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The Red Dress Club: Seasonal Goodness

Monday, 18 April 2011

Holiday Closing: Frume Sarah’s World will return after the first day of Pesach has concluded.


Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

I have certain rules:

  • the toothpaste tube must be capped after use
  • pens ought to be stored with the tip-side up
  • the closet doors are to be closed before going to sleep
  • the peanut butter (in a PB&J) belongs on the top of the sandwich
  • AND

  • fruits and veggies ought to be eaten in their proper seasons

[Sidenote: this is a small sampling of the many rules and regs in Frume Sarah’s World.]

With the advances in agriculture, it is now possible to eat produce out of season. Apples during the summer, squash in the spring, and so on.

Frume Sarah rejects these developments. First of all, produce that is produced in seasons other than those ordained by Mother Nature is not at its best. The flavours are diluted.

Beyond that very practical reason, there is, I believe, a spiritual reason that one ought to consider; eating fruit and vegetable at times other than their proper time moves us one more step away from our awareness of the natural cycle of life. Confining produce to the naturally-occurring seasons connect us to the earth in a physical way. We are taught patience rather than yield to instant gratification because we are forced to wait until the very thing that we desire is at its optimum.

Location plays a big part. Living in Southern California, we are spoiled. We have year-round access to most everything. Gone are the days when our diet revolved around what was readily available. I try to limit our produce choices, but often find it hard to deny the kids when they request berries in February or grapes in November.

There is, however, one exception; strawberries.

More than any other food, strawberries remind me of Passover. When I was young, I knew that Pesach was coming when the strawberry fields near our home would release their sweet, alluring fragrance. In the days preceding the first seder, ZaydeGiraffe would bring home several flats of locally-grown strawberries. Their juicy goodness put to shame anything the grocery store could hope to offer.

To this very day, I avoid eating strawberries until the beginning of the chag. Impervious to the requests of my children, I preserve this cherished tradition from my childhood. While they do not yet understand, it is my hope that they too will associate the succulence of these berries with our annual festival of deliverance.

Just a few more hours…and those berries are mine.

Chag Pesach Sameyach from Beit Frummie!

Remembe(RED) is a memoir meme. This week, we’re borrowing a prompt from Natalie Goldberg from her amazing book on writing memoir, Old Friend from Far Away:
“Give me a memory of the color red. Do not write the word ‘red’ but use words that engender the color red when you hear them. For example: a ruby, a tomato, fire, blood.

Writing has the elegance of mathematics. Try to write economically. A red cherry is redundant. Cherry is enough unless it’s one of the yellow ones from Washington state. Then it’s a yellow cherry. But, otherwise, cherry immediately wakes up the color red in the mind.”

And, an additional requirement, of no more than 600 words. As always, constructive criticism is welcomed!

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Mozen permalink
    Tuesday, 19 April 2011 6:31 am

    Wow; you sound a bit anal. Of course, those who observe the many rules and regulations of Judaism may enjoy such structure. I only hope that it does not make your children too neurotic.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Tuesday, 19 April 2011 10:47 pm

      Can’t speak to their future neuroses. However, I can state that observing our religious traditions has made them respectful of other people’s observances rather than judgmental.

  2. Phyllis permalink
    Tuesday, 19 April 2011 8:29 pm

    I love this! Today I was shopping for some fruits and veggies and Sam asked for plums. They are not only not in season but they are expensive. But true to my general theory about Pesach, I said yes and bought these ridiculously out of season fruits but made a big deal about how they were in honor of Pesach! 🙂

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 24 April 2011 9:29 am

      Certainly a laudable way to make Pesach wonderful!

  3. Tuesday, 19 April 2011 11:46 pm

    Does Harry know that you are moonlighting as a rabbi. 😉

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 24 April 2011 9:30 am

      Only if you tell him 😉

  4. Wednesday, 20 April 2011 4:22 am

    How do you know that the peanut butter is on top of the sandwich? Just curious! I really like how you connected strawberries to Passover. Very well written.

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 24 April 2011 9:32 am

      Because I make certain to pick it up so that the peanut butter is on the top. Prevents the jelly (or jam, in my case) from dripping.


  5. Wednesday, 20 April 2011 1:09 pm

    I love the idea of waiting for the season. I’m not so gifted with will power. I do know that fresh produce, from the earth, not a hothouse is much superior in flavor and color.

    Hooray for strawberries!

    • Frume Sarah permalink*
      Sunday, 24 April 2011 9:34 am

      Believe-you-me, I am not one with great willpower. At least not with most things. But I really like eating produce at its peak.

      And yes, hooray indeed!!!!


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