"Place, with a trace of humanity" Photography/Photo of the Day/Pittsburgh

Posts tagged “oranges

Happy Place: Weekly Photo Challenge

Krista Stevens at WordPress challenged bloggers this week with this prompt “Have you ever felt like the world was being a bit too rowdy? Where things and people were pushing in, crowding out your quiet thoughts — the ones that need time and space to surface?”     Yes, Krista, yes. 

My number one Happy Place cuddling a grandchild in my arms, getting them to smile or the growing up grandchildren sitting next to me on the couch, reading a book or playing a game.  Laughing with grandchildren is the best.

And there’s the knitting I go to-another happy place- a form of meditation, the repetition-  but this post shows my kitchen where I can ward off winter chills (or autumn chills) and feel all is right in the world.  (Even if it’s not.)

——————————–resposted from original December 2011———————-

First Day of Winter Still Life in My Kitchen

Friends joined me for tea, even though they weren’t in Pittsburgh.

You can see out the kitchen back door window to the back porch and garage, the bare trees.  The shortest day of light.  Winter officially here.

Two dear friends in KY sent a shipment of fancy English muffins and the Fed Ex man delivered them Wednesday afternoon.  It seemed a good time to split one, toast it and spread some butter (with my Grandmother’s silver butter knife) and spoon some apricot preserves.

Went to fire up the kettle to brew tea but I’d burned the kettle dry on Monday so boiled a pot of water to make the tea. Pulled out the camera on the phone to capture the scene

Oranges were on sale 10 for $2 today and lately they were almost a dollar apiece.

A faithful  blog reader in Virgina, C, (and  best friend of a my good friend J in Omaha) made me the little quilted mug mat last year and it was  J who gave me the lidded butter dish another year.  The Botanic Garden mug matches my mother’s cereal bowls.

I was home alone but in the presence of friends and family remembered.  Finding the joy of winter.  My neighbor called to report a vibrant rainbow spotting and perhaps I could photograph it.  i went outside and it was still raining and saw the colored arch across the street.  I photographed it but it didn’t make the cut for posting but i appreciate when people see something and I come to mind. There was thunder and lightning, too.

Yes, that is a stack of woven potholders on the left counter top.

Makeshift Thanksgiving Eve Supper on Supermarket Conveyor Belt

Do you ever look at another customers items on the conveyor belt in the grocery store?

Do you make judgements based on their choices?

Today I was watching the weather and accumulated snowfall all day and thinking about my Thanksgiving travel plans.

When I drove out of the school parking lot, it was slush on the roads and a pretty snowy wonderland in the trees.

After school, I went to the Giant Eagle supermarket and procured some semi-Thanksgiving items for supper tonight.

You can’t see the pretty red yams.

I can tell you this, the cranberry, orange, Granny Smith relish was refreshing. We didn’t sample the pie.

It’s just sitting.

If I never eat another Turkey Burger that’ll be just fine.

Don’t look too closely foodies and food bloggers.

Holidays are usually low view days on the blog.  Good thing!

Steve and I ate together and he’ll hold the fort here.   I packed a suitcase with plenty of wool sweaters and socks.

Thinking about all those I love and who love me. Feeling grateful for friends and family.

Thanksgiving ingredients

When I took the car to be inspected on Monday night (due Nov 30th so made it just under the wire)

I saw this sky as I waited in the wind for Steve to pick me up.


At First the Oranges Appeared Hard and Uninviting

But I found a solution….

Pulled the old glass reamer off the kitchen shelf and proceeded to make some fresh squeezed orange juice.

The hardness of the orange peel was deceiving because they gave up a lot of juice.

Fried egg sandwich on wheat toast.

Squeezing OJ this past weekend, I was trying to hold onto that Spring Break mood.

Hand painted glasses from Mary Ellen’s gift shop in Lawrenceville- Divertido– “where everyday is a gift?”

and if you want an interesting book to read- everything you need to know about oranges- read John McPhee’s Oranges.

(I have a copy if you are in Pittsburgh)


Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice


Once a Year Recipe/Ritual

The annual making of the cranberry-orange relish. I don’t make this any other time of year.I’ve heard lots of different renditions of cranberries and everyone has their favorite.  My mother used to use a metal meat grinder and screw it onto a table or chair with a woven potholder to keep the wood from being marred. Her recipe was strictly cranberries and navel orange.  I add a Granny Smith and today a HoneyCrisp as well. I used to have one of those grinders and ground relish with Mark when he was a boy in the same manner as my mother.  My friend J from Omaha gave me her MagiMix French Processor when she got a Cuisinart.  That was more than 25 years ago and it still works. It has a European plug so I have to keep a little extra piece to plug it in.  So two bags of cranberries, washed and drained, two oranges, two apples(peel on) 1 3/4 C sugar.

That is all there is to it. Refreshing and tart and sweet simultaneously.  And thanks to Susan K for the Turkey towels.  Very festive.

Happy Thanksgiving.  I will put the bowl in a cardboard box so it doesn’t spill and drive to dinner at the other Grandma’s.

How to Relieve Stress? Make Marmalade

It was a long Monday at school.  The PSSA testing began.  Six classes of art, out of order with the schedule.  And we lost that precious hour this weekend, changing the clocks.  After school I headed for the gym.  On my way to the gym, I got an idea.   I stopped at Ritter’s Diner thinking I might photograph their juke boxes for a memories post.  I ordered a cup of Orange Pekoe tea with lemon and started to read the City Paper. And an order of wheat toast with the butter on the side.  A small plastic rectangle of grape jelly sat on the plate.   But I was sitting there in a small booth reading and on page 36 there was a photograph of some oranges  at the bottom left of the page with a recipe for Marmalade.   I wished I had it on the toast.    Cooking or baking something always relieves stress. So I thought, I have all the ingredients and skipped the gym (uh-oh) went right  home and  sliced two oranges and a lemon really thin and added 2 cups of boiling water. A full cup of sugar seemed so much  (I used 3/4 cup) and cooked it down ’til it looked like marmalade. The scent from the simmering pan was delicious.  Growing up I never enjoyed marmalade, preferring honey, strawberry or raspberry jam. My mom would make marmalade or Mrs. Burns from church would bring some to the house.  I enjoy the taste now. Tart and sweet.  Can’t wait to try it on buttered toast in the morning.  (Oh, and the juke boxes have CD’s inside of them now and a putty colored metal and or plastic, not the chrome I was seeking so did not shoot them. Evoked no memories for me.  Just the marmalade came from the excursion.

Afternoon sun hit the pan on the stove.

One Good Thing in Winter

Citrus!   Dr. B. sends Steve a box of Indian River Grapefruit for Christmas, all pink inside. R prefers Tangelos. The kids love Clementines. Lemons might be my favorite.  Last week our principal had snacks for the teachers. We had to stay at school – make up time.  Bummed to stay an extra 3 hours at the end of the day but greeted by this box. The blinds for the library windows are on-order so the sun came out and fell right on the fruit.  I peeled the skin and bent it so the oil was on my fingers.    I ordered  the book Oranges by John McPhee after reading his quote (3-8-10) , his comparing California and Florida oranges.  Abstracts for May 7 & 14 1966 Articles in the New Yorker.

A box of oranges to stave off winter blues

A box of oranges to stave off winter blues.

Real Fruit Fake Fruit

Hardy Virginia Still Life of Fruit-Which is Real?


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