Friday, May 24, 2013

Autumn fruits

 Every season has its own special fruits. My eye was caught by these bright little berries, on the pavement by the library. They are titoki, and I posted about them the year I saw them for the first time. Titoki is one of our native trees, also known as NZ oak. This is what I say about titoki in my book, Celebrating the Southern Seasons:
'Its juicy, red pulp was sometimes eaten by the Maori in times past, but it was the large, shiny, black seed inside that they valued most, for this yielded oil that could be used medicinally. The seed capsules were placed into flax kits and then pounded with a club to crush them, then the bags were wrung out and the greenish-coloured oil collected. . . It was used to make a salve or massage oil for babies or breast-feeding women to ease chafing.'
 Then at my tai chi class, we were all given mandarins, feijoas and fresh garden chives to take away with us. My tai chi teacher and his wife give a lot to their community, and in turn are given surplus fruit and veges, which they then share with us. Food tasted especially good when it's freely given.
 Apples are abundant in this season, in many varieties. And of course, persimmons, my favourite autumn fruit. I'm about to eat some more, so had to be quick with the photo!
And lemons, which are fruiting in the lemon grove just below my balcony, and sending up a tangy scent.
'Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness' — so far, we haven't had a lot of mist here in Auckland; more like lots of rain and thunderstorms. But fruitfulness there is in abundance, and it sets me thinking with gratitude on all the fruitfulness in my own life, including the return of the muse. I was weary with the effort of producing my latest book, and needed to take a rest. But now the muse is back, dancing with me, and I'm delighting in the richness I see all around. May the muse dance with you too!

12 comments:

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Juliet - love the photos - they're amazing .. I've never heard of Tikoki .. fascinating to look at .. and then the feijoas .. lots to appreciate when I do get to visit ...

Wonderful and am so pleased you're feeling more at ease .. enjoy .. cheers Hilary

juliet said...

* Hi Hilary, yes it's good to be returning to a sense of flow once more. I guess you didn't have feijoas in South Africa then? It's a rich and wonderful time of year right now.
Thanks.

Anne said...

Beautiful photos and a heartwarming post, Julet - thank you.

juliet said...

* Thanks for visiting Anne; good to see you here.

Hotly Spiced said...

How lovely to receive fresh produce freely given. I love feijoas but they're very expensive here and often picked before they're ripe so they're hard and without a lot of flavour. I do crave the real thing! xx

Amanda Trought said...

Juliet, the pictures are great, it is so nice to be around so much fresh fruit, the red berries look lovely.

juliet said...

Hi Charlie, yes we all love feijoas here and think up dozens of ways to use them in cooking. What a shame you can't get nice juicy ones there. I'm surprised that NZ growers haven't found a way of getting them to Australia in good condition.
Thanks for visiting.

juliet said...

Amanda, thank you. The fresh fruit tastes so good. I've just had another persimmon with my breakfast. Good to see you.

Penny O'Neill said...

Gosh, these all look so fresh and nourishing, Juliet.

juliet said...

They are Penny, all delicious and disappearing fast. Thank you.

Lynley said...

I haven't ever seen Titoki berries. They are most unusual but very beautiful.

juliet said...

Lynley, it's taken me about 40 years to find them. Aren't they lovely?
Thank you.