Photos taken at Full Belly Farm on October 1, 2011.
A half-assed Happy-o-versary to us, to us! And to you lovely readers, thank you. Our first post was also about pomegranates... in a way... :) Thanks for making all of this possible.
Pomegranates. Not my native apple. A seedy, grainy, medieval French pain in your ass? Maybe. (I know a secret for opening these. Think water birth.) When I was growing up in New Hampshire* in the 80s, pomegranates were expensive and misunderstood. Now they grow like weeds on the walk to and from Penn's preschool.
What's weird to a native New Englander is that *apples* don't do well in Northern California. Macintosh at the grocer are bruised beyond recognition, and there are no real tart options beyond Granny Smith, and her tarted-up cousin, the (unbelievably hued, yes) Pink Pearl. Pomegranates, on the other hand, grow magnificently in the Mediterranean clime. They're everywhere, including hedgerows meant as boarders. Throw-aways. In the same way rosemary is grown as a landscape feature, pomegranates are low-maintenance shrubs. They don't like much water. They love sun. And pomegranates are ripest when they split (and look over-ripe). Kinda a cool signal: they flash their ruby jewels to the world. That means you need to live near a tree, for close monitoring. Lest you miss it. (All the poms in the pictures above are still ripening. Note the one with the hexagonal flower opened, vs. the closed-flower orbs...)
Now, a simple recipe:
Maple Pomegranate Cocktail
maple syrup (grade b works)
a few pomegranate arils, if you have the means
In a shaker, put 3 ice cubes. Cover with one ounce cognac, one ounce rum, about a half-cup of pomegranate juice, and 1-2 teaspoons Grade B maple syrup. Squeeze a quarter of a lime o'er top, and shake the beeejeeezus out of it for at least 7 seconds. Strain into an up-glass, with pomegranate seeds in the bottom. It is worth making one serving at a time, but I'm sure a pitchered approach would work.
Currently in the oven: granola with pomegranate pulp. There's a company based in Sacramento that makes granola using fruit juice in place of oil, and I've wanted to try that at home ever since I sampled the results. Pomegranate juice yeilds a lot of pulp: the chown up bits of aril and seed casings, plus bits of juice. What a perfect reason to stir with oats, maple syrup, vanilla and...?? I don't think I included anything else. Although pecans would have been nice. Stay tuned! Update: that granola was spectacular. Next time, I'll add unsweetened coconut!