A Toast: Spiced Pomegranate Bubbly


I adore the coming of a new year. Burrowing into the stillness leading up to it, I read and write until I can make some sense of it all. Turns out... 2012? Not my year. There was plenty of The Good-- a new home, a new neighborhood, a new part-time job that let me cross another item off my Mighty Life list... But, oh man, were there tears-- while trying to fall asleep, while crumbled up on the cold tile floor of the kitchen and, often, a few big,  drops shed silently on my yoga mat. I lost myself in the hubub, the schedules, the long workdays, the totally horrific stories on the news. I saw myself slipping away and I was on such a pity party merry-go-round that I couldn't bring myself to get off the ride. Which explains, in part, why we haven't seen much of each other these last nine months.

Resolutions have always been a mixed bag for me. This year, I'm trying to focus on the feelings behind all the "wants" that come up when I think of what is to come. The words that keep coming up: challenged, creative and connected. And this small endeavor in my humble corner of the internet is going to help. So, lovebugs, I'm back. This time for keeps.

And if any of you are still around, I want to offer up this toast to you. While this year was not my best work, you held my hand, sent sweet notes to say you missed my cooking and updates here, you took me to the beach and for massages and when I texted you, "can you talk?" you called me right away because that's usually the first sign of trouble 'round these parts.

In 2013, I hope I can be as true to you as you've been to me and that all of us can be more gentle with each other.

Spiced Pomegranate Bubbly 3 cups pomegranate juice 3 tablespoons brown sugar, honey, agave or maple syrup 1 cinnamon stick 2 whole star anise dry white wine (optional) Champagne, cava or prosecco

In a saucepan over medium-high heat, bring the pomegranate juice, sweetener of your choice, cinnamon and star anise to a boil. Once boiling, lower the heat to medium-low and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half-- this may take 30-45 minutes depending on your flame and the size of the pot. Remove and discard the cinnamon and star anise*. Allow to cool and then refrigerate to chill.

To serve, pour 1-2 tablespoons of the pomegranate syrup into the bottom of each glass. Top with an ounce or two of wine (if using) and top with bubbly.

*the star anise makes for a lovely cocktail garnish, though, if you're into such things