Archive for the ‘Fruitilicious’ Category


When travelling in Asia, I always delight in eating the food from the street vendors such as fresh coconut drink, sugar cane juice, roasted chestnuts, deep fried banana, bingtanhulu on skewers 冰糖葫蘆 –sour hawthorn coated in crystallized sugar.


Eating food prepared by street vendors is like ordering food from a food truck. Almost every mouthful tastes delicious and finger-linking-good.

And my old time favourite —


sweet potatoes broiled over hot charcoal — was not to be missed, especially on this chilling cold day.


Once I paid for my share, I couldn’t wait to have a quick bite of this tender and temperature hot treat…


that I ended up with a blister in my mouth instantly — ouch!


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My Fruity Friend


Yesterday was one of my friends birthday. I have known this friend since our kindergarten years; Let’s just call this friend my fruity friend.

We used to hang out from our elementary years and all the way till now. Apparently there is one thing that keeps pulling our friendship together, and it’s the tropical fruits!

Once during our secondary years, on a super hot day, this friend and I challenged each other to eat a whole gigantic oblong seeded watermelon. We cut the watermelon into halves and see who could finish the fruit first.

Knowing my passion for tropical fruits, a few years ago she and her husband brought me to an orchard to enjoy the varieties of the local fruits. I especially love the sweet honey-flavored rambutans and got to bring a big sack home.


This time when my fruity friend heard that I was going back; her family, during the the peak of the fruit season, stored up containers of fragrant durians, flavorful homegrown mangoes and rambutans in the freezer awaiting me to savor.


Furthermore, she also reserved the half of the longans on the tree for me, and warned her family not to eat the rest of the fruit further until I tasted it. When I arrived at her home, I was amazed to see so many appealing longans dangling on the tree. My friend wasn’t home but I was told that I could eat as many of the fresh fruit as I wanted! I didn’t dare to so I took only a small bundle home.

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A few days later when I visited her place again hoping to enjoy more of the fruit, the longans were vanishing from the tree. I was curious and my friend stated that when the family knew I had tried the fruit, they quickly consume the rest in no time!

I regretted not eating more of the hearty longans.


All those tasty fresh fruits definitely enrich our friendship further.  Through her, many of our kindergarten friends were gathered to celebrate her daughter’s wedding and we had a marvelous reunion and rekindled our old friendships.





What a sweety fruity friend I have!


Happy Birthday & cheers to a fruitful friendship!!


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Simply Soursop


I grew up eating soursop as it is a common fruit from where I used to dwell.

These days soursop has been a rare commodity even from the region where I live.

When I was in Colombia recently, I was spoiled with a feast of soupsop.

Most of my team members had never tried the fruit so when they tried it, they were not accustomed to the tangy and sweet flavour of this tropical fruit (an acquired taste), hence most of this delightful fruit was left for me to gorge on.


When the locals knew that I enjoy eating the fruit, which is also known as guanabana (pronounced as guanavana), they suggested I should taste this exotic fruit with milk.

So whenever I was at a cafe, without fail, I would order myself a thirst quenching glass of fresh soursop smoothie and it was indeed delicious!


However nothing beats the one that I had from the street vendor:
One fine morning, while rushing to take a metro train, I bumped into a street vendor that sold soursop drink. I hesitated to buy the drink or not (for street food might cause me tummy bugs); I couldn’t resist but bought myself a cup of this icy and juicy soursop drink. It even has the slimy fruit pulp in it; it was simply the most delicioso guanabana drink I had for a long time!

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Mango Madness


The homegrown mangoes were enormous and extremely sweet. My sister, Iris, said they had spared three for me to try. I was anticipating to taste those wonder mangoes that the family highly valued; but when I reached home, those fruits were still dangling on the treetop yet to be harvested.


After a month, those eye-catching mangoes looked more like a forbidden fruit as it still refused to ripen. After I left the country, the family sort of didn’t think much about the green mangoes. One day, Iris heard the chirping of singing birds outside the kitchen window. In fact, the cadence had been going on for a few days, but on that particular day, the tweedling was unusually loud and joyous so she decided to take a peek at the commotion.


To her sheer delight, she looked up and saw one of the green mangoes had finally turned to a ripen yellow;  but to her utter dismay,  the fruit was bruisely attacked by the avian creatures.    Gazing at the soft ripen yellowish flesh of mango dripping down with tangy juice, Iris couldn’t resist not to climb up and pluck away the fruit. But then the thought of the Heavenly Father watches over the birds and feeds them stopped her from reaching further. Thus the birdies were able to continue enjoying the nibbling on the mouth-watering crop.


Eventually the ripened mangoes were picked off from the tree.


Hmmm… those meaty-sweet-smelling-tropical-deliciousness were supposed to be for my palate!!



Iris told me her family almost chop down the mango tree last year because it didn’t produce much fruit, and sometimes no fruit at all.   One day, under the mango tree, the family was led to pray for God’s guidance whether to axe down the tree or to keep it.


Within a short period, the tree started to blossom profusely with mango flowers.



The blossoms gradually transformed into many mini mangoes…



to mouth-watering mangoes…




The family was overwhelmed by the miracle tree and the abundant harvest that the good Lord has blessed them with — over 100 sweet smelling mangoes waiting to be picked!

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The family not only enjoyed the fruit with gratitude, they also distributed the fragrant fruit of their prayer in their neighborhood.

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I took this picture with Iris’ grand-daughter two years ago, and who knew that the tree behind us would turn out to be one mighty tree that causes such mango madness!

Iris told me that this year gotta be another year of fruitful favour, for the same tree is now adorned with many tiny mangoes already. They can’t wait to savour and to share their bountiful harvest with their community again… including the carefree birds in the air!


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Friends and family signed that I just missed out on the recent bountiful fruits harvest such as super-creamy durians.


Fear not, for in our humble little town, there is always lots of ethnic crops in harvest… almost every day!


While at the open market, I was thrilled to come across this long lost childhood flavorful candy fruit.


I thought that this velvet tamarind fruit was in extinction long time ago!


So happy to re-enjoy this nostalgic fruit called Keranji.



Bell fruits… how I love thee…. they’re in season all-year-round.


People usually dip them with sour plum powder; But those ones that I had were as juicy and sweet as can be.


Ahh, crunchy pickled mangulong… maybe sweet, maybe sour…




and a glass of refreshing mangulong drink waiting to be sipped!


Love the combination of sugarcane juice with young coconut meat…


and this mouth-watering coconut pudding in tender coconut shell!



Look what I stumbled upon!



Like the challenge of cutting this rough spiny skin until the meat is edible.


Now, tropical fruit adventure is no adventure without a taste of the king of the fruit!


As I was about to board on the plane, one of my foodie goodie nieces handed me this heavenly delicacy to gobble, bon appétit indeed!


Genesis 1:29
Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

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Heavenly gifts…

Thanks to my family and friends for splurging me with all these exotic and heavenly gifts from the trees! 

The world is alive with Your goodness, O God,
it grows green from the ground
and ripens into the roundness of fruit.
Its taste and its touch
enliven my body and stir my soul.
Generously given
profusely displayed
Your graces of goodness pour forth from the earth.
As I have received
so free me to give.
As I have been granted
so may I give.
(Celtic Thanksgiving prayer by J. Philip Newel)

Thanks to my two grandnieces for walking me round their mini-orchard!

and last but not the least… my favorite!

The branches & tree of the above authentic local black olives can be seen here.

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The other day I received a delightful message from a dear friend. She wrote…

The ‘Great Grape Tree’ in our backyard is very tall and majestic with decorations of purply-red clusters of grapes hanging off it like Christmas ornaments. They beckon you to come and see and pick and eat!”

Grapevines I’ve seen but delicious great-grape-tree, unheard of.. so go I shall!

Awesome! We had a fruity fellowship under the great-grape-tree!

The owner commented, “We reaped a harvest today. Thanks be to God and may God reap a harvest of souls through us as we serve Him in our lives.”
Here words of wisdom reminded me of what Wayne Jacobsen states in his book ‘In My Father’s Vineyard’…

– Harvest time is ministry time; It’s the time when the fruit of our lives is invested in the lives of others.
– The heart of harvest ministry is ‘people encountering people … people whom God has changed reaching out to people who are rejected and hurting and hungry for meaning in their lives.’ It is another human being warmed by our love, uplifted by our hope, disarmed by our patience, inspired or unsettled by our faith – that person encounters the life-giving reality of the gospel.”

Hmm… I think I’d experienced a great harvest & nourishing ministry from my dear friend under the Great Grape Tree that day!

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Abundance Apples…

A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Proverbs 25:11

When we were younger
our family couldn’t afford this once luxurious fruit called apple
for the place where I came from this fruit is an imported fruit
so it was a rare commodity

We could rarely have it as a treat except when one was physically ill.

But now the place where I reside apples are literally everywhere and come in varieties

Ever wonder why apples are often associated with teachers.


Now I know

Since apple is sort of associate with teachers

at our recent Sunday School teachers training
we decided to treat everyone with apples as dessert
we divided the  group into small teams
and had them share their apple story — any apple-related story
one would think the sharing might be like favorite apple to munch on…

or favorite apple board game…

or favorite apple-pie…

or favorite apple recipe…

nay…, none of the above except tons of apple-chuckles below

Apple also reminds me of what God says… we are the apple of His eyes!

and oh did I mention that the first English phrase I ever learned is not
‘I love you’ but is ‘A’ for  “Apple”.

So… how’s your apple story looks like?

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My niece-in-law is so smart… she planted the papaya trees not only for the fruit but to help shield the afternoon scorching sun from shining into her kitchen.  Her  neighbors like her idea and so they all planted the papaya trees in their backyard.

Looks like this time I come back at the right season — fruity season!

My dear childhood friend and her husband never fail to prepare sumptuous meal for me to enjoy. They also love bringing me to fruit farm.

This is the first time I ever seen okana or black olives on branches and trees!

“Black olives’ or  ‘Okana’ is one of my favorite food.

To enjoy dabai, one has to placed the fruit in a lukewarm water to soften them.
However many of us prefer to “cook” or to “soften” the fruit with soya sauce and sugar under the hot sun for a couple of hour. This method of cooking make the flesh of the fruit even more flavourful.

We enjoyed playing creative games with the seeds after we ate the softened flesh but these days not too many people play with the seeds anymore.

We would wash and dry the seeds…

chop them up into halves and eat the refreshing kernel inside… nothing is put to waste!

Another blessing from the earth is of course durians! And when it comes to this king of the fruit… it’s usually durian buffet for us — eat all you want!

The highlight for me at durian orchard was listening to durians dropping from the trees in the middle of the night.  Then early the next morning we would run out to the orchard to pick the fresh durians and had them for breakfast!  I was told that durian never hit people’s head when it drops!

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