Monday, December 21, 2009

Citrus: The Gift of Winter

Today is the first day of winter. Of all the seasons, winter is my least favorite. Oh yes, there are aspects I like: hot soup and fresh baked bread on a cold night, hot tea and baked oatmeal in the morning, the sound of rain, a trip to the snow, crisp days of brilliant blue skies and bright bright sun, but eventually, I long for spring. And especially summer.

I admit I am spoiled, Winter here is not very bad. OK, it's a breeze! If it's 50 degrees outside, we have to really, really bundle up. Or just stay in on such a cold day. And that doesn't happen all that often. So I don't really experience the full effect of the winter season in the way, say, a New Englander might. Except in one way.

I miss summer fruit. I miss it already and it's only the first day of winter. That's not very encouraging.
I miss cantaloupe. Watermelon. Peaches. Oh, the white ones. And plums. Deep purple, and so juicy you just eat them right over the sink. Apricots.
If you tell me that you don't love summer fruit better than all the rest, I will never believe you.

And then, yesterday as I was thinking about summer fruit and missing it so, I looked out my window and I remembered.
Citrus. The gift of winter.

These oranges are from our tree. They hang just outside the dining room window. Their color is so gorgeous. I do love orange. And they are sweet. So sweet.
We squeeze them for juice in the morning. Eat the slices in the afternoon for a snack.

There are so many wonderful kinds of citrus fruit to choose from.
We use Meyer lemons from my parents' trees for lemon bread, lemon bars, lemon curd. Meyer lemons are so sweet, they even smell sweet. A bowl of Meyer lemons on my dining room table makes one of the most intoxicating scents I know.

And tangerines. Of course there are the Clementines. Everyone knows them. And they're good. And they have a great name--a name in the running if we ever have another daughter.
But have you tried Satsuma? Find them. They are so sweet and so good and just so full of tangerine flavor you will think you died and went to heaven. Ask for them at your farmers market. I have been known to eat more than 10 in a day.
We are planning on planting a Satsuma tangerine tree.
Blood oranges are amazing too.

Every time Aaron cuts into an orange, he tells the boys it's like looking at the power of the sun. And I think about how God made these bright citrus fruits to be ripe now, at this time of year; just when we need that little bit of sunshine most.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: we live in an amazing world.

Happy first day of winter, friends.

There is another thing I like about winter. A fresh new year, ripe with possibilities and new things to be learned, discovered, tried and explored.
One of my first new adventures will be this recipe. Almond, orange and puff pasty--it sounds like a winner. to me. I'll report back. But it won't be for a while friends. We are still knee deep in Christmas cookies over here!

1 comment:

Lillian said...

I really enjoyed this blog Greta, your sentiments on winter are mine as well, but wow I love the picture of 1/2 of an orange against that blue. Beautiful!