Friday, August 11, 2006

Summertime is Hindi-time

Summertime is time for eating cactus fruit , called hindi in Libya.

In rural areas cactus is often used as a hedge or fence. Collecting the fruit, that are also known as barbary figs is a tricky business. Wearing a heavy pair of gloves is a good idea.

Once the fruit is picked and rinsed off, the skin is carefully removed by cutting the two ends with a sharp knife and making a slit along the side. Then the skin is peeled away from the fruit. The fruit itself is not really impressive. It's somewhat sweet and full of small hard seeds that are swallowed whole along with the pulpy fruit. Unfortunately the kids ate them all before I could take a picture of the fruit once it had been skinned.

Ibrahim had a nice time at the farm today. He's wearing his new hat.

Jenna climbed up the ladder to check on the progress of the house. It's going way too slow (in my opinion) and I've gotten very discouraged about the whole process. It seems as if we've been building the house forever. Nowadays I get depressed when I go to the farm. Of course with Ramadan coming up I only see more delays in the future. I guess I should just count my blessings and eat hindi! Posted by Picasa


  1. The seeds are the problem with Hindi , they give a frequent bathroom milage ! Haha ! Totally off the subject but on the subject of the last 2 or 3 days news ..... I read this joke and thought to share it as it seems such a logical thing to do to stop AIR PIRACY..... SORRY IF THIS OFFENDS ANYONE .........................
    TO: Federal Aviation Administration

    Our airline industry is in real trouble, and it's time to start fixing
    > this before it's too late. To that end, here are some modest suggestions:
    > Dump the male flight attendants. No one wanted them in the first place.
    > Replace all the female flight attendants with good-looking strippers!
    > What the hell -- the attendants have gotten old and haggard-looking.
    > They don't even serve food anymore, so what's the loss.
    > The strippers would at least triple the alcohol sales and get a "party
    > atmosphere" going in the cabin. And, of course, every heterosexual
    > businessman in this country would start flying again, hoping to see naked
    > women. Because of the tips, female flight attendants wouldn't need a
    > salary, thus saving even more money. Hell, I suspect tips would be so
    > good th at we could charge the women for working and have them kick back
    > 20% of the tips, including lap dances and "special services."
    > Muslims would be afraid to get on the planes for fear of seeing naked
    > women. Hijackings would come to a screeching halt and the airline > industry
    > would see record revenues. This is definitely a win-win situation if we
    > handle it right -- a golden opportunity to turn a liability into an > asset.
    > Why the hell didn't Bush think of this? Why do I still have to do
    > everything myself?
    > Sincerely,
    > Bill Clinton

  2. Speaking of your farm, where is the location? How far will you have to drive to get the kids to school? Your job and your husband's? Looks like it will be a big beautiful house. Will you have neighbors? Family?

    Seems like Ibrahim and Jenna are excited too.

    I will have to check the cactus here in FL to see if ours is edible.

    Loved the letter to FAA

  3. Hi Teri,
    Have you tried making jelly from the cactus pears? The Mexican lady down the street use to sneak down at night and pick our cactus pears. She would make jelly out of it and sell it...... She was a nice old lady and I let her have the adventure!! Any way try the jelly.

  4. Hindi is awesome; its one of my favorite fruits if not the best! Khadija, you need to try it when it's really ripe. The ones you showed on the pictures don't look ripe to me. In Malta, they sold them peeled in bag off carts on the streets. It was the ultimate treat for the family.

    I don't agree with the freuent bathroon trips, actually, hindi cause less, or could even eliminate, bathroom trips. I know that firsthand. It's the seeds I was told that cause that.

  5. One more thing about hindi: You are not supposed o pick them or peel them around noon till pre-evening (gayla). The thorns are spiked up at that time.

  6. I am intrigued by the name "Berber Figs." The word Hindi means (Indian) in Arabic. In Misrata, the name hindi is more often meant for the plant itself, and to be specific about the fruit one would say (Karmoos Hindi) meaning (Hindi figs.) In the US, at least the stuff that makes it to the stores, it is all a very dark beet red in color, not like in Libya where it is mostly yellow with some red blush here and there. The name "Berber Figs" intrigues me because it paralles the name "Indian Apples," which is a name used in the US for pommegranates (Rumman,) which also has a beet red skin in the US, and the kernels inside can be very red but necessarily ripe. In Libya the pommegranate skin is also kinda yellow with a red blush, but the red color of the kernels correlates very well with ripeness and great taste.

    Also, I'll second the effect of time of day for Hindi. We used to be told to pick it only before sun rise, when the cooler temperatures made the thorns fall off more easily. We would roll it on the ground, using a "palm broom."


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