Monday, December 13, 2010

Citrus for Christmas

Jamey gave me an early Christmas present last week...a box of citrus fruits- lemons, oranges and tangerines.  Unless you understand how strict we are are about only eating fruits and vegetables in season (in our home), you may not comprehend how excited I was about this gift.  For special occasions, like the Advent season, we sometimes celebrate in extravagant (for us) ways.

 The window sill above the kitchen sink.
He packaged the fruit in a wooden crate that he made from old, broken apart crates he found in our barn, abandoned there years ago.  Isn't the picture gorgeous?  Ah, to be sitting outside on a warm, balmy day.  I forget what that's like just about now.  Your kitchen thermometer reading 56 degrees can do that to you.

I've been enjoying my fruit immensely.  I've even shared some with the kids- making them fresh-squeezed orange juice for breakfast when they were showing signs of colds and coughs.  Lemon bars are made, sampled and in the freezer waiting to be added to cookie trays.

We don't do a whole lot of Christmas decorating other than our Christmas tree, a mini tree in the school room, lights strung here and there, nativity scene, and paper snow flakes in the windows.  I like the idea of natural decorating (Amy over at Homestead Revival is talking about this) and remember sticking cloves in oranges when I was a girl.  So, the other morning, the kids and I made new memories.  I added some pine cones from a neighbor's tree and created a centerpiece for our table.  And, don't worry.  Jamey wasn't offended that I turned some of them into decorations:-).  I think I like the scent of citrus fruit as much as the taste.

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  1. But didn't you know? This IS citrus season! I have 12 citrus trees of all sorts that are just now ripe. Time to bring out the juicer!

  2. Amazing how beautiful your orange/pine cone centerpiece is! Goes to prove again that Nature does what she's doing when it comes to beauty. ('Course, I do give you credit for your artistic arrangement!)

    Sometimes the things we don't normally have (your box of fruit) are the very best gifts.

  3. So you just stick cloves in an orange? It won't rot? How long will it last?

  4. Cristi,
    What a lucky girl you are! I assume these are outdoor trees- where do you live?

    Yep, you just stick cloves in an orange. I've found that using oranges with thicker rinds keep longer than smaller tangerines (with thinner rinds). Oranges will last a couple weeks and will eventually dry out (although some do spoil in the process). My tangerines are starting to get a little brown around the clove holes, but they are a good week old and still smell glorious (and look nice).

  5. I thought I recalled this correctly!! Yaay for your special citrus box!!! How wonderful!!! ENJOY those lovely smells and goodies...your lemon bars sound just delish!

    Blessings to you!

  6. LOVE the simplicity and beauty of those decorating ideas! I can almost smell the citrus and cloves as I look at your pictures.

    I recently had a batch of tangerines I bought that weren't good at all...very sour. Nobody was eating them and they were starting to go bad. So, I sliced them, layed them out on a cookie sheet and stuck them on top of one of our radiators for about 24 hours until they were completely dried. I'm gonna post a picture on my blog sometime this week of what we did next.

  7. What a nice gift. I especially like the crate. Love old crates! There's nothing like a gift of citrus.

  8. I think lemons at Christmas time is a wonderful gift... two years in a row now... You are a lucky girl :)

  9. I live in the Phoenix area. They are all bushy, mature citrus trees. Definitely outdoors. Can they be grown indoors? My cousin actually has a cross-pollintation experiment growing on the back of our lot. A few months ago he transplanted 141 little citrus trees. If those ever acutally bear fruit, I'm in trouble!

  10. what a lovely gift! when life is simpler, the gifts are more special.
    I really love your glass cylinder with oranges and pine cones. I've bought some clementines and have kept them in a gallon glass jar. so pretty.


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