Sunday, June 12, 2011
Watermelon: Sowing the Seeds of My Family History
I found five black seeds in my seedless watermelon today.
Most people notice the black seeds and remove it without another thought. They certainly wouldn't bother counting nor would they blog about it. Yet, every time I scoop the red fruit out of the green rind, memories flash through my mind.
My first memory is of my Grandmother Bauer who hated watermelon. When she told me this fact in the early 1960s and I was appalled. How could anyone hate watermelon? It was refreshing and light and it meant summer. She understood and started to tell me a story about herself as a young girl growing up in Russia.
Her family, the Herrmanns of Mariental, Russia, lived off the land. Everyone was part of the harvesting work force once they were old enough to walk in the fields. Grandma said she had seen and lifted and harvested more watermelon than she had ever cared to in her life. If she never saw a watermelon again, it would be OK with her.
My second memory is of my mother who loved watermelon. For most of her life, she bought seeded watermelon and scooped it out in small melon balls carefully removing all of the black seeds. She would be upset if my Dad found any black seeds in the small perfectly sculpted melon balls. This was how watermelon was served for years.
When seedless watermelon arrived in the grocery stores, my Mom served watermelon more often than ever! In the later years, the small melon ball utensil was replaced with an ice cream scoop.
Today I dug into my watermelon with an ice cream scoop. Memories intact, I said to my daughter. "Hey, there are five black seeds in this watermelon!"
And, she replied, "I thought watermelon were supposed to have seeds."
Life goes on.