Monday, November 1, 2010

Pomegranates, Monroe and Halloween

When I was growing up, my dad occasionally brought home a pomegranate. He’d stand over the sink and scoop out the juicy seeds, while we waited nearby, anxious to pop them into our salivating mouths, and my mom fretted about the mess. “Monroe!”

I’ve passed by the apple-sized globes in grocery stores, but aside from flavored juices, yogurt, and those highly-addictive, must-have-retreat-snack chocolate covered pomegranate seeds, I’ve not had fresh pomegranate in all these years. I guess because Halloween was coming up, last week I put one in my cart. I couldn’t remember exactly what dwelled inside, or how to remove the seeds, so I went online to get instructions:

Slice off the end
Score sections on one end without cutting through to the other end
Soak it in a bowl of cold water for 5-10 minutes
Remove the fleshy skin and strain the seeds

I followed the instructions, but the result was a big mess, stained fingers, and scarlet marks dotting a cream blouse I’d neglected to change out of. A lot of work for a tart, crunchy snack.

I’m remembering my dad today because twelve Halloweens ago I got the phone call that he’d died. It’s a weird kind of feeling, thinking how long it’s been, when I can still remember the pomegranate treats, can still see his round stomach jiggling when he laughed, can still hear his, “Thank you kindly,” when the old-time gas attendant pumped our gas. I can still hear his voice encouraging me to write.

Happy Halloween Dad!


  1. Joan, thanks for sharing this story. It's neat how a seemingly small thing like a pomegranate can be attached to so much meaning. I do cut off the top of the pomegranate, but then I just break it open and slowly excavate the seeds(after making sure to be wearing an old shirt).

  2. I loved this! What a nice memory.


  3. Andrea--I tried 3 times to get those stains out and no go! Thanks for stopping by!

    Ellen--Our dad was something, huh?!

  4. It's always the little things that get you. For me it's when the phone rings after a Michigan football game. I always have a fleeting thought that it's dad calling to hash over the game.

    Thanks for sharing your story.

  5. Great memories, Julie. Little things definitely remind us of monumental things!

  6. We have a pomegranate tree in our back yard! (It used to be in the front yard ... long story ...) I could bring you one! I have one sitting on my kitchen sink just for looks right now. Mostly, the birds eat them, or the dog when we're not looking, which isn't a good thing!

  7. Yes, please, Julie K.! Hilarious--the scene with your dog and the pomegranate!


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