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Winter’s Gold

February 11, 2012

Fruta de oro

So far this winter has been a mild one, and today was another in a string of almost summery days. At the Rancho, that feeling has been bolstered by a bumper crop of golden color. Our small lemon tree was heavily laden with fruit and the photograph above is just part of today’s harvest. I’m not sure if these are Meyer lemons but they’re so sweet that they can be eaten out-of-hand. I’ll use some in a vegetable dish that includes carrots, parsnips and garlic; all of them roasted to a savory state of caramelization. Others will give zesty flavor to cupcakes, the thin peels candied and used as a delicious embellishment; I’ll post photos of both dishes later. Now, for more gold …

Pale gold

… our bulbine frutescens waves pale golden clusters in a light breeze. Its blossoms glow in the morning sun, revealing their delicate structures.

Sun shine

From the midst of the lacy foliage of cassias peek brown-eyed golden blooms. Cut way back earlier in the year, these plants are smaller than in the past, with fewer blooms. I’m happy to see them coming back.

Butter cup

Abutilon palmeri, with its velvety-soft grey foliage, is sporting new cups-of-gold … like the nearby cassias, this plant was also cut back … happily, it’s back on the upswing.

Gold puffs

Last, my knife-leaf acacia’s in flower: It’s currently decorated with tiny puffs of gold that contrast appealingly with its triangular blue-green leaves. Winter, for many gardens, is not the most colorful of seasons, but for mine it’s been great … my aloes have been blooming in shades of rust, salmon and red-orange, and now this gold rush. Take your time, Spring!

12 Comments leave one →
  1. February 11, 2012 5:01 am

    Those sure look like Meyer lemons… delicious! They’re really good preserved in salt.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 11, 2012 5:05 am

      I think they’re Meyer’s, too but don’t want to be wrong… Mmmm, love preserved lemons, especially with olives nearby!

  2. RUTH permalink
    February 11, 2012 6:09 am


    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 11, 2012 6:13 am

      I will! … watch for them Sunday

  3. Daveintoronto permalink
    February 11, 2012 1:03 pm

    I miss spring in the desert! But we have a lemon tree in our house, and this year we have two fruits! TWO! Oh well…

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 11, 2012 2:09 pm

      Hey, Dave … Great to read you here … just say the word and I’ll send some of my lemons to you by express mail! All’s I need is an address …

  4. February 11, 2012 5:28 pm

    I have had the abutilon palmeri for about 4 years – got it at theodore payne – it just doesn’t grow – still quite small. I have never cut it back, maybe that’s the problem?

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 11, 2012 5:44 pm

      I’m not sure, Susan … Mine came with the house and last year just exploded so I had to take it down … It’s been slow coming back, something I attribute to the weather this — and last — year.

  5. February 12, 2012 4:52 am

    I think spring is in a hurry this year. Love all the gold. It looks just right inland away from the grey..

    The Barefoot Contessa lemon cake recipe is really good with Meyers. Mmmm yum-yum.

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 12, 2012 4:56 am

      You cannot go wrong with any of Ina Garten’s recipes, she’s never let me down … I’ll post pics of the cupcakes tomorrow!

  6. February 12, 2012 5:42 am

    I was JUST thinking today about lemons as California gold. My mom has a tree and I get many lemons from her and use them in and for just about everything! Hair, skin, house cleaning, body detox, cooking, etc….

    • reubix1 permalink*
      February 12, 2012 5:45 am

      Gorgeous as well as useful and delicious … thanks for a great commment, Nisha!

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