I tried not to make this too hard. I looked around the house to see what would be interesting on a 'up close and personal' level. :) I took shots of lots of things but when it came down to choosing for last weeks Mystery Monday I guess our almost record breaking temperatures that day helped me to make the decision by thinking 'warm', 'tropical'.
On my dining room table sitting in a shallow teal square bowl were two pineapples I had purchased the night before at the Farmer's market. I got a great deal, Two for $4. They weren't quite ripe, which is good but would ripen in a few days. As they sat there ripening up from top to bottom I looked closely at them marveling at their very interesting pattern. This pattern is actually formed by the fruit of each flower of the pineapple. What we call a pineapple is actually a large conglomeration of dozens of these fruits. So what this past weeks Mystery Monday Photo was is a single fruit of a pineapple flower to be exact, but all who guessed pineapple were put into the drawing.
On this specific mystery photo you can see the green of the unripe part and the brown is the remains of the flower. I remember when we were in Hawaii and going to the Plantations of Pineapples there. There was one section that had Pineapples from around the world. They were each different. Some squatter, some thin, some were said to not have much flavor and some so tiny you could hold two or three in your hand side by side.
In the USA Pineapples have been a sign of hospitality since the Colonial times, long before Hawaii ever was even thought of joining the union of states. It can still be seen today in many decor items. It does have a regal look to it, standing tall with a good foundation, and its 'headdress' called a crown actually, of plumage in it's Bromeliceae type leaves.
In fact did you know that you can grow your own pineapple plant from the cut off top of one? Next time you buy a whole pineapple, give it a try. Go here for some simple instructions on how to grow your own from the crown you would usually toss out! Eventually it will sprout roots and can be moved to a pot with soil. It will love a warm, humid sunny spot in your home and if conditions are right one day you may see a stem growing up from the middle and a tiny pineapple appear!
Here's some fun facts about pineapples you may not know.
- *The enzyme bromelain in pineapple can be very medically important according to new findings. Bromelain is a kind of natural mixture of enzymes that help in reducing swelling and lessening of inflammation. This of course is helpful with diseases such as sinusitis, sore throats, arthritis, gout and may even help in recovery after surgery. For best results it is recommended to eat it between meals without any other food to interfere with the enzyme action. It is also included on the anti-inflammatory diet which if followed could help prevent numerous ailments and diseases such as heart disease, Alzheimer's and possibly cancer, along with Arthritis.
- Pineapples can be eaten raw, juiced or cooked even and still retain their texture and flavor.
- Pineapples are Fat and sodium free!
- Pineapples are pollinated not by bees but by my favorite bird, the Hummingbird.
- It gets its name from the Spanish for pine cone, 'Pina', now you know where the 'Pina' in your 'Pina Colada' comes from! We have this Spanish derived name because Christopher Columbus found them on the island of Guadalupe and brought them back to Spain.
- Hawaii is now the biggest producer of the Pineapple which was brought there from Spain, but they have their own word for it, "Hala kahiki", sounds even more tropical doesn't it?
- It takes about a year and a half to grow a pineapple so remember that and savor it next time you bite into one!
- Chunks can be added to onion pieces and bite sized pieces of chicken and grilled. They can also be added to certain stir-fries and many other dishes try Pineapple recipes here at Dole where you give them what you have on hand and they give you a recipe to make with it!.
So who is the winner and what did they win? Well since this mystery was a Pineapple I thought I'd stick with that theme. The prize is a gift card to the winners favorite Grocery Store (I'll send you a list of ones in my area where I can get one for you) so you can go get yourself some fresh tropical produce to help you out of the winter blues. And this set of Wine/drink Charms with, what else? Pineapples! And Palm trees! So for your next Luau you won't have to worry about finding perfect glasses, just dress up your everyday goblets with these! And one more thing, a mystery piece of art from yours truly!
And the Winner is.....................................................Steel Drum Roll please! :)
Lynn of UnaOdd! Congratulations Lynn. I will email you about your choice of store! And Congratulations for being on the Front Page of etsy too! 3-4pm EST Monday Feb1. With your great new snow flake ring!
REMEMBER! If you had a correct entry in this Mystery Monday giveaway and did not win and you play next week that entry will be added to the other entries even if you don't guess right next week so be sure to play the next round, posted later today!