Here is a poem I wrote a while back which some of you may remember – I was inspired by my very potbound lemon tree which I ‘released’ into the citrus garden.
Michael took the photo of me and added the caption ‘great gardener’ – hahaha – he loves his Mum 🙂
Now if you want to read one of the funniest short stories about the dangers of too many things lemon, pop over to the wonderfully talented Selma in the City (Selma Sargent). She wrote the story especially for the Citrus Fiesta.
Artist Aletha Kuschan from a place near Washington DC (location top secret 😉 ) has begun work on some citrus paintings over at her art and writing blog for the citrus fiesta.
Here is a photo she has been working from and one of her paintings. You can find more citrus pictures at her blog.
She has this to say about the above drawing:
‘this drawing made using watercolor pencils. I am searching for the edges of things. Trying to find the character of these patient fruit that sit here “looking” at me. They’re all so dignified. Wish I could get to the essence of their gravitas. The shadows are deepening. Not a quality to be well captured by watercolor pencils.’
Aletha’s blog is full of her own art plus wonderful writing on the artistic process, liberally sprinkled with philosophical musings on life.
Thanks Aletha for jumping into the citrus fiesta (I know how busy you are at the moment).
this is a silkscreen print i did called “orange peels”
and here is my story:
citrus is not just the sweet/sour juicy pungent fruits we all know. it is a color pallette, a pattern to say the least.
to say the most i’d tell you my childhood impressions of the citrus groves along the sunshine parkway in florida, where my family would drive every year at christmas holiday when i was a child, and we’d stop at the grove stands and buy bags of navel oranges (a rarity up in the north then) and pink grapefruits. this is all along the last leg of the yearly winter trips to miami to visit my greek grandparents. i am proud of my halfgreek heritage – have you ever met any greek who isn’t? because with every daily greek meal, i mean it, lemons are required, a staple item. my relationship with lemons goes back a long way. ok.
so, the thing about the citrus groves in florida is that the scent of oranges along the highway is like a perfume. it is everywhere, the breeze carries it, the clouds rain it, the ground is saturated with it, the most intoxicating scent a child could hope to imagine, so it was like a magic world of oranges, a place where the sun was a giant lemon, a place where the sidewalks are paved with orange rinds, offered along the way on gingham checked tablecloths blowing in the tangerine breeze were baskets of oranges, clementines, limes, orange popsicles, orange juice, orange soda not to mention lemon and lime aid and grapefruit, sugared. lazy lagoons with waters of citrus nectar, tangelo juice let’s say. i walked along the rows of trees amazed at how splendid the ripe oranges were and how plentiful. delighted in being able to reach and pick one and immediately press it to my nose. but that’s just the beginning, because when i peel the orange, the scent becomes bubblescent, it’s alive, it’s jumping, it stings my eyes, it seeps into my fingers, the juice is hard to keep from dripping when i take that first bite of a freshpicked orange, and we are all in the car and the car smells so sweet of citrus it puts me to sleep like dorothy in the poppy fields. and i dont wash my hands and they get sticky with orange sugars and finally someone hands me a napkin but its too late, the orange perfume is sealed into my hands. so i fold them and put my head over them and lean toward the window and when i wake up, we are pulling into grandmother’s driveway. the joys of citrus.
and even that is still the beginning because citrus as design motif and as art has also crossed my path many times. and gabrielle told you the story about my lemon tree. my grandmother often told me about the lemon groves on her home island of Kos. she described these lemons as being three times bigger than the lemons around here and sweet-tasting. it made me think, gabe, after i learned about your lemonade tree, that her childhood memories of sweet lemons may have actually been lemonade tree lemons, or a similar, related lemon tree.
my screen print “orange peels” was one of many citrus-based art things i have done. but it kind of tells the story, the peels left after the orange is eaten, still have the same fresh bright scent. later, they make the compost smell nicer. the day i did this piece, i was sitting after breakfast wondering what i’d do with this silkscreen project i had and looked over across the table and saw the orange peels designing themselves into a cool almost abstract image, so voila’, i did this print. you will notice, that yes, there is the color pink haha in there. i couldnt resist. selma knows what i mean.
My Australian friend d (who I ‘met’ through ABC POOL where she is known as dwerombi) has provided three recipes for the Citrus Fiesta.
½ cup water
1 tabsp Cointreau or Grand Marnier
¾ cup sugar
¼ cup brandy
Peel oranges, removing all pith. Cut into small segments and place in attractive serving bowl. Place sugar and water in saucepan and bring to boil while stirring – boil for about 5 mins. Allow to cool then add brandy and liqueur. Pour over orange segments. Best made day before required. Serve with cream or ice-cream.
From Anne Marshall (Ed), 1970. ‘The Age’ Australian And NZ Complete Book of Cookery, Hamlyn.
Di’s Lime Cordial
one Lt lemon or lime juice
one Lt water
one and a half kg sugar (I don’t put as much but it is needed to preserve )
The white of one egg
Boil water, sugar , and the white of the egg together, then add juice and boil for 10 minutes.
Strain and bottle (Will keep for 12 months)
Lemon Delicious Pudding
1 tablespoon butter
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons plain flour
rind and juice of 1 lemon
2 eggs (separate yolks and whites)
1 cup milk
Cream butter & sugar, add flour.
Stir in juice and rind of grated lemon.
Add beaten egg yolks and milk.
Beat egg whites very stiff and fold into mixture.
Pour into buttered dish and bake in a pan of water in moderately heated oven.
(should be light and spongy on top, with sauce underneath. Depending on circumstances that seem to be beyond one’s control, this sauce may vary from quite runny to gel-like).