Sunday, December 12, 2010

Pomegranates for Dinner Tonight

Tonight was really a low-key night for us.  We had a very busy weekend, doing balloons and face painting for Andrew's Good News Christmas Party at Davis College yesterday.  We always enjoy working with AGN and had a lot of fun ministering to the local community.  However, my body is usually sore and just tired after a long evening (or day) of face painting, so I just didn't have the energy to do anything ornate or complicated for dinner tonight.  After church today I had to run some errands, so by the time I got home today it was almost 4 pm!  The kids were gracious and helped out with dinner.  Elijah and Cassie made hamburgers, while Nathan prepared a couple of pomegranates we bought at Wegmans Friday morning.  I had already washed and spun dried the romaine lettuce and spinach Friday afternoon, so that was done and waiting to be made into the beautiful but simple salad I had planned for it...

My grandfather is Greek.  I spent a ton of time with my grandma and grandpa when I was growing up, meaning that I also spent time with and made friends with some of grandpa's Greek friends' children.  These friends had a local Greek restaurant and spent a lot of time cooking ethnic Greek food.  I remember them bringing Greek foods over to my grandpa because they knew he appreciated and missed them.  I recall one time my friend brought over a pomegranate to his house when her mom was visiting my grandparents.  She was just eating the seeds and exclaiming how wonderful it tasted.  I had never seen a pomegranate before and asked her what it was that she was eating.  The only time I had ever heard of the pomegranate was in a Greek myth book that I loved to read, a story about Persephone and Hades.  Anyway, I was very curious about this fruit, and my friend could not believe I had never seen or tasted one before.  She offered me a seed, but when I tasted it I thought it was the most tart, sour-tasting fruit I had ever tried.

I have not been able to ignore the fact that pomegranate juice has become all the rage now.  It's everywhere.  My children are always begging to try new fruits and vegetables, and this past Friday morning was no exception.  Cassie and Nathan were with me at the store and saw the pomegranates displayed by the door.  They instantly rushed over to the mountain of red fruits, like bugs to a bug zapper.  "Oh, mom, we've NEVER TRIED these before!  PLEASE!!  They're ONLY $2 EACH.  They're on SALE!  PLEEEASE!"  Well, how can I say no to my children who are begging to eat something healthy?  Besides, I have tried some juice drinks with pomegranate juice in them over the last couple of years, and they weren't bad.  I sent Nathan over to a Wegmans employee to ask how to tell if a pomegranate is ripe.  I gotta say, I love Wegmans customer service.  A very knowledgeable and helpful woman came over with him and proceeded to explain the whole process to us in very great detail, helping us pick out a couple of fruits.  She then explained the best way to extract the juicy seeds, several times.  She also told me about a salad she planned on making that night with the seeds.  Then she went into the back room to print off a copy of instructions they have that explain the process of getting the seeds out and how to freeze them (I didn't ask her to do that, she offered and was gone before I had time to even think about whether or not it was necessary.), leaving me standing there thinking about the salad she was going to be making, how good it suddenly sounded to me, and what else I would add to the salad if it were me making it.

I brought home my stash of pomegranates, and other salad goodies, and quickly hid them in the produce drawer in the fridge without a word (out of sight, out of mind, right?), hoping that the kids would forget about the pomegranates until I could make the salad.  (My vultures children have a knack of inhaling food that they like before I have had a chance to enjoy it or use it in a recipe--I'm sure you can't relate, right?!)  They did ask once, but I told them they would have to wait until the salad.

Anyway, tonight was the night for our beautiful salad.  Nathan followed the directions for cleaning the seeds out of the pomegranate skin, Elijah peeled and sectioned several clementines, I had already rinsed and spun the lettuce and spinach, and Elijah sliced some canned black olives.  Cassie and Elijah made some hamburgers, using a special blend of spices that Elijah made up tonight. 

I didn't even try tasting the pomegranate seeds until they were on the salad because I was afraid they would be sour and would taint my opinion of the salad before I even tried it.  Anyway, the salad was delicious.  I loved the pomegranate so much that after I ate my salad Elijah and I sat and ate a couple of handfuls of pomegranate seeds.  They were sweet and juicy and delicious, the highlight of tonight's meal (IMHO--In My Humble Opinion).  I will be making a similar salad tomorrow but will be adding toasted walnuts.  I will take a picture and post it tomorrow evening if all goes according to plan.

I am also working on a recipe for raspberry bars.  I have it almost perfected and will post about it soon.  I might make a batch of them tomorrow for a Girl Scout Christmas party.  We'll see.  I still have to help Moriah dip some spoons into melted chocolate chips and chopped/crushed candy canes for her secret santa gift to one of the girls in her troop.  Then I have to make a veggie platter.  It would be nice to bake something GF, though, since all the other girls will be eating cookies and such.  I'll have to see how my morning goes.  I'll have to let you all know what I end up doing, if it's blog-worthy.

I'll talk to you soon.  Have a blessed evening.


No comments: