Queensland Christmas bounty

We’re ready for Christmas, but went out this morning to get fresh milk, taking the scooter because we knew the place would be heaving with last minute shoppers.

On the way, we spotted an enterprising young man with a trailer full of boxes of enormous ripe mangoes. At $10 a box, it was too good to miss. We bought our milk, and then filled the rest of the scooter storage space with mangoes. For our $10 we got 12 huge fruit and 9 limes, thrown in for nothing in the festive spirit.

Christmas centrepieceWe picked out some that were green, to ripen slowly, some that were half ripe, and a few that were fully ripe, for sweet and sticky feasting over the next few days. I shall cut some up and freeze them in chunks for smoothies, purée others for desserts, but I suspect the vast majority of this seasonal bounty will be paired with sliced fresh banana and yoghurt for my breakfast. Meanwhile, it makes a pretty tropical Christmas centrepiece for my dining table, don’t you think? A change from holly wreaths and everything dusted with ‘snow’…

Scale shotLook at the size of these babies. That tape measure is opened out to 30cm/12 inches. The mango at bottom left is nearly 6 inches long, the one above it is even larger.

And there’s more fruity goodness on the way. The Dowager has a large stem of sugar bananas ripening in her garden at the first Chiconia, from the tree I planted two years ago. We’ll be getting half of them, as she can’t possibly eat a whole stem herself. My lemon tree is bearing despite its small size, and we should get a few from that. The mandarin tree that produced so enthusiastically earlier this year is at it again, with dozens of small green marble-sized fruit. Our two old mango trees at the back of the yard are bearing despite being distinctly scruffy and infested with green ants. There are at least 8 small fruit ripening, so if the birds, possums and fruit bats will stay off them, we may have home grown mangoes too.

Monsoon frontAnd last but not least, rain is on its way. There’s a large monsoon front slowly working its way south. At the beginning of the week, Cairns in the far north got a drenching,  it’s Townsville’s turn today, and by Friday or Saturday, we should see some of it here, which will be lovely. The grass will green up, the bare patches in the lawn will fill in and all the finger wide cracks all over the back yard will close up. Of course, it means we’ll actually have to mow the grass, but hey, that’s the price you pay.

I’m signing off for the next few days to spend time with family. I wish you all a happy and peaceful festive season, however you celebrate it.

39 thoughts on “Queensland Christmas bounty

  1. knitnkwilt says:

    The mangos make a lovely centerpiece, and yummy too. Good timing for your grocery run. I love thinking of all those fruit trees and their fruit. Enjoy your holiday.

  2. That mango looks so yummy. I’m so happy you are getting rain. I know now important it is. Have a wonderful Christmas and New Year. Hope you get time to enjoy.

  3. manicmumdays says:

    No rain in Townsville yet Kate 😦 Blue skies with a few clouds but not rain or storm clouds …

  4. Beautiful ultra-edible table centre-piece, I am envious. I love cooking with limes, but they are rare and expensive here.

    Have a lovely, hassle-free time with family and come back refreshed.

  5. Lorij says:

    Your table decoration of fruit is very pretty and a nice change. It is my prayer that you and your family enjoy a wonderful Christmas and a blessed, healthy and prosperous 2016.

  6. We bought a case of mangoes a week ago for a bargain price, but it was nowhere near as good a deal as this. Many became breakfast and mango icecream for when we had friends over.

    • katechiconi says:

      This is one of my favourite times of year – I adore mangoes, and the idea of living to a part of the world where Christmas and mangoes happen at the same time was fantastic!

  7. tialys says:

    A much better way to shop! I did think about the the difference between here in rural France and the U.K. yesterday as we went straight to the till at the supermarket instead of queuing right back up the aisle with a festively dressed employee handing out sweets in order to alleviate stress as they did in Tesco one year. I used to have to plan the Christmas food shopping like a military operation, now it’s much more relaxed. No ripe, orangey, yellow mangoes though – just imported firm green ones 😦 Lots of oysters though – if you’re into them – which I’m not.
    Have a wonderful Christmas in the Kingdom of Chiconia,
    Lynn x x

    • katechiconi says:

      Thank you so much, and the same to you! Your Christmas card arrived this morning, with perfect timing. I love buying at roadside stalls: you’re getting the freshest produce, usually from the bloke who grew it. We’ve just waved goodbye to watermelon season, now it’s mangoes and lychees…

  8. Having internet problems here, your images won’t download, but I’ve used my imagination 🙂 The mangoes look wonderful.
    Happy holidays to you, too, hope you have a wonderful break and lots of family cheer ❤

  9. Lovely Christmas decor! Happy Holidays, Johanna

  10. Grannymar says:

    I can almost smell those Mangoes and I am drooling. Enjoy your festivities and may you come back refreshed ready to share more of your creativeness with us all. Happy New Year Kate!

  11. rutigt says:

    Yummie!!! Merry Christmas 🙂

  12. dayphoto says:

    Merry Christmas! Happy New YEAR! I hope you get lots of wonderful ground soaking rain!


  13. Lynda says:

    Merry Christmas and have a wonderful time! Mangoes were hard to find here when we first moved to N. Alabama. Now I find them often and sometimes they are even ripe. 😉 My favorite way to eat them is cut into chunks and then generously sprinkled with unsweetened coconut flakes. It is only half of the Thai recipe my friend Joyce taught me, but I am not good at cooking sticky rice in coconut milk to go with it. (It is also less fattening my way too.)

    • katechiconi says:

      Mangoes are now the taste of Christmas for me, together with cherries and lychees, all of which are in season at this time. Cherries come up from the south, as they need a more temperate climate, but the mangoes and lychees are local. Have a good Christmas, and enjoy the company of friends and family.

  14. That is a lovely centrepiece! What a great catch 🙂 Happy Christmas to you and yours, enjoy your holidays!

  15. So much sweet goodness to celebrate!

  16. EllaDee says:

    Yum. I looked at a box of mangoes but they weren’t that cheap so we went for festive variety… mangoes, cherries, pineapple, rock melon, lychees, local bananas, and then MiL showed up on Christmas day with a box of the biggest juiciest cherries -to share- so I cooked mine up with Madeira for the freezer in case we encounter some duck!

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