Holy cow–what a week! I cannot believe it is Friday already! Where on Earth did the week go?
It really is amazing how time flies, whether you are having fun or not. It seems like no matter how well I schedule, how many journals I try, how early I go to bed or how early I wake up, days slip through my fingers before I even realize the week has started. Does anyone else feel like that? Maybe it is because I have kids of a school age and I am trying to live more intentionally, and start my own business, and write 2 novels, 2 plays, and a cookbook, but I constantly feel overwhelmed. There should be time for everything though, right? My planner says there should. Every morning, when I layout my day over a cup of tea, it looks like there should be plenty of time for everything to get accomplished, plus keep my house as neat as Mrs. Cleaver.
Yet some how it never happens. Today, for example, we finally got a new dishwasher after 3 years without one. Dishes alone were seriously cutting to my productivity, so we decided it was time to get another. We paid to have it installed so that it would be done and over with and neither my husband, nor myself, nor his father would need to take hours out of their busy schedules to install it. Have the professionals do it. In and out in an hour. Psych!
He was here for over 3 hours. Both my husband and I had to sit around waiting for him to finish so that we could answer questions, turn on and off electricity, and sign off on paperwork.
Aaaaand there goes the morning. He arrived when we were eating breakfast and left just before lunch. And there is still work that will need to be done, because as usual some goofy thing that the guy who owned our house before us did is screwing things up in the realm of modern living. Blech.
When I discovered that my younger son was going to have no choice but to go to Kindergarten full day, I saw this window of opportunity opening up in which time would be mine for the taking. Where the heck did all the time go?
Despite my frustration, I try to be grateful. Stop and smell the roses right? Creating a new routine takes time. I should be grateful I have the flexibility to create a new routine. I should be grateful that I have a husband that is so supportive of my dreams. And I should be grateful that I have a new dishwasher that theoretically should save me 2-3 hours a day of dish washing. And I am.
I am also grateful for pomegranate season.
They are finally here! Those weird, hard little fruits full of juicy, sweet, antioxidant rich seeds are showing up at farmers markets and in grocery stores and on foodie menus around the country, enticing us with their truly seasonal flavor and sweet luxuriant smell.
For most folks pomegranates propose a love hate relationship. We love their flavor, but hate the work. We love the benefits, but hate the price. The effort that goes into pomegranate reaming often makes it feel like a magical fruit and indeed, for a long time it was considered so. As far back as the Greek Gods we have the story of Persephone and the Pomegranate seeds:
In the beginning, there were flowers all year around. Vegetables grew throughout the year; the climate was always temperate; trees put forth their fruit for the full twelve months. The goddess of the harvest, Demeter, walked the earth with her enchanting daughter Persephone. Wherever they wandered seeds and bulbs sprung up beneath their bare feet.
From his lair underground, beyond the Styx and the sunlight, Hades, god of the underworld, burned with love for Persephone. One day, while Persephone rested by a babbling stream, he burst through the earth and stole her away down into his subterranean world. Demeter was distraught. She trod the earth with a heavy heart and a heavy foot. Flowers ceased to bloom, crops to grow. She searched for her daughter in all four corners of the earth, but to no avail. People starved.
Eventually Helios – the sun god, who sees all – took pity on Demeter and told her where Persephone had been taken. Demeter fled immediately to the underworld, determined to bring her daughter back.
Meanwhile, under the ground, Persephone was wasting away. Racked with misery, wretched, she would not eat or drink. She grew weak and wan. However much Hades coaxed her, she would not touch a morsel of food. Then one day, faint with hunger, she accepted a small handful of pomegranate seeds.
As she was halfway through the seeds, Demeter appeared – majestic and furious. She demanded the rightful restitution of her daughter. Hades smiled lazily. ‘I’d love to be able to give her back,’ he said. ‘But, you see, she’s eaten my food. By the rules of the underworld, she must now dwell here forever.’
They quarrelled and rowed, and the earth above grew cold and drab. Zeus, king of the gods, saw that the mortals had no food and decided to intervene. ‘Now look here,’ he said. ‘We can’t go on like this. People will die. As Persephone only ate half of the pomegranate seeds, the rule only half applies. She will stay with you, Hades, for six months of the year. The other six she will spend with her mother.’
So, when Persephone makes her way up to the earth, the buds burst and the leaves unfurl. Mother and daughter laugh and talk and stroll the bountiful earth. But, come autumn, Persephone must prepare for her descent back to Hades. The trees shed their leaves to mimic Demeter’s sobbing and the ground grows cold.
And thus the seasons were born.
Next week will mark the pagan holiday Mabon and just in time the pomegranates are coming into fruit. Autumn will officially be upon us and already here in Pittsburgh, Demeter’s tears have begun to turn and fall. Celebrate the season by picking one of Persephone’s devilishly hard to eat fruits this weekend and give them a try. Take a moment to slow down and appreciate them and what they represent. Stop and smell their sweetness and taste their wine like juices.
And then put your dirty dishes in your new dishwasher and get back to work. That’s what I’ll be doing.
How to de-seed a pomegranate:
Check out what else is in season this week courtesy of Eat the Seasons: