November 25, 2015
Everyone keeps talking about how “the holiday season is upon us,” but in my house, it’s been here for a few weeks already.
We celebrated Diwali on November 7th, returning to an annual tradition that we skipped last year to focus on the weddings of dear friends. This year, we were able to celebrate our own marriage in conjunction with Diwali—something I never would have predicted at this time last year, but which dovetailed nicely with the holiday’s themes of light shining in the darkness and the promise that righteousness ultimately prevails.
Our house was packed—even more so than planned, thanks to the rain—babies were passed around, (catered!) food was consumed, toasts were made, and we were spoiled by the love and good wishes of friends and family, some of whom flew in from out of town for the occasion.
Yesterday was my birthday, and tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and were I to try and list all of the things for which I am grateful, I’d never get the rolls or the pie made! But one thing I can say is that I am thankful for these days that we set aside, these rituals that bind our years together, and the opportunity to be here right now, acknowledging what is all around me—leaving the planning and scheming and to-do lists for another day. I hope you have the chance to spend time doing the same; I am so grateful for your readership and your presence in my life.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
POMEGRANATE RUM PUNCH
recipe from Chowhound
I served this punch at Diwali—it scaled up nicely—and may have been more excited about my very first ice ring than anything else! I know, big nerd. But the punch was a hit; it all disappeared by the end of the night. Punch is so great for a party or big gathering, because you can assemble all of the ingredients ahead of time, and because it always makes a festive occasion feel more festive.
This one is brightly colored, not too sweet, and dangerously drinkable! I will be making it again today for Friendsgiving, and at least once more between now and 2016—I highly recommend it for any holiday gatherings you may have planned.
For the ice ring:
Small bundt pan or saucepan
½ cup pomegranate seeds
1-2 limes, thinly sliced
Water, boiled & then cooled (this will keep the ice from being cloudy)
For the punch:
1 ½ cups pomegranate juice (I used Pom—be sure to get a brand with no added sugar)
1 ½ cups rum (you can go fancy with something aged, or keep it simple with a basic white rum)
¾ cup simple syrup
¾ cup freshly squeezed lime juice (don’t use the shelf-stable bottled stuff! Either juice your own or find some fresh juice in the refrigerated case at Whole Foods or an equivalent retailer)
1 tsp. orange bitters (I am lucky to have a homemade bottle gifted by a friend—if you don’t, or don’t want to buy one, you can skip this OR add some fresh orange juice/zest to mimic the flavor)
2 bottles brut Prosecco or other sparkling wine, chilled
At least one day beforehand, make the ice ring by layering the pomegranate seeds & lime slices in the bottom of the pan of your choice. Cover with cool water and place in the freezer until solid.
You can mix the punch base—juices, rum, simple syrup, & bitters—ahead of time and store in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. When it’s time, remove the ice ring from the freezer, loosen it with a little warm water, and slip it into your punch bowl. Pour in your pre-mixed punch base, then top with chilled Prosecco. Serve to a happy crowd!
*All of the pictures in this post are courtesy Audrey & Lauren, my wonderful friends/students who served as photographers for the night!