Citrus and a Walk Down the Lane
Walking down the (memory) lane
This morning I woke up to a light dusting of snow. What a nice surprise for a Saturday morning. After a light breakfast, I bundled and picked up my camera.
Then I walked down the lane.
The snow continued to fall quietly, and it was silent. Every now and then I heard a crow squawk and bells of sheep walking across the pasture.
My walk ended with a wave at a neighbor and a smile on my face.
While on my walk down the lane, I also waked down memory lane. I grew up in warm and sunny California and lately I've been thinking about all the wonderful citrus we had in winter. There was the large Meyer Lemon bush my grandmother had in her yard, we had several Mandarin orange trees and a kumquat in our garden, our neighbors had oranges and there was always the Farmer's Market which sold various other kinds of citrus- grapefruits, mineolas, tangeringes, etc. I was spoiled without realising it.
When we go to the nursery I always stop in the citrus section, touch the fruit, smell the oils in the leaves and inhale the delicate scent of the flowers. I gaze longingly at the plants, but have to be reminded every time that we don't live in the proper climate or have a greenhouse for them. I sigh and move on to the roses.
When I was still at school, everyone's favorite question was "Where do you like it better? America or Germany?". I don't think that anyone ever realised what a stupid and even painful question that is. They wanted an easy answer where there is none. Of all the countries I've lived in, there are advantages and disadvantages. And it's NOT a matter of liking a country as a whole better or worse than another. For me it's about missing things that I grew up with. Things that are a part of me: fresh citrus, potato dumplings, tortillas and dried chilies used in Southwestern cooking, Faschingskrapfen (filled with rosehip jam, a Franconian specialty!), just to name a few.
So back at home, I looked at my citrus collection on the counter and thought it was time to eat my favorite winter salad yet again. A salad I never tire of and have at least once a week. Fennel and orange. Perfect on it's own, I sometimes add an avocado or a few shavings of parmesan on top. I try to buy only organic citrus, but if I'm looking for something "special" then it can be very hard. Only a few years ago someone would look at me funny if I asked if they had any mineolas. As for tangelos, well I'll wait a few years for that! Luckily, the assortment of citrus has grown beyond the standard oranges, lemons and clementines. It's now easy to find limes, grapefruit and even blood oranges.
In the above picture I have pretty much everything which can be found in a well stocked store: orange (Blond), blood orange (Moro), blood orange (Tarocco), lemon, grapefruit (Ruby), clementine, lime, sweetie (Oroblanco), mineola. Missing from the picture are kumquats and pomelos. I enjoy eating all citrus and in any form (raw, salad, cake, etc). Yesterday I had a a delicious orange Tiramisu a friend made. My favorite treat is a freshly squeezed juice. Perfect for a weekend breakfast. In fact, this is something special that my husband often makes for me in the winter months.
This is today's fennel and orange salad. This time with orange, mineloa and blood orange. To top it off, I snipped some spicy radish sprouts.
Fennel and Orange Salad
Note: Add some avocado chunks or shaved Parmeson for a more substantial salad
- 1 small fennel, thinly sliced
- 1 orange (or other citrus), cut into small pieces
- olive oil
- balsamic vinegar
- fresh pepper
- sea salt
Toss and enjoy!