Friday, March 6, 2009

Sam's pumpkin

Looks like Sam may just have some luck with his pumpkin plant though he grew it too late. We found this half pumpkin half flower and Sam is happy that it is producing a fruit.
We are not exactly excited because we don't eat pumpkin. Many friends don't understand why.
You see, Mum and Dad grew up as kids and teenagers during the Second World War when the Japanese plundered Borneo. Import of rice and other food ceased, and the poor people depended on root vegetables and pumpkins to survive. Dad said they ate so much of the boiled thing without any salt or oil. They were so scared of them. Hence, they never served it to us.
When I was in primary school, Dad would drive us pass a small river where there were barges laden with pumpkins. Dad told me that the pumpkins were for pigs. This "Pumpkins were for pigs" were so ingrained in me that though I am past half a century, I would still not touch pumpkin.
Once, my American neighbour gave me a pumpkin pie. I thought the water engineer and the kids would eat it, but they didn't. It remained in the fridge till it got mouldy. When I mentioned this to my friends, they LOL and asked why I didn't give it to them.
The water engineer grew up in a small town where people have a small garden. Friends and relatives gave him pumpkins, and I didn't cook ithem At first, I just left them in the pantry until they rotted. The water engineer asked why I didn't cook them. Later, I gave them to my friends. Some cooked and gave me some, again they sat in the fridge making pencillin.
The funniest anecdote in the family would be when Mum and Dad went to Christchurch, New Zealand to visit my Kiwi sister in law for the first time. For the Kiwis, a roast leg of lamb if often accompanied by roast kumara and pumpkin. That is supposedly one of the best dish you can serve. Mum and Dad did not eat the pumpkin wondering why Karenserved them such a lowly vegetable. Karen thought she didn't cook well. Years later, when I came to NZ, I cleared this misunderstanding.

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