Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Mulberries, anyone?

Strawberries are not readily available here, in the supermarkets of Jitra. Of course you can get them in Tesco but that's in Alor Setar which is about 20km from where I stay. So, when a friend, Abang Tad, who is xnuripilot's regular golf buddy, gave a cutting of a "mulberry" plant about two years ago, I was very sceptical by its ability to thrive under the blazing hot Jitra sun especially so when he described the fruit as being very strawberry in both taste and appearance! I'm sure many my age group learnt in our Geography class that mulberry leaves were fed to silkworms in temperate China. How an earth will it  survive the tropical heat here?

Knowing Abang Tad would expect a progress report on his precious cutting, I had no choice but to plant it, albeit very reluctantly, for this would mean an extra plant to water. I did ask him for some sample of the berries before submitting to his good intentions but was told he had just pruned his plant. I could not understand what pruning had to do with my request!! (The relationship was discovered later).

I was not wrong in my assumption for Abang Tad enquired many times on the outcome of his cutting via xnuripilot, in between their games. I had to furnish xnuripilot with the necessary information to be relayed over to Abang Tad. I made sure the information supplied to xnuripilot was heavily exaggerated to avoid an unwanted inspection by the owner of the cutting himself. I was quite certain the plant would not be able to withstand the extreme heat so why should I waste both time and energy on it..

But, the cutting started to sprout leaves and before I knew it, small green berries were seen clinging to the tiny branches. All these in just over two months!! It made me feel less guilty in faking my interest to Abang Tad. I didn't want to disappoint the old man who seemed overly enthusiastic when relating about the goodness of the mulberries.

Well, in my opinion, these mulberries will never be able to compete with those succulent strawberries we're so familiar with but they are a passable substitute for someone staying in remote Jitra and  not willing to drive 20km to get the real thing. With a bit of cream and sugar, they can be quite delectable and promise a delightful change from an otherwise plain breakfast. 

A bowlful of freshly plucked mulberries.

The mulberry tree which started out very humbly from a cutting given by Abang Tad. The berries will appear almost immediately after pruning. So, in order to ensure an endless supply of berries all year round, prune the branches regularly. 



11 comments:

  1. Ahh.. now I have to have that mulberry cutting as well..
    mm tengah berkira nak pergi Putera Palace, Kangar this Hari buruh - a wedding kenduri of a close friend children..

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  2. wow.. mulberries in jitra! amazing!

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  3. Those berries remind me of buah keriang.Sedap tau dimakan bersama garam dan gula.But it was the thing of the past.

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  4. Wan,
    You can always stop by my place if you want some but I think you can easily get them in KL.

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  5. Dieya,
    Believe it or not, mulberries are aplenty here!!

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  6. Mokja,
    Ah yes, buah keriang. I don't see them anymore now.

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  7. Assalamu'alaikum
    Those berries certainly taste as good as they look. Do you think there are people around Jitra who rear silkworms since mulberry leaves are easily found there? Have a nice day!

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  8. Salam Cikgu Temuk,
    I feel good because you make me smile early in the morning with your candid comments. Honestly, I think those poor silkworms will just shrivel and perish under 37 degrees Celsius. Hmmm...may be I will suggest this to Abang Tad. Let him experiment with silkworms. We don't have to resort to Thai or Korean or even Italian silk. We'll have our own Jitran silk. How about that?

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  9. Panjang umur you..baru sehari dua I was thinking manalah you..kenapa tak update your blog..
    Welcome back with all the very delicious mulberries..daun mulberry boleh buat ulam ker..kang montel macam silkworms pulak..hehehe

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  10. Mamasita,
    I sekarang dok perang kat FB, tu sebab lama tak update. Nanti I cerita segalanya in my next posting. Tak tau la bila boleh siap.
    Daun memang boleh makan. Depa kata sebab buat sayur. I pun cubalah tapi liat macam getah. Kalau berkhasiat pun terpaksa surrender nanti takut tercabut gigi.

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  11. hehehe..
    Btw,you add me please to your FB list..under my full name..thanks Siti.

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