She is well dressed, wearing a pink, floral outfit and hat. She sits on the stacked stools ready to be examined on the slit-lamp. As I instruct her where to position her chin and forehead for examination she suddenly jerks back and accusingly remarks, “You are Japanese!”. Somewhat surprised by the remark I give her a quizzical look. She continues, “You eat dogs!, I have a dog, the meat is sweet, you can buy from me?”
I explain I’m English and don’t eat dogs to which she responds, “aaagh, from English, like Nelson Mandela?” I explain Mandela is South African and she apologies and corrects herself, “I mean Obama, he is also Kenyan you know!”
After this bizarre conversation I eventually manage to take a look at her eyes and get a strong whiff of alcohol…
The day continued in much the same fashion. Patients turning up inebriated or didn’t turn up at all because they were in no fit state. It turns out a recent law was passed prohibiting alcohol consumption in working hours. The particular area we were working in today is known for men and women of retirement age spending their days sipping home-brew and sleeping off its effects. To get around the law they wake up early, imbibe enough to anaethetise a cow and then pass out till the evening when the cycle repeats.
I put a little on my tongue, it tastes almost like raspberry and the puréed seeds are similar to raspberry seeds or maybe its the deep pinkish colour and the slight tangy-ness but it its followed by a slight tomato after taste, it’s at that moment it all makes sense that these plum tomato shaped fruits are known as tree tomatoes. After trying some with chocolate brownie last week I had to give this bake a go! I had lots of almonds in the cupboard so I added these and good chocolate is very expensive here so its made with just cocoa for its chocolate hit. I have lots of honey too so I made one batch with sugar and one with honey both taste good however the honey one is just a little drier and the sweetness strength is a little less.
Recipe – Chocolate Brownies with Tree Tomato purée
225g sugar or honey
3 medium eggs
60g cocoa powder (Good quality gives a stronger choco taste)
1/2 tsp baking po5wder
1/4 tsp salt
75g roasted almonds moderately crushed with extra almonds for topping.
Tree tomato purée
5 Tree tomatoes with the insides scooped out or 200g raspberries!
Tbsp caster sugar
1. Turn the oven on to 160°C. Weigh out the almonds and place on a baking tray roast for 5-7 mins until you just start smelling the lovely roasted almond smell and they are just beginning to change colour, then remove from the oven and slightly crush wither in a bag with a rolling pin, or cut each one in half with scissors. Take care when roasting the almonds as they can burn quickly once they are sufficiently roasted. Once the almonds are out of the oven increase the temperature to 180°C
2. Melt then butter and dissolve the sugar or honey into it, the remove from the heat.
3. Stir in the eggs, followed by the sieved flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and finally the crushed almonds.
4. Either place in a baking paper lined square 20cm x 20cm tray or for the small dainty look use a tiny muffin tray and you will make about 30 with this mixture. Place in the oven for 20mins if in the big tray of 10-12mins for the tiny muffins. Let the brownies cool in their trays, once the large tray is cool cut into as many squares as desired.
5. To make the tree tomato purée heat in a pan with a little water until soft, blend until a paste is formed and if too runny return to the heat to reduce a little further to lower the water content over a small heat, if you find it too tart ad a little more sugar or honey.
6. Once the brownies are cool put a spoon of tree tomato on the top of each one followed by an almond.