The way I see it, certain traditions ought to be preserved and properly maintained and even more importantly, passed on to the NOW generation.
Now, while you guys were reveling and jamming on Tuesday last, my wife and I participated in our annual cherry seed roasting ritual at home, in our back yard.
No, I do not own a cherry tree. The one I had unfortunately died and I am still working on getting a replacement.
However, some great friends of ours who have cherry trees, religiously secure some of the seeds for us each year and all we have to do, as is the tradition, is to put them out to ‘sun.’
Now, when I was going to school, cherry seeds were not so easily acquired. You had to work to get them.
We did so by pitching marbles and whoever won the games would get their bounty in cherry seeds. Well, that is if you were not playing the painful game of KNUCKS. I will tell you about that one another time…..
I was a more than decent pitcher and I displayed my accuracy by hitting marbles spot on, from quite a distance.
So, I was able to take home many cherry seeds and place them on my parents’ cistern to dry.
I sometimes ate some of them, just like that, especially the POMPO ones. Those were the really big ones. When they were properly dried, you just ‘pound them out’ and eat to your heart’s content.
Of course there were those persons who sought to engage in dishonesty.
In those days, there were some shoes which were made of some sort of plastic material and they were uniquely made with a hole inset at the sole. We used to call them MASH AND GO, or something like that. Interestingly enough, that little hole fitted perfectly over a marble and so many marbles went ‘mysteriously’ missing on a regular basis.
So back to Tuesday: My wife and I got up early and while she fried some sprats, I took responsibility for the roasting of the cherry seeds.
I lit the coals in my trusted coal pot made out of a vehicle tyre’s rim and after I had gotten the fire all set, I placed my much used pan, complete with many small holes at the bottom, on top of the coals and then poured in a number of the cherry seeds.
I stirred them continuously and I had to wait a while, before sufficient oil from the nuts, had seeped into the fire and suddenly, the whole pan and nuts was ablaze with the fire.
Now, this is the tricky part. You have to allow the fire to burn the nuts for some time but if you allow it to burn for too long, they won’t be any use.
So at the appointed time, I threw the pan and nuts off the fire and got the blaze out quickly and secured the nuts before putting the pan back onto the fire to repeat the process.
Now when those nuts have been retrieved, they look really black and disgusting looking and they can make your hands really messy.
However, when they have been ‘pounded out,’ they remind you of the cashew nuts that you buy at the supermarket. Only that these natural ones taste a lot better.
When it comes to pounding out the nuts, there is an art in that as well. You take a stone and tap gently from the top of the nut and continue tapping as you move right across the remaining part of the nut. If you have done a good job, you may even retrieve the whole nut, without a break in it.
Now, pounding out nuts is a back breaking exercise and one that wears on your patience but when you see those beautiful brown nuts and then you taste them……Let’s say it’s worth it after all!
Such traditions must be maintained. That’s the way I see it, how do you see it.