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Archive for November, 2011

Side Hill Citrus Satsumas

Do you want to know where the best Satsuma Mandarins can be found? From our frame of reference Side Hill Citrus Satsumas from Lincoln, in the Sacramento foothills have a variety of tart and sweet flavors that fill your mouth with its rich full flavor. The combination of a higher elevation of 600 feet, nutrient filled organic clay soil, warm summer days and cool nights and using a Satsuma Owari rootstock from China all contribute to growing consistently delicious Satsuma Mandarins year after year.

Rich Ferreira from Side Hill Citrus bought his land in 1975 with only 75 Satsuma trees, in 1991 he became certified organic and now has over 2000 Satsuma trees. When I asked Rich how he knows when the Satsumas are ripe and ready to pick he answered “when my dog likes to eat them”.

You will never taste a more amazing citrus than the Satsuma Mandarin. They have no seeds and the skin peels right off.  Look for Satsumas with an aromatic smell, firm tight peel, no dented spots and a heavier fruit means they are juicier. They can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator, but not for too long because prolonged storage can dry them out.

A 2008 U.S. Department of Agriculture study said Satsumas have six to seven times as much synephrine, a natural decongestant, as other citrus. Four or five Satsumas have enough synephrine to equal the effect of a Sudafed tablet, the study said. Satsumas are also naturally low in calories and a single fruit contains 34 percent of the USDA daily recommendation for vitamin C.  So stay healthy this winter and pack a few in your lunch or for a snack during the day.  The season is now and only runs through the beginning of January.  Make a delicious cocktail with Satsumas for that special holiday party. Randy, our resident chef at Earl’s loves to mix Satsuma juice with tequila for that perfect cocktail.

Click here for cocktail recipes.



Satsuma Cocktails

Randy’s Satsuma Tequila Cocktail

Randy Windham, Earl’s Organic

2 ounces tequila
2 ounces simple syrup (click here for recipe)
3 ounces fresh satsuma juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake until your hands turn cold. Serve in a salt rimmed glass.

Satsuma Gin Cocktail

Joanne Weir, Cooking Light

1 satsuma orange, peeled and sectioned
Crushed ice
1/2 cup dry gin
1/2 cup fresh satsuma orange juice (about 2 satsumas)
1 tablespoon Grand Marnier (orange-flavored liqueur)
Satsuma orange rind (optional)


Rinse satsuma sections in cold water. Drain; freeze 30 minutes or until firm. Place crushed ice in a martini shaker. Add gin, juice, and Grand Marnier to shaker; shake well. Strain 1/2 cup gin mixture into each of 2 martini glasses. Add 4 frozen satsuma sections to each glass. Garnish with rind, if desired.


Satsuma Champagne Cocktail

By: Joe Wadsack From: Good Food Live   


3 Satsumas
50 ml  Absolut Mandarin vodka
champagne, to fill
thin strip of satsuma, peel only to garnish


Peel the skin off each of the satsuma segments and remove any pips. Place the satsuma segments, mandarin vodka and ice cubes in a cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously until well blended. Strain into a champagne flute and fill with champagne. Garnish with the satsuma peel and serve.

Cranberry Sauce with Cardamom and Orange Zest

1 cup water

1 cup sugar

12-oz bag fresh cranberries (3 cups)

1 teaspoon cardamom seeds from lightly crushed green cardamom pods or to taste

1 cinnamon stick

1 TAB freshly grated orange zest

Bring water and sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Add cranberries, cardamom seeds, cinnamon stick and simmer, stirring occasionally, until berries just pop, 10 to 12 minutes. Stir in zest, then cool for at least an hour. Take out cinnamon stick before serving.

Chilean Blueberries


We have transitioned seamlessly from domestically grown blueberries to delicious blueberries grown in Chile, the largest producer of imported organic blueberries, where it’s summer during our winter. Chile lies along the western coast of South America at opposite ends of the equator of the United States and stretches over 2,700 miles long, the equivalent of going from Southern California to British Columbia, Canada. It is never more than 110 miles wide at any point and runs from the world’s most arid desert in the north to the Antarctic Circle in the south. In between, the land passes through forests, mountains, valleys, volcanoes, lakes, glacier fields and a wide range of climate zones. California and Chile have very similar coastal, central valley and mountain climates with the combination of warm and cool seasons blueberries need to grow best. They are mainly grown in the central valley of Maule where the rainfall is abundant, temperatures are cooler than in the north and the summer mornings are foggy.

From now until January blueberries will be available in smaller 4.4 and 6 oz packs as the season starts. The prices of blueberries will be a bit higher for now due to the limited supply coming from the Northern part of Chile and because they are being shipped by airplane. The blueberries will be super fresh and the time between being picked and being shipped could be as little as two days. As we start the new year blueberries will be more in abundance, packed in 8 oz containers or larger and shipped by boat, which means lower prices at the grocery store.

When choosing blueberries look for firm, plump, fragrant, dark blue berries with a dusty white bloom. The white bloom is the blueberry’s natural protection against the sun and is a sign of freshness. Always check the underside of the container for any wet spots or staining. Discard any soft, moldy, or crushed berries.

Blueberries are a super food and are full of anti-oxidants, along with being a good source of vitamin C, vitamin E, manganese and heart-healthy fiber. Store berries at home in the original plastic storage container from the market to let the air circulate around the berries and prevent humidity from building up. Blueberries will arrive from Chile through March, when the domestic season starts up again.

One of my favorite recipes is blueberry cobbler and now I can look forward to making it outside of the summer months. It is super simple and you will impress your friends with how delicious it is. Click here for the blueberry cobbler recipe


Blueberry Cobbler Recipe

Real Simple




  • 2 pints blueberries
  • 1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemonzest
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 2 cups heavy cream


  1. Heat oven to 375° F. In a shallow 1 1/2-quart baking dish or a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate, toss the blueberries, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1 tablespoon flour.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and the remaining flour and sugar.
  3. Add the butter and blend with your fingers or 2 knives until coarse crumbs form. Add 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cream and mix until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Drop mounds of dough over the blueberry mixture. Bake until the berries are bubbling and the top is golden, 35 to 40 minutes. Serve with the remaining cream for drizzling, if desired.



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