We seem to have skipped right through “winter” this year in Arizona.  It seriously feels like we had a couple of weeks of cooler than normal temperatures and here we are on March 2nd and I’m afraid that we’ll be seeing the last of any chance at cool weather until October. (Although, it is rainy today for once and I AM LOVING IT!).

This time of year in Phoenix brings about many little delightful things: spring training, orange blossoms, culinary and beer festivals, and of course, one of Arizona’s “Five C’s“, citrus!

If you are lucky, you know someone with a citrus tree in their yard that will also put the work into pulling it all down when it’s ready every year.  They’ll also be pumped to dole out free citrus to everyone they know until all said citrus is gone.  If you’re super lucky- you have trees of your own and the motivation to pluck the citrus every year.

My husband and I fall into camp 2.  We moved into a home with both a mature orange and a mature ruby red grapefruit tree.  We then got courageous and planted a lemon tree! I’m not sure what we were thinking at the time but I’m certainly glad we did it.

This year, we have plucked hundreds of pounds of citrus and given it to everyone in sight.  I’ve also spent a considerable amount of time making limoncello, orangecello, grapefruit juice, and orange juice.  I’ve got plenty left to take off the trees still as well, so who knows- I might take a stab at some marmalades.  For now, here’s a picture of the first batch of citrus we pulled down and using a simple juicer, juiced enough oranges to fill up the container I had just finished from store bought OJ.  Our fresh squeezed was sooooo much better! Naturally sweet, nothing added.  Straight from the orange to my glass. Yum!Fresh OJ

Do you have anything that you really like to make with citrus?  Let me know in the comments below!

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