Bloody Miracle


Tis the season for ice and snow, colds and flu, and the winter doldrums. There are days when a quiet snowfall, viewed through the window from the comfort of a warm room, encourages a contemplative mood for reading, writing, sorting photographs, or marathon baking. But if the stresses of travel, work, and exposure to germs has led to a January virus, another icy snowfall is just enough to put me over the edge. That’s when I’m grateful it’s also the season for blood oranges. As well as being vitamin C powerhouses, blood oranges are high in anthocyanins, a family of antioxidant pigments. This is what gives them their startling deep red, almost maroon color, and what gives me the energy to carry on. Blood oranges have just enough tartness to balance their sweetness, and a delightful hint of raspberry and pepper on the tongue. Their luscious color warms my blood and boosts my spirits. To a medieval peasant, an orange in winter would surely have seemed a miracle. So it's not too far-fetched to think of blood oranges as my January miracle.