I spent some time this weekend trying to save the sunshine — preserving broccoli and citrus. Much like the lore I’ve read in garden magazines about folks in the Midwest hiding zucchini in neighbor’s homes and cars to JUST BE RID OF IT ALREADY!, citrus piles up in Arizona come March. There are free boxes in the driveways along my neighborhood. I came into work last week to find two huge bags abandoned on my desk. We also picked the orange tree bare this weekend. (They go bad if they fall to the ground, and draw bugs.)
What to do with 30 pounds of citrus well after you’ve lost interest in eating a grapefruit at every meal?
Those cubes of lemon juice are delightful in an afternoon gin and tonic, and great for cooking. How many times do you buy one overpriced lemon for the fresh juice required in a recipe? The zest I’ll save for baking. I also juiced a bunch of oranges and grapefruit and froze them in Mason jars for an upcoming brunch.
Tangy, slushy grapefruit juice is delightfully refreshing on a hot Arizona day.
We’ve eaten so much broccoli over the last few weeks. I took what was remaining in the garden and blanched a bunch of it for future stir fry and soup.
This week, I’ll make more marmalade from the remaining oranges and see about preserving some of the kale still growing like a hormonal teen — awkward limbs and all. Soon the tomatoes, beets, onions, garlic and peas will be in. For now, the tiny yellow flowers have me dreaming of salads, marinara and pizza. The sunflowers and pumpkins are ready to sprout too.
It is certainly a very happy time of year at homestead.