Friday, 23 March 2018

Pomegranates

There's a particular shade of Indian pink I absolutely love. I have a soft kantha scarf in this colour — entirely beautiful. I bought it from an eBay seller called Pradeep Choudhary. It came all the way from Jodhpur in Rajasthan. It smells of India, incense and spice.



I find this colour very hard to describe to other people, though I certainly know it when I see it. Then this morning early I had an epiphany about it, realising that this is the colour of pomegranates.

I love pomegranates. They are very expensive, but at the moment I get through about half a dozen every week.



Pomegranates featured infrequently but significantly in my childhood. My mother was born in early October, when (I believe) pomegranates are in season. When she was a child, she would be given a pomegranate on her birthday — so, only once a year; I expect they were expensive then, too, as well as somewhat exotic on a farm in a Yorkshire village.

She would eat them, she said, with a pin. Seed by seed. Neatly. Daintily. Carefully. Herself eating them with consummate delicacy was as much part of the legend as the actual pomegranate.

Now, when I eat pomegranates, things are not the same. I have to eat mine in the bath, and even then the tiled walls can look unnervingly reminiscent of a crime scene when I'm done. I sit in the bath like a temple baboon, capturing dropped seeds warmed by the water from the bath floor, biting off regiments of jewel seeds exposes in glowing ranks. I cannot tell you how much I love them and what a wonderful playtime it makes of my bath hour. 

I got the idea of eating messy things in the bath when I was little. My mother used to feed me a teaspoon of cod liver oil in the bath, and a good thing that was too, because I spilt it often as not. So I eat nectarines in the bath too, and peaches.

And, just at the moment, several times a week, feeding my body and soul and spirit and generating cheerfulness; pomegranates. One of the beautiful colours of India.




14 comments:

Elin Hagberg said...

My daughter would probably move in with you if she would out that she could eat pomegranates that often. She loves them! She always asks for pomegranates at the store if they have them.

Pen Wilcock said...

:0D

I think it may qualify as an addiction!

rebecca said...

Oh, my! This is a NEW concept for me - pomegranates in the bath, I mean.
I DO love to eat them, too. Might try the "pin" thing. That would slow down/spread out my pleasure...

Pen Wilcock said...

My personal feeling is that there will be pin women and there will be bath women, and you just have to know which you are. Buy two pomegranates. Eat one in the bath and the other with a pin. Come back and tell us which one suited you best.

BLD in MT said...

This is an especially grand post, Pen. The stories of your mother are so charming and evocative--seed by seed?! Wow. What a treasure those seeds were!

I am always up to my elbows in juice and anything but dainty when I am through...perhaps I shall have to try your bath method. ;)

For me pomegranates are linked with my dad. He enjoys them a lot--and so far as I know I gave him his first taste. He finds them too messy and too much bother though. I occasionally surprise him with just the seeds in a bowl since then he can eat them with a spoon in delight. I haven't done that in a while now. Overdue. I'll have to remember it next visit.

Pen Wilcock said...

Ah, yes — the seeds in a bowl method is very practical. We can actually buy them that way in our supermarket; they sell them in little plastic pots. Part of my plastic-free efforts includes buying the actual pomegranate, though that doesn't always work because while some are just loose in the world, others come fastened in a plastic tray. But of course for taking them to an elderly relative, breaking up the fruit and putting the seeds into a bowl beforehand is an excellent idea. Or you could make him sit in the bath.

Anekha said...

There is a fun heart warming book by Sark called eating mangoes naked.... I think she mentioned it being in the bath. She liked to encourage people to "live juicy". Your story reminds me of that. But pomegranates are rather biblical I think. I always imagine the "apple" of the tree of knowledge to be a pomegranate.

Anekha said...

Government requirements mean that all organic fruit in the supermarket has to be wrapped many times in plastic. Or on those aweful foam trays that aren't recyclable and THEN wrapped in plastic.
I think they do it just to spite us. I imagine there is some evil suit type relishing the idea of the existential crisis grocery shopping causes the ecologically inclined.

Pen Wilcock said...

Ah — the baleful power of Mammon's extending slime mould! May it be defeated in the end. I'm hoping that Plastic Banks will catch on, offering people in poverty a chance to make plastic work for them while rowing back on pollution. I must check out that book by Sark.
https://www.plasticbank.org

Anonymous said...

Pomegranates are my favorite fruit since childhood as well! They remind me of Christmas as We'd get them on that holiday, often added to festive salads. I love their jewel like quality, and tart sweet astringent taste. The sister science to yoga, Ayurveda says many beneficial things about pomegranates, you might find this article interesting!
http://ayurhelp.com/articles/power-packed-pomegranate-ayurveda-view
PS I love those kantha stitched quilts as well!
DMW

Ganeida said...

I love pomegranates too but for some reason they are difficult to come by out here & when available are not only not ripe but refuse to ripen @ all. :( I planted a tree to overcome this but although I get the lovely orangey blossoms every year I never get fruit. *sigh*

Pen Wilcock said...

Hi DMW — thank you for that link! I'll read that with interest. The Ayurvedic approach to health interests me very much.

Hi Ganeida — how very sad! Yes, in our town there is only one place I know where I can buy pomegranates, and they don't always have them. I think I've eaten most of the current stock!

Julie B. said...

I love pomegranate seeds in leafy green salads, and I too love how they look like little edible rubies. I smiled at the picture of you eating in the tub. :) I like to have a cup of hot tea while I'm in the tub. And Pandora playing softly. xoxo

Pen Wilcock said...

Recently I've been listening to Rumer's album "Into Colour" in the bath. My favourites are "I am blessed" and "You just don't know people". I've listened to those over and over.