Wednesday, April 23, 2014
moving to mexico -- the fruit
Dora loves guanabana.
If you don't recall, Dora is the woman who comes in once a week to tidy up my place. Just to be certain I have not acclimated myself to living in my own filth as a bachelor.
And, for those of you who do not know, a guanabana is one of those tropical fruits I had no idea existed before I moved here. It looks like a cross between a mango and a hedgehog. You might know it by its far less lyrical name: "soursop."
I understand they are grown commercially to sweeten ice cream. And I fully know why. My sole taste of the fruit almost shut down the insulin-production in my body. It is SWEET! And not in the complimentary meaning of the slang term.
But, as I said, Dora loves the fruit. I have two trees in my garden that are producing a bumper crop of the prickly diabetes balls. She looks forward to this season -- not to sweeten ice cream, but to create agua fresca.
Mexico would not be Mexico without agua fresca. The process is rather simple. Water. Diced fruit. Sugar. All go into a blender.
And what comes out is a drink that some people love. I am not one of them. They are almost always too sweet for me. I can only imagine how cloying guanabana agua fresca would be.
To satisfy Dora's love of the sweet fruit, though, we went on a harvesting trek. The young neighborhood boys had already climbed the fence to pilfer the low-hanging fruit. Our prize was almost at the top of the tree.
Dora tried using a leaf rake. No luck. There was nothing for me to do but to retrieve the ladder fro the bodega. That seemed easy until I realized that the limbs from the mandarin orange had intertwined themselves in the guanabana tree. Right in the line of my fire.
All of the citrus trees in my garden have one thing in common -- spines. Some large enough to figure in a Good Friday crown. With blood running down my left arm, we decided on an alternative course.
Dora ran to get the branch lopper. It was a good idea. But it would require me to lop and simultaneously catch the falling fruit with whichever hand was -- well, handy. If guanabana fall that distance, they burst open like a piñata when they hit the ground.
So, I lopped. The fruit fell. And I caught it in my right hand. Those years of playing center field paid off.
Dora pedaled away with a fresh guanabana, And I slunk back to my den to lick my wounds. Or to balm them, at least.
And that is another reason to live in Melaque. I may not appreciate the tropical fruit, but the people around me can be blessed by their bounty.
Even the pilfering boys.