The upcoming festive season, an upset stomach and a friend's birthday have contributed to this post. I have an iron digestion so am not used to being laid low by tummy trouble, but I spent all of Saturday in bed, only crawling out to take the dog for walks. I have my suspicions about a piece of sushi I had to be sociable (never understood the attraction) but will point no fingers as I may have caught a local bug. Sunday wasn't much better and I missed a joint walk up to Pedasa with a local archaeologist, which was a real shame but luckily Roving Jay went along (despite eating from the same sushi plate so my indisposition must have been from a rogue germ) and we will hopefully get to read about the visit soon.
I wanted to take along something festive to writing group on Monday as it is our facilitator, Martha's birthday week. I wasn't up to baking so I decided to brew up a mulled pomegranate juice. It is very simple to make but I admit the squeezing is a pain. It is best done in an old fashioned pull-down orange juicer, but an ordinary push down one will do, if you cover yourself and all surfaces before you start. If you live in Turkey, take a jug to your local juice stall and get it done well away from your kitchen. If you are in the UK, I'm sure Waitrose sells fresh pomegranate juice by now.
In Turkey, we have sweet and sour pomegranates, you need the sweet for this recipe, unless you are prepared to add a lot of sugar.
Put half a litre of water in a pan with:
6 cinnamon sticks,
A thumb sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and cut into sticks
The peel from 4 oranges
12 cubes of sugar
Boil until the water is reduced by half.
Juice the four oranges and add to the water and bring back to just under simmer,
Add 1 litre of pomegranate juice and bring back to just under simmering point.
Taste and add more sugar if necessary. You may need 4 or 5 more sugar cubes
You can sieve and serve this now, but it tastes much better if you cover the pan and leave the spices to infuse for a few hours then warm just before serving.
It makes a great alternative to mulled wined and if you are careful not to boil the juice you will still retain a lot of the vitamin content.