Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Pomegranates and Parrots

My mother has a pomegranate tree which fruits prolifically.  And each year, as the pomegranates blush pink, a horde of King parrots flies down from the north and spends a few days denuding the tree of its bounty.

This year to deceive the parrots my mother has picked the fruit before it ripens. 

But who has tricked who?   I couldn't eat them when she gave them to me as they were not yet fully ready.  So they have sat in this bowl for two weeks, slowly ripening.

(pomegranates from Benalla in a 17th century oak bowl)

But maybe that doesn't matter as I suspect pomegranates may officially be the most pointless fruit there is. 

Many many years ago, Aussie New Yorker hosted a dinner party down at the beach on the eve of an important Federal election.  It was a bacchanalian long table dinner, to which we were required to atttend in character as a Greek or Roman god or goddess.   I was Persephone, the goddess of Underworld who was dragged down there by Hades after bursting through a cleft in the earth where Persephone was picking flowers with some nymphs (Hades made an appearance at the dinner - he was my boyfriend at the time - very apt as it happened).  

Daughter of Demeter and Zeus, Proserpina in Roman mythology, Persephone was eventually saved by Hermes, but as Hades had tricked her into eating pomegranate seeds, she was bound to return to the underworld for at least a season each year.

One of these pomegranates would have done rather well at the dinner.  At the time, pomegranates were not in season. In fact, as a 24 year old, I barely even knew what they looked like. 

I have found it hard to find many useful pomegranate recipes.  Of course you can sprinkle the seeds and make juice but these seemed a bit simple.  In the end I made this, a roasted beetroot, goat's cheese and pomegranate salad.

Looks a bit like a massacre, I know. But it tasted piquant and lovely.


Natasha in Oz said...

Looks delicious...that salad would be lovely at Christmas time with all those bright and festive colours!

I have been drinking ocean spray cranberry and pomegranate juice lately and it is really beautiful. The kids even enjoy it!

Best wishes,

Lee said...

Mmmm, I'm with you - it's difficult to find a good use for pomegranates, regardless, they do look beautiful sitting on your bench in that bowl! The salad looks quite yummy too. Lee :)

P.S. Thank you for the lovely comment on the Boyd Baker House. It made me smile.

Aussie New Yorker said...

I'm laughing remembering that dinner party. You made an excellent Persephone. Must get those photos out again next time I'm home x

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Hey Jane
Well poor little pomegranate ..... calling him pointless.. did you know that it is the most powerful fruit for antioxidants, inhibits certain cancers and lower cholesterol and blood pressure amongst other fine fact...... will have to put you on a mission to find more recipes for us.!!! Meanwhile I think we all want to see the Persephone pics!!!!

thanks for your lovely comments on my anniversary post... I know I've been a bit scarce lately all over blogland... need to get back in the saddle... Oh I never went to Torcello unfortunately.... made the rounds by ferry but only stopped in at a few... mabye next trip!!! have fun... xxx Julie

likeschocolate said...

The salad looks fantastic! Yummy! Lucky you!

Traveller said...

A pomegranate tree?? I am so jealous! Hades = hilarious :)

JMW said...

You know, I have never had a pomegranate in my life! I've had a candle that was called "Pomegranate," but never tasted the fruit. How cool that your parents have pomegranate tree, though. :)

jane said...

i think it looks amazing! and the combo sounds perfect. :)

Hannah Stoneham said...

Looks lovely!

brismod said...

It looks great but anything with roasted beetroot does. And I love that your ex was Hades - aren't they all?

P.Gaye Tapp at Little Augury said...

ah, but the symbolism of the pomegranate and its complexity. lovely to look at-we can not be all things to all people. but the salad does look good. pgt

Susie said...

I'm with you Jane, the good looks of the pomegranate seem to outweigh the usefulness but they are especially wonderful in middle eastern dishes (& with lamb). Lucky you - whole treeful of them, I'm envious...very decorative with their beautiful colour and shiny wrappers! Best wishes x

Ange said...

Remember freezing them makes it easier to get those little red berries out! make sure you ripen them well first.

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