October, November, and December are my least favorite months of the year. Long story, and not altogether heart-warming, so suffice it to say that I am trying to feel warm and festive right now, and am pulling out all the things about this time of year that I DO love: like the smell of pine, mulling spices, Christmas lights...and pomegranates.
I adore pomegranates.
Such a sensual fruit. They are beautiful, yummy, and such a lovely shade of red. I am going to try my hand at making preserves this week. I have never ever canned before, so this will be new. I hope it turns out, because I plan to give it as gifts. I have in mind to make pineapple preserves, cranberry jam, and pomegranate jelly!
Do you know how to seed a pomegranate? Here's how to take the mess out of it (no more stained fingers):
Fill a large bowl or your sink basin with water. Place the pomegranate underwater, and cut it in half (yes, you will lose some of the juice). Now use your fingers to separate the seeds from the membranes. The beauty is that the glorious seeds will sink to the bottom, and the membranes and peel will float to the top. Scoop out the junk you don't want, and then pour through a strainer to catch the seeds!
I learned how to eat these as a kid, so I still do it all wrong and squeeze the juice of each seed into my mouth. Most people eat the whole thing. Pomegranate seeds add a festive touch to holiday meals to top a salad, or even as an addition to guacamole. Ensalada de Noche Buena (Christmas Eve Salad) has a few variations, but it usually involves green lettuce and green fruit, with red fruit or veggies (like beets) and the red seeds. Do a google (or dogpile) search for a recipe that appeals to you the most. Most Mexican versions contain lots of fruit, but I found an Italian recipe that is just salad greens with a bit of green apple, walnuts, and the seeds. Experiment!