IMG_1931We all have them – those little signals that it’s time to slow down – to regroup and take stock.

Miss them and I usually end up with some lurgy.

So when I start thinking of jam, or relish, or pickles .. I know it’s kitchen comfort calling and I heed the call.

Our lives move at such an incredible pace – pulling in different directions; jam-packing so much in.

It Is it any wonder we start to feel the ground slipping under our feet.

I’m not sure whether it’s the slicing and dicing, or the simple act of preserving something for later use – but I find this kind of making so grounding.

Never time-consuming.  But always mind-absorbing.

I think it also has something to do with my childhood – memories watching on from kitchen stools.

IMG_1935And so it was lately that I started to think about Mandarin Jam.

With several trees in our garden we have a pretty abundant crop, so I often trawl for new recipes to inspire.

And this one I keep coming back to.

Somewhere between marmalade and jam, mostly sweet and slightly bitter, but not so much as traditional orange or lime marmalade.

And the smell of citrus warmth through the house is worth it alone.

And out the other end I come feeling restored.

Replenished.

Grounded.

I’m feeling better already.

(Mandarin Jam Recipe below is the one I consistently use – an old version by The Australian Women’s Weekly – the link I’ve included adds some brandy as well.).

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Recipe: Mandarin Jam (or use this one with brandy by AWW)

8 Mandarins

1 kg sugar

3 cups water

1. Wipe mandarins with a damp cloth, cut in half horizentally then in half again.  Using fingers remove seeds and discard.

2. Peel away skin and reserve the skin of 4 mandarins (discard the rest). Using a sharp knife cut the skins into fine slivers.

3. Puree mandarin pulp in a food processor (or chop very finely).

4. Place pulp in a large pan, add rind, sugar, water. Mix well.  Mixture should be not more than 5cm deep in pan.

5. Stir over medium heat until sugar has dissolved.  Increase heat slightly, boil uncovered without stirring 50-55 minutes.  Check occasionally during the last 10 minutes to make sure that the mixture isn’t burning under the base.

6. Remove any scum from surface.  Our into sterilised jars.  Seal when cold.

Note: recipe suggests not to increase quantities but cook multiple batches using amounts specified in the recipe.

 

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Links to other Mandarin Recipes In My ‘Dealing With Abundance’ File

Steamed Mandarin & Date Pudding With Custard

Mandarin & Almond Syrup Cake With Cardamom Cream

Mandarins In Brandy Syrup

Mandarin Cream Pots