A few years ago, I discovered blood oranges. They look like smaller, unassuming regular Navel oranges from the outside. Sometimes the peels have a tiny spot blush grapefruit color to give a hint of their insides. Open them up and POW! the beautiful pink-red-orange flesh is revealed. I ordered a large box from a family farm in California. The flavor is a sweeter grapefruit orange; they are delicious! Because I love them so much, I ate about half the box before making them into marmalade.
As with many of my posts, these blood oranges have a story. On the flight to San Diego for the Christmas extravaganza, I sat next to Jerry and Judy. I peeled a blood orange for a snack and Jerry suggested that I might not want to eat it. I smiled then explained that it was a blood orange and it was supposed to look like that. We got to talking and I told them about my jam. Jerry told me that he was an officer with the mounted patrol in Oregon and worked for the Governor’s office and also the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival. What? A festival? That sounded fun!
Fast forward two months and a half of boxes of blood oranges consumed. I drove to the lovely beach town of Newport with Kristine and Molly to attend the festival on Friday. A sunny day on the Oregon coast in February is miraculous, but we were treated with gorgeous weather.
First, I located Jerry and delivered two jars of marmalade. Then the wine and food tasting began. I was so busy snacking that I didn’t take many pictures. But this one with the Nemo hat is in honor of my nieces. Anna was three when Lily was born and Finding Nemo was her favorite movie. With a newborn Lily, 18 month old Grace and 3 year old Anna, my sister Heather had her hands full. Anna got to watch Nemo a lot. She watched it so much that Lily’s nickname was created from the movie. My brother-in-law Matt is the baby whisperer. Babies love him and he can snuggle them for hours. Matt held Lily and snuggled her and called her his “Squishy” like the character Dora does to the baby jellyfish in the movie. Needless to say, the nickname has stuck. At age seven, Lily is still referred to as Squishy, Squish, and my favorite, Squish-ity-do-dah.
How can I possibly circle back on the rabbit trail…from blood oranges to Jerry and Judy to Christmas to the Newport Seafood and Wine Festival to Lily Squish? Honestly, all I can say is eat some blood oranges and try the marmalade.