Alex and I were working in our front yard one afternoon.  Amy, who lives three doors down, and Erin a friend who lives in “the Castle” stopped by to ask if we wanted to join them for dinner. Amy was hosting, and her husband Tom was cooking.  Upon arrival at Amy & Tom’s Mediterranean/Spanish Revival home, we were treated to a grand tour complete with historic details. Tom is Greek, and they recently replaced the awnings with bold, bright blue canvas, so if you remove the homes on either side, and imagine the home dangling on a cliff, you might think you are in Santorini, or maybe the south of Spain.  You decide.  The blue theme continues inside the home where the remodeled kitchen has stunning blue marble countertops with Grecian inspired curtains.  Their home is filled with family antiques and unique finds from their travels.  Out back, they have the oldest pool in Santa Ana on record.  Don’t think that means it’s run down though, it’s not.  Hearst would be proud to have this lap pool at his own Castle.  It’s surrounded by fruit trees, and flowers.  Perfect for relaxing in the sun.


Amy’s husband Tom loves to cook themed dinners. Apparently, their pomegranate tree was producing an abundance of fruit and Tom had devised a pomegranate themed dinner party to use it all up. Erin and Pete, Trish and Las, Rich and Tammy all joined in the pomegranate fun and every course featured a new use for the beautiful tiny red seeds. Amy’s pride in Tom’s cooking and creativity made the dinner even more satisfying. We left with some new friends, and new ideas on how to use the fruits of our garden’s labor.


How to be Neighborly: When life gives you pomegranates… share them.

Here’s how I use the fruits of other people’s gardens:

Wild Rice with Kale & Pomegranates

  • 1 c wild riceIMG_1737
  • 2 1/2 c chicken broth (or veggie broth if you are vegetarian)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 onion, diced
  • 2 c kale, chopped
  • 1/4 c pomegranate seeds (*)

In a sauce pan, combine rice, broth, salt, pepper, and onion.  Bring to a boil.  Once it starts to boil, turn the heat down to low, cover, and simmer for 20-25 minutes until the rice is cooked.  Once the rice is cooked, remove from the heat, and add the kale and mix until it wilts slightly.  Add pomegranate seeds, mix and serve.

(*) If you don’t have pomegranates, dried cranberries work well too.

Serves 4





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