Cyd noticed the ground beneath a neighbor’s pomegranate tree was littered with fruit. He asked if the Co-op could harvest the tree and they appreciated this, as the fruit can create a messy nuisance. Fallen fruit attracts rodents and pests, which in turn attracts larger predators such as coyotes. The coyotes are increasingly brazen. My cat Lucy survived a recent attack, in the middle of a busy weekday morning. (She is an inside cat, and had only ventured outside because I was doing a little gardening. It happened within the minute that I went inside to get my phone. The coyote was no doubt watching us.) The reasons to harvest our fruit and vegetables are numerous; we eliminate green waste, we keep predators away from our pets and children, and we create delicious things!
Because the pomegranates on their own are not really very flavorful, I wanted to combine them with some of our abundant citrus. Mimi’s sweet oranges were the perfect partner. Because I was using the pectin bag technique, this marmalade was made in small batches. Two large oranges and one large lemon were prepared using our standard marmalade technique. (Triple wash the fruit, cut off 1/4″ from each end, slice down the middle and put the core and seeds into a pectin bag, then thinly slice the fruit hemispheres.) I soaked the fruit overnight to help soften the peels, then the next day began cooking the peels in their soaking water. It took about an hour and a half for the peels to soften, so meanwhile I washed the poms. Some were for juice, and some were for seeds. Two poms yielded one cup of juice. Working with the fruit in a bowl of cold water, two poms produced a cup of cleaned seeds.
Once the peels were soft, I added juice, then sugar in the same proportion as peels and liquid, which in this case was about 4 cups of cooked fruit and liquid, so 4 cups of sugar. Bringing the mixture up to a brisk boil, it took about 30 minutes to reach the wrinkle or gel stage, which is when I added the seeds. The seeds were simply brought up to a boil, then the mixture was ladled into prepared jars and processed for 10 minutes. I wanted the seeds to be bright and crunchy, and thought that if they cooked for any length of time in the sugar syrup they would go past crunchy to hard. This worked well. Two oranges, one lemon, 4 poms and 4 cups of sugar yielded about 6 half pint jars. This one is very fruity and not bitter; it whispers ‘put me on your holiday table, please!’