Winter Preserves I Want You to Make


Do you find it difficult to ask for help when you need it? Do you say, “Oh, it doesn’t matter that I have a 101° fever and have to drive to the doctor’s office. If I have to pull over and throw up along the way, well, I’ll deal with it.” I was such a person for most of my life, and I think I can speak for many of us when I say we really do need and want help — sometimes rather desperately. It just takes practice to ask for it and then accept what is offered.

One of the best things about facing a big health and diet change has been learning that I don’t have to do it alone, that I can ask for even very specific kinds of assistance. For example, over the past few weeks, I’ve asked my parents to be soup makers. They have jarred at least seven gallons of soup — beet soup, pea soup, carrot soup — that I’ve been able to tuck into the freezer. (Do you freeze things in mason jars? Here are some important tips for that.) I thaw it as needed, so there’s always something to eat while I’m working out my new cooking routines. And Stewart has shifted into spring traveling mode for his work, but when he is here, he’s been stepping up in every way to keep our home healthy and happy. He’s undertaken some projects that we’ve been wanting to complete for a long time, like getting decent lighting in the kitchen and building in some more shelf and counter space. I need the extra room for big jars of ingredients that were previously strange to me — mostly an array of nut flours and a big vat of coconut oil. Handy stuff, that.

Solo Flyer

The support and encouragement I’ve received from friends, including those of you who read this blog, has really lifted me up, as well. I want to thank you for the kind comments and emails and tips you’ve shared — recipes, too! The other day, my buddy at What Julia Ate used her powerful skills of invention to create some beautiful squash nut muffins made with nut meal and a little honey and all other good things that I can eat. I prepared a batch yesterday and they were so good that I ate two right out of the oven. (From here out, I will try to be more prudent. I am still supposed to be eating only small snacks and meals.) Dear Kaela at Local Kitchen, who is not known for her love of food restrictions — and we do love her for that — made sure I did not miss this recipe for cinnamon roll almond flour donuts from Roost, something to keep on hand for a time when a real treat is in order.

Now, one of the hardest things about facing a big health and diet change is giving up some of the things that I used to do, or that I really wanted to do. For instance, I had been keeping a list of winter preserves — mostly citrusy, sugary ones — that I wanted to make this year, and of course I stumble over more beauties every day. It will make me feel better to share my list with you, in case you are still good to go with the sugar and want to make some of these preserves yourself. If you do, maybe you will come back here and tell me about it so I can live out a little fantasy.

Grapefruit Preserves from Laundry Etc. and Local Kitchen

Top of my List: Pink Grapefruit, Rhubarb & Cardamom Marmalade (photo courtesy Laundry Etc) and Salted Cranberry Grapefruit Jam (photo courtesy Local Kitchen)

This year, I was particularly looking forward to getting some grapefruit. Fellow pamplemousse enthusiasts, please take note:

Pink Grapefruit, Rhubarb & Cardamom Marmalade, from Gloria at Laundry Etc.

Salted Cranberry Grapefruit Jam, from Kaela at Local Kitchen

Texas Ruby Red Grapefruit Marmalade, from The Cosmic Cowgirl (I particularly love Stephanie’s bright, simple recipe and I’ve made at least two batches of this every year; it kinda busts me up not have it this winter.)

Ginger Grapefruit Curd, from 101 Cookbooks

Grapefruit-Scented Lemon Curd, from Caroline at Grow It, Cook It, Can It

Preserved Grapefruit in Mint Sugar Syrup, from Handjobs for the Home

The Grapefruit Has Given Its All

And a couple preserves for the orange-loving peoples . . .

Candied Clementines, from Marisa at Food in Jars, via Saveur (I’m intrigued that these are slices, not whole preserves.)

Orange Cardamom Curd, again from Marisa at Food in Jars, this time via Simple Bites (The girl gets around, and we’re all lucky she does!)

Citrus, Apple, and Tea Jam, from Susan Can Cook

Plus I have to throw in one of my own preserves from last year, because if you have Rangpur limes, this is the thing to do:

Rangpur Lime Jam, from me

And finally, there’s this one, which I want with a longing that only a seven-year-old girl could explain:

DIY Sour Patch Kids, from Classic Snacks Made from Scratch as presented by Autumn Makes and Does

I plan to keep pinning eye-catching preserves of all kinds to my Sweet board on Pinterest, so you can follow along over there if you’re interested. (I actually bailed on Pinterest a few months ago — because who needs one more thing to fragment the already diminishing brain cells — but I recently renewed my account so I could start a couple of boards to track grain-free and sugar-free recipes, both sweet and savory. Pinterest has some truly practical uses, besides just sucking innocents down the rabbit hole of powdered sugar and pallet furniture at 2 a.m.)

So what’s at the top of your end-of-winter wish list?

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  • Reply Julia February 22, 2013 at 1:52 pm

    What a nice round up, Shae! I think it very gallant of you to share these beautiful recipes that you sadly cannot indulge in. They all sound wonderful. Have you decided–or can you–make grapefruit slices in honey at all? That sounds awfully good to me. I must admit, I’ve not allowed myself an abundance of citrus this year. But I really want to make those sour patch kids. Really really.

    • Reply Shae February 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      I think it’s part of the transition, Jules. It helps me let go of them if I can share them — otherwise the list just kind of made me sad. I’ve been thinking about grapefruit slices. I’m not ready for that much citrus yet — as was proved by a tiny experiment with a satsuma mandarin earlier this week — but when I am: I fear grapefruit slices aren’t likely to hold up very well in any kind of syrup (even the reports from the mint sugar syrup recipe above contained some accounts of disintegration) so what about just making a honey mint syrup and drizzling a little bit of that over a fresh or baked grapefruit? When I’m ready, I mean. We have such great, fresh grapefruit here all year long; there’s really no reason (short of fabulous preserves like the ones on this list) for me to stuff it in a jar. :-)

      The sour patch kids. I know! And your muffins rock.

  • Reply Denise | Chez Danisse February 22, 2013 at 1:56 pm

    I am terrible when it comes to asking for help. Good for you for stepping up and asking for assistance and receiving what you need. I just read “Powering Down” and loved it. Take care of yourself, okay? -Denise

    • Reply Shae February 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm

      Thank you, Denise, I am taking care! I love that you followed that funny trail of links to Powering Down. I wrote that a long time ago. It was actually pretty illuminating sitting in the dark once a week for those months that I did it — six or so, I think.

  • Reply Diana B February 22, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    I’ve been to three grocery stores looking for cranberries so I could make the Salted Cranberry Grapefruit Jam – hopeless this time of year!

    • Reply Shae February 22, 2013 at 5:18 pm

      Oh, Diana, that’s a bummer. I know some people have managed to pull this one off in the past week. Maybe they all had cranberries that got lost, like Kaela’s, or that were hidden away in the freezer? Of course it will be the same with Gloria’s rhubarb marmalade. I have plenty of rhubarb in the freezer, but I know most folks won’t The good thing about that one is that rhubarb will come along early enough that it will likely overlap with the end of good grapefruits.

      Keep it on your list for next year!

  • Reply Susan Covey February 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm

    Thanks for the mention. It made my day!

    • Reply Shae February 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm

      Susan, you know I’ve had my eye on that Citrus, Apple, and Tea jam for at least a year. At least! :-)

  • Reply Angela Watts February 22, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    Those are some fabulous preserves and goodies. So sad to hear you may have to put off playing with them yourself or find an alternative way of preparing them.

    I really wanted to make Kaela’s salted cranberry grapefruit jam but I used the last of mine to make bread for work one weekend. I snapped up some local organic ones cheap but could only fit two bags in the freezer at the time.

    Excited to start seeing rhubarb at the grocer, although its undoubetedly not local, it was beautifully bright pink/red.

  • Reply Jackie Robertson February 23, 2013 at 4:22 am

    Greetings from Australia! So sorry to hear of your health problems, just when you were planning what I’d already done i.e. start your own commercial production. In Australia, during Winter of course the citrus is in abundance, so for me, this Winter I’ll be making. Orange & Whisky Marmalade, Lime & Sweet Green Chilli Marmalade, 3 Fruit Marmalade with Vodka :). We are the exact opposite to you in terms of the seasons, being Southern Hemisphere and all that. PS No Cranberries grow in Australia, so for us, it’s frozen Cranberries (when we can get them) or dried. I use a lot of dried Cranberries in my fruit mince for Christmas Cookery, some things don’t change. Wishing you all the very best in your recovery. x

  • Reply Jackie Robertson February 23, 2013 at 4:24 am

    Oh and I forgot to mention, Confit Oranges with a little dash of Cointreau! x

  • Reply Pamsc February 24, 2013 at 4:27 am

    I made a quick trip to Florida with my daughter and the weather was cold so we made our traditional calomondin marmalade from a tree at our cousin’s house. Before adding the sugar I took out about two cups and put it in a separate pan with 2 oz of honey. I didn’t cook it until it set, just to a thick syrup. I filled one half pint jar which sealed and the rest I saved to mix with yogurt for breakfast the next day. Mixed with plain yogurt it is certainly tart, but a good marmalade experience. The main thing I plan to do with it is flavor mashed sweet potatoes.

    Since I only made one jar it is in the refrigerator for immediate use, but I suspect it is acid enough to keep without a boiling water bath.

  • Reply Pamsc February 24, 2013 at 4:32 am

    Oops, I should have said with only a boiling water bath.

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