Monday, December 21, 2009

Making marmalade

In Sacramento, where Patrick's uncle lives, oranges and lemons grow in backyards. December is the beginning of citrus season, and so it is the privilege of lucky Californians to send boxes of fruit to their shivering Northern relatives, where December marks not the beginning of citrus, but the beginning of snow.

Who would trade a blustery winter for a backyard orange grove? Raise your hands! Oh, I'm with you.
Anyway, last week our annual fruit box arrived. Inside were homegrown oranges, lemons, and two enormous pomelos (looks like a yellow volleyball; tastes like grapefruit). What was there to do but make marmalade?

It was a cold-as-heck day, a constant hot-tea-infusion day. As my friend (and ex-neighbor, though that sounds terrible) Jen and I sliced and stewed, I contemplated the irony of California oranges and lemons being cooked in a New York kitchen, a chilly world away from their pampered origins. Not a bad thing, though. At the end of the day there was warm marmalade spooned onto cakey gingerbread, and plenty more hot tea to go 'round.
And, I have to believe that hot tea, gingerbread, and warm marmalade wouldn't taste quite so comforting and wonderful if all was warm and bright, and outside sago palm fronds bobbed in the breeze. For all the hassles they have to endure, I do believe Northerly-dwelling folk have the claim on comfort.

Keep your orange trees. I've got me a warm house, plenty of blankets, and a steaming tea-mug. Nothing could make me appreciate those things more than a chilly wind blowing outside.


4 comments:

ladysaphira said...

Mmm, home made marmalade sounds amazing! Lucky you having such great fruit grown by family.

I know exactly what you mean about comfort food and cold weather, I wouldn't trade my winters for all the oranges in california. I would like it to get above 15F today though...

Kristina said...

Ladysaphira, it's all about the simple pleasures, isn't it? Having temps above 15 is a very modest goal. :)

Mrs. Danby said...

"He met Marmalade down in Old New Orleans Struttin' her stuff on the street. She said "Hello, Hey Joe, you wanna give it a go?"

Yup, totally just got the Lady Marmalade song stuck in my head. The original, of course.

Your marmalade looks divine, m'dear.

Becky said...

Yep to all you wrote. although I will say that having grown up in the mid-South foothills and mountains we too know winter "comfort." Bring the cold and snow!!! I hate hot.

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