When I was a little girl I didn’t like the taste of pomegranate juice like I do now. I just didn’t know the value of the stuff. That’s how it is when you are young.

When pomegranates were readily available and not expensive at the market we had them at our house.  My grandmother soaked them in the sink in cold water and then with lots of newspapers spread out on the kitchen table the two of them, she and my grandfather, would coax the pearly red seeds out of their fleshy home.  Into a bowl they went and then some sort grinding would go on.  After that, pouring and separating with colanders here and there and white cloth over  bowls and more pouring of juice with funnels. From this elaborate madness of mismatched cookware there would miraculously  appear six or eight or whatever, glass bottles of dark red stain – blue almost – so dark, the color of red.

In the afternoons, after nap time, the cousins from downstairs were called up and we would all sit in the tiny kitchen at the table with the secret drawer. Baka would put clean glasses onto the round tablet with her hands still stained and slowly she would measure out the scarlet liquid. She added ice cold mountain water from the faucet and carefully put our glasses in front of us. We drank, staring at each other, making faces and smacking darkened lips.  Baka looking out the window behind us, at the mountains, thinking to herself.