On Christmas morning, Elliott — who is now 5 and deep in the throes of Santa believing — dispensed presents from each of the stockings to the rest of us. He staved off his protests about having to see our gifts when he really just wanted his own. (He’s a polite little boy.) Since everyone insisted that he go in round-robin fashion, and wait before all the wrappings were removed before moving to the next person, he had to be especially patient. As we reached the last of the stocking presents — which meant moving to the living room to deal with Santa’s sack — he reached into the toe of the stocking.
“How weird!” he nearly shouted. “There are pomegranates at the bottom of these stockings!”
We all smiled at his confusion. But I was thrilled. Just a few days before, I had been thinking, “Oh man, I haven’t bought a pomegranate this year. I’m going to miss this season.”
Thanks, Mom, for the pomegranate. (That’s all right. I’m not giving away secrets. Elliott doesn’t read this site.)
It’s fitting that pomegranates were Christmas gifts. They’re such decadent fruits, ruby-red and jeweled. That smooth skin is the color of lights on the tree, equally gleaming. And inside, little puckered seeds, poised to burst open with juice. Pomegranates seem impenetrable, the white pith between the seeds protecting them from being plucked. But if you cut them open, score the pith, and wack the back with a wooden spoon, all the seeds will release themselves, happy to be free from the imprisonment.
Pomegranates are wonderful, wide open and juicy, ready for eating, if you dare.
I’ve written about them before, with a recipe for chicken thighs in pomegranate molasses. But there are other ways to eat pomegranates, savoring, than raw and in molasses form.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy this fruit?