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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My Cashmere Sweater Cocktail.

I don't have cocktails very often, but I have to confess that in quince season, I am more tempted! You see I have a wonderful quince and clove cocktail that just feels, and tastes, so good in the fall and winter time.




You know those days when its dark when you get home, its a little chilly, you want to feel cozy and relaxed....well, I make myself a quince and clove cocktail!  It hits the spot, I have to tell you.  Its like putting on a luscious cashmere sweater and feeling all warm and cuddled.  Thus it is my cashmere sweater cocktail

When I was in England last winter, I bought some clove cordial.  It is alcoholic - not just a fruit cordial!  But its only 5% alcohol - so less than wine.  If you get some, be prepared - it is very pink as the name "Pink Cloves" describes!


To make the cocktail, basically, you take the roasted quince that I described in yesterday's blog post and puree it in a good blender like a vitamix.



Take some of the puree, add the Pink Clove cordial and then top up with sparkling water or tonic water. For rough quantities - see the photo below.


And voila - a pretty peachy colored cocktail -  which isn't very alcoholic - but cuddles you like a luscious cashmere sweater!   If you want more kick, you can also add gin to it - so I hear!!!

What is your version of a cashmere sweater cocktail?  I think another for me would be a whisky mac. That's more a rainy day or snowy day one however.
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Misty morning at the pond

We've been getting a few misty mornings at the pond lately. This time of year we always get such a lovely gathering of ducks and birds there.  The male hooded mergansers are just so handsome with their black and white markings, and we get either a great egret or a great blue heron, plus our friend the little green heron.


Isn't it a restful scene. I hope you took time to look at something restful today.
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