I was 21 when I made the decision to move from South Carolina to Southern California.
Granted, it was a teaching contract that lured me out to the Golden State (and a snotty promise to my parents that I would move as far away from home as possible when I finished college). But I have to admit that I had been seduced by watching one too many episodes of The Beverly Hillbillies: swimming pools, movie stars. Throw in the beach and Disneyland, and I was hooked.
More than two decades later, I'm now a little jaded at the sight of movie stars. Mickey and Minnie Mouse no longer do it for me. But there's one thing that reminds me that I'm living the golden life in the Golden State: citrus.
And if citrus was gold, I'd be a wealthy lady. Our backyard trees are heavy with oranges, grapefruits, Meyer lemons and pomellos.
I still can't get over the thrill of going to the back yard to pluck oranges for a glass of fresh-squeezed orange juice.
It took 12 oranges to make about 24 ounces of juice.
Our grapefruit are a little sour, so I topped one with brown sugar and threw it under the broiler for 10 minutes.
Get 'em while they're hot! Just let it cool before digging in.
Nothing goes to waste. I use part of the peel to make orange zest and the remainder will go to our neighborhood goats.
I'm making a Harvey Wallbanger cake with the rest of the fresh OJ and the orange zest. Of course, that means that I'll get to sip a Wallbanger cocktail while the bundt is in the oven (and before and after).
Cheers to the good life in Southern California!