My house at the moment is mandarin city. The property we recently purchased here in Adelaide has an enormous mandarin tree in the back yard and we have picked around 30 kilos of fruit from it already with plenty more left that we can't reach.
So besides me and my children eating more mandarins than any person probably should, I've been learning about various things you can do to preserve and cook with mandarins, as well as drawing and photographing them for reference.
I have made spiced mandarin and Cointreau marmalade for my mum, who loves marmalade (and Cointreau):
I've made candied mandarin peel:
I've made several delicious whole mandarin cakes, one with cocoa added and one without, based on a wonderful orange cake recipe nabbed from @jordiepieface on Instagram:
I've cooked and bottled mandarins in syrup for use in future cakes when our home is no longer mandarin city but I still want cake, and I'm attempting preserved quartered mandarins in various mixtures of sugar, spices and salt:
These could be delicious but could also just as easily be revolting, so I'll post an update about that in a couple of months when they've cured and I've found some palatable-sounding way to eat them.
The mountains of mandarin peel have not been going to waste, as I've been sticking some in a jar with vinegar to make citrus spray for cleaning, and dehydrating the rest in the oven for use in drawer sachets to keep the moths away from my beautiful winter woolies. (This dehydration process, by the way, makes your house smell heavenly).
One of the things I adore about plants, and that got me interested in botanical illustration to begin with, is this amazing capacity they have to fulfil so many of our needs, and I especially love finding ways to use the bits that might otherwise go to waste.
I'm working on some coloured pencil mandarin drawings right now that could be used as tattoo designs but that I'm also going to try as a motif for textiles and a few other projects I've been cooking up these past few years. They're pretty slow going so nothing to post just yet, but I'll be sure to share them once they're completed. In the meantime, hit me up if you want a mandarin tattoo!