Saturday, June 29, 2013

A continuous thread

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I ate more oranges when I was a child than I do now, I think. We did not have a tree, but instead were showered by Phyllis Rope, up the road, which I would bring back in the wiremesh basket on the front of my scratchily yellow 'Malver Star'. Perhaps it is my memory playing tricks, but fruit was different way back when, less bountiful, and certainly less varied. We had apples, and oranges, and for part of the year, bananas. Pineapples came in a can labelled 'Golden Circle'. The vaiety seemed to come in apples alone, with the choice of Jonathon, Delicious, or Granny Smith.

With my trusty red pen knife, I would sit on the back step, and endeavour to slice around, and around the orange (mostly Navels, but Dad liked the occasional Valencia), trying to keep the peel,equal in width, but NOT broken. I have only just realised how much concentration this must have taken. Of course, the orange tasted better if I could manage this, probably the bitter tang of disappointment was the missing ingredient! With the tip of the blade, the remaining pith was teased from the fruit, a thumb shoved into the nether regions, and the segments (?) exposed.

I am teaching Alannah the variety of apples and pears, just as my father taught them to me, he being an old 'barrow' man. She likes Packham pears, but knows that Beurre Bosc exist. I will go over to Harris Farm and see if I can rustle up perhaps a Naashi, or a Williams, or a Winter Cole, or even, perhaps, a Josephine.

Ohho, would Dad be chuffed!

8 comments:

head in the sun said...

Now I want an orange.
I wonder how my orange tree is going down in Ararat.

Ann said...

So good to see you back home and back on line. Just read Kirstens post. Scary. Hope you are feeling a lot better.

diane b said...

I remember peeling oranges like that for my kids and wrapping the skin back on for them to take to school. Hope you have recovered.

Margaret said...

Good to see you back,hope you are feeling better.
Ah yes, fruit can bring back such clear memories,best peach I ever tasted was in a small backyard orchard of a rented house in Dubbo, owned by an old Italian bloke,1968.
The kids I used to Nanny would only eat apples with NO peel, but would fight over who would eat the"snake" applepeel. I always ate mine with skin on, so eventuallythey did too.

Julie said...

Thank you, friends. I am feeling increasingly okay, but find I tire easily.

Memories pile upon memories. I remember being confounded in the early '60s when visiting the farm of a family friend of my father's, when Lyle took me into the orchard to see my first ever almond tree. Those furry little half moons became almonds. No way!!

Joan Elizabeth said...

We used to squeeze the orange skin until it was soft then bite the top off an suck the juice out. After it was fully sucked we ripped it open and ate the pulp from the skin. My Nana from down south was horrified at this -- she reckoned it was a black fella way of eating oranges.

Julie said...

I can remember doing that, too, Joan, although I thought that the squeezing of the skin was to release all that squirting 'tang' which, had I known, would have called zest.

brattcat said...

a beautiful image and post and a julie home from hospital. what a good day.