January 22, 2018

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I’ve been steeping, marinating, concocting – what is the best word? I digress, these have been hanging out in dark spaces to come to their absolute most delicious state. Yes, that. Most delicious. The top photo is of vin d’orange and the second, Bourbon Cherries. I started each almost two months ago and kind of forgot about them until we cleaned (bye-bye dust bunnies!) and re-organized our laundry room yesterday afternoon, unearthing the vin d’orange from a crowded shelf of glassware and canning supplies waiting for our next tango. Mine is rather cloudy, little orange bits bullying their way through my strainer funnel. What is most important, however, is the flavor. Hot diggity is this stuff good! Were I not on the low carb train, I would have downed a glass, imagining myself and the hubster (Juniper, too!) lying prostrate on a picnic blanket in an Ojai orchard. Yes ma’am! Instead, I took some thoughtful sips and declared my work heartily done. Same goes for the cherries, though I would probably be in Hood River, because cherries!

Had I been a real planner, or more precisely, seen talk of this goodness before December, I might have made them earlier and given them as holiday gifts – maybe next year! Here are the recipes, should you like to get your own ball rolling…

Vin d’Orange

1 bottle rose wine

1 bottle sauvignon blanc

1 cup vodka

1 cup sugar

1 vanilla pod, split and scraped

4 navel oranges or whatever orange you prefer, just making sure you’ve got enough relative to the size

Combine wine (you could also use two rose or two white – I couldn’t decide!) vodka, and sugar in a 3 quart, wide mouth jar and stir until sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla (many recipes call for a star anise or two or three, but as pretty as it looks, I don’t like the flavor) and the oranges, stir to mix. Cover tightly and store in a cool, dark place for about a month – or two if you’re forgetful! Strain as best you can into another jar and store in the refrigerator.

I think it’s great on its own, but wager it would be pretty special mixed in some bubbly (water or wine – you decide!), too, a nice orange wedge as garnish.


Bourbon Cherries

1 cup bourbon

1 cup pitted cherries

3 T sugar

1/2 vanilla pod, split & scraped

Combine bourbon and sugar into a jar large enough to hold all the cherries (I don’t know how big mine is – sorry!), and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add vanilla and stir. Cover tightly and store in the refrigerator for about a month. Eat by the spoonful (ha!), put over ice cream, vanilla cake, chocolate cake. Give your whiskey the height of splendor with the addition of one or two. Put in an Old Fashioned or a martini, you get the idea…