Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas in My Kitchen

Adding pomegranate seeds to your Christmas salads?
I used to make such a mess trying to dig those beautiful red globs out, until I read about this trick.
Whack it.  It's also real good for dealing with all those Yuletide frustrations from shopping and cooking and going non-stop.  I mean, you can't get mad at Santa.  Remember the Whack-A-Moles at the State Fair?
So slice the pomegranate in half.  Turn up side down, over a shallow dish, preferably sitting in your sink, then haul off and whack the pom hard with a meat cleaver, rolling pin, or the dull side of your chef's knife.  Turn the pom and hit it hard again, and again, and again until you're feeling better or laughing or the pom gives it all up.
I was amazed at the results.....both at how much better I felt after smacking the thing, and how easy it was to extract enough seeds for plenty of salads.

It's a tradition.  Which means I gotta.  So for each of the last 18 or so years, I make a Yule Log for a gathering of friends who met when we were pregnant over two decades ago.  The youngest kid is now 20.  That's means I've done lots of Yule Logs.   I've done variations, the favorite being the year Hurricane Fran hit Raleigh, so my Yule Log had "crashed" over a toy truck.
You'd think I'd perfected the recipe by now.  But when you make something only once a year, you forget.  So sometimes that sponge cake cooks too long, as it did this year.  Or the meringue mushrooms are too sticky.  Or sometimes I run outta time and use - gasp! - canned frosting.  But this year I did it right.  Gotta show it off, so forgive the photo, apres shower where my drenching in chocolate was washed off.  

HAPPY HOLIDAYS  May your holidays be overflowing with the good feelings from gathering around a table, just being together, laughing and enjoying the bounty of this good Earth, no matter how sophisticated or simple the food or wine may be.   Nurture your souls while you nurture your appetites.  Happy Holidays!

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