‘Tis the season for citrus…Rio Star Grapefruits, Honey Bells, Clementines, Kumquats…markets have piles & piles of seasonal citrus from all over the world so when I brought my grocery cart to a screeching halt in front of a pile of these fascinating “creatures” earlier this week I knew it was the time to take some Buddha’s Hand Citron home to my kitchen. Upon arriving home I was greeted by our “front porch Buddha” ….I went into the kitchen where there is a photo of a Buddha statue over the sink…(see photo gallery below)…hmmmm..this is food for thought.
I am very drawn to objects/foods that have an “unearthly” quality…in fact Buddha’s Hands look like much sea life I have encountered while snorkeling in the Caribbean…they could just as easily be attached to a coral reef as be sitting on my kitchen counter. What to do with these beauties? For a couple of days I just left them sitting around…they are beautiful in shape & made an interesting centerpiece…they smelled good. They are very popular in China and Japan at New Year’s as they are believed to bestow good fortune on a household. This nugget I learned yesterday so was even more happy to have them just sitting around!
After a bit of surfing I found little in the way of recipes on the internet…uses in salads & a few recipes for preserving…lots of info about the history, origin (China/Japan/India now grown in California as well) folklore & beliefs attached to these hands, but little in the way of recipes….so lack of information led me to …citrus = marmalade.
“Buddha’s Hand Good Luck Marmalade”
A rich caramel colored marmalade with hints of cardamom & balsamic vinegar.
Recipe/Ingredients (this recipe would also work with any fresh, seasonal citrus):
1 Buddha Hand Citron(rinsed & wiped dry)
3 cups raw/or white sugar
1/4 cup of your local honey
4 cups water
1 cardamom pod slightly crushed
1 cup fresh squeezed citrus juice (I use Rio Star Grapefruit & Clementine juice)
2 TBSP Balsamic Vinegar Syrup/Reduction
1. With a vegetable peeler cut the peel & most of the pith (it is not bitter like most citrus) from the Buddha Hand.
2. Into a large enamel or stainless steel pan add the peel-pith, sugar, honey, water, cardamom pod & juice. Stir to mix well. Bring to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce heat to low & simmer mixture for about 45 minutes until liquid is reduced by a bit more than half. Stir frequently as liquid is reduced & thickens.
3. Remove cardamom pod & stir in balsamic syrup/reduction. Simmer for another 10 minutes or until a candy thermometer reads 220 degrees.
4. While marmalade is cooking sterilize two glass canning jars in hot water or hot oven for a few minutes. Remove from water & dry with a clean towel. Fill jars with rich caramel colored hot marmalade mixture & seal with lids. Let jars cool completely & store in refrigerator until ready to use (keeps for weeks or give away a jar for more good luck).
My “Buddha’s Hand Good Luck Marmalade” ready for my “tea & toast test”.
Hot buttered toast with marmalade & Chia tea…cozy & yummy..I am feeling lucky with every bite…
Thematic Gallery of Buddhas & Hands:
I will end this last post of 2011 with this “Buddha Bar” story that was online this week on NPR:
Have a healthy, happy & kind new year….see you in 2012 my friends.