It's a cold and dreary day - I woke up twice last night to the sound of sleet on the Airstream: brief bursts of frozen precipitation. This morning while outside with the dogs, I first thought glass had broken and scattered in the wind - until I realized it was ice that had formed on the live oak branches, that was falling with each wind gust. There were many closings, including the major bridges for most of the morning. I'm sitting in my slowly warming Airstream, editing the 4th chapter of my doctoral student, Maria's, dissertation. It's the first draft of this chapter, so I'm slowly making my way through it. She has set a defense date of 11 March 2011 - so her dissertation must be 'defensible' and in to her committee by the end of February. There's still much to be done - but we will get there. She's working hard.
~my satsuma, kept warm by a mound of wheat straw~
I've struggled with ways to keep my satsuma tree warm over the past few winters - when it was just tiny (only a foot tall) I covered it with blankets. I then tried leaves kept in place by a ring of plastic. That worked well - except the leaves got wet and become heavy - so I'd remove them, add them back - it was kind of a hassle.
I'm determined though to keep this satsuma alive and kickin' - and most importantly, producing. I've bragged about my satsuma crop before - I harvested five fruit two years ago, and didn't have a crop at all last year (I blamed it on the unusually cold winter - that we seem to be repeating this year). This year I have it hidden on cold days and nights under a rather unattractive mound of wheat straw - two bales of straw surround it, and then I sprinkle (loosely) more straw over the top of it. So far so good - and even after an unusually cold December and now this icy day.
You see, I've got to keep my satsuma thriving - because I can't wait to make these clementine (satsuma) cake from satsumas from my own garden. Does this recipe look delicious? The clementine cake is a Nigella Lawson recipe - but over at Greg's Food he substituted satsumas for the clementines to make this cake - almond flour and satsumas? Yum.
Clementine Cake by Nigella Lawson (recipe and above image found over at Greg's Food)
4-5 clementines(about 1 lb)
1 c plus 2 tbs sugar
2 and 1/3 c. ground almond meal/flour
1 heaping tsp baking powder
Put the clementines in a pot of water and bring to a boil for about 2 hrs. (We did 1.5 hrs and it turned out great!) Take out the little green stem parts and put into a blender or food processor. Pulse to liquify. Add in the rest of the ingredients and pulse to blend, or like we did, pour liquified orange pulp into a mixing bowl and whisk in the rest of the ingerdients.
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Butter (or margarine) a 8in springform pan and line with parchment or wax paper (and butter that as well). Pour in batter and bake for 1hr. Like in the original recipe, we put an aluminum foil hat on the cake for the last 20 minutes - it was getting pretty dark.