Okay, it has been beyond a while since I posted here, but let’s overlook that and get to the good stuff. I’ve certainly been clicking my needles since I last wrote, and have even whipped up a few holiday gifts in recent weeks, even though I usually balk at the thought of knitting anything as a present these days… but I’ve also been busy in the kitchen, making delicious goodies to tuck into baskets for Christmas. One of my favorites (along with every other domestic blogger around) is jam — sweet or savory, they require little effort and result in a gorgeous presentation.

This year, I’m making cranberry port marmalade, which is a tart-sweet-savory topper that can be sandwiched in cookies or served as a relish with pork roast, but I like best simply smeared on top of wheat toast.

Cranberry Port Marmalade, adapted from the lovely Fraulein Klein blog
(yields 3-4 small jars)

4 cups fresh cranberries
2 cups sugar
3 or 4 clementines
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean
2 tbsp port wine

Cook cranberries and sugar in a heavy bottomed pot over medium low heat. Add cleaned peel and juice of 3 or 4 clementines, cinnamon stick, and vanilla bean split lengthwise to expose the seeds. Let simmer uncovered on low for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add 2 tbsp of port and bring to a boil for 5 minutes. Remove cinnamon stick and vanilla pod. Pour into sterilized jars.

You can decorate your jars simply with a plain kraft paper tag, bakers twine or a scrap of pretty ribbon. Refrigerated, this jam should keep for several months.