Saturday, January 8, 2011

Mandarin Marmalade

With good friend Marcellas over holiday break!

Mandarins are here. In my latest grain CSA I received a bag of mandarins and meyer lemons. I really love that winter in California has its own fruit ambassadors. Yesterday, I stopped myself after I ate six or seven mandarins. My daughter ate 4 after school. Oh how I love their tangy sweetness!
I ate those six mandarins before I sat down to meditate. They were on my mind. Meditating and falling asleep give me my best recipes. Today I was inspired to make mandarin marmalade. It was perfect because a dear friend of mine turned 40 just a few days before and I knew he would love homemade marmalade as a gift. I decided to add ginger for the warming properties it has as well as being a digestive tonic which makes it tailored for winter. Marmalade seemed the perfect way to pay tribute to a happy winter fruit. I did not add pectin to my recipe because I used mandarin peels which naturally have a lot of pectin, so just added the mandarins, peels, sugar, ginger and a bit of vanilla seeds. I did not get fussy at all with this recipe. I love rustic angles on food; the more untouched the better.

And with that I will share a few trends happening in my house right now gliding us into the new year...and say that I was in southern california after the holidays and was able to catch up with family and my dear friend, Marcellas!

1. big bowls of heirloom beans drizzled with olive oil and tamari. Good quality olive oil is spectacular drizzled over cooked beans.

2. turning the thermostat down to 60 to save on heating bills

3. taking lots of soaks in my ofuro to warm up from a cooler than normal house (dang! I am going to miss that ofuro when I move!)

4. making popcorn more often because it always seems like such a special treat (don't forget the yeast)

5. Frazey Ford...she is just singing the soul of where I am right now. Great interview and music clips from NPR...

6.The Swell Season... the duo that made the movie Once back in 2006. My favorite song of the album is High Horses

7. cooking dinner listening to #5 and #6.....

8. Sharing special wine with friends before I move that I have been collecting over the last seven years

9. Thinking, dreaming, wondering, manifesting my reality that showcases food, farmers, health and soul in marin county... preferably with the food network or style network ♥

10. practicing "surrender is not about giving up, it is about letting go"..thank you Christi

Mandarin Marmalade
makes a bit over a cup

2 cups mandarins inner piths removed
1 cup sugar
1/4 tsp. crushed vanilla beans
1 heaping tbls fresh chopped ginger
1/2 cup mandarin skins chopped

I peeled the mandarins with a paring knife. Then I chopped finely 1/2 cup of the skins. Remove the mandarin piths inside. It is a fantastic source of vitamin C, but in this case it will contribute to more bitterness than you might care for. Roughly chop mandarins into 1 inch pieces. Use a sharp knife so you don't lose too much juice on your cutting board.
Add mandarins, vanilla, sugar, skins and ginger to sauce pan. Bring to boil, then lower to simmer for 90 minutes.


heather said...

The Swell Season is one of my favorites!
Thinking a lot about you Jess.

Dianne said...

Thank you so very much for your lovely post, especially the quote, "practicing "surrender is not about giving up, it is about letting go". I set intentions in the fall -- a plant it in the fall and it will start to bud in spring, bloom in summer, reap in fall idea -- and my intention this year was "Trusting Serendipity". It has been such a hard hard intention! Reading the idea of surrendering as letting go has given me new-found perspective, just as I re-new my intention for the new year. Thank you for your continued inspiration.

Becky said...


You know how much I am rooting for you (I hope!), and I hope that your plan comes to fruition exactly as you see it in your dreams. I think that it will, because I'm pretty sure that you can move mountains. Looking forward to it.

It's a joy to watch.


Nancy said...

Some very good things going on in your house right now! The mandarin marmalade sounds fantastic, especially with fresh ginger and vanilla.

Anonymous said...

I wanted to email you but couldn't find a way to reach you privately? I live in France and have been dipping in and out of your wonderful blog for a year now, but not for several months. I was saddened to read of your recent emotional upset. You write so beautifully, and of course your recipes are fantastic too. Craptastic years make us all stronger, believe it or not. Every time you feel sad, look at that beautiful daughter of yours!

I wondered about your photography - have you written about this on the blog? I searched but couldn't find. Which camera do you use, and on what settings? would you be able to share? Your lima bean photos are superb.

I was lucky enough to live near you ten years ago and miss the food opportunities you have there. But, I'm coming back on vacation in February and am already salivating at the thought of all that organic healthy produce!

Keep doing what you do and please continue blogging. Your words are a joy to read and you inspire me to cook.

Jessica said...

Dear sweet person from is my email below..if you send me your email address I will answer all of you questions about my camera, etc.

Anonymous said...

that you make marmalade, in the midst of big change, says so much about you. you make art while your heart breaks, and heals. that is so beautiful, so nurturing, such an act of inner strength. i continue to be inspired...


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