Monday, December 13, 2010

In the Midst of a Mini-Blizzard, Mandarin Oranges

If any of you saw the Chicago Bears vs New England Patriots game on Sunday,  you know what our weather has been like since Saturday afternoon.  The lone shoveler and I decided to head into Chicago very early Saturday morning to get some shopping done before the blizzard arrived.  We got there really early, 7:30 a.m., and had a fortifying breakfast.

Our last stop was at Whole Foods where I spied these Satsuma mandarin oranges as we entered the produce area.  They were piled high, most with leaves intact.  Oh, they are delicious!  Sunday's snow and a memory of M.F.K. Fisher's description of eating a tangerine in Serve It Forth (The Art of Eating) inspired my photograph.  

Mary Francis had put some tangerines into the snow that had collected on the windowsill of her apartment in, I believe, Strasbourg--or, perhaps Paris.  I can't remember.  She had left them there while running a few errands.  She described her enjoyment of them as follows:  "The sections of the tangerine are gone, and I cannot tell you why they are so magical.  Perhaps it is that little shell, thin as one layer of enamel on a Chinese bowl, that crackles so tinily, so ultimately under your teeth.  Or the rush of cold pulp just after it.  Or the perfume.  I cannot tell.

There must be someone, though, who understands what I mean.  Probably everyone does, because of his own secret eatings".

Oh yes, Mary Francis, I know exactly what you mean!