Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Possibilities of Sainthood

I posted a little review blurb for The Possibilities of Sainthood by Donna Freitas on GoodReads. Not to toot my own horn here, but if you've enjoyed my approach to saints and their stories here on this blog, you may appreciate this YA novel about Antonia's two obsessions: saints (plus becoming the first living saint herself) and kissing. Antonia's never been kissed, which is why, at one point in the novel, she writes the Vatican repeatedly to beg for a patron saint of first kisses because it can go so wrong.

There was a point in time when I was campaigning to be the saint of ambiguous produce. The tomato, for example, tastes like a vegetable, but is classified as fruit except when dealing with the Tariff Act of 1883, which required a tax to be paid upon imported vegetables. The United States Supreme Court in essence said, "The tomato functions as a vegetable, now pay the tax."

Avocados and olives are also technically fruit, but are used more in the context of vegetables. Pumpkin, on the other hand, is definitely a vegetable has the appearance of a vegetable but is best enjoyed on this side of the pond in a sweet pie, like a fruit. Unconvinced? The next time your parents exhort you to eat your vegetables (no matter how old you are), tell them, "I am. I'm eating pumpkin pie." Let me know if it works. Update: Bluemamma has provided the correction that pumpkin is not a vegetable, but a "squash-like fruit" (see her comment with its accompanying link). According to research, "vegetable" is a culinary, not a biological term, whereas "fruit" can be either. With all that in mind, I cannot believe I forgot to include rhubarb in the group of ambiguous produce. It's a vegetable rhizome, but it totally tastes like a fruit, especially because one has to add lots of sugar to make it tasty. And so...

That's why we need a patron saint of ambiguous produce. While once I would have thought I was perfect for the title, now I think someone a little more patient, kind and prone to growing gardens that don't keel over and die would be a better choice. I was totally onboard with Antonia's petition to have a patron saint of figs and fig trees in The Possibilities of Sainthood. More patrons of produce, please!

Update: Fuse #8 went to a book release party where the guests made up their own saint specialities and dressed accordingly. Fuse took photos.


Lone Star Ma said...

That book sounds wonderful and I must read it soon. I still think you are a shoe-in to be that matron saint. I totally feed my kids pumpkin pie as a vegetable. I mean, sure - it's full of sugar and oil, but still - lots of vitamins!

Anamaria (bookstogether) said...

I put that book on my to-read list as soon as I saw your review on goodreads--thanks! And I agree with you: pumpkin pie should definitely count as a vegetable. At breakfast, even.

BlueMamma said...

Pumpkins are fruits!

"Pumpkins are a squash-like fruit that range in size (less than 1 pound to over 1000 pounds), shape, color, and appearance (smooth or ribbed)."

Saints and Spinners said...

Bluemamma: Thanks! See, we really do need a patron saint of ambiguous produce. And how could I have forgotten my beloved rhubarb in the collection? I'll have to add an addendumn in the post.

Anamaria: See above. Score one for the fruits!

LSM: Thank you. If I can get two miracles in my lifetime, I may have a case.