Comparing China and Oranges


I have not fallen off the face of the earth. I am not in the middle of a crisis. That is unless you too consider a bowl full of oranges a problem.

My husband received these edible rays of sunshine from a Chinese client. In certain areas of China (don’t ask me where – it’s a big country) it’s a custom to give oranges as a way to express good wishes for the coming year. The word “orange” in Chinese is “Ji,” which also happens to mean “good luck.”

He brought them home on Friday, and looked right at me and asked, “What shall we do with them?”

“I don’t know,” I said, feeling ridiculous because  a flutter of panic twisted in my gut, or maybe it was just in my head. Why am I like that?

Now he is on his way to Japan for a meeting. Yes, one meeting. That means he will get home late Thursday night which will be followed by four more days of re-adjustment.

In the meantime I am left with deciding what to do with the oranges.

They look very pretty in the bowl, but from experience I know that even in the dry and cold weather they will quickly become green and dusty on their undersides. That would seem such a waste. Yes, that’s probably what will happen.

I have a juicer, but no citrus attachment because it broke a few years ago. Besides even in a parallel life on a perkier woman’s cul-de-sac, I wouldn’t even think of pulling that behemoth piece of equipment out. To those of you who believe infomercials and don’t understand juicers, I will explain:

Juicing and cleaning up its aftermath isn’t easy.

Besides, my husband is on his way to Japan. I don’t embrace the new year’s attitude that  “juicing is healthy and a ridiculous amount of work” lifestyle when he is away. Not even necessarily when he is home.

I embrace a special food pyramid during these times:

Sugar, butter, and breakfast foods are the foundations.

Maybe I’ll add a few oranges.

So any ideas of what to do with the oranges that don’t involve heavy machinery? A recipe for chicken a l’orange? Something “Chineesy?”

I have also been a little busy and obsessed with my new project. Since I’m the one who brought it up, I will tell you about it:

The Travel Belles

That’s all for now.  I’ll share more soon.  xoxoxo


  1. says

    I want to know too.
    For now, this is my suggestion: take five oranges, cut the peel, cut each section out without the membrane, place in a bowl, add a pinch of sugar, a tablespoon of good olive oil, a hint of salt and pepper, and a handful of chopped mint. Toss well. Serve over additional salad greens. A sandwich of any of these items would round up the meal: grilled shrimp, grilled chicken, grilled lamb.

    Now, I’m hungry!

  2. says

    An overabundance of oranges are begging to be shared. I’m sure a shelter or soup kitchen would happily receive them. Or perhaps a school that runs a breakfast club?

  3. Margo says

    rosaria, christine, blueviolet and Hilary – I am truly fascinated with the different ideas on what to do with my oranges. I truly love the wonderful things each of your answers say about you! We ate some today, and after a day of looking at how nice they looked in the bowl, I put them in the refrigerator so they’ll last a little longer.

  4. says

    What a lovely gift! Also, I can’t believe the hub has to travel all the way to Japan for one meeting! How exciting, though. I’ve always wanted to see Japan.

    Anyway, when all our cooking stuff was packed I found myself picking up salads at Fresh and Easy. One was a version of a Chinese chicken salad that featured chunks of orange and chicken, won ton crumbles, and what I assume was a special Chinese chicken salad dressing. Heavenly! I thought that it would be easy to make myself, but I might add those delightful little sesame sticks instead of won ton crumbles, or perhaps some toasted sesame. Mmm!

    Our bodies seem to crave vitamin c this time of the year. Eat them up to avoid getting Scurvy! I know about Scurvy because my maiden name is Shervey and I got called, sigh, Scurvy, sigh a LOT.

  5. says

    Did you check them for lead?

    (that a vast overgeneralization of all things Chinese… but mostly it was just to add to your stress level of what to do with said toxic waste)

  6. Margo says

    @ mobius, maybe they do contain lead – I woke up with an evil cold today!

    @ lawyer mom, if I could smell, that would be a great one. I love that smell. You have reminded me that maybe need to make a hot toddy from that recipe I posted a few weeks ago. Yes!

    @ aaaar, I’ve been trying to ward off scurvy myself with some kind of fancysmancy isometric supplements. I keep telling myself that I’d have some awful disease without them. Hope the move went well :)

  7. says

    You could hand squeeze them (god forbid) haha. :)

    Or you could drink a shit-ton of Blue Moon beer, which is always served with an orange slice.

    Or peel them all, slice them by hand and blend them with ice and some other tasty treats to make a smoothy.

    I’m not very creative these days. Where’s my mojo?

  8. Land of shimp says

    Make orange fennel salmon :) Stick some in the produce drawer in the fridge, they will keep until your husband gets back. It’s hard to figure out who to give them too, if you don’t already have a group of something in your life, but a food bank or soup kitchen may be able to use them.

    Or you could leave little piles of them on your neighbor’s front doorsteps, ring the bell and run away 😉 Yes, that’s the one I think you should do . Make them think that the Orange Fairy has bestowed a gift. Never own up to doing it. Let them tell the story of, “and then, it was the strangest thing, there was a little pile of oranges sitting on the welcome mat.”

    Do this on your own front doorstep, so as to blend 😉

    Or, you know, you could put them in the produce drawer in the fridge, and they’ll keep for a little over a week. You should also listen to this Bright Eyes song called, “Bowl of Oranges”.

    I always thought it was a Buddhist custom to give oranges.

    Well, I’ve babbled enough here.

  9. Margo says

    @ aunt jackie, land of shimp, nicole and jen – I think I will kill a few birds with a bunch of oranges by playing ding, dong and ditch with mimosas. I’d be thrilled if someone did that to me!

  10. says

    You are hilarious! I loved your “bio” in the third person. So funny.
    I too was dx with Adult ADD. At first after my Mom died I thought (being the grief therapist I am) my new found distractibility was a manifestation of my also new found despondent grief state and would soon enough pass. It didn’t -my niece and dearest friend told me I MUST get on some medicine…some resistance on my part.
    Anyway, thanks for the info on writer’s group. I am looking to join one but I want to find the right one. My main objective is to get into a critique group-one with members who are published and would provide me gentle but solid feedback.
    If you have any other suggestions or other ideas of where to find this I’m all ears.
    Thanks, Margo-oh, I would LOVE it if you would consider becoming a follower on my blog. I am working on a memoir and periodically will be posting excerpts. Asking for people to share feedback. At least tonight that’s the plan :-)
    Happy New Year!

  11. says

    The only thing I know how to make with oranges is this orange salad stuff I make a Thanksgiving. I use canned mandarin oranges, but I’m sure you could use fresh, big ones. You mix the oranges, orange jello, cool whip, small curd cottage cheese, & crushed pineapple in a big bowl and then let it chill until firm. It would have to be a might big bowl though to use up all of those oranges.

  12. says

    I have a simple recipe for you.

    Wash the oranges,
    peel them,
    separate the sections,
    open your mouth,
    put in one section at a time,
    close your mouth,
    repeat until there is no more orange left.

    Use this recipe daily until the oranges are gone. Oranges are amazing when they are in season. My mother has an orange tree and brought us a couple dozen. We quickly finished them using the above recipe.

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