In My San Diego Garden and Kitchen
January is the month for citrus—oranges, tangerines, limes and kumquats. And I have several neighbors that keep me in lemons. A trip to Borrego Springs for red grapefruit from Seley Ranch is an annual event. There about twenty in the garage now. These days most every meal includes at least one of the sun-kissed fruits.
America’s Test Kitchen recommended this citrus juicer which I received as a Christmas gift. It performs as reviewed—so easy, no mess and lots more juice.
The first kumquats of the season. They may be an acquired taste for some. The smooth, bright orange rind is sweet and the pulp quite tart. An LA Times review of kumquat varieties describes the flavor as spicy, intense, sweet-tart. I agree. Read more about Nagami kumquats at Specialty Produce.
Last year I made a small batch of kumquat marmalade which surpassed expectations. Though labor intensive the sweet-tart thing intensifies with sugar and heat and is delightful. I slice kumquats and add to salads and when I pass by the tree I often look for a bright orange one to pop in my mouth.
Last year I lost about half the crop to hooded orioles before I covered the tree. This year I put the netting on early.
Here’s a basket of oranges and tangerines I picked for my son, Tim when he stopped by last week. We’ve easily had 300 tangerines on the tree and an equal number of oranges. Unlike the oranges, the tangerines don’t store well on the tree so we share them liberally and snack on them often.
I also sent my son back to Los Angeles with lettuce, arugula, mustard, oregano and violas.
Before his job required more travel Tim grew an abundance of winter vegetables on the roof of his century old loft in Downtown LA. See more of his garden in Roots in Downtown LA—2015.
Oh and let’s throw in a garden salad made in the last week.