Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Darling Clementine

My Grandpa Fred, toward the end of his life, would sing quite a lot.  I loved his singing.  The old-man timbre of his voice still rings in my memory, loud and clear.  One of his favorites was the old standard "Darling Clementine."    As a young boy, he lived on a cattle ranch in southern California.  He died not too many miles away from where he was born, and lived the entirety of his life between those two points.  Growing up with cowboys and cattle drives, he learned some pretty bawdy songs, none of which I ever heard until his later stages of Alzheimer's disease set in.  Similarly, there were verses in the Clementine song I never heard until his last years, either.  What a shock it was, and what a laugh it gave me!

Anyway, to this very day, I can't look at Clementines and not hear my Grandpa Fred's voice crooning on about Clementine's sister!  OH my!

Prior to Christmas this year, I stocked up on Clementines as a sort of lip service to having something healthy on hand for snacks.  So my house looked like this: bowl of caramels, plate of fudge,  pile of clementines.  Platter of Nanaimo bars, platter of fudge, pile of clementines.  See?  Healthy!

(Oh my darling, oh my darling, oh my darling Clementine...)

My sister-in-law brought her family and another HUGE bag of clementines.  She left, but the clementines stayed .

(How I missed her, how I missed her, how I missed my Clementine...)

Mr. Boom, Chirp-chirp, and I ate as many as we possibly could, but we still had about a ton. 

What to do?

Thanks to Foodgawker, I found a Ceramic Canvas recipe for Clementine and Ginger Gelatins. Calling for two dozen or so clementines, this dessert seemed like the very thing!  I *think* I can even get away with calling it healthy, not that I care so much, but maybe you do?    Served up in a martini glass, it's also festive and easy to make ahead.  I'm thinking that if any of you are having a New Year's Eve soiree, this dessert would be awesome to serve and celebrate with.

First, squeeze enough little clementines (or tangerines or mandarins) to yield approximately two cups of juice.  I was a little short when I took this photo, but the photo with the full amount came out quite blurry. 

Pour the juice into a little pan and bring to a simmer.  You can filter the juice through 
a sieve if you want, but  I don't think I'll bother next time.

The original recipe called for a mere 1/4 teaspoon of ginger. 
I like ginger, so I put in thiiiis much.
Toss it in and let it steep.

Squeeze another half cup of juice, and add 1/4 oz of gelatin.
Stir until the gelatine has dissolved.
(Or don't quite dissolve it all, then remelt everything the next day
and be thankful that it worked!)

To the warm mixture, add the tiniest bit of vanilla,
and about 1/4 cup of sugar.
Combine the two mixtures, stir well to incorporate, and pour into
a dish, little glasses, a shoe, or whatever else you feel like serving it in.

I'm a bit ashamed, but yes, that's cool-whip.
Pretend it isn't, please.  Wipe the image from your head.

Easy recipe, isn't it?  I hope you make it and I hope you like it.

('Til I kissed her little sister, oh my darling, Clementine....)


  1. The Clementine and Ginger Gelatin looks wonderful. And now that Clementine song is a serious ear worm for me..... and I'm stuck wondering about the little sister.....

  2. At Thanksgiving time I was asking my students what was their favorite Thanksgiving dish. One of the kids loves orange pie. Some day, when someone gives me a lot of citrus, I will try it.

  3. I love hearing your description of your grandpa.

    "until I kissed her little sister and forgot my clementine."