Custard apples, pomegranates and The Hage.
What do they have in common? Memories. Memories of my childhood.
When I saw them today, in two different fruit and veggie shops, I had flashbacks to my childhood years. I grew up on another continent in a little town that I’ll refer to as The Hage. Growing up in The Hage was special and those of us that grew up there were privileged as we had a special childhood in an idyllic place. The sad thing is that none of us thought we were privileged at the time. We all thought we were stuck in the back end of nowhere and couldn’t wait to leave! Now, with us all scattered around the globe, we have a special connection to each other and we can travel to all 4 corners of the world and know somebody who will put us up or advise us what to do and where to stay! Yes, our connections to The Hage are very strong.
Custard apples I looked forward to once a year and as I watched the developing fruit I can remember how I salivated, just waiting to taste them again. The most disappointing thing for me was that the tree wasn’t in our garden. I think there were 3 trees in my “aunty’s” yard. She wasn’t a blood aunty but an aunty in my eyes. “Aunty” and “Uncle” were very special neighbours. They lived down the road from us, our parents were great friends, in fact my Mom and “Aunty” worked together for the same men’s outfitters in The Hage for many years. And they looked so alike, many customers thought they were the same person, although my Mom worked in the morning and my “Aunty” worked in the afternoon! My “Aunty” had 3 children, 5 years + older than me, but as an only child for 7 years, I always thought of them as my blood siblings! Our families went on holidays together, we caravanned all along the coast together, our fathers built boats and fished together and even after I was married and had my first baby, we continued to caravan at our favourite places.
The custard apples used to be shared out amongst a few of us lucky neighbours. And then the unthinkable happened. Two of the trees had to be removed to make way for a carport that needed to be built to house the caravan! As a young kid I was horrified as I realised there would be even less custard apple treats coming my way! And a few years later, we moved away and “Aunty” and “Uncle” moved too and it was bye bye custard apples for me! Don’t think I ever saw one again. I was devastated.
So as I stood and admired the custard apples in my local fruit and veggie store this week, all these memories flooded back! Custard apples, so nutritious and good for you. A rich source of Vitamin C, magnesium and potassium, these apples are cardio-protective, high in anti-oxidantsants, can lower blood pressure, and are also a good source of Vitamin B6, iron, copper and dietary fibre.
As for the pomegranates, well that’s another story and involves another family, but still involves the Hage and the street we lived in, which was where the Flamingo Bakery was. That will be another trip down memory lane on another day. Watch this space and please share with anybody you know from The Hage as we really are lucky to have grown up there.