|Photo by me|
At one time, I used to hate oranges. I used to hate peeling them, and I still do from my lack of nails. I really have to change that nail problem. That is, yet again, for another post. Anyway, I hated eating that white stuff that the peel left behind. It was hard for me to chew and then swallow. I would often choke on it. Plus it never tasted all that great. So I didn't eat oranges that often. Except when I was at Grandma Vonnie's house in Southern California.
Many of us over-eaters associate food with memories and emotions. Oranges hold a special place in my heart and in my memories. Grandma and Papa W. had a great big orange tree in their back yard in S. California. I grew up listening to stories that my dad would tell us about all the orange trees and groves that used to surround their house when they were kids. That tree in my grandparent's backyard was somewhat barren in the summer time, when us mid-westerners always think fruit should be plentiful. But when we would come to visit for Christmas, that orange tree would be full of ripe juicy orange fruit. Grandma would always make sure she would take time to pull fresh oranges off the tree for a glass, or two, of fresh squeezed juice. Yummmmm.
So now, when I can get the best California oranges at my local grocery store, I think of these moments. From when I first break into the thick skin that is hiding sweet and juicy fruit flesh, inhaling the scent of citrus and sweet, to closing my eyes to savor the scent fill my nostrils, the images of those memories comes flooding back. When I slip one of those orange segments into my mouth, allowing my teeth to break into those tiny juice capsules, I savor those moments and wish I could go back to being eight years old, sitting at the woodblock counter in their kitchen.