California Grown

The citrus at my farmer’s market right now is downright glorious: the oranges and lemons are at the peak of their season, full of flavor and heavy with juice.  So of course, I’m buying a lot of both, as I did today.  When I got home and put the fruit into my fruit bowl, I could not resist taking a photo.  The colors are so deep and bright, a wonderful counterpoint to the clouds that began gathering outside.

Here’s the photo.

Navel oranges, Lisbon variety lemons, California (!) mangoes

The other fruit you see are mangoes–grown here, in California!  I love mangoes.  I love their complex flavor–a little bit sweet, a little bit bitter, spicy, exotic.  I love the way their flesh feels and how sticky it is.  I try to buy locally grown everything, and I’m fortunate to live in California, where I can find local varieties of nearly every food I like to eat. The one exception has been the mangoes: While pounds upon pounds of the fruit from places like Peru and Ecuador are everywhere right now, I have not been able to get my hands on any locally-grown varieties.  So when I saw these babies today, I openly squealed with delight.  As you can see, they are small, but I am so excited to try them!  Once I have done so, I will report back on their flavor in terms of how these mangoes compare to the imported ones.

Today’s other exciting purchase was my first half-dozen eggs from pasture-raised chickens.  I’ve been buying eggs labeled “cage free” for a while, but have come to question whether “cage free” really means anything.  The chickens could be cage free, but possibly still crammed together in an enclosed chicken coop, never seeing the light of day, which isn’t much more of a life.  Farmers who raise chickens have begun bringing eggs to sell at the market, and today I decided to buy some.  And yes, I took a picture of them.  I’m not sure how interesting this photo will be to other people, but I am including it anyway because I just really loved the subtle variations of soft brown among the eggs (and the one really light egg that, if it were a dress fabric or a paint chip, would likely be called…well…”eggshell”).

Anyway, here they are:

Eggs from pasture-raised chickens. I'm trying to avoid saying I'm "eggsited" about them. Sorry...temptation got the best of me.

I am thinking I might make a souffle with the eggs; if I do, I will write about it and include the recipe.  My normal inclination would be toward making a chocolate souffle, but since I want to be able to really taste the eggs, I’m thinking perhaps a lemon one instead.

In the meantime, I’m looking forward to lots of lemon zest, to thick slices of sweet orange, and to having a go at those mangoes.


About Sarah

Grammar goddess, cultural critic, full-time media junkie. I read, I bake, I watch tv. And then I write about it.
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