Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dinner and chokos

Mmmmmm! End product a bit 'gluggy' - 'cloyey', if there's such a word! I think next time I would reduce the honey to 2 tablespoons, increase the water to 250mls and add some fresh coriander stem/root (as that's where the 'peppery' taste of the coriander comes from). I would also cook and serve it direct - I don't think 'resting' it until dinner time did it any favours - but the aroma through the house when you came in the backdoor to the kitchen was simply super!

Eatable though with some fresh baked bread rolls, sliced boiled potato, stringed beans and steamed choko!
Speaking of Chokos - Do you have 'Chokos' in America and UK?
 Photo: ALLEN GILBERT  Chokos have few predators but need
protection from hot winds and frosts.

This unusual climbing plant Sechium edule belongs to the pumpkin family and is a single species native to tropical America. Because the choko plant is a climber, it can easily be grown on fences, trellises or frames allowing the fruit to hang down for easy harvesting. I remember choko vines growing over our chook houses and chicken wire fences when I was a kid growing up in Sydney.

Often it was harshly judged to be a common vegetable without much taste. In Australia, the image of this unusual fruit used as a vegetable was tarnished during the Depression as it became the staple diet of many poor families (especially in warm climates, where the plant tends to be evergreen) and choko was dished up in every possible way, making many older Australians resistant to the use of this very versatile plant and its fruits.

Personally, I love it!


Jabacue said...

Well in Atlantic Canada rest assured that chokos wouldn't have a chance of survival. They look like mini gourds.
The book you mentioned about reflections could be used in all jobs, don't you think?

Wendy said...

Never heard of them...but a lot of times we just call it different things. I'll have to google and get back to you!
Your "American" reader! :)

John said...

Jim/Wendy, they are more like a cross between a pear and a potato, grow from their own seed that forms inside the fruit and flower and fruit only in spring/summer. A vigorous climber they make for perfect camoflage of chook houses, outhouses and sheds.

John said...

Jim, Yes! in regard to the book - its an excellent 'self-development tool. I've personally met Professor Dawn Freshwater who currently holds a professorial position within IHCS at Bournemouth University in the UK.

Gill - That British Woman said...

I clicked on the link, and they likened it to a small zucchini over here. So I wonder if you could grate them and add them to things? Otherwise, no I have never heard of them.


John said...

My mum used to make 'mock apple pies' with them during WWII when all our fruit ws being used for war supplies and relief to Britain. That is, until we went 'rural' and had our own fruit trees!

Peeled, quartered and heated for a few minutes in the microwave until a fork penetrates them with ease, serve with a dash of margarine and some fresh black peeper over them as a vegetable. Lovely!

Steve Bennett said...

More importantly, you can eat the last 30cms of the vine. Steamed like spinach, Choko-tips as they are called in PNG are very tasty. Pumpkin-tops are cooked in the same manner.

I remember eating Choko at Isurava, along the Kokoda Track. Between Isurava and Deniki, there was a large area of Rainforest that was burnt in a bushfire, and this area has now been completely overrun by Choko vines. As we waded through the vines, we collected the fruit and the "tips" and at Isurava that night, we cooked up the tips, peeled and diced the Choko, and steamed this with some two-minute noodles complete with extra chicken stock cubes. This was then served with a bowl of rice and some locally grown sweet potato.

It was warming, it was tasty and it hit the spot.