TAHOE/TRUCKEE — Remember when your kids went through that knock-knock phase? At about age 5 my sister Gigi's three children each hit me with “Knock knock. Who's there? Orange. Orange who?” Final answer: “Orange you glad I know this joke?”Not wanting to damage their precious self-esteem and have to pay for rehab when they're, like, 35, I laughed loudly thus encouraging them to say it over and over again. It got to the point where it took all my effort, by the time the last baby came along, to not say, “Orange you glad Gigi's not having any more kids?”Fast forward to the Sierra, in the dead of winter, not a decent fruit in sight and then — Eureka! Orange you glad for those deliciously sweet Clementines, Mandarins and navels popping up at affordable prices? Just when you feared a serious case of scurvy (look it up) was about to set in, you find yourself inundated with bags of this Vitamin C wielding cargo from visiting friends (and you know they are real friends, because they sure haven't come for the snow!) hailing from the warmer climes of Folsom, Auburn, Sacramento and Fresno.I wish I could tell you to freeze the oranges to use throughout the winter months, like bananas, but really, no can do. What you can do, however, is make a batch of marmalade to use for baking, even barbecuing, days to come. But I am getting ahead of myself. For now, simply put on the 70s classic “Lady Marmalade” get your “Gitchi, gitchi, yaya, dada” on and whip up a batch of Bill's Orange Marmalade.Bill is one of those Renaissance men who went out with, well, the Renaissance. He is an engineer who also just happens to make his own jams and jellies and also award-winning wines. Fortunately, he rarely mixes up his vats, and his marmalade recipe is also blue-ribbon worthy.
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