Wednesday, December 29, 2010


Oranges are a Christmas tradition around our place.  It was my blog buddy Parsnip who reminded me about the orange in the toe of the stocking.  She said it was one of her fond memories of the season--and coincidentally it's one of mine as well.  Probably it is for lots of people, especially the tangerines that come into the stores towards the end of November.  That scent is irrevocably tied to Christmas in my mind.

Oranges come up in other ways at Christmas time too.  At least once over the season my husband tells about his mother's story of getting nothing for Christmas but an orange.  She grew up in backwoods Maine and I can totally see that then (around 1920) an orange would be a complete treat in the middle of winter.

And then there's the traditional casserole of sweet potatoes and oranges that I've made for Christmas dinner at every single year since I was a little girl.  The recipe is in my old Joy of Cooking and the book actually opens to that page because every year I have to check on the proportions of yams, orange rind, orange juice, brown sugar, butter and salt.  Every year I buy a bag of oranges and we eat them all up in a few days.  Yes,  oranges are definitely a traditional part of the season here.

You can find out about other people's traditions today over here on Nine Muses Musing


  1. sweet potato and orange is one of my all time favourite dishes. right alongside roasted carrot and orange! steven

  2. I just love Oranges at Christmas... My Mum has a great story too about Oranges so I must post that one too.
    Lovely memories and I must look up that recipe.
    Thanks for thinking of me...

    cheers, parsnip

  3. Oranges and Christmas...yes! It's a nostalgic combination. I always had an orange in the toe of my stocking and so did my kids. I wonder if my grandkids do?

    We link oranges with Christmas even in our decorating. A box of the tiny ones are strewn on a shelf and we slowly clean off the shelf over the holidays.

  4. In my very humble opinion, oranges are the best thing about winter, and yes, before global marketing happened, Christmas was about the time of year we first started to see California navel oranges in the stores. Maybe that's why they're so common to our collective holiday memories. I'm still on the hunt for blood oranges.

  5. I've been eating Satsuma oranges ever since they hit the stores about a month ago. They are wonderfully sweet - taste like the tropics here in snow country. I remember the days of getting an orange and a small box of chocolates for Christmas.

  6. Oooh, I've never heard of oranges and sweet potatoes together! Sounds delish though :-)
    Found thru the Mortal Muses blog

  7. Steven, I'll have to try roasted carrot with orange. Do you roast the orange as well?

    Parsnip, if you can't find the recipe I'll send it to you. Let me know.

    Stephanie, I like the idea of edible decorations. And I bet your grandchildren also have an orange in the toe of their stocking.

    Hi Rudee, blood oranges are so beautiful aren't they. One of my favorites too.

    Hi Barb, yes I think one of the best things about citrus in winter is that it reminds us of warmer climates. Plus there's all that Vitamin C.

    Marty, thanks for visiting here. I like the photos on your blog very much.

  8. Marty and I are both Floridians and I haven't heard of this combo either. We are going to try it.

    Thanks for linking up and musing with us at Mortal Muses.

    ♥ tam

  9. Nature has a way of providing special treats when we need them. I love the little mandarin oranges that we get around here. Just eating one makes me feel healthy! Happy New Year!

  10. I'm a big sucker for mandarin oranges. Yummy!
    Oranges and sweet potatoes? Who knew!

  11. mmmm, oranges and sweet potatoes, sound great.
    thanks for musing with us today.

  12. I never received an orange in my stocking, but I doo love them in the winter. They taste like sunshine.

  13. We used to cover oranges with cloves. Sticking them in was a pain when you had to cover the whole orange, but the smell was worth the work!!!!!


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