Flashes of red

I’d never even seen a pomegranate until the Autumn of 1997. Granted that is 14 years ago, but to me it still feels relatively recent.

Then, when we moved into this house, pomegranates were the first things that we harvested from our garden.  You know it’s time to harvest again when you see the red fruits amid the yellowing leaves.

Pomegranate popularity practically exploded when anti-oxidants became the big thing. They are good for your heart, a great source of vitamin C, in fact, there are a gazillion good reasons to go through the tedious process of seeding them if the taste alone doesn’t grab you. So whats not to love?

The staining factor for one!  Last year my Mum was visiting during pomegranate season. She  loved to prepare them for My Husband to eat because traditionally, Irish mothers do not believe that men can do anything for themselves with respect to food, and in extreme cases, with respect to anything at all. It explains a lot about our culture!

It was dark outside, so the white kitchen blinds where pulled. I was preparing veggies for dinner on our white Hanstone counter top. Mum was scared to squirt red pomegranate juice on the white leather chairs at the dining table, so she set up shop in the kitchen sink. Things were awfully quiet as we each bend our heads concentrating on our tasks. Until I glanced over at Mum and shrieked (in a totally Ned Flanders kind of way)!

The kitchen sink was right below the window and the blind resembled a scene from CSI, with pomegranate spatter halfway up the once immaculate white blind. Poor Mum was so upset.

“Don’t worry, it will wash off,” I said as I scrubbed at the blood red spots with a damp dish cloth, trying to keep upbeat and cheerful. “All this white stuff is amazingly resilient.”

The red spots were turning a mauve grey color, something similar to the tone in my stricken Mums face! Was it only a matter of time before she’d recover and launch into a lecture on my color choices for my furniture and decor?

But to give Mum her due she just contined to apologise and accepted responsibility for the mess. This was harder for me to deal with than the “Well, what do you expect when you have all this white stuff?” line of defense.

I felt so bad for her being upset that I brushed it off and laughed, saying something along the lines of, “That’s payback for all the times I spilled stuff growing up.” But I couldn’t even bring a specific example to mind. And then I realized that it was not because I hadn’t spilled anything but that I didn’t have a memory of her making me feel bad about it, though I’m sure she might have scolded me at the time.

The spots dried out a pale, barely noticeable grey. And we forgot about it. I figured that someday I’d get around to replacing that blind or cutting off the damaged part.

Today as I washed a pomegranate in the sink I looked at the white blind, and then I realized that it was white. The grey spots had completely faded – probably aided by the sun that blasts in there in the early mornings before we get up and pull the blinds. And I thought – that’s what families should be like, mishaps occur but we move on so that the sheet gets wiped clean by forgiveness and acceptance.

Byddi Lee

4 replies to Flashes of red

  1. Well, they may be messy, but they are delicious! Your pomegranates look fabulous. Do you know what variety you're growing? I keep wanting to plant one here, but when I've asked around, most gardeners/farmers complain that the fruits split before they're ripe in our climate. Yours don't look split at all…maybe there's hope!

  2. Mine don't split but I'm not sure what it is because it was here when we moved in. Al thinks it is a "wonderful" and it is usually the only variety available here but other good varieties – if you can get them – are Ambrosia, Eversweet, Fleishman’s, Utah Sweet and Wonderful.

    Hope that helps.

  3. I love pomegranates and like to break them apart and eat the seeds. Usually, I break apart 2 or 3 and store the seeds in a glass jar, then eat them over a few days. I wear underwear, and have gotten better not to get everything red.

    Great story about your mum!

  4. Two great ideas! It's ironic that the job that requires you to sit in your underwear happens at the time of year when you'd need to turn the heating up. And after all those months of heat!

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