A few days ago, Donny came down with a bug. So I did what any caring wife would do. I opened all the windows, threw the sheets in the wash, and disinfected any and every surface he may have come in contact with over the last forty-eight hours. And maybe now that I've typed out the preceding order of events, my intentions didn't come across as caring as I hoped. No, it comes across as a little selfish. You see, I was crossing my fingers and hoping this bug wouldn't bite me too. I was simply taking necessary precautions. You understand.
But there is a more caring aspect to this story. I let the teapot come to a boil and put a loaf of rye bread in the oven. I had a hunch this would be the only thing he could hold down. And while he was stuck on the couch, home from work for the very first time I could ever remember, I headed out on a mission. I made a pit stop at an orchard near work. They happen to be open year round, turning out batches of homemade pies and soups in the winter. I spotted bins of citrus as soon as I walked in, and after closer investigation, found a box of oranges with that distinct dark color on the rind. Blood oranges. I was hoping I would find them. I filled a bag with a dozen or so, because I had a game plan for my sick Valentine.
No ginger ale. No Gatorade. I had an elixir in mind that didn't involve high fructose corn syrup or red dye number forty. No, this drink would be of the natural variety and it would be a stunner. A glass of freshly squeezed crimson juice topped off with sparkling water. Who could resist that? It's reminiscent of Italian soda, minus the sugary syrup. These oranges were so sweet they didn't need it. I noshed on a few as I made the spritzer. They had the familiar taste of citrus notes, but something deeper lingering beyond the surface, raspberries perhaps. They're delicious; a perfect pick me up for a cold February day. Being high in both antioxidants and vitamin C, I was hopeful this bloody concoction would get Donny back on his feet.
Later that day, I poured the blood orange spritzers into wine glasses, an early Valentine's Day gesture. Sure, it was a few days early, but that didn't matter so much. The actual date has never been of much significance to me. It's the smaller moments like these, the little gestures on the most typical of days. These are what add up to the best love stories. We toasted. We drank. We ate the triangle slices off the rinds. I felt lucky to be in love.
Donny's back on his feet and up to his usual antics. Before sitting down to write this post today, I found a bottle of blood orange olive oil sitting in the kitchen. I had been lusting over it for quite some time. It's a small batch oil made with organic Moro blood oranges and California olives. Now that...that's love. And while the bug made it's way out, it looks like the blood oranges are here to stay. And of the two, I'm happy the latter decided to linger.
~Blood Orange Spritzer Recipe~
1 cup fresh squeezed blood orange juice, from 8 oranges
2 orange slices to garnish
2 orange slices to garnish
Halve blood oranges and squeeze out juice. A reamer helps with this process if you have one. It should yield about one cup of juice. Divide the juice into two wine glasses. Add some ice and top off with sparkling water. Garnish each glass with an orange slice. Serves 2.