Orange you glad?

The farmers’ markets may be a little scanty and your garden plain dead, but you’ve gotta love the abundance of citrus right now. One of the best things about living in California is the ubiquitous citrus.

I’ve got a Key lime tree in my backyard, a tangerine over the fence, a pomelo around the corner and a Meyer lemon across the street. Everywhere you walk, you see trees groaning with bright fruit.

Anything on city land is fair game for harvesting—as long as you don’t take it all. The problem is that there’s so much all at once. I juice my tiny limes and freeze them in ice-cube trays for adding to cocktails. Oranges and Meyer lemons are great for marmalade or candied zest. Grapefruit juice is never better than when you squeeze it and drink it immediately, but I’ve been known to make grapefruit granite, too. I add a splash of vodka to keep it from getting as hard as granite, though. Don’t overlook this great source of free vitamins! Your immune system and stomach will thank you.