I recently mentioned that I’d been harvesting local pomegranate trees, yes? Naturally, the next part in the jelly making process is to extract the juice from them. Easy peasy, lemon squeezy, right? (pardon the pun 😉
This year there seems to be a bountiful harvest of really big, honkin’ sized pomegranates (“big, honkin’ ” = 60’s, non-scientific unit of measurement) .
And as fate would have it, the bigger & juicier they are, the thicker and tougher the skin / internal sections seem to be… one assumes that’s nature’s way of protecting the juicy berries hidden inside. That’s all well and good, that is until it’s time to extract the juice to make the jelly.
After picking, washing, halving and pressing ~400 pomegranates, here’s a step by step of the drill:
- Drive around town on a completely random basis, attempting to locate pomegranate bushes / trees in the yards of complete strangers.
- Not unlike Fuller Brush, Girl Scout, Jehovah’s Witness or Mormon’s on a Mission, knock on the door of complete strangers and in less than 30 seconds, introduce myself and gain permission to enter their property and take their fruit.
- Once permission gained, return at random times to harvest the pomegranates without raising the suspicion of security-conscious neighbors.
- Bag the pomegranates.
- Haul the pomegranates home.
- Wash them.
- Halve them.
- Place the citrus press on the counter, using a 2-cup measuring cup to catch the juice.
- Place each half open-side down in the citrus press, then pull down really – really – hard, basically until you can feel a hernia developing.
- Release the lever, remove the crushed half and replace with a fresh, juice-laden half.
- When the measuring cup is full, xfer to 1 gallon milk jug. When the jug is full, put a cap on it and place it in the freezer.
- Repeat until you run out of pomegranates, muscle strength or shoulder ligaments – or any combination of the three.
Above are a few action shots from the recent pressing…
Over the next month, we’ll go into more details of making pomegranate jelly.
as always, until next time, be well.