Tuesday, March 28, 2006

To Hades And Back

It was a story of betrayal, uncontrollable lust, possessive love, loss and greed. That was the story of my childhood and the themes of one of the most memorable myths my mother told me as a child.

I've always felt a real empathy with the story of Persephone, who so captured the ardour of Hades that he stole her from her mother. The Lord of the Underworld, Hades, and the Goddess of Abundant Harvest, Demeter, fought a bitter battle of wills over Persephone. In in the end, her fate was decided by 6 ruby gems of pomegranate seeds - forcing her to spend half a year with each combatant. How seedy indeed!

I felt really sorry for Persephone. When I first heard the story I immediately identified with her. I, too, was fought over by the Prince of Darkness aka my father and the Goddess of Overdoneness aka my mum. I, too, had to split my time between them but unlike Persephone, everyone wanted a piece of me so growing up, I was split four-ways and occasionally five-ways. Like Persephone, I suffer from terminal greed as well ... I cannot resist pomegranates.

Surprisingly, they are not that easy to find in the markets here in Singapore and I find myself hoarding my stash of pomegranates when I can find them. I keep having intentions to concoct luscious desserts from them or festive salads a la Nigella Lawson. But I love them so much that by the time I open one up, I can't help but pop each blood-red morsel into my salivating mouth, savouring the burst of tangy-sweet nectar on my tongue as I nibble around the seeds.

Yes, yes, I know the Greeks would consider it vulgar to spit out the seeds, no matter how delicately and discreetly I release them from the tip of my tongue into my paper napkin. But the seeds just ruin the taste for me which is why I indulged only at home.

I recently ate a whole pomegranate in one sitting. I meant to stop but it was an addictive compulsion that would have sent me to Hades forever if I were Persephone.


Blogger michelle said...

Nice pomegranant pics - I love the stuff too, and I'm a Persephone like you, split between two parents (and now, families). I just read your meme too, and if you every find that desirous manservant, do let me know and I'd happily ride along with you in your balloon!

3:35 am  
Anonymous bea at La Tartine Gourmande said...

You are so funny!!!! So speaking of the story of that cute bloke...aahahah
And so lucky. DO you know what happened last week? I as told that pomegranates that I NEEDED were out of season! I called everywhere. Seasons? What were they talking about? I needed my pomegranate!!

4:28 am  
Blogger Raniandraja said...

Great blog
I love to crunch on the seeds! In persian and Indian kitchens the dried ground seeds are used as a spice to add sourness, similar to dried green mango powder, sour grape powder, or tamarind.

1:34 am  
Blogger MM said...

Michelle - Hey, get your own loveslave! LOL.

Bea - I try ... LOL. I heard from the fruit sellers that pomegranates have seasons too. I remarked that it seems that it's always out of season with them since I never seem to find them at that stall!

Hey Rani&Raja, thanks so much for visiting and your kind words! That is do fascinating that they actually dry and grind the seeds! And I did not know there is such as thing as green mango powder! I must find out more now ...

8:34 am  

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