Luscious. Yes. I think that’s the right word. Luscious. Not a normal adjective used to describe citrus fruit, but then, clementines are not a your normal citrus fruit.
I am one of millions who love these little bundles of juicy joy. They’re so fragrant and easy to peel. Still, to this day, I try to get the peel off in one piece. Not sure if that’s a leftover from my childhood or from sharing with my young son this stunning feat. And, mmm, the way the scent lingers on your fingers when you’re done.
Clementines are so perfect all by themselves, I find it hard to think of doing anything with them other than eating them straight out of the crate. And yet, much to my surprise, people do make things with clementines. I’ve learned that some make juice and marmalade and even duck a l’orange with clementines. And the deliciously, sensuous Nigella Lawson even makes cake with them.
don’t think of these ideas as sacrilege. Not at all. I just can’t imagine the little sweet treats lasting long enough to find a recipe and ingredients, then actually prepare something. Six would probably have been eaten by the time I got the mixer out.
Their short season makes them special, too. Available only from November to the end of January, or if the Citrus Elves are good to us, early February. Three months, tops.
And the November to January thing, kind of gives them a Christmas association. For me, when the crates first appear in the grocery store, that is the beginning of the Christmas season. Never mind the carols and glittering decorations that sprout right after Hallowe’en. It’s those glowing orange globes that make my sleigh bells ring.
Oh, these seedless wonders. So sweet. So tart. When you get the right one, such perfect bliss. Sometimes, though, I think those little Citrus Elves play pranks on us. It seems, in every box there’s one clementine that’s not so seedless. It hides itself until you are convinced that this box is perfect in every way and with caution abandoned, you guilelessly chomp down on that bitter seed. Ugh. Every. Time.
Yesterday, as I was savouring a late, night snack clementine, I noticed my supply was very low. Only three left. Then I realized, gasp, it’s February! Will this be my last clementine of the season? Is it over? Do I have to share? Where can I hide my stash? (Strange, I sound vaguely like an addict. Hmmm. I guess it could be worse, right?)
Such little things, but so special.
Oh my darling. Oh my darling Clementine. You are lost and gone forever… or at least until next November. Oh my darling Clementine.
Do you share the love? Do you have a clementine Kodak moment? Tell us your story in the comment’s below.