Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Start of the Fruit Harvest

Many different types of citrus trees grow in the Valley of the Sun.  I have a whole row behind the house I bought this summer, and I've been waiting for the fruit to ripen so that I'll know what they are.  It now appears that I have three orange trees, a grapefruit, and a lemon.  I also have one mystery tree that didn't fruit this year, so I'll have to wait until next year to find out what that one is.

Two of the orange trees are navels, of one of the later-ripening varieties.  They are just getting sweet enough to eat.  Navels are wonderful eating oranges but only good for juice if you drink it immediately; when it's stored, it becomes bitter.  I don't know what I'm going to do with the fruit from two entire navel orange trees, but I'm considering holding a party and encouraging my friends who don't have orange trees to come and pick all they want.  Fortunately the third orange tree is some other variety that looks as if the fruit won't be ripe for another month or two.

In the meantime I'm looking at all my orange and orange juice-containing recipes for inspiration.  This morning I had orange toast for breakfast; this is something I learned to make as a Brownie in grade school, and it still tastes as good as it did then.  I don't know whether it's an official Girl Scout recipe or just something our troop leader (name long forgotten) came up with.

Orange Toast

two pieces bread (I use whole wheat)
2-3 Tbl brown sugar
one orange

Lightly toast the bread in a toaster.  Peel the orange and slice it horizontally (slices should be about 1/4" thick).  Place the toasted bread on a cookie sheet or in a broiler-safe pan.  Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the bread.  Top with a layer of orange slices.  Broil on high for about 5 minutes - watch to be sure the toast doesn't burn.  The juice from the oranges and the brown sugar will melt together into a slightly syrupy layer between the toast and the hot orange slices.

"And every day when I've been good, I get an orange after food." ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

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