As we were planning the menu for our one-block winter feast, we remembered a wonderful recipe, developed a while back by Editorial Services Coordinator Stephanie Dean, for a tangerine olive oil cake with roussane, a lovely floral wine, as an ingredient. All-purpose white flour and baking powder gave it lightness, and vanilla rounded out its sweet appeal.

Stephanie's tangerine olive oil cake. The recipe had been hanging around in inventory, awaiting its moment in the sun. Now, in the cold season, our garden was giving us wonderful tangerines. We still had olive oil. And we were grinding our own flour for bread anyway. We had what we needed for Stephanie's cake! It would be a fancy sweet ending to our winter feast.

Then Stephanie made the recipe. She couldn't use sugar, because we didn't grow sugar cane. Honey went into the cake instead. No white flour, just rough whole wheat, ground from wheat berries. No baking powder (though she tried her best to argue for it). No vanilla for sure. And instead of Roussane, our homemade Chardonnay.

The one-block diet version: heavy, heavy, heavy.

I don't have a photo of Stephanie's expression when she took a taste, but let's just say it was not the face of a happy cook.

So she's created a honey tangerine creme caramel instead. And it's delicious!

We realize that we were so steeped in our everyday access-to-everything attitude that we weren't paying attention to what the garden wanted to give us. Now we are, and our food tastes better.

Coming soon: Our winter feast.

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