Posts Tagged ‘cauliflower’

Update on last week’s cauliflower story…

I forgot – we did have cauliflower again while living in Tari :)

After enjoying our cauliflower so much, we had someone from Australia either bring or send us some cauliflower seeds. Can’t remember how we ended up with a packet of cauliflower seeds, but we diligently prepared the garden and planted a row of seeds. Between the bugs and the rain, we ended up with about 6 plants that we tenderly cared for. They grew into big strong bushes, but to our great disappointment, we couldn’t see any heads. So out came the gardening book.

We discovered that cauliflowers needed a good frost to set the head. A frost…? We were living tropical, 5,000 feet up a mountain – where the temperature never got above 25 and never fell below 11 at night.

Our house helper, Byja, had been watching us in the garden, and he knew something was wrong. We tried to explain that there was no cauliflower head, but he’d never seen this food and didn’t understand. We showed him the picture in the gardening book, and using our limited language skills, managed to get through to him what the problem was. That’s when I suddenly had the bright idea of chipping ice from the huge freezer. We forgot about Bayja, and excitedly emptied the contents of the freezer all over the table, gathered tubs and buckets and started chipping.

Byja stood in the doorway, relaying our frenzied activities to some of the Huli workers, who then called out to others. By the time we came outside, there was quite a crowd gathering on the hill above our garden. As we began packing ice around the bushes, the giggles and animated discussion resounded in our ears. They thought we’d gone completely nuts!

My husband explained in broken Pidgin English why we were packing ice around our plants, and Byja translated to the spectators. This was greeted with disbelieving head shakes and much advice that Byja discreetly didn’t pass on.

Weeks later, to our delight, there were some tiny white heads forming. All six grew to about the size of large oranges. Guess who came to dinner when we picked them? See… persistence pays off. And where there’s a will, there’s a way!


(c) DJ Stutley 2012

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The most expensive cauliflower in the world.

Sitting around the table at an isolated mission post many years ago, the local MAF pilot and I were making each other more miserable by the minute. Garry’s wife and my husband were doing the dishes while we shared how much we missed our favourite food – cauliflower.

‘Ahhh, for some cauliflower with cheese sauce,’ moaned Garry.

‘Or just drizzled with some butter and pepper,’ I suggested.

‘Cauliflower soup…’

‘Just cauliflower on a plate – how nice would that be?’

We made ourselves quite miserable, wishing for something that we couldn’t have.

It was just too much for poor Garry. Next morning, he called up on the radio to the MAF base in Mt Hagen and asked one of the pilots to go to the market, buy two cauliflowers and put them on the plane that was scheduled to fly to Tari that afternoon.

There was dead silence over the airwaves for a moment. Then the other pilot eventually asked, ‘How much do you want to pay for them?’

‘I don’t care what it costs. Just get me two cauliflowers and get them onto that plane,’ Garry replied.

Later that afternoon, I looked out the window to see the little MAF Suzuki bouncing along the winding road toward our place. Minutes later, a grinning Garry pulled to a stop, hopped out and approached me with one hand behind his back.

With a dramatic sweep of his arm, he presented me with the most beautiful cauliflower I’d seen in years. The only cauliflower I’d seen in years!

‘Where did you get that?’ I demanded.

He told me about the radio message, adding how his sanity was now in question.

‘How much did you pay for them?’ I asked in disbelief.

‘6 Kina each.’

I did a quick mental conversion and shook my head. Surely not…!

‘What…?’ I asked dumbly.

Garry laughed and repeated it. Rough conversion had it at $11.00 Australian (30 years ago).

I learned two things that day. 1. That God provides in mysterious ways, and encourages us with the simplest of pleasures. 2. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.  I made that small cauliflower last my family of 4 nearly a week. We ate one little white tree at a time, enjoying every single bite. It was another 3 years before we would eat cauliflower again. Thank you Lord, and thank you, Garry.


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