Winter’s Gifts…Special Oranges

winters giftsAs my eyelids flutter toward open, darkness and winter’s chill brush my shoulder.  I nuzzle deeper into the cocoon of cotton and down I have surrounded us with to shield from winter’s cold night, deeper into the warmth, and the loving arms of my loving man.  “It’s time.” he whispers, lips brushing mine.  I breathe in thanks for the day that is yet to dawn, opening the eyes of my heart, to blessings coming with the rising sun, and peel myself from my fluffy cocoon.  The cold stings for an instant, but not for long, as coffee calls me out from between the sheets.  The promise of its warmth soon has me moving rhythmically through the kitchen.  The whirring, pulsating, grind of beans stimulates my senses, brings a little more focus into my soft-focused eyes.  The quiet dance of the day readies me.  Light softly begins to whisper from the east, and I am thankful.  Thankful for blessings of another day, thankful for the quiet before the explosion of light, morning, and children from beds.  I breathe in the edgy warmth of  brewed coffee in hand.  Thankful for a full cup.  Pondering, and prayer lighten my heart, whispers upon my lips. What is it that I want from today?  To be open, to be ready to receive fully, life’s gifts, to dance through the grace with strength and ease. Ballerina long limbs gently moving to rhythms heard, melody played on the heart.  I want to allow, and open myself to love’s lessons of the day.  Blooming forth a dance that spins softly through joy.  I want to dance the blessings gracefully on toes planted, hands extending joy through the dance, softly into universe, softly into the world rounding with fullness, swelling gently into peace and love, that begins in my home, that grows quietly in my heart.  The tempo of the ticking clock tells me that the rhythm of the day quickens, the dance is moving into light, into waking more fully.  I wanted to make something special for breakfast this morning, something to chase the chill of winter back toward the edges.  I remembered as I watched the softly falling snow, large as cotton ball puffs floating down from the heavens, the bright as sunshine, glowing navel oranges I had found yesterday on sale at the market.  The warm glow called me softly from the basket strung high from ceiling beams.  The mound of bright, sunshine colored fruit would be a perfect way to start a lightly lit winter’s day.  As I reach down two oranges, the cool softness of their essence-filled skin welcoming against my palm, I remember these oranges from childhood.  The special oranges, the cold-chasing chill from bones, winter oranges, their bright as sunshine, orbs of liquid joy, their presence in the kitchen warms my heart, all the way down to my chilly toes wrapped in wool.  I hold them up to my nostrils and breathe in the tang of their citrusy oil waiting to burst through peeling skin.  These are the oranges that make you feel special.  These are the oranges that I will share with my children, my loves, the ones I want to feel special, this chilly winter morning.  A day like any other, a Wednesday, but yet, why can’t it, better yet, why shouldn’t it, be special?  After all, isn’t it a gift? This ordinary Wednesday, the next ordianary Thursday, and all the ordianary, everydays to come, come gifted, come special.  My fingers dance the peel away, as juicy explosions tickle my nose, releasing exhilarating anticipation, as golden juiciness begs the tongue.  A special breakfast, joyful, liquid sunshine, breakfast, for special people, on an ordinarily special day.  A smile curves my lips, and my heart.  I give thanks for special oranges, for special people, for special traditions passed on through the love of everyday living.

special oranges

Special Oranges

Naval oranges

Homemade powdered sugar…just a sprinkle of lightly sweet specialness.

Peel and halve oranges, removing as much of the white pith from the outside as possible.  Place each half, flat side down, on a small plate.  With a sharp knife, thinly filet narrow slices across the orange half.  Gently tilt oranges onto their sides, and arrange them so they may gently cascade down in one graceful tier.  Dust lightly with homemade powdered sugar, soft as snowflakes floating down from above, and serve immediately with a generous helping of love.

An everyday orange magically transcended special.

juicy goodness

Homemade Powdered Sugar

1 1/2 c. granulated sugar of choice:  evaporated cane juice, sucanat, turbinado, or coconut sugar

1 T. arrowroot powder, or cornstarch  (I use arrowroot, as it is a healthier choice, gluten-free, and loaded with extra vitamins & minerals)

Place granulated sugar, and arrowroot, or cornstarch into blender.  Blend on high-speed until powdered.  The timing on this will vary to the degree of power of the blender.  Check every 30 seconds or so, allowing time for the powder to settle back down into the blender before removing the lid, or else you will have a candy-coated kitchen!  Sounds kinda fun, but wayyy too sticky!!!  Scrape down sides.  Continue to process until all is powder, and Wallah!  There you have it, simple simon, homemade powdered sugar.  No preservatives, anti-caking additives, or any extras….except a little love 🙂 and let’s be honest, who couldn’t use a little more love?

orange heaven

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The Barn Hop