It’s cold, friends. Not snowy wonderland cold, but cold for these parts. Last night dipped into the upper 40’s (F, around 8 C) and with the wind whipping across this hilltop and frigid, tiled floors underfoot, I made like a sensible person and stayed immobile under blankets from dusk to dawn.
But this morning at 6 (begrudging thanks to my internal clock), I was ready to rock and roll and so was Z. I donned extra layers and Her Royal and Furry Highness took me for a walk, when we were promptly pelted with pebbles by neighborhood children, and then returned home with enough time to make something out of the ordinary for breakfast. In an ongoing effort to cook with ingredients from nearby, I plucked a pomegranate from a tree in the yard.
Did you know that winter is pomegranate season? (You probably did, you smarty-pants. I was oblivious). At least in the northern hemisphere, that’s the case. The gems around our home had been looking awfully plump and crimson on their branches lately, despite dry and chilly weather. I just assumed they were in a good mood for whatever reason, but it turns out they, like me, get rosy cheeks from the brisk air!
I’ll admit pomegranate scones seem incongruous, like a peacock in the bathtub, but with some zest from oranges and mandarins (provenance: desert oases in the northern Awdal Region of Somaliland) the tart pomegranate works. And the seeds add a beguiling crunch to otherwise soft, crumbly scones. I used this Royal Wedding Scones recipe as a base, with about 1 cup of oats replacing as much flour, and pomegranate jewels plus a tablespoon or so of mixed orange and mandarin zest replacing the blueberries.
This morning, a Somali colleague recounted that all the water in Wajale, the main border town between Somaliland and Ethiopia, had turned to ice cream overnight. Now if that doesn’t say cold…
Here’s a handy tutorial on how to de-seed a pomegranate without getting yourself juiced, including instructions to “thwack the bejeezus out of it.” Check you later, and Happy Holidays, if that’s your thing!