As much as I love apples of all kinds*, when citrus fruits from California and Texas appear in the grocery store, it always makes me very happy. Maybe even a little giddy. As much as I enjoy a gigantic Rio Star ruby red grapefruit as a decadent sweet-tart mess, those tiny clementines that usually come in a little wooden crate or a mesh bag are my ultimate favorites. Juicy. Plump. Vibrant. Portable. Self-contained. The unmistakeable fragrance lingers in the air (and on your hands) long after the fruit is eaten. It’s a dessert and an air freshener all-in-one, perfect for dining al desko.
The sharp scent of citrus also means that the year is winding down and the promise of a new beginning is on the horizon. But for now, frost is in the air. I think of—and want!—soups, stews, roasting, potatoes, pasta, big pots of this and that. Warming food. Comfort food. Hark! The Eating Season is beginning. Get the stretchy pants ready!
One Boxing Day party not so many years ago, I put a big bowl of clementines out on the buffet table, more as an in lieu of flowers decoration than as food. When I was cleaning up at the end of the night, I was very surprised that there were only a few left. I guess my friends like their delicious cuteness as much as I do. Or maybe by that point in the Eating Season, everyone was feeling stuffed from Thanksgiving dinners, company parties, friends’ parties, and Christmas dinner. They welcomed a little sweet treat that’s not cookies, pie, candy or cake.
A virtuous snack. Almost medicinal, right? After all, doesn’t Vitamin C cure colds? If that’s the case, I’m going to keep working on not getting one any time soon.
Continuing the orange theme, today’s gratuitous dog photo of the day:
*although not nearly as much this year. The Invisalign teeth-movers I’ll have in my mouth for the next year make apple eating less than desirable.