Of course, if I lived somewhere else in Australia, say the Outback or Far North Queensland, or even just a little further inland, I probably wouldn’t love summer so much. It can be ferociously hot, there’s alway the threat of bush fires, and the flies would drive me round the bend.
But we are very, very extremely lucky to live near the coast. Where summer means lazy beach days, cool evening breezes, barbecues and floaty dresses. I love this time of year, when the temperature is starting to rise, the jacarandas are in bloom and the scent of jasmine hangs heavily in the air. A simple thing like walking MC Senior to school can leave me smiling the whole day.
That’s the other lucky part about where we live. It’s pretty concentrated, so we can walk almost everywhere. And on one of these walks, I stumbled onto another happy, Sydney summer moment - a laden mulberry tree, ripe for foraging!
We’ve lived in this area for over a dozen years and this is the first time I’ve come across the tree. When I went past, it looked as if no one else had realised it was there, but by the time I came back the next day with MC Senior and containers in tow, word must have got out. We passed many, many, people heading away from the tree, carrying containers and bags laden with fruit. I felt like yelling, “Go away, it’s my tree, I saw it first!”. But of course, that would be immature, and of course we all know I am very much a responsible adult - ahem! But I needn’t have worried, the tree had produced enough bounty that even after the hordes of people had gone past, we still managed to pick close to a kilogram of fruit (maybe two pounds?)
Even when I returned the next day with MC Junior, who had missed out the day before, the tree still had enough to give. However, we weren’t as prepared as some of the people there. The fruit on the upper branches which received the most sun, were much sweeter. A resourceful gentleman and his daughter had come armed with a ball, which they threw at the branches to dislodges fruit. Other kids came armed with long sticks to whack the branches with. Our tactic involved the tallest person (though not by much) tugging the branches, and the two MC’s acting as “eyes” to pick the fruit that fell.
Yes, I do realise not all the fruit is very ripe, I had very zealous helpers!
Of course we got pretty stained in the process but that’s just another quintessential Sydney moment to add to the memory box.
We ate the mulberries fresh, popped them on top of simple lemon cupcakes, and turned the rest into a simple rustic pie, very similar to the one I made with strawberries last year.
Enjoy your weekend wherever you are :)