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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Darling Clementines

I picked this season's first ripe clementines from our tree on Thanksgiving day. Last year the tree gave very little fruit but this year I watered it every few weeks and I guess that made the difference. Some branches hang only a couple of feet above the ground, burdened with abundance.

Clementines are about the size of a tangerine, sweeter and easier to peel. Rarely will you find a seed in a clementine. (I wonder how they propagate?) I ate one Thursday night. Delicate, delectable, nature's perfect little package of delight. Apparently I'm advocating for them.

This is our fourth holiday season in our Pasadena home. Each year (except the last) we've bought baskets at the 99 Cents Only Store and filled them with clementines to deliver to friends and neighbors. Some folks have come to expect them so last year was a tragedy of block-wide proportions.

Soon I'll get out the ladder and begin instituting my No Clementine Left Behind Plan. Besides my distribution program I'll eat as many as I can. The squirrels will, too, which is fine with me. We've got plenty.

If my father were alive, today would be his 93rd birthday. He was the one who first sang Darling Clementine to me. He had a wicked sense of humor.

25 comments:

Cafe Pasadena said...

Is that a, "Pick Your Own" tree??

Just water? No pesticide usage? Then, you can pass them off as your Organic clementines.

Shell Sherree said...

What a beautiful tradition you've started, Petrea! I like the sound of clementines ~ anything that naturally comes without seeds jumps a few spots up my list.

Italo said...

The photo is wonderful, coloured refreshing! But to have that tree is better, much better!!!!! You Are lucky!!!

Dina said...

Sweet.
Hope you'll give us a picture of a basket full of klementinot.

Michael Coppess said...

That is a beautiful tree. We went this year to the mandarine orange festival north of Sac. Fun stuff. I read up there that mandarines (I think that includes Clementines) have a natural decongestant that makes them good for folks with allergies and colds. Don't know if that's true, but it is an excuse to eat some great tasting fruit!

Petrea said...

No pesticides, Cafe, although there's a bit of whitefly on the leaves. Doesn't damage the fruit, though.

I wonder if they ship well, Shell? But surely you could grow them in your climate.

Italo, you are so right!

Klementinot. I like that. I'll photograph them for you, Dina.

I think these are a type of mandarin, Michael. It could be the vitamin C they're talking about. Whatever it is, they can't be bad for you!

Susan C said...

What a magnificent tree. I've never seen one so prolific. It more than makes up for the under-achieving tomato plant.

altadenahiker said...

Like father, like daughter.

Oh, clementines are SO much better than tangerines.

Vanda said...

Wow. That's a helluva crop! I wish I was your neighbor.

Vanda said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Desiree said...

Wow!

Petrea said...

I agree, Susan. And it's less work!

Ha ha, Hiker. Yeah. He was corny, too.

You are my friend, Vanda.

D: I say the same thing every time I look out the window.

Katie said...

Ah, such a California photo. Clementines are indeed delicious, and even more so to have them right off your own tree. Best of luck with the NCLB plan. I'm sure you could get willing volunteers to help out on that! And if you have way too many, you can always donate the surplus to a food bank or something. I know you're thinking of your father today; how sweet to have a song like Darling Clementine bring back his memory.

Virginia said...

I wished for a long time that you and I were neighbors, now I really do. If you say you have an avocado tree as well, I"m moving!
V

Petrea said...

Katie, a couple of neighbors have already mentioned they saw my post and are ready for their clementines. Maybe I can enlist them...

Virginia, I don't have an avocado tree--yet. There's one at each of two adjacent yards. I can't decide if it would be faster to wait for the branches to grow over the fence or just plant my own.

AmyR said...

Whoa, that tree is overloaded. I'll trade you my fig tree for your clementine? :)

Petrea said...

Nope.

postie said...

great post. have not ever tried this fruit before. I will have to try it some time. How bout a picture of a basket of them or even of one cut open. thanks again for your posts a delight to read

USelaine said...

That's gorgeous! It's a powerful feeling to grow food of your own. Next, you'll be making marmalade...

Shell Sherree said...

I don't remember ever seeing clementines here. Now that I've said that, they'll be bonking me on the head wherever I go. :)

Petrea said...

Hi postie! Nice to see you. That's two requests, so the basket shots are forthcoming.

I don't plan on marmalade, Elaine. Maybe one of my neighbors will make some. Cooking these little packages of freshness (especially with sugar) doesn't seem like the right thing to do.

I know how that goes, Shell. If I find a seed or two I'll send them to you. I have no idea if they'd germinate but it would be fun to try.

Danial said...

clementine delicious and containing vitamin C

Petrea said...

So true, Danial. I'm definitely getting my vitamin C this year.

Skrip said...

Thank you so much for this pic post. I've always wondered what my tree was. I've told people mandarin, but by seeing this pic and doing more searching, it is an Algerian Mandarin, better known as 'Clementine'. Finally after 6 1/2 years!

Petrea said...

Glad it's useful to you. I wouldn't have known, either, except the previous owner of our house told me and further study proved it true. I like these little buggers, too. They're tasty.