Because I grew up in tropical Singapore, where the weather varies between 24 to 34 degrees all year round, living in a country now with four seasons fascinates me.
Winter is the harshest season of all.
When all is grey and dark and looks like a perpetually rainy London, I dream of being back in South East Asia. But at times, the chill that winter brings gives me an excuse to curl up under the covers with hot tea and a good book, and for that I am grateful.
I remember reading somewhere once that we need to have experienced loss in order to feel contentment; to have felt hunger to be happy when you’re full, and to have been cold in order to appreciate warmth. So while winter is my least favorite season, mainly because of its drab and unwelcoming cold, I’m thankful for it because it helps me enjoy the other seasons so much more.
I find it amazing that when winter starts creeping away, there suddenly is a shift in everything.
In spring, flowers remember to bloom and new life grows from the earth. It never fails to take my breath away when I see the lush green leaves sprouting from branches that had been dried and barren all winter. There is color in the ground, and a crisp freshness in the air, just like the feeling of starting anew, of clean beginnings, new notebooks to scribble in, and blank slates.
And then as the still-cool nights give way to warmer, brighter days as summer stumbles in, I love watching the re-appearance of short skirts, shorts and airy dresses.
I like how summer is associated with beach holidays and country houses, and seeing the glowing tans of sun-kissed girls in their new bikinis. The sunshine, which I used to take for granted when living in Singapore, is now in full swing, there is happiness on our faces and a song on our lips. Summer creates beautiful memories with its bright filters and longer days, like a perpetual Instagram picture.
As the last days of summer float away, and in saunters autumn, there’s an anxiousness and excitement that fills me.
While I cling onto the final days of warmth and accept the fact that each day is now shorter and sunsets are constantly earlier, autumn always has a special place in my heart.
I’ve said it so many times before, and I’ll say it again. I remember autumn for the freedom I experienced in Europe during my university exchange; and its reds and auburns bring to mind that phase in my youth so glorious and free.
Now that I live from season to season, I’ve found myself craving blueberries and asparagus in spring, fresh peaches in summer and roasted butternut squash in autumn.
And recently, I’ve discovered one of the prettiest and sweetest autumn fruits, ever – the pomegranate.
I was walking to my photography school two weeks ago (yes! I’ve finally started going for formal photography classes!) when I passed by a fruit stall and saw these gems of a fruit. I’ve seen pomegranates around before, but not until then did I wish so much to try them.
Have you ever tried the pomegranate?
Perhaps you’ve eaten it your whole life. Or, are you like me and have only recently tasted this fruit so beautiful and ruby red?
From the outside, the pomegranate’s pink skin doesn’t really say much, but open it up and inside its chambers lie these red, juicy seeds, like little jewels in a treasure cave. I was awe-struck by how pretty the seeds looked, and when I ate them, a splash of tart, sweet juice filled my mouth. It was exhilarating, rich, and so pleasurable.
I wanted to eat these pomegranate seeds with something that would compliment them, but not steal the glory from them.
So one morning, I ate them with vanilla cinnamon chia pudding.
Think about thick, vanilla and cinnamon laced chia pudding mixed with sweet pomegranate seeds that surprise you with every bite.
Imagine the vibrant red against a pale grey, and the contrast in both colors and tastes.
I’m in love.
POMEGRANATE VANILLA CINNAMON CHIA PUDDING
1) 6 tablespoons of chia seeds
2) 2 cups of milk (dairy milk, almond milk, or whichever type of milk you prefer)
3) 4 teaspoons of honey
4) 2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract
5) 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
6) 1 cup of fresh pomegranate seeds
1) In a large bowl, mix chia seeds, milk, honey, vanilla extract and ground cinnamon together. (Make sure to mix the chia seeds thoroughly so you don’t end up with chunky chia pudding.)
2) Let the mixture chill in the fridge overnight in the refridgerator
3) Divide chia pudding into two portions and serve topped with fresh pomegranate seeds