Monday, July 27, 2009

To Every Season There is a Reason

George Musser an editor at Scientific American magazine wrote, " there are two kinds of people: Those who enjoy the ebb and flow of the seasons, the dapples of autumnal color, the hoary headed frosts of winter, the flowers anew of spring, the live murmur of a summer's day. And those who don't find anything romantic in blinding snowstorms, ice-covered roads, or gangrenous frostbite; who would just as soon go south in the winter, and stay there". I definitely belong to the first group so much so that I am living my dream even in my waking hours, of thinking and planning to build a mud brick house for retirement in Tasmania,where the four seasons are most distinct in Australia. But the four seasons of the temperate climates don't mean much to people who live in the tropics, where two seasons are more common: the rainy season and the dry season. In Singapore,the year long summer is only divided into two seasons: the rainy season and the dry season. The rainy season runs from November to February in which the North East Monsoon brings forth the annual floods to the Eastern states of the Peninsular of Malaya. Like most Singaporean, I didn't know how much the annual seasonal cycle is imprinted on everything I do until I left to live in a temperate place. The seasons tell me the time to plant my chili in my backyard and the time to reap, the time to bring out my winter clothes and the time to have a BBQ in the veranda.
I also learned to eat seasonally. Buying mangoes in middle of winter or asparagus in the heat of summer is not a good idea on so many different reasons. Not only has this food been flown half way round the country but such produce was probably harvested early to withstand the rigours of transportation. You"ll pay top dollar for an out-of season item that is less fresh and nutritive. Therefore I only buy when the fruits or food items are in season and thus cheap. Just like the box of navel oranges for $10.00 and bag of onions for $6.50. we paid at last weekend-market. We are known to glut on mangoes for breakfast, lunch and dinner when they are in abundance during the summer months. When the season is over, you will probably be sick of them anyway. Then it'll be time to move on to the next seasonal food that's at its peak nutritionally and at its cheapest in the market again.
To be continued...


  1. i go flemington and grab watever that is on offer..hehe

  2. yummmiii.... ihave new idea after read this, thanks...

  3. hey uncle phil, i love your blog. this is gonna be my 2nd attempt at your lor ark (not that the first one wasnt tasty-- it was far too delicious!) and after reading this entry on seasonal produce, i really felt like telling you how much i admire your wisdom and philosophy on life! if i ever visit your continent, be ready to receive me-- i shaln't leave without saying hi!

    -mich lee

  4. Hi Michelle,
    Thanks for your visit. We are pleased to know that your lor ark turned out delicious. Email me for contact so that we can add your name to our list of newfound friends through this blog.

  5. well it seems to me we must live as nature decrees or we are the ones who suffer? i am a singaporean boiling in the heat right now in mid august and living in what is basically one unending summer (all too familiar to you, i'm sure) and i feel living this way greatly diminishes (erases?) one's appreciation of the beauty, caprices and bounty of mother nature. i do envy you and long to experience the full kaleidoscope of nature's seasons, in one full unbroken cycle. but here i must stay and wilt, while I eat asparagus, year-old frozen and thawed apples and half melted ice cream, all year long. how blest you are.

  6. Hi Anonymous,
    Thanks for your visit and sharing your thoughts. I am blsesed in a way but I started this blog driven largely by my eagernees to record my life stories mainly as a posterity for my son to read when he is older and ready to listen. Right now he thinks I am taking nonsense.Haha.
    Please click on "Frugal Living" on the right and comment.
    Cheers, Phil