Pomegranates Waning

Posted on November 20, 2008


Pomegranates herald the new year – the Jewish new year that is – which means their bright red orbs suspended among the yellowing leaves on their bushes give us former East-coasters a feeling of autumn.  Now with Hannuka just around the corner, the late-ripening pomegranate varieties are still in the stores and its a last opportunity to buy a crate and get to work.  We bought two crates – one with large, A-grade fruit and the second with smaller, less impeccable models. The former we peeled and collected the seeds in zip-loc bags – into the freezer.  The latter were relegated to the orange juicer to make juice.  That, we froze in ice cube trays (they sell these plastic bags formed to makepomegranites3 ice cubes here that are very handy for this). 

Legend in these parts has it that there are 613 seeds in each pomegranate – exactly the number of “mitzvot” or commandments.  We tried to verify this but kept losing count.  We did, though, check the origin of the name pomegranate – my guess – that it means “apple from Granada” was half-wrong.  It actually means “apple with many seeds”. 

Our frozen pomegranate seeds will serve us in good stead when it comes to livening up salads or grain dishes like “friki” – which you’ll have to come to the Galilee if you want to try.  The frozen juice cubes, however, are plopped into a glass of water to make a refreshing cold drink after a long walk.  And even better – my houseguest Naomi and I made screwdrivers with fresh-squeezed clementine juice and two pomegranate cubes floating on top.  Lovely and delicious!