Marmalade for You and All Your Friends!

Citrus Marmalades & Lemon Curd

prepared by me, Anne Brown, Marmalade Monster of San Rafael.


Orange Marmalade, 8oz ($5.00), 16oz (Pint) jars ($10.00)
Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Seville Oranges, filtered water.
Lemon Marmalade, 8oz  ($5.00), 16oz (Pint) jars ($10.00)
Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Lemons, filtered water.
Three-Citrus Marmalade, 8oz  ($8.00), 16oz (Pint) jars ($15.00)
Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Ruby Grapefruits, Seville Oranges, Lemons, filtered water.
Lemon Curd, 4oz ($5.00) and 8oz ($9.00)
Ingredients: Cane Sugar, Lemons, egg yolks, butter.
About the Ingredients: 
IMG_1741Seville Oranges are from this tree at Dominican University, in front of the Dominican Sister’s Convent.  For an orange tree, this is really huge!  The tiny bright oranges in the branches and on the ground are normal-sized oranges.)  Seville Oranges are the classic “bitter orange” fruit for marmalades.
The Lemons come from these three trees in sunny San Rafael, CA. The one in the middle is a Meyer Lemon, the other two are Eureka trees, but they have been cross-pollinating for the last 30 years, so they all pretty much come out tasting and looking the same (really yummy – these are happy trees).  
The Grapefruits are store-bought and organic, until I find someone local with a Ruby Grapefruit tree!
Eggs and butter are a local brand, Clover, known for its award-winning dairy products.
What to do with the jars?  Either pass them on to your favorite jam-making friend or neighbor, or bring them to the nursery at St. Stephen’s church.  I will buy them “back”, and contribute a dollar for each usable jar to Camp Create, a summer arts camp for underprivileged elementary-school children in Marin County. (Usable = 4-, 8-, or 16oz Mason Jar with no chips, cracks, or stains).

Want to special-order some Marmalades or Lemon Curd for gifts?  Please email me at 

Local sales tax of 8.5% applies.  I take cash, local checks, and all major credit cards.  Will deliver, within reason, or else ship via USPS (but these are heavy, so it’s better to find your own local Marmalade Monster!)
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O My Love is not Concise






O my Luve’s like a red, red, rose. –Robert Burns

Strunk & White: Eschew needless words!

My Love is not concise. My Love gushes and ebbs, glows and cools, quakes and congeals. My Love’s eyes are not practical lenses that filter and absorb light to capture a photographic, exact record of The Real World.  No, his eyes are lush root-beer springs that bubble down to calm, black cenotes, sinkholes into a holy wild hot wet.

Their shores are divided by a broad and cavernous nose, its windy depths swirling, holding, tasting, remembering the bouquet of messages evaporating from my neck, my hair, my breasts.

His lips are extravagant and majestic rounded mountains, home to many a vagabond question, his curved ridges perches for many a fluttering tune, his moist riverbanks cooling warm winds into foggy baroque morsels of wonder. Impossible corners sharpen into slow delight, then widen flat when laughter erupts.

His wide chin jokes and boasts, his pride the strength and butt of both.  A modest forest shades what’s shy when the weather cools and his eyes search into his heart, below.

Far above, two bushy hills shelter his thoughtful pools, rolling away into a great continental prairie of Sun-, wind-, and rain-loving plains, basking in what the Sky bequeaths.

O. my Luve.  Red.  Red.  Rose. O.


In the invented words of Shakespeare, who not only would not eschew, but found need to invent yet more, I invent a protest for orphaned, “needless” words:

Pander not to academe, who would have you undress and torture our lustrous and generous champion of courtship, til our majestic gusts of blushing moonbeam dwindle and grovel into the lackluster, frugal, and lonely gossip of skim milk.

Photo from this floriferous website:
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Gaslighting Grandma


Third Time’s a Charm…this time my Grandma didn’t kick me out.  Tonight she said this wasn’t what she had in mind, and made it vehemently clear that I couldn’t have any friends over, or boyfriends move in with me.  I assured her I wasn’t Moving In, just Staying in the Guest Room, and writing on my laptop.  But she hugged me, said she loved me, and gave me a pink towel for the shower.

The second time we tried this, I showed up in the morning to overlap with my Aunt T, my Godmother, who had stayed over any number of times, several days at a time, with an enthusiastic welcome every time.  She drives down from a beachy tourist town 4 hours away, and leaves her husband and Gift Shop livelihood behind.  However, on this second occasion, my Mentally Unstable Uncle had come over the night before, uninvited, not particularly welcome, to share his grumpy mood all night and all morning.  So, Grandma, Aunt T and I went out on a few ostensible “errands” with the promise of an opera DVD marathon after, hoping he’d take the hint and get on his way.  MUU refuses to take his meds – can’t say I blame him, BUT he also refuses to be anything but a self-centered pain in the ass who talks nonstop for hours at a time, complaining, and delving into the secret motives and injustices of others that he is constantly Victim to.  In other words, he’s really good at irritating anyone who just wants to get on with their life, a pro at getting himself evicted by tyrant landlords, and generally prone to attracting the attentions of law enforcement.  So, when we came back, and he was still there and clearly just settling in, and when Aunt T said Are you Feeling any Better, and he went on about how his athsma attack of the night before was a Manifestation of the Negativity that surrounds him whenever their older sister B makes it clear that he is NOT going to stay overnight there (never mind the REASONS for the multiple Restraining Orders, and the phone calls to the police to remove him from her condo complex), and it’s clear that he intends to continue in this vein for at least another 90 minutes, I turn to T and say, in a quiet voice, I’ll be back later.  And I leave. I don’t come back, knowing that Grandma will forget the What of anything that happens, but not the feelings, and that those might come up if we’re all in the same room again. Best if I’m a literal Non Sequitur.

The first time I tried to stay over, she yelled GET OUT!  I left with my tail between my legs, collecting my few bags without saying goodbye, after my Mom, and Aunt B had both, twice, assured her that DOCTOR’S ORDERS: she needed to have someone stay with her, but she wasn’t buying it. It’s hard to convince someone that they’re losing their memory when they don’t remember losing it.

So much of Memory is really Belief, it seems.  It would all be much easier if I were the sort of person who could do a convincing “Gaslight” trick, but it’s already awful because to her that’s effectively what IS happening.  We’re gaslighting her, and she’s gaslighting us, and we go along.

Her Belief, Memory/History and Sense of Self: She’s an energetic Mother of 8 who raised them all to be Musical and Independent, she was one of the first women to be a music director in her Catholic parish, she’s the first female Real Estate agent to make the Million Dollar Club in her area in the 1970s, she traveled alone to the Middle East (Riyadh, Abu Dhabi, Pakistan) to sell diamonds to important people in the 80s, she’s an intelligent and accomplished Senior who reads history, follows politics on CNN, and has lived divorced and independent for 40 years.  She loves Opera, lives exactly where and how she wants to, right next to the fancy grocery store and post office in a University town, with electricity, City Water, and a proper Sewage System.  Nature, bugs, wells and septic systems are NOT what comprises the life of a modern, trailblazing, successful businesswoman.

The Mimosa tree outside her bedroom window, however, can stay.  I need to be like that Mimosa tree: quiet, gentle, and reminding her how perfect her life is.


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New Year, New You, New Me, New World

I work for a church – your standard American Episcopal (really Church of England in disguise) mainstream Christian Church, and we do magic there.  My job is not particularly magical – think contracts for weddings, workshops, recordings, and memorials, finding the microphone, locking up after the caterer has left. I got that job soon after joining the choir (I was a music major in college, and the choir is awesome).  But we do magic there: we enact rituals of blood and wine, flesh and bread, our prayers are really spells, our psalms and anthems are enchantments, and sometimes we even call them incantations.  Episcopalians are really Anglican Catholics, (that’s why you specify Roman Catholics) and to make up for the loss in status, they are often more magically catholic than the Romans, as the reputation for using “smells and bells” is not just a rumor.  The charism of this particular church is enchantment through music – by some accident of construction, we have beautiful acoustics, a beautiful Danish pipe organ, we have American Bach Soloists as our Artists-in-Residence, we are  the venue to  many recordings (including one winning a Grammy), and did I mention that the choir is awesome?

Magic is the How of God.  I’m currently in the middle of Liber Kaos, an explanation of Chaos magic, and its relationship to science, and it’s confirming my view that magic is really just the techniques and technology we haven’t invented yet (or think we haven’t, talk to a shaman!).  The technology we use today would be considered magic a century ago.  Think lasers – if that’s not Jedi magic I don’t know what is.

Religion is the set of stories, traditions, and peacekeeping morals we use in community to talk about how God does it (or is it, as in “I AM that I AM”). In the Episcopal Church there is less discussion of morals than there is about one’s relationship to God, and with this I keep coming back to the idea that we are “made in His image”.  I think of Jesus telling the amazed disciples who witnessed his miraculous healings, “all these ye shall do, and more”.  We’re meant to take God and Jesus as examples of what we can be and do.  Here, I am embracing Martin Luther’s take on The Priesthood of All:

That the pope or bishop anoints, makes tonsures, ordains, consecrates, or dresses differently from the laity, may make a hypocrite or an idolatrous oil-painted icon, but it in no way makes a Christian or spiritual human being. In fact, we are all consecrated priests through Baptism, as St. Peter in 1 Peter 2[:9] says, “You are a royal priesthood and a priestly kingdom,” and Revelation [5:10], “Through your blood you have made us into priests and kings.”

Over the next four years, I’ll be making a twice-yearly migration to New Mexico, to study with author and Guatemalan shaman Martin Prechtel, at his school Bolad’s Kitchen, a kind of school for a new culture.  He won’t be teaching us any witch-doctor stuff, however, as he says that even once someone has been healed, our culture quickly creates new illnesses in people, and that it’s our culture that needs to be healed.  Our culture creates sickness, and war, and diaspora.  Environmental activist Derrick Jensen gets into it with Martin in this most fascinating interview.

We’ll be learning to understand our grief as praise, and to learn to praise beautifully.  The way you know you’re doing it well enough is when you’ve touched someone’s heart, and the tears drop.  We’ll be learning to metabolize the beast that is this culture, to digest it and give birth to a new culture that celebrates life instead of death.  We’ll be learning to turn our curses into blessings.

Charming Deb has issued a New Year’s Challenge, so 2012 is the beginning of that for me, my own Year of Enchantment, a year of enchanting for a new world, both personal and public.  I’ll be enchanting for personal energy, with sound and herb magic for better sleep (tea anyone?), singing to the plants I’m growing for healthier cooking, and doing more of that cooking, which I’m already good at.  I’ll be enchanted when I spend more time hiking and camping in Nature, which always boosts my energy.  I’ll also be enchanting for Bees, growing them some tasty flowers, and possibly learning enchantment from them, both mental and mythical.

Public enchantments?  Not sure how I’ll go about this, but my target is the Police.  As Gordon got me thinking, the outcome of Occupy Wall Street will depend a great deal on whom individual police officers choose to protect and serve.  At heart, I think I’m really an anarchist, and that a society that needs police officers is not one that protects or serves anybody, but I think that most officers want to be “good guys”, at least when they first sign up.  I think being in that job changes a person, the way becoming a drug dealer changes someone – first it’s a prestige thing with your teenage friends, eventually you’re ready to kill to maintain your territory.  The challenge will be disarm the police by touching their hearts, and I don’t think you do this by protesting, which is more an act of engaging them in conflict.  Sure, the first thing any prophet does, before anything else, is to deliver a suitably loud set of lamentations, so that listeners understand the gravity of the problem.  But then begins the trance, the delivery of divine words, the enchantment to look for and find something new (a star, a baby Jesus, a new morality, what have you).  The lamentations are here, the enchantment is coming.

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Meet the Jumpiup Corn Doll Family!

Jumpiup Corndoll Family

In August I made my first trip to New Mexico, to attend Bolad’s Kitchen  (a kind of school for building a new culture, but I won’t get into that here).  While I was there I met Rose Tree and her parents, who had travelled all the way from Australia to attend.  Rose and I got on great.

Meanwhile, at home in my garden, my patch of Oaxacan green dent corn was ripening, although Mr. Sun hid his face so long this year, and the fall rains came so early, that not all of the corn quite matured, and many of the kernels did not dry out enough to “dent” properly.  This means that some of the ears will not germinate well for planting new corn next year, and may not have the right starch for tortilla and tamale flour, either.

This Thanksgiving weekend, I got a bee in my bonnet, and my hands felt restless once all the cooking was done, so I stitched up some outfits for a Corn Doll family.  Lady Angelica Sweet Corn is pictured on the right with her sexy green dress, showing off some cleavage.  Lordy Jim “Pop” Corn is pictured in his blue pullover and light blue overalls.  Young Pippi Longbraids is wearing her favorite pink frock.

Australian customs/import laws being what they are, I won’t be able to send these to my 4-year-old friend, but Rose Tree and I will be meeting up again in February, and hopefully we’ll be playing dolls.

A complete set of photos (the Jumpiup family in their beautiful outer garments, and a few closeups) can be found here: Jumpiup Family Slideshow

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Sadie Lady

When I heard you as I came to your door
I thought you would eat me alive
but instead you !jumped me alive
and my heart barked back.

When I saw you I gasped
because I thought you were being electrocuted
but then I saw you wriggling and dancing and singing
and I realized that I
had been cuted.

When you told me to get you a treat
it’s right up there, up on the left, I thought pointy fingers
had grown out of your paw
but then I learned it was your Jedi Halloween trick
to get me to give you my fingers.

When I saw you, whispering with Kitty
I wondered what it was all about, but I was too polite to ask.
Kitty isn’t telling, but now I know that you two were composing a hokey-pokey love spell, enchanting our hearts to always hear your bark.

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When I Saw Midnight

When I Saw You sleeping,
I thought that the shadows under the bed had made love, and had kittens. But then two Orbs gleamed and flashed, and I saw the Ocean bare her face to the Moon.

When I Saw You,
I thought the Sun had spread so much light that it had run out, and could no longer glaze the world but then I saw that sweet patch of black frosting soaking up so much light and warmth that Old Baker Sun couldn’t keep up.

When I Saw You, cringing, hiding, running away,
I despaired to ever caress your ears, rub your chin, and stroke your spine, and so I slunk into my own misery slumber.

But then I Saw You,
(or maybe I saw the Ocean and her sister the Moon) standing on my chest and holding me down, and I felt the warmth of black sand, a volcanic shore of delight.

When I Held You,
precariously on my lap I thought my knitting had grabbed its needles and begun to knit into my legs
but when I flung it off I realized that your claws had claimed me as one of your Blankets.

When I Heard You, year afer year, insisting,
a plume of laughter erupted every time that earlier might have chased you away
but now only served to grow the loyal warm rock that held my heart in your grasp.

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