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Tangerine Dreams

March 2, 2011
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There are a lot of reasons why I try to eat locally and seasonally.  I’m sure you’ve heard them all before: local, in-season produce is better for the environment; buying from local farmers keeps money in our communities; getting to know the folks who grow your food removes the element of mystery from (and adds an element of accountability to) dinnertime — the list goes on.  But the best reason?  The reason that keeps me buying my produce at the farmer’s market even when I’d like to cut corners?

It tastes soooooooo good.

Lily and I discovered these tangerines (Murcotts, if you’re interested) at our favorite citrus stand in January of last year, and they became an obsession with the first impossibly juicy, startlingly tangy, oh-so-sweet bite.  Particularly at the beginning of the season, they’re in short supply, so we get up extra early to make sure we get our weekly stash.  Which, by the way, is between 20 and 30 lbs.  For three of us.  I am not exaggerating when I say we’re obsessed.  Our dealer vendor has become a friend, and he’s been known to save us a box if we’re running late.  (Greg is fabulous.  Before we knew his name, we called him “The Tangerine Man.”  Later, after we were properly acquainted, we asked him to sing “Tambourine Man,” substituting “tangerine,” of course — and he did.  Like I said: fabulous.)  These are pretty much the only fresh fruits we eat from January until whenever the strawberries get it in gear, so mostly we eat them as they are, one after another, ten in a sitting.  Repeat.

But sometimes, we find ourselves with a few left over, or we want to spread the tangerine love into every meal.  So if you’re similarly blessed with tangerines these days, here’s a sampling of what we’ve done with ours.

~ Tangerine-scented peas (Seriously – trust me on this one.), tossed with butter and homemade pasta

~ Marmalade.  No link, because thus far my marmalade-making skills leave much to be desired.  I suspect I should probably not have tripled the recipe, but hey – I got carried away.

~ Tangerine cake (We substituted tangerine zest and juice for the lemon, to great effect.)

~ Chocolate fondue fodder

~ Sliced up in sangria

~ Tangerine sherbet (Haven’t tried this one yet, but I can’t wait until I get the chance!)

I hope your farmer’s market has something just as wonderful!  We’ve got at least another month of tangerine bliss, but I’m also looking forward to strawberries, rhubarb, fresh peas, and the first asparagus!

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 2, 2011 11:01 pm

    Oh Yum! My mouth is just watering and all I have is navel oranges, and they aren’t even that juicy! I will keep my eyes out for these type of tangerines. Thanks for a mouthwatering post, Ashley!

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