A couple of days after the Harvest Mass, Deacon Eliam from Zambia asked me about the pumpkin leaves that had formed part of our display. These were from a pumpkin vine growing up through a bush in Mrs O’s garden; the fruit had already been harvested and these leaves had been kept for the Mass.
Eliam was surprised that I’d treated the leaves as a by-product for the compost heap, when they are a vegetable in Zambia.
My quick search on the web suggested they could be stir-fried with garlic and they taste sweet and less bitter than spinach or cabbage, maybe we’ll try it sometime, but if the remaining leaves from this year are any good at all, Eliam should have a taste of home!
We are guilty of taking many of God’s gifts for granted, even including pumpkin leaves! There is something we can do about that because now we know. How much else do we presume we know, presume we are right about? Who will tell us where we are going wrong? Mea maxima culpa.
I’m grateful to Eliam for his observation but also for the reminder, yet again, that all is gift, all is given to us.
I hope I can find some leaves worth his eating, this late in the season. And like St Peter, I should try anything once! (Acts 10).
(Eliam was able to share the leaves with other African students; maybe I’ll grow some pumpkins early next spring, just for the leaves.)