Friday, January 6, 2012

Blood Oranges

It's amazing what people think about food sometimes.  I was having a snack at lunch one day when a coworker was preparing to peel a blood orange.  The mere name of the orange seemed to cause him to pause before venturing out to taste it.  All the while another coworker was saying how horrible the idea was of having vampire oranges and that it would taste meaty.
His face changed as he peeled it back.  Having gone that far already he decided he had to at least taste it.  It  came as no surprise to me that he didn't like it, although he did say that it wasn't as bad as he was expecting.  He described it as a cross between and orange and pomegranate.
He let me have the rest of the orange along with another one he had bought.  I have to admit that it wasn't the best blood orange I'd had but it wasn't bad.  The guy who sits one cube over wanted the other one so I let him have it.  He agreed that they were a bit sour.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Citrus Season

Citrus season is upon us! If you ever wondered why stockings were filled with oranges, I know I did when I was little, it's because this is the time when it's easiest to get a good orange or grapefruit. Lemons and other small citrus is a little easier around the year but are still easer now.
Leaves of course are a year round thing and so the thai basil noodles my wife likes so much don't have a season but that's neither here nor there. Maybe it should be here...

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Lemon Tree Died

Ok, it's official, the lemon tree has died. I left it out this winter in hopes that it might survive and be a super hardy lemon tree. It didn't happen but I don't feel too bad about it. I was out and about today and saw a citrus tree that had to be fifteen years old or more. The trunk was thick and had many branches. It was dead. The frost probably hit it pretty hard this last winter as it did a lot of trees in the area. Good news... The kaffir lime tree lives! Of course I kept it inside and under a grow light with plenty of water and babying but I really really like it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Blood Orange Chesecake

We made a cheesecake using blood oranges for flavoring. It didn't turn it red but there is a slight pink tint to it. The flavor really is the best part anyhow.

If you have never had a blood orange, they're very sweet and juicy. Unfortunately the ones we had had been sitting for a while and had lost some of their juice but we still got enough for the recipe.

This should work with most cheesecake recipes but if it turns out horribly wrong when you try it then I'm glad I said "should".

In a small sauce pan comgine 1 cup orange juice, 1/4 cup sugar and 2 tablespoons orange zest.

Boil until sugar dissolves then lower heat to medium and simmer for 20 minutes.

Chill in the fridge to at least room temperature.

Pretty simple and tasty.

Nom nom nom nom nom...

Monday, February 21, 2011

How to Eat a Kumquat

Most citrus fruit is really easy to eat. Even grapefruit is a cinch if you know what to do.
The task I'm going to explain though is eating a kumquat. The problems eating a kumquat are that it's small and there are a lot of seeds in it. You can eat the peel and have a more bitter experience or you can easily remove the seeds and peel.

First you cut around the outside of the kumquat most of the way into the center.

Second, twist the two halves apart. This takes some practice since you might not have cut it quite right.

Third, remove the seeds and plant them if you want to. They will grow an a wide variety of locations or even indoors.

Fourth, Scoop out the inside with a teaspoon. The peel isn't very thick so go slowly and work your way around and down the peel. You might have to pull it out a little once it reaches the bottom but it should be easy to remove.

After you have peeled your kumquat you can dry the peel and use it in your potpourri. It has a wonderful mix of citrus oils and is quite fragrant.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Pruning the Lemon Tree

This winter it has gotten very cold. I decided early on that I wasn't going to bring the lemon tree in this year, sink or swim as they say. As you might know, lemon trees are evergreens and don't usually loose their leaves. Apparently they loose them if it gets too cold so as to protect the branches and the rest of the tree from freezing to death.
I took this opportunity to trim up the branches so they weren't competing so much. They had gotten pretty tangled. This also gives a good look at the thorns it has. Up the right side is a good view of some that are over two inches long.

This gave me a great idea. Cats have been sleeping and lounging in my vegetable bed. Someone told me that if you lay bamboo or other poky sticks across the area that cats won't want to lie in it anymore. I had my doubts but it seems to work pretty well with citrus trimmings. I went out there today and it looked like a cat tried to move them out of the way but without success. I pushed some of the thorns into the ground to anchor them.
I know my indoor cats don't like the thorns and so far the outside strays don't either.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Buddha's Hand

I have never had a citrus go bad so quickly. I didn't take any pictures since it was pretty much a powdery green coating on the fingers of the fruit which started from the middle of the fruit and spread outward, but I felt that I had to describe it.
I cut it open to look for seeds since I was obviously not eating it. Inside it had a very sweet smell, not at all unpleasant, and no seeds. I hear they're pretty uncommon in this variety. Next time I get one I will cut it open right away to see exactly what the deep inside tastes like. I would guess that it's probably much sweeter than it's relatives.
The bit I did cut off, before the powdering started, and tasted a little of was strong but not as rindish as you might expect. It also might be possible to ferment the insides due to a higher sugar content.