Friday, July 3, 2009

Food and Surprise (big one) in the Yard at Night!

One day's harvest - cherry tomatoes, aji dulce peppers (freeze well), orange flower seeds, carambola and 4 cucumbers (not shown).

I had tried a carambola before it was really ripe and didn't like it. For plain eating I still don't like them, but have found some really really good ways to use them that make them a favorite fruit now. The first thing I made was a chutney out of carambola and walnuts, onions and all the normal chutney spices. This fruit holds up without getting mushy when cooked.

This is prior to cooking - I marinated small sanitized (all bongy bits removed) chicken pieces, cebollo, garlic, culantro, almonds, aji dulce and carambola chunks in fresh lime juice and olive oil (a lemon and lime trees are a must). Then I baked the thing and it was flavorful and the carambola held up really well and was a nice slightly sweet taste with slight citrus flavor. It looked pretty much the same cooked. Very nice. Next time I will add some cucumber and lemon grass. Lemon grass is awesome. Just slicing it up and marinating small meat pieces in it makes a delicious meal.

I had a hankering for chocolate lava cakes and I found heavy cream to whip. Carambola was a nice addition.

One of our cats was just sitting and staring at night at this pot. No hand waving or poking, no forward/backward moving or pouncing. What's up? At first I didn't see it.

Then it was "holy shit."

Touching it got it on the move.

Definitely a Tuca (kitten) eater - hide all the babies! Beautiful and really cool thing to find.


Fran and Steve said...

So was that a Puerto Rican Boa? I didn't know they were also on that side of the island. But what else could it be? Fran

Anonymous said...

WOW, Big surprise indeed! It is a gorgeous snake, but I'm afraid it is not native. Rumor has it that these boa constrictors escaped from the Mayagüez zoo and reproduced in the wild. Some have been caught in Barrio Miradero in Mayagüez behind the UPR. I used to see them as a kid for sale in our local pet shops. I actually wanted one as a kid, but my dad refused. He used to say that it was a matter of time before the boas would outsmart their owners and escape. A bigger one was killed and found laying dead over the little bridge just down from your drive way before you moved. You could call the Departamento de Recursos Naturales, but in my opinion these people were the brilliant ones who let all these tropical exotic animals be introduced through the pet shops without realizing that one day they too could become part of the PR ecological mix (along with the caymans, etc.). This one is not the native Puerto Rican Boa which I heard is in danger of extinction. Here is some info about the native PR boa (with a picture):

I’m afraid that one day the kittens might become its primary objective indeed.

Fran and Steve said...

The Puerto Rican Boa is not harmful to humans (though it can bite--non-venemous), according to research I did when I saw one on our property in Maunabo killing a lizard. It is too small. I was hoping this would turn out to be a "released pet" that you might be able to trap and turn over to the "authorities" (yeah, right). But from what Ham says, there may be more of them! Oh dear, now I too am worried about the kitties. There was a story recently about a pet boa or python that killed a sleeping baby in Florida. Fran