Monday, November 14

Red, Rich, & Refreshing

Since I've already posted on Christmas... I think I shall write on Valentine's Day? Jokes.  I am heading back to the actual time of the year... Thanksgiving!
[Warning: this post is long but it's because there is a lot of pictures]

I just made a trip to Kroger to find the goodies that I needed for the "Golf family Thanksgiving dinner" that we are having on Wednesday. I am bringing the turkey, the gravy, and the cranberry sauce. The gravy is probably the only reason that I eat on Thanksgiving... well besides the stuffing!

Anyways my point of all that was that when I was on a mad hunt for the cranberries that were NO where to be found, I came across plump pomegranates for a good price so I bought them! Have you ever had pomegranate seeds? I'm sure most people have tried some form of pomegranate juice or another whether its combined with blueberries or cranberries but I am not a huge fan of pomegranates that way.

Last fall, my mom had bought fresh pomegranate seeds from Costco that were absolutely delish! They actually POP in your mouth when you bite them. I almost can't describe their taste, probably because I've been eating them, tasting my cranberry sauce, and drinking some Welch's grape juice for the past hour... but they are seriously fresh and delightful.

I am encouraging y'all to try some pomegranate seeds of your own... if you want to buy them that's fine but I had fun cutting them and getting the seeds out myself. Here's how I did it...


Pomegranate Fun Printable Version of Instructions [no pictures]
1. Prepare yourself for the fact that the juices are known to stain. Use a plastic cutting board rather than a wooden one. I also laid a colorful towel down on my countertops since they are white... but the juice ended up not staining my countertops anyways.


2. With a large chef's knife, cut through the crown of the pomegranate as close to the bottom as you can. Then pull the rest of the fruit open with your fingers and hands.

step two
3.  Cut each half in half again so that you have actually quartered the pomegranate. Again, you may have to use your hands to open it fully.

step three
4. Fill a medium bowl 3/4 full with water. This will help you separate the seeds from the honeycomb like membrane since the membrane floats.

5. Take a quarter of the pomegranate, lying flat in the palm of your hand and squish it in half over the bowl. This will break the membranous spine that lies over the seeds. After I did this, I found it helpful to bend the quarter of the pomegranate back in the opposite way (as pictured below) since it opened up better access to the seeds.
step five: part one
step five: part two (bending it back)
6. Use your fingers to scoop out the pomegranate seeds into the bowl of water. It is okay if some of the honeycomb like membrane falls too since it will float.

7. Once you have finished all 4 quarters of the pomegranate. Skim the membranes and floaties off the top of the water. After I did this, I poured out a lot of the water carefully to not let any seeds out. Then refilled it up with fresh water to get some remaining floaties to the top. Then strain your pomegranate seeds.
8. Place the seeds in a bowl to serve and eat! Enjoy!

*The seeds can be stored in an tupperware container for 2-3 days afterwards.

Back to my lost cranberries... I had asked at least three people where I could find them and they all replied, "the jelly kind in a can?" Nope. Not that. FRESH CRANBERRIES! Finally, as I had circled the store for the oh fourth or fifth time... A guy that works with the meat asked if I needed help finding anything, to which I replied, "Well actually, yes! I can't find FRESH cranberries anywhere!" He said, "follow me." I preceded to follow him to where he told me to wait as he went to back storage area and brought out a whole huge box of cranberries! I was overfilled with joy! I quickly grabbed two bags and jolted to the check out line.

Why all the fussy over fresh cranberries? Because cranberry sauce made at home is the best! It is seriously so simple that it makes buying the canned sauce totally not worth it! It literally takes 3 ingredients and makes a ton of sauce! You can make this up to one week ahead of time. Here is my simple recipe for totally delicious cranberry sauce:

Cranberry Sauce // adapted from simplyrecipes.com
Printable Version of Recipe [no pictures]

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 1 cup of water
  • 4 cups fresh or frozen cranberries (one 12 oz bag)
  • Optional: vanilla extract, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg, or allspice.

Directions:
1. Wash & pick over cranberries. Throw out ones that are mushy, dark yellow, or completely white. Cranberries should be pink to burgundy colored and they should be firm.

step one. [my camera made them appear more bright red]
step one
2. In a medium saucepan, bring the water and sugar to a boil, stirring to dissolve sugar. Add cranberries and return to a boil.
step two: sugar and water blended together
step two: boiling sugar and water
step two: added cranberries
3. Reduce heat, to medium-low and simmer for about 10 minutes or until cranberries burst. [I simmered for about 15 minutes]
step three
step three
step three
4. This is when you can add the optional ingredients. I added about a 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract.

5. Remove from heat. Cool completely at room temperature then chill in the fridge. Cranberry sauce will thicken as it cools.
step five: removed from heat
6. Makes about 2 1/4 cups. Can be made up to a week a head of time.  [note: I doubled my recipe in the pictures]

Well, I hope you try either of the red fruits! Both are absolutely delightful! Just be prepared that my next several posts will probably be about food.
Coming up: Golf family Thanksgiving dinner & secrets from an Italian family's kitchen

1 comment:

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