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Look, but don’t eat

I am pretty certain I know what grounds are listed on Martha Stewart’s divorce papers. I’ll bet her husband kept eating her centerpieces.

She no doubt married, as I did, a fellow at home in the garden. It seemed a positive trait at the time. My spouse was raised in rural settings, always with a vegetable garden and fruit trees. Now, though stuck in suburbia, he continues to sow and harvest.

Our first collision occurred when I trimmed the gorgeous red pomegranate blossoms from the backyard tree to make a stunning floral arrangement. All he saw was the demise of his crop. I simply never thought of pomegranates as a crop. They were a novelty to me  — the long effort to chew and spit out every seed made it a project best left to bored 8-year-olds. I forgot that inside every man is a bored 8-year-old.

So I stopped snipping his blossoms and we reaped a lovely harvest. These garnet beauties look wonderful, piled in a fetching bowl. But no sooner had I arranged them just so on my hall table, than the creation began to lose symmetry. First one, then another disappeared, until the bowl was empty. It was easy to trace the dribble of pomegranate juice to the kitchen, where my farm boy had dyed the kitchen fuchsia as he sliced and juiced every one to make jam.

I searched for a replacement, settling for a dozen unripe persimmons, beautifully pale green and orange, then a brilliant orange as they ripened. To my husband, that orange color meant only one thing. They were ready to be part of his persimmon bread.

Through the seasons, my kitchen, for a day, rivals the home-décor stores, with fetching clusters of miniature artichokes, beautiful varieties of apples, lemons and oranges and even glossy green passion fruit. I arrange my little heart out and admire my handiwork fast, knowing it will be sliced and devoured soon.

Fake fruit arrangements may be my only hope. I think Martha has just booked my husband for a cooking segment.

Jean Gillette is a freelance writer who admires form while her husband requires substance.  Contact her a [email protected]