Saturday, March 22, 2014

Ahhhhh! Paradise!

Sitting on the lanai every morning watching the light change on sky and water as the sun lifts it's head from behind the mountain, is so uplifting to my spirit it makes my heart sing.

We are so blessed to be able to spend an entire month on the Big  island of Hawaii this year! and lucky enough to have found a beautiful, spacious, well furnished condo to rent that suits us perfectly. We feel as at home here as we would if we owned it ourselves. 

Located about 1/2 mile south of Kailua Kona, on the Big Island of Hawaii we are able to walk to the market, to kitchy little bars and coffee shops, restaurants, and even a luau!


Overflowing with the most ripe, fresh, locally grown fruits and vegetables, the farmers market inspires us to cook island style.

Spring rolls made with fresh lettuce and herbs from the market, shrimp farmed on Kuaui  avocados and papaya from a local garden. 
And stir fry with grass fed beef from Waimea, accompanied by local tropical fruit. 
Ahhh, life in the tropics! 

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Makin' Marmelade!

While living in England in the 1980 's, I watched TV chef Delia Smith on BBC. Although citrus marmelade made from grapefruit, lime, lemon, kumquat and even orange was available in the super market, Delia encouraged her viewers to try their hand at making their own. I was a willing participant having had a long history of using surplus fruits to make jammy spreads for my family's toast and sandwiches. Ms. Smith explained that orange marmelade was made from Seville sour oranges! a variety imported from Spain fresh in the winter markets! and available tinned year round in the grocery stores. 

Armed with a kilo of Seville oranges, a large pot, sugar, a bit of cheese cloth and step by step instructions compliments of Delia and the BBC, I soon had a counter- top full of glistening jars of delicious bittersweet English style orange marmelade! The village hedgerows and country lanes soon became my foraging ground as I collected wild elderberry for pies and jam, Marabella hedgerow plums, blackberries, crabapples and even chestnuts, preserving them in the manner best suited to each. But I digress...

While the girls were growing up in the Phoenix area, we discovered the beautiful ornamental oranges growning along boulevard stips, and lining country roads. We found these free fruits perfect for a concoction I called "sunshine-ade", and sour orange pie. We juiced the fruit, and used it in similar quantities as lemon juice for fruit drinks, popsicles, meringue pies, and any other recipe calling for lemon juice. Little did I know these ornamental oranges were the same stock as Sevilles, nor did I make the connection between them and Orange Marmelade, until we returned to AZ in the late 80's.

Visiting eldest daughter in the Phoenix area this winter, I marveled over the beautiful Valencia orange tree in her backyard, laden with bushels of glorious juicy, fragrant fruit. She invited me to make marmelade with her... To which wise mother exclaimed "you cannot make marmelade from sweet oranges". All knowing daughter begged to differ, asking  "Why not?" and of course, I grapped my iPad to look up marmelade recipes just to show her! Naturally, the first recipe that popped up was Alton Brown's on Foodnetwork, ( insert URL ) and the food scientist guru makes no distinction in his recipe as to orange type. 

Needless to say, gathering a few medium large oranges, slicing, seeding, cooking, adding sugar, measuring temperature, sterilizing jars and carefully sealing same, we have a lovely batch of orange marmelade. Guess what was  on the table for breakfast?