2.23.2006

Sunny centerpiece


I had a sink full of dirty dishes and half a box of clementines, left over from snaking and making Nigella's awesome Clementine Cake, but I didn't have a centerpiece. With guests about to arrive for our Sunday supper, there wasn't time to walk to the deli to scrounge around for flowers and I wasn't in the mood for rocks or shells or just candles. I wanted something lively, sunny, fresh and fragrant. Hopefully, something that would complement the food.

Then it hit me -- literally. The dark metal pedestal I found at Moon River Chattel fell on the floor when I was digging through the hall closet, looking for placemats. I stacked the clementines on the pedestal.

Did you know that Clementines have been available in Europe for many years, but the market for them in the United States didn’t take off until a devastating freeze in Florida in 1989 made domestic oranges scarce and expensive? I'd never thought about it until I read this article, but clementines are the only fruit that retailers sell primarily in bulk – shipped and sold in miniature balsam-wood crates covered with orange plastic netting. This sets them apart from other fruits and guarantees that the customer will buy from 28 to 35 clementines at one time. Smart marketing!

I realized today that I'm far from the first person to think of decorating with clementines. Just look at the cover of Martha's Entertaining from 1982.

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