[Photograph: Maria del Mar Sacasa]

I spoke to my mother on the phone the other day. She was in New York, where it was so cold "your nose hairs freeze the second you step outside." Still, she's ever the optimist about weather and she ended the call by saying, "Well, we're getting there." (There being spring.) I held myself back from pointing out that we're still months away, but in my heart of hearts, I knew that I needed to do something to keep myself from getting depressed over the months of winter that still lie ahead.

Here's what I'm going to do: get excited over citrus. Load up my shopping cart with Cara Cara, Blood, and Mandarin oranges. Add in grapefruit and tangerines and start cooking.

Here's a great use for those tangerines (or really any citrus). A moist olive oil cake is topped with a homemade tangerine marmalade that captures the bright, perky essence of the fruit. With each slice, at least your taste buds will be transported to warmer climes.

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