These are probably two of the most expensive makrut limes on the planet. Nearly 10 years ago, we planted a kaffir/makrut lime plant in our garden, and year after year we watched it grow into a scraggly tree, some 12-14 feet in height by now. We have used its leaves often, and even managed to marcot a half dozen plants from the main plant. It has survived storms, blights of all kinds and has faithfully clung to life in a relatively sunny corner of the garden. Never once did I notice a flower on this tree, and at least on one occasion I think I mentioned on this blog that it must be barren due to a lack of amorous neighbors of the right genetic provenance. So Mang J, the part-time gardener has lavished it with care and attention for nearly a decade, unable to coax it to bear fruit.
Then a couple of weeks ago, lo and behold, two wonderful medium sized makrut limes were spotted amongst the lime leaves which are now mixed in with a bushy bougainvilla plant next to it. After a few more days, the little knobbly wonders fell off in strong breezes and they have been on my desk since. They have a wonderful scent and I am trying to decide how best to use the rind and in what dish… There is just something so amazing about enjoying the fruits of your own garden, even if my physical toil for them was limited to talking to the tree every couple of weeks from my desk in the den nearby, asking it when it might ever bear fruit. Well, it listened. And after 10 years of watering, fertilizing, pruning and zhugging, this stunning pair of spectacular makrut limes. They are of almost identical weight and size, perfect for a bizarre pair of earrings for a formal dinner at a gathering of botanists, in lieu of massive emeralds. Oh, and I just spotted one more lime in the foliage for use a week or two from now… :)