HIBISCUS AND PASSIONFRUIT
It has been a very cold wintry day, and I decided a big pot of curry would go down well for tea, and that has been simmering in the crockpot all day. All it needs is a generous slurp of coconut cream and it will be ready. I have prepared some dishes of my home made lime pickle, and plum sauce to go on the side.
Because some of the kids are going to join us, I thought I ought to stretch myself and prepare some dessert. In the pantry I found a tin of fruit salad left from Bounty. I added chunks of some of the mandarins I had bought yesterday (to help with my cold), then I thought I would go over to Devon Cottage garden to see if there were any ripe passionfruit. While I was picking them, I looked over to the cottage, and John's hibiscus bushes were just a mass of these stunning orange blooms. Just the thing to brighten up a grey day!!
The passionfruit have a little story. A few years ago, I had some leftover food from a picnic, and fed it to the worms in my worm farm. This included some remnants of a fruit salad in which I had used tinned passionfruit. Some weeks later, I used those worm castings in my potting mix, which I was using to pot up plants for the Spring Fair. A couple of weeks later, dozens of little passionfruit seedlings sprouted in the pots alongside the cuttings. Most of them ended up getting sold at the Fair, but I planted a couple out in the garden, and they have been wonderful bearers. For years, they have steadily produced passionfruit for 8-9 months of the year, mostly through the winter. A couple of years ago, they stopped bearing, so I cut them back, fed them up, and away they went again!
The variety is the "Jamaican" passionfruit. It has a pale yellow pithy skin. It is slightly tart, but has a beautiful flavour. With their prolific bearing, it is no wonder that this seems to be the variety used for tinned passionfruit!
Meanwhile I thought I would post this picture which I took when I was cleaning up after one of our get togethers during the visit of the Tahitians. I had just swept the hibiscus flowers up from the tables and dumped them in a pile.....and could not resist a quick snap of the camera before I discarded them. I think that you will agree that they grow just beautifully here on Norfolk Island...and that we are lucky to havew such an easy table decoration!