This winter is really getting old. It’s been no higher than seventeen degrees for a couple days here, and there are still several feet of snow in the yard. Even the influx of garden catalogues isn’t enough to snap me out of my winter funk. What to do?
I have developed two main approaches to defeat the gray mood of this never-ending winter:
- To borrow a phrase from Lady Macbeth, “Hie thee hither” — to the sunroom. Basking in the fresh aroma of earth and chlorophyll infuses me with life-affirming hope. And now, with my “Big Red” amaryllis, figs, and key limes all blooming and fruiting, I can actually believe that spring is around the corner.
- When life hands you lemons, put them on the table. There is nothing as cheerful as a bowl of sunny yellow lemons– unless it’s a bowl of lemons and oranges together. The height of the citrus season is one reason I can tolerate this months-long season of cold, gray, ice, and snow.
The scent of citrus is both energizing and romantic. Yes, romantic. Swaying palms in the moonlight, a blossom pinned to my hair, slow-dancing on a patio with a tall, handsome man. Sigh.
And then, there’s the practical side of having a bowl of citrus fruit. After about a week, before the fruit begins to soften, remove the rind, extract the juice, and put it all into premeasured baggies and into the freezer for that inevitable situation in which you start a recipe and discover you have no fresh-squeezed juice or rind in the house. (That stuff in the plastic lemon? Oh, please.)
Life may indeed be a bowl of cherries, but for cheering there’s nothing like one of citrus.