More childhood memories I said I would share.
As you know, I grew up in the street where the Flamingo Bakery was…so those of you from the Hage know exactly where I grew up! We knew everyone in our street and all the streets around us – Victoria Street, Vida Street, aka the “Back Street”, Cannon Street, Caledon Street, the whole block …. This is so different from today where the kids usually don’t know anybody in their neighbourhood, not even the kids next door.
So other than my 3 older “non-blood siblings” that lived down the road, I also had 6 other “non-blood siblings” over the road that I spent many hours with. Behind their house, extending from Cannon to Caledon Streets, was a huge field and on the other side of the field were the backs of the houses in Victoria Street. This field provided endless hours of fun for us kids. We only really played in this field in the winter months as we had no shelter from the mad man who lived down the bottom of the field in the summer. There were also snakes in the summer, so we stayed away. Winter time the liquorice grass grew up to about 4 or 5 feet tall and provided good cover for us kids. We used to joke with each other that we needed to avoid the “yellow” liquorice grass as that was the grass that the neighbourhood dogs had pee’d on! Just like you don’t eat yellow snow, don’t eat yellow liquorice grass!
During the winter months, the oldest of the 6 kids I played with used a lawnmower to mow tracks in the long grass of this field. We would ride our bikes in here, we played cops and robbers in here, we sucked on the “liquorice” grass in the field and there were also a couple of empty dams in this field that provided fantastic props for our cops and robbers games! Surrounding these dams were pomegranate trees and from memory some apple trees. The apples were promptly picked by the mad man at the bottom of the field, but he obviously didn’t like pomegranates so they were left to rot on the trees. This nasty old man didn’t like us playing in the field and he didn’t want us to enjoy his pomegranates either! However, that didn’t stop us! We used to steal the pomegranates and he used to shoot at us with a pellet gun! How we never ended up with pellets in our bums or our heads or anywhere else for that matter, baffles me! Winter was the best time in the field. I will never forget the wrath of my Mom when I eventually got home with red stains on my hands and my clothes. I don’t know why she didn’t put me in black or navy clothes all the time, but she didn’t. It would have been much easier, for her! She was never impressed, to say the least.
It’s funny how these neglected fruits have now been shown to have fantastic health benefits. The rich, ruby red reminds me so much of the colour of our blood. Pomegranates are rich in Vitamin C and therefore powerful antioxidants, they contain Vitamin K and magnesium and they are rich in fibre. Studies show eating the fruit and/or drinking pomegranate juice can help protect against disease, like certain cancers and Alzheimer’s. They are anti-inflammatory too. Make sure you wear old clothes or an apron when cutting open and de-seeding your pomegranates, but make sure you eat them, they are little powerhouses of nutrition.