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Pomegranate jelly colors the season

Dark in the jar, pomegranate jelly is bright red on the plate (or cookie). (Photo: Debbie Arrington)

Recipe: Tangy condiment just the right red

Pomegranate jelly looks as cheery as the holiday season -- a brilliant ruby red. It’s just the right color for Valentine’s Day sweets as well as Christmas cookies.

Using fresh juice, pomegranate jelly can be a tangy and pretty filler for thumbprint cookies or petite pastries. Delicious on toast or English muffins, it makes a flavorful glaze on pork or chicken, too.

It takes eight to 10 medium to large pomegranates to produce 4 cups juice. This recipe can be scaled down, but not up.

You'll need eight to 10 of these beauties to produce enough
juice for pomegranate jelly. (Photo: Kathy Morrison)
The little dab of butter cuts down on the foam (and hence the waste). This recipe is adapted from Elise Bauer’s excellent
Simply Recipes version.

Pomegranate jelly
Makes 6 to 8 half-pints
Adapted from Simply Recipes

Ingredients :

4 cups pomegranate juice

¼ cup lemon juice

½ teaspoon butter

6 tablespoons powdered pectin (1 package Sure-Jell)

A food mill can be used to juice the arils. (Photo: Debbie Arrington)
5 cups sugar


Strain pomegranate and lemon juices to remove any seed or white membranes.

In a large heavy pot, combine pomegranate and lemon juices with powdered pectin and butter. Bring to a full rolling boil.

Add sugar all at once. Return to boil. Boil for 2 minutes, remove from heat and let sit for 1 minute.

Skim off any foam. Ladle hot mixture into hot sterilized jars, leaving about 1/4-inch head space. Wipe rims, screw on lids and process filled jars in hot water bath for 5 minutes.


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Dig In: Garden Checklist

For week of June 4:

Because of the comfortable weather, it’s not too late to set out tomato and pepper seedlings as well as squash and melon plants. They’ll appreciate this not-too-hot weather. Just remember to water.

* From seed, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, melons, squash and sunflowers.

* Plant basil to go with your tomatoes.

* Transplant summer annuals such as petunias, marigolds and zinnias.

* It’s also a good time to transplant perennial flowers including astilbe, columbine, coneflowers, coreopsis, dahlias, rudbeckia, salvia and verbena.

* Let the grass grow longer. Set the mower blades high to reduce stress on your lawn during summer heat. To cut down on evaporation, water your lawn deeply during the wee hours of the morning, between 2 and 8 a.m.

* Tie up vines and stake tall plants such as gladiolus and lilies. That gives their heavy flowers some support.

* Dig and divide crowded bulbs after the tops have died down.

* Feed summer flowers with a slow-release fertilizer.

* Mulch, mulch, mulch! This “blanket” keeps moisture in the soil longer and helps your plants cope during hot weather.

* Thin grapes on the vine for bigger, better clusters later this summer.

* Cut back fruit-bearing canes on berries.

* Feed camellias, azaleas and other acid-loving plants.

* Trim off dead flowers from rose bushes to keep them blooming through the summer. Roses also benefit from deep watering and feeding now. A top dressing of aged compost will keep them happy. It feeds as well as keeps roots moist.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushier plants with many more flowers in September.

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