Saving Oragnes

Joe has an orange tree and he no longer bothers harvesting the fruit. He knows what keen garden produce people we are so he offered Frank a tree’s worth of oranges if he’d come pick them.

Frank trundled over on foot (it’s just a couple of blocks away) with a big bucket in his hand. About an hour later Frank and Joe came back in Joe’s car – way too many oranges for one bucket and way too much for one man to carry in his hands.

After giving away baskets and bags full to friends and neighbours, we still have enough for freshly squeezed orange juice every day. And then some.

It’s what to do with the “and then some” that had me thinking. Frank will make some marmalade – okay, there’s a kilo gone. But I was more interested in preserving some for my various recipes that hinge on fresh citrus. Especially my newly beloved citrus sherbet (originally made with lemons, but oranges work as well) and my regular staple friand (originally made with mandarins but oranges work as well!). It dawned on me that both of those really only require the juice and zest of citrus. So I devised a clever saving scheme.

First I juice then zest 4 oranges.

Then I put the juice and zest of those 4 oranges into a ziplock bag, place the bag on 2 chopsticks (forming a cross) and place the whole thing in the freezer.

Finally, I separate the 4 orange-equivalent portions and stack them for easy freezing.

I’ve tried one round including defrosting a portion which became sherbet. It works really well. So I’ll be doing 4 a day for a while until I have “enough” (defined more by freezer space than by actual need).

This reserve is fantastic as I’ve become quite the citrus lover. What started as me hunting for creative ways to use up the variety of citrus in my back yard (mandarins, oranges  lemons and kumquats) has become a list of recipes that I’d love to be able to prepare even out of season. Voilà, I’ve now can do just that.


About Laura Rittenhouse

I'm an American-Australian author, gardener and traveller. Go to my writing website: for more. If you're trying to find my gardening blog, it's here.
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11 Responses to Saving Oragnes

  1. Oooooo love love love! Do you think I could move in? Xxxx

  2. Coop Poop says:

    You are like a jack of all trades and a master too….Wow! I think I know only one other person in my entire life with the depth and breadth (is this spelled right?) of interests and skills as you! Other than Frank, can anyone keep up?!!

  3. WOW! great idea. I had an excess of oranges a while back and cut them into segments then froze them, not knowing for sure what I would do with them. we had the grand-kids yesterday and the little one asked for yoghurt. Now, I only have plain yoghurt, so popped plain yoghurt into my spare yoghurt container, then added an equal amount of the frozen orange, along with a spoonful of berry jam. They both had great fun using the hand held blender, and then drank up their smoothies with relish. Next time I will add zest as well as it adds so much flavour

    • Yummy, I want yoghurt at your house. Orange and berry jam smoothie sounds fantastic.

      I didn’t know you could freeze oranges whole (or segments) but I think I prefer juicing and zesting them from a space perspective. I can store about 10 times the oranges that way.

  4. vuchickens says:

    What a great idea! I’m with “little poppits”. I’d love to come visit and help you eat them. Especially since you are enjoying summer while we are just settling into our cold rainy winter. Too bad plane tickets to Australia are so expensive. A winter vacation there would set me up nicely. But alas, I’ll just have to enjoy it vicariously through your blog. 🙂

    • I’m not sure you’d want to visit today. It’s supposed to hit 36 C (that’s 98 F) and it drizzled overnight so it’s really humid. Come to think of it that frozen orange juice might be just the ticket!

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