Saddest Citrus Post of the Year

Sorry to end the year with a sad post....but it'll make the first New Year even happier.

What's up? Got any lemons?

While we were away in England in November, the temperatures really dropped.  Apparently it went lower than 19 F which is very unusual for Northern California. We've not seen it anywhere close to that in our 10 years here.

Sadly, it destroyed our citrus.  We are worried that it may have done more than just ruin our enormous crop of citrus, as some of the trees themselves look dead too. I guess time will tell.

Dead lemons from just one tree, below

Sometimes we have had frost damage to the fruit, but this year, it was more than frost - it was the cold temperature generally.


We stripped the trees of ruined fruit as we couldn't stand looking at them - and threw away 2 wheelbarrows full :-(
Frozen lemons and limes

Lemons, limes and some oranges.  It seems the mandarinquat and grapefruit are tougher than the rest!

Limes and its frozen tree

We've also had burst pipes - including the fire sprinkler system and the lovely faucet on our outdoor bathtub.   But maybe its worth it to show you these wonderful photos of Max in the bathtub last year!  We'll have to get the faucet repaired before he comes back!

What's that I see?

Lets hope 2014 is a gentler citrus year!

But never fear.  Even though we had a sad day collecting ruined fruit, Everything is Tickety-boo in the citrus front as my friend bought me an Australian Finger Lime tree so I can have citrus caviar!  Luckily I got it after the cold and so it is still indoors, and well protected!  Thanks K for my lovely gift. Can't wait to have my caviar!

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Through the porthole - Orange Hibiscus tea

Here is this week's infusion, made using my porthole.


In it is a Orange Hibiscus tea.  I used hibiscus flowers, rose hips, lemongrass, dried oranges, mint, rose petals and three whole stevia leaves.


Its a lovely combination and the whole stevia leaves didn't make it taste really sweet. I actually only put them in as I wanted a large green leaf so looked on my herb patch - and there was my stevia!


The tea is a lovely peachy color - a good blend of the red from the hibiscus and the orange.


I set it on the table yesterday ready for when a class sat to ate their cooking, and they were most intrigued by it and thought how pretty it looked with the sun shining on it.


Any suggestions of what I should try next to infuse in it next week?

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I've been tango'd!


Remember the TV advertisements in the UK with the orange man saying "you've been tango'd"?  That's how I've been feeling this week.  You see we leave for England today and I hate to see any of our homegrown fruit go to waste, so I've been busy dehydrating more oranges!


Using a mandoline to slice all the fruit, leaves me smelling strongly of oranges, but also, as they dehydrate, the whole house smells of them! I tried leaving the door closed in the room where the dehydrator was, but when I went in to check on them, it was quite heady and over powering!!!  Made you definitely feel like you had been tango'd!



Even by the time I went to bed, all I could smell was oranges!


But I have to say, I have been loving the orange slices.  I've dipped some of them in sugar free homemade raw chocolate (78%) and they taste just like Terry's chocolate oranges!  And I love that they are crispy.




I will take a few slices back with me to the UK - for my own snacking - and also so others can have a taste.


And just in case you have no idea was being "tango'd" is all about:

 Here is one of the early adverts with the orange man:



And here is a compilation of some modern versions:




Think you may have the idea now?

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