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Doesn’t it seem odd that citrus are a winter fruit? They taste so fresh, bright and summery. But their peak season here is when the weather turns cool, starting in the fall, and continuing into winter. This is the time when you most likely will find citrus of all kinds on sale, and at their most abundant.

And so it was, when I found bags of limes and lemons, selling for a pittance at the market. I could never resist a good deal when I saw one, so a couple of bags were duly bought. Even though I knew my annual box of citrus and persimmons would arrive from California, courtesy of my sweet and generous mother-in-law.

She has several fruit trees in her backyard. They were planted decades ago by my late father-in-law. Isn’t it wonderful that we still get to enjoy the fruits of his labor, even after he left us? It’s definitely something to be thankful for. I loved him very much, by the way. One of the kindest men I had ever met. We connected through our love of gardening.

There was a rumor that when I was still dating his son, he had told his wife to tell him (the son/my husband) that he had better hold on to this girlfriend because he (the father/my FIL) liked her (the girlfriend/me) so much. I thought it was funny and somewhat touching when I first heard of it. Still think it is, for he was a man of few words, so the little that he said mattered a great deal.

Back to the citrus. The box from California did arrive, and now the house is bursting with all kinds of citrus, which is nice, and another thing to be thankful for.

lemons, limes, and tangerines

Citrus fruits are loaded with vitamin C, and getting plenty of Vitamin C is one way to boost your immune system. And to prevent scurvy, I read, although I don’t know what scurvy is. I just like the way it sounds, so I like to repeat it to my kids. “Eat your tangelos, so you won’t get scurvy!” (Tangelos being another word I like.)

And if you’re like me, you’re probably craving for something light and refreshing after the heavy and rich Thanksgiving meal of yesterday. Adding citrus to the leftovers is a perfect way, in my opinion, to brighten them up. Of course turkey sandwiches and salads are fine ideas, too. I’m just giving you more options.

turkey avgolemono soup

Tangy Turkey Soup
This is a Greek-style lemon-egg soup, an authentic version of which would be called avgolemono soup, usually featuring chicken and rice.

5 cups chicken stock (homemade is best, but canned is perfectly fine)
1 cup shredded or cut-up cooked turkey meat
1 cup orzo pasta (which will yield 2 1/2 cups cooked)
2 eggs
2 lemons
Salt & pepper
Parsley for garnish

1. Boil orzo until cooked.
2. Heat chicken stock, add cooked orzo and turkey, and let it come to a slow simmer.
3. In a medium bowl, beat eggs well, breaking down the egg white as much as you can. Add lemon juice and salt and beat to blend.
4. Remove soup from heat.
5. Pour some of the broth (about 1/2 cup) into the egg mixture and stir to mix. Do this a couple more times, before adding the egg mixture to the soup. This is to temper the eggs so they won’t cook and scramble in the soup. It’s very important that the soup is not boiling or too hot before introducing the eggs, otherwise the eggs will cook, and you don’t want that.
5. Add more salt & pepper to taste. Garnish with chopped parsley.

Be siap pelalah with rice

Balinese Zesty Turkey
It would be called Be Siap Pelalah if it’s authentic, and uses chicken (siap means chicken in Balinese). I’m not sure what to call mine, since it’s neither authentic nor chicken.

By the way, just because something is not authentic, doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not delicious. In fact, this is very, very delicious. So is the lemon turkey soup above. Just thought you’d like to know.

2 cups shredded cooked turkey or chicken
1 small sweet pepper, sliced thin
1 small onion, sliced thin
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic
2 shallots
1 stalk lemon grass
1 very small turmeric root (about 1 inch long) or use turmeric powder, about 1/2 tsp, or omit altogether if you don’t have any, or substitute with ginger.
1/2 inch slice of galangal root (available frozen in Asian markets, or again omit or substitute with ginger if unavailable.)
Zest of 2 key limes (or 1 Persian lime)
Juice of 2 key limes (or 1 Persian lime)
3 makrut lime/jeruk purut/bai kee-hoot leaves (available frozen from Asian markets. If unavailable, just add more lime zest.)
Salt & pepper to taste
1 tsp agave nectar or sugar
1/2 cup chicken stock or water

1. Roughly chop garlic, shallots, lemon grass, turmeric, and galangal. Grind in a food processor to form a paste. Or if you’re feeling industrious, you can use a mortar & pestle.
2. Heat olive oil in a skillet, add the seasoning paste and sauté until fragrant.
3. Add peppers and onions and continue to sauté until vegetables are cooked and tender.
4. Add turkey/chicken, lime juice, lime zest, lime leaves, salt & pepper, sugar and stock. Stir and continue cooking until stock has mostly evaporated. It should be somewhat dry.
5. Served over rice.

***

Since we’re still on the subject of being thankful, it goes without saying that I’m thankful to be healthy, have a warm place to stay when it’s freezing outside, a loving family, a wonderful circle of friends, etc. But I didn’t know several months ago that there would be a few new things to be thankful for this year, all revolving around having a blog.

The joys of creating recipes, writing stories or poems, photographing food or plants, are all completely new for me this year. Equally new and surprising is the joy of finding friends and connecting with followers and fellow bloggers through ownership of a blog. Who would have thought I would be blessed with so much? These are all reasons to be thankful for.

And yet another important addition to my “thankful list” this year is the joy of receiving blogging awards from these new-found friends and fellow bloggers. Sometimes late at night, I think about you all and can’t help but feel deeply touched by your kindness and generosity. I continue to feel humbled and honored by your nominations. Thank you all so much!

Please check out these fellow bloggers’ sites when you have the chance. Each of them offers something different, and I always learn a thing or two every time I pay them a visit. I’m sure you will, too.

1. Thank you, Food Daydreaming, for the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.
2. Thank you, Feasting With Friends, for the Inner Peace and The Versatile Blogger awards.
3. Thank you, Curls and Carrots, for the Blog Of The Year 2013 Award.
4. Thank you, Quarter Acre Lifestyle, for The Versatile Blogger Award.
5. Thank you, Country Home and Hearth, for The Versatile Blogger Award.
6. Thank you, Gardening in Greenwood, for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.
7. Thank you, La Petite Paniere, for The Versatile Blogger Award.
8. Thank you, Cooking without Limits, for The Versatile Award.
9. Thank you, The Underground Gourmet, for The Versatile Blogger Award.
10. Thank you, Food Eat Love, for the multiple award nominations (the Liebster, Very Inspiring Blog, Best Moment, Sunshine, and Versatile Blogger Awards).

I have already done “7 facts about myself,” so I won’t bore you with another round of that. And since I’m still trying to catch up on the last award nominations, I’m going to save these for now before passing them on. Be patient with me, please. I only have so much time. I have youngsters with me that need to be entertained, movies to watch, Black Friday shopping to attend to, that sort of things, so time is scarce at the moment. In the meantime, I wish you all a wonderful weekend!

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