Year after year, February seems to just buzz by at inexplicable speeds. I’m beginning to think that somewhere along the line, the whole month got all tangled up in some sort of time warp, and that now, time in February actually accelerates. How else can you explain how quickly it vanishes into March? Certainly not by noting its unique number of days. February is only two or three days shy of other months. But every year it seems like I blink on Valentines day, and it’s already March when I open my eyes.
Thanks to this mysterious time warp, I nearly failed to fulfill my preserve-a -month new years resolution. And in only the second month of the year! I was checking out at the fruit market this morning, when I suddenly realized it was February 28. I suppose I’d already been vaguely aware that my preserve-making window was beginning to draw closed. But I’d thought I had more along the line of days, rather than hours, to complete my monthly mission. Realizing that I’d better act fast, and luckily being in the perfect spot to do so, I paid for my first round of groceries, then directly wheeled my cart to a gorgeous display of meyer lemons, the same ones I’d just happened to be coveting on my first go-through.
A cross between a lemon and a mandarin orange, meyer lemons are bright with lemony flavor, but have hardly a pucker of lemons’ characteristic tartness. The sweet fruit is a bit rounder than regular lemons too, an its thin, smooth skin is of a deeper yellow, nudging its way towards the orange region of the color spectrum. The thin skin and sweet flesh make meyer lemons an ideal citrus fruit for all sorts of desserts. And its kinship to the orange makes it a perfect candidate for marmalade.
So, on this last day of 2010’s shortest month, I made Meyer Lemon Marmalade. The results were fabulous – a sticky-smooth jam with tender flecks of candied lemon peel, bright lemony flavor and a delicate sweetness - and the method was easy as can be. I simply seeded the lemons, sliced them into skinny little triangles, simmered them in water for a little while, then added sugar and simmered it all for a little while longer. That’s all there was to it. It couldn’t have been quicker. And that’s definitely a good thing, especially when time is already moving faster than it should!