I would love to have some fresh fruit from the garden on these very short winter days. Let’s go and check out the orchard, let’s see if we find any fruit ready to pick!
Limes, lots of limes. I can take a few home now and leave some in the tree to ripen further. Limes will turn yellow when they are truly ripe, their flesh still a pale chartreuse green. They will be more fragrant than they are right now and also sweeter, still fresh and vibrant but definitely sweeter.
Clementines! Nah, not ready yet… These are Algerian clementines, packed with seeds and flavor. I need patience with my clementines, else I will pick them too early. I have to let them develop their sugars to the max and the reward will be well balanced and rich citrus goodness. Today I’ll pass. I will wait until until their color is fully orange and they yield slightly to the touch.
Seville oranges. Way too green. Good, I don’t need more reasons to make sweets theses days. This is my marmalade tree, my bitter orange marmalade tree, I’ll make marmalade in February then!
Next? More oranges, navel and moro blood oranges. The navels… let’s see… not yet, still too early. Light orange in color, not fully ripe but I need to keep an eye on this tree. Soon they’ll be ready. Oops! I am not even going to take a picture of the blood oranges. They are so green I can barely see them. Well this is disappointing, I was hoping to find some oranges ready to eat. Patience and a trip to the farmer’s market are called for.
Those lemons look like limes, don’t they? They are eureka lemons, or “regular” lemons. Still green but this yellowish one to the right of the image, or the ones hidden in the shade can be used now. Good enough. Right now this tree seems a bit sluggish but soon all those green lemons will be ripe and I’ll have more lemons than I know what to do with.
Last tree is my beloved Meyer lemon. Flowering and fruiting all at once. Quite a representative image of the southern California winter garden! I can take some of these lemons home.
What am I taking up to the kitchen? Limes and Meyer lemons. Fresh fruit from the garden that I can use in my cooking, baking and for lemonade and mojitos. Not too bad… Lemon Buche de Noël anyone?