A decade ago we spent a year on sabbatical in the Bay Area, living near a large agricultural area. At this time of year, the strawberries were beginning to come into season. I'd buy grapefruit and strawberries and make a fruit salad in the tiny lab kitchen from the sectioned grapefruit and the fresh berries - with a dash of something to make it sweet.
This week I grocery shopped and bought both strawberries and grapefruit to reprise my 1998 lunches. I sectioned the grapefruit, then squeezed the juice by hand from the halves over the sliced berries. The oils from the skin misted over the bowl and my hands, sending memories of that wonderful year wafting across my mind. Rather than toss in my usual teaspoon of sugar, I warmed a few tablespoons of the juice with some local honey, and macerated the fruit in it. Oh...my! The scent of flowers and citrus drifted out of the bowl, as if I were standing in an orchard in full bloom.
Macerated comes from the Latin, and means to soak or soften (these days usually in alcohol) -- but it also carries connotations of stripping the flesh away. As Lent approaches, I begin to think about what I might need to strip out of my life.