much laughter and some practical joking with the plates,

time:2023-12-02 04:23:34 source:Yun Wen Yun Wu Network author:internet

The nut, which is something similar to the areca in size, is nearly white when divested of its outer husk, and this is soaked for about twenty-four hours in water. During this time a slight fermentation takes place and the gas generated splits the nut open at a closed joint like an acorn. This fermentation may, perhaps, take some exhilarating effect upon the natives' weak heads.

much laughter and some practical joking with the plates,

The nuts being partially softened by this immersion are dried in the sun, and subsequently pounded into flour in a wooden mortar. This flour is sifted, and the coarser parts being separated, are again pounded until a beautiful snow-white farina is produced. This is made into a dough by a proper admixture with water, and being formed into small cakes, they are baked for about a quarter of an hour in a chatty. The fermentation which has already taken place in the nut has impregnated the flower with a leaven; this, without any further addition, expands the dough when in the oven, and the cake produced is very similar to a crumpet, both in appearance and flavor.

much laughter and some practical joking with the plates,

The village in which I first tasted this preparation of the sago-nut was a tolerable sample of such places, on the borders of the Veddah country. The population consisted of one old man and a corresponding old woman, and one fine stout young man and five young women. A host of little children, who were so similar in height that they must have been one litter, and three or four most miserable dogs and cats, were additional tenants of the soi-disant village.

much laughter and some practical joking with the plates,

These people lived upon sago cakes, pumpkins, wild fruits and berries, river fish and wild honey. The latter is very plentiful throughout Ceylon, and the natives are very expert in finding out the nests, by watching the bees in their flight and following them up. A bee-hunter must be a most keen-sighted fellow, although there is not so much difficulty in the pursuit as may at first appear. No one can mistake the flight of a bee en route home, if he has once observed him. He is no longer wandering from flower to flower in an uncertain course, but he rushes through the air in a straight line for the nest. If the bee-hunter sees one bee thus speeding homeward, he watches the vacant spot in the air, until assured of the direction by the successive appearance of these insects, one following the other nearly every second in their hurried race to the comb. Keeping his eye upon the passing bees, he follows them until he reaches the tree in which the nest is found.

There are five varieties of bees in Ceylon; these are all honey-makers, except the carpenter bee. This species is entirely unlike a bee in all its habits. It is a bright tinsel-green color, and the size of a large walnut, but shaped like the humble bees of England. The month is armed with a very powerful pair of mandibles, and the tail with a sting even larger and more venomous than that of the hornet. These carpenter bees are exceedingly destructive, as they bore holes in beams and posts, in which they lay their eggs, the larvae of which when hatched greedily feed upon the timber.

The honey bees are of four very distinct varieties, each of which forms its nest on a different principle. The largest and most extensive honey-maker is the "bambera". This is nearly as large as a hornet, and it forms its nest upon the bough of a tree, from which it lines like a Cheshire cheese, being about the same thickness, but five or six inches greater in diameter. The honey of this bee is not so much esteemed as that from the smaller varieties, as the flavor partakes too strongly of the particular flower which the bee has frequented; thus in different seasons the honey varies in flavor, and is sometimes so highly aperient that it must be used with much caution. This property is of course derived from the flower which the bee prefers at that particular season. The wax of the comb is the purest and whitest of any kind produced in Ceylon. So partial are these bees to particular flowers that they migrate from place to place at different periods in quest of flowers which are then in bloom.

This is a very wonderful and inexplicable arrangement of Nature, when it is considered that some flowers which particularly attract these migrations only blossom once in "seven years." This is the case at Newera Ellia, where the nillho blossom induces such a general rush of this particular bee to the district that the jungles are swarming with them in every direction, although during the six preceding years hardly a bee of the kind is to be met with.

There are many varieties of the nillho. These vary from a tender dwarf plant to the tall and heavy stern of the common nillho, which is nearly as thick as a man's arm and about twenty feet high.


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