Published November 24, 2008
This addiction brings me to Thanksgiving 2008. Since fried turkeys have become THE way to make a turkey in the last 10 years, I have found myself missing the smell of a baked turkey wafting throughout the house. My brother is the family expert when it comes to turkey frying and has it down to a science. I am the designated marinade preparer. But, this year I am rebelling. I announced to the family that we are having a turkey cook-off. I will make my turkey the old-fashioned way and my brother will fry his turkey. It will be all good in the end because as our family grows (now that two, two-year olds have joined the ranks), we have found that we no longer have the leftovers we once enjoyed so much.
Back to my pomegranate addiction, everyone who knows me has come to accept that I eat a pomegranate nightly (it’s my evening treat) throughout the winter. I used to be able to walk down Columbus Avenue in NYC and visit my favorite fruit cart on the street or pack my backpack full of the beautiful red and pink orbs at Whole Foods at Columbus Circle. I now rely upon Sam’s Club or Giant Eagle (talk about price gauging this year) to keep me satisfied. I introduced my WASPY sorority sisters to the fruit in the 80’s (they always were fascinated by the ethnic foods I would bring from home) and any man I dated in NYC (each one was amazed at my obsession for the fruit). I was overjoyed when I read the article in the NY Times in the 90’s about a business called “POM” that was about to plant orchards of pomegranate trees in California hoping to start a trend in the U.S. for a fruit that has been a standard in the Mediterranean. At the time, it stated it would take two years for the trees to bear fruit. Now there seems to be a whole pomegranate movement that even has a Facebook page. I found a California Pomegranates site there as a result.
Since the POM Wonderful company has come on the scene, I regularly visit their website to see what recipes they have dreamed up with my favorite fruit. I was ecstatic to see many great recipes for Thanksgiving this season (yes, these days it doesn’t take much to get me excited). I’ve stocked up on a large container of the juice, many pomegranates and even pomegranate molasses (which can be purchased at Ghosshain’s on South Avenue). There are so many great recipes on this site that don’t end with Thanksgiving. I even prepared a guacamole with pomegranate arils (seed sacs) last night which was to die for (although my two year old wasn't impressed). Not to be completely competitive, I will still prepare the marinade for my brother’s fried turkey which consists of a variety of vinegars (I have a yummy champagne and strawberry vinegar) and the pomegranate molasses. But, for my piéce de resistance, I will use the POM brine and glaze recipes found on the POM website (always with a spin of my own). FYI: You can find pomegranate recipes on epicurious.com, too (a combination of Bon Appetit and other magazines).
This will only be the second turkey I’ve ever prepared and the first time I’m making one in my mother’s oven. It is nice to think that the old house (I once again live in my parents’ house) will be full of the traditional smells of the holiday again. I scrubbed out the oven yesterday with a chemical free concoction of baking soda, vinegar and dish soap (found on the internet) to get ready. Tonight I’ll be picking up my free-range, hormone and anti-biotic free turkey at Catullo’s (I just love Danny and all the guys – they are so damn helpful and knowledgeable). In all honesty, this type of healthy turkey isn’t much more than the store-bought ones and is probably fresher. I’ll brine the turkey on Wednesday and plot my game plan for Thursday’s meal. Wish me luck!