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.
We 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’…
Look 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.
And 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.