. With fresh juice like this, it must be consumed quickly, or it will sour, and that tastes just awful. It only lasts about thirty hours in the fridge.
As well as citrus, we are experiencing bananas of a variety. There is no season on bananas. The first we had was a stalk of small sweet ones. Victor gave us that treat. We ate bananas on cereal in the morning, and we ate them for snacks in the middle of the day. The birds helped themselves to a few of them as they lay on a small wood platform under a tree. One day I saw a large squirrel munching on some, but we had more than we could possibly eat.
Victor brought us some yucca, too. He used my sharp butcher knife and whacked these long roots in his hand. He seemed very experienced in this action, but I would have used a board. He severed the roots into four inch sections, then took each section, split the surface skin lengthwise and the fresh white root shone in the daylight. They are a starch vegetable, and can be used boiled, roasted or fried. They can be frozen, as well and potatoes aren’t good frozen. I cooked the roots next day. They seem to keep well in the fridge and I have been using them in a variety of ways. The next week he brought us some more roots and a jicama. They are all in the fridge. I won’t have to buy potatoes for a long time.
With these starchy roots, Victor brought up a large stalk of bigger bananas which are very green. There was a small cluster of plantain, too. That yielded some ripe fruit yesterday, which I prepared for dinner. I peeled two, sliced them, fried them in a little oil and sprinkled some raw cane sugar on them. They were very tasty. We had shopped yesterday and part of the purchase was a tray of frozen tilapia fish. With the fish we had fresh green beans and a very large salad. We had stopped on our travels, and bought four kilos of tomatoes for two dollars. It hardly seems reasonable to spend the work gardening when produce can be purchased so inexpensively.
The fruit we are looking forward to with GUSTO are the avocados and mangoes. We have many mango and manga trees here in the orchard.