winter citrus

ruby grapefruit half in vintage Heath Ceramics bowl

I hadn't been checking the weather forecast the last couple of days, so the return of Portland's rain and gloom after a period of sun took me by surprise this morning—and dampened my mood since it's as if the sky overhead were covered once again with a gray wool blanket. So I turn to the power of citrus in winter, mandarins in a bowl (as here and here), as well as ruby grapefruit halves for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Things as simple as bright-colored fruit can help get us through the doldrums of winter, reminders of warmer, sunnier climes and even, for me, of books. For example, Laura Ingalls Wilder, author of the classic Little House books, wrote of plain, cherished gifts out on the 19th-century American prairie, such as receiving a peppermint stick, a homemade rag doll, a single penny, or an orange for Christmas. Citrus is no longer so precious or rare as in the past, thanks to modern transportation methods, but still welcome and almost necessary at this monochrome time of year up north. 

mandarin oranges in vintage Heath Ceramics medium serving bowl

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