Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Great Expectations


globes
We moved from our home of 27 years to a retirement community. It feels like we live at a time share with elderly people of all generations. We are the age of many residents' children. Living here is a gift.


For scale


part of 70 lbs. in 2016
But, we miss our dwarf orange tree, our 40+ year old tree which produced copious amounts of precious orange globes. It was fabulous. There were so many that the idea of doing anything with them in the kitchen was overwhelming. Juicing them was daunting and lost its novelty darn quick. Instead, I walked around the neighborhood several times and gave them away.

Given that, I insisted we plant a blood orange tree in our new community, knowing it would take At least two years to produce. Huzzah! it did.  Twelve oranges, precious gems all of them.


for scale
Yup.
It was exciting. I bought jam-making supplies to supplement my 12 blood oranges and make blood orange and berry jam: 1/2 pint jam jars and rings w/lids, extra 5 lb. sugar, 3 lbs. of frozen mixed berries, extra navel oranges, Sure Jell pectin...to the tune of $30+.

The rest of the dishes are in the dishwasher. 
Followed the directions and it took three hours from start-to-finish, and also cleaning up dishes and kitchen.  These are the results:
Six 1/2 pint jars

Yup.

45 comments:

  1. Ha! We did beets one year. All that work cooking, peeling, canning not to mention the mess. 5 1 quart jars. We took a picture with a sign that said, "For Sale. $25 Cheap.

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    1. Beets are a total mess. Mom grew and then we canned those beets. Oh, how I hated that.

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  2. One day, yep one day I hope to have an orange tree that produces! Never dealt with dwarf orange trees, but I loved to juice the Florida oranges while we wintered. We bought a home here hoping to spend time and nourish orange trees. Dang, we are ready to move after 1-2 years. I MUST FACE IT, WE ARE GYPSIES, I GOTTA STICK TO TOMATOES.
    Enjoyed the read and pictures and YOUR LABOR!
    Sherry & jack

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    1. Yes!! Tomatoes have the perfect life span for a Willie Nelson song: on the road again.

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  3. We had a plum tree in our backyard when I was a kid. It got sick and died as I grew into adulthood. Ah, the bushels of plums. It was a pain at the time, but in retrospect, good times.

    Good luck with your oranges.

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  4. Wow, that's a lot of work. But the jars are all yours.
    Our berry bushes produce a lot as well. Most go in the freezer, which is overflowing by July.

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    1. Berries! Sounds like pie-making time. Jam is also good, if you have to courage.

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    2. Pie (Pi) day is coming up, March 14th (3.14) :)

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  5. When I was younger we had an avocado tree in the back yard and a grape vine n the front yard. I miss the fresh fruit in the yards when I lived in California. Sounds like you had a good time with all this though.

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  6. Huzzah, yourself. Half your pictures are missing and I still am excited!

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    1. Oranges are so beautiful and on the tree, even more so.

      I wonder which ones are missing?

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  7. In our climate we did not have access to citrus fruits. My mother did take all available fruits and vegetables to can. make jellies and jams, pickle, and fruit butter. It was hard work and time consuming. I don't know how she did it with seven children.

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    1. 7 children would be a lot of work, we had 5. Mom was a machine.

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  8. I didn't get half your pictures either but got enough to tell the story of all the labor the gift of fruit lays on us. I had a peach tree that was an abundant producer of the best peaches around. My neighbors helped me with the bounty but it was still a lot of work. One winter, it cracked and died. Wow do I miss it.

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    1. Noooo! Ice and snow are brutal on trees. Sorry it had to be the peach tree.

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  9. Mom used to can lots of stuff. Me, not a hope...

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    1. My mom had a large strawberry patch and we canned large amounts of jam. She canned every thing, she was amazing.

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  10. It must be so satisfying to make your own marmalade; from oranges you have grown too. Well done.

    God bless.

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  11. We used to have a pear tree when I was growing up. I loved to pick them off the tree. Good work with your oranges.

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    Replies
    1. We had a friend back in Illinois who had a large pear tree 50 years ago, and we consumed large amounts.

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  12. Many of your pictures haven't loaded, same with a couple of previous posts, but I can imagine what they are, like the jars of jam. I can't eat oranges, they give me hives, but I've been trying to grow an apricot tree for decades. I plant the pits and wait, then next year I plant more pits and wait and so on until now. I could give up and buy a tree, but that seems like cheating. Maybe I'd have better luck planting peach pits.

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    1. Maybe buy a tree that has established roots (a dwarf tree)?

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  13. The more often you do it, the easier and faster it gets, or so i've been told.

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  14. One looks like there in warmer climate.
    Coffee is on

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    1. I am ready to open one of my 6 jars and will enjoy toast and jam with my own coffee.

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  15. When I visit my daughter in California, I love to see all the citrus trees and wish that I could grow them back here in the east. My granddaughter had a an inside lemon tree (outside in the summer) and every year we celebrate the one or two lemons she gets. How fortunate you are to get 12 blood oranges (my favorite) after only two years.

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    1. Now there's a thought: an indoor citrus tree. I wonder...

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  16. We don't have any fruit trees. Just walnuts, and some blackberry bushes. When I was a kid, we lived next door to my grandpa, who had three cherry trees. They were great for climbing, great for throwing unripened cherries at each other (we were wasteful children), and great for eating the ones we didn't use for ammunition. I don't think we can grow oranges around here.

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    1. Most likely not. If you are growing cherries, the oranges wouldn't survive your winters.

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  17. Great stuff! I give bird presentations in retirement centres and as you point out there is a wide age range in such facilities. I have met many interesting people some of whom had really high profile careers.

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    1. Same here. One late friend was an engineer who worked in NASA and knew several famous astronauts.

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  18. Sure a lot of work indeed. Great you got some to produce after only 2 years.

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    1. I was kinda surprised. Did a little "yippee" dance.

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  19. So glad your orange tree took off. It's just not home without our beloved trees and flowers around us.

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    1. Next year perhaps it will gift us with more oranges. And I will draft my gr-daughters to help me.

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  20. You must have a bright green thumb to get your tree to produce so quickly. We used to plant a large veggie garden, but after a couple summers spent canning and making a bazillion pickles and everything you can imagine from the tomatoes, I was DONE. It's a lot easier to go to the farmers' market. :)

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    1. I think it was just plain luck to have any fruit the 2nd year.

      Oh, I hear what you are saying: large veggie garden. Growing up on a farm, Mom always planted an immense garden. Canning, oh yes. After I left, Mom eased back and had a small garden and then no garden.

      Farmer's markets, indeed.

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  21. I bet that is SO DELICIOUS! And I bet your kitchen smelled great. I haven't made jam in forever. I need to this year.

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    1. The kitchen smelled of oranges. It was delightful.

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Go ahead...it won' t hurt...I'd love to hear what you think!