When it’s January in Southern California, there’s no time for post-holiday blues because it’s time for orange picking!
(Side note to friends who don’t live in Southern California: Sorry. This is not meant to rub in the fact that each day it is 72 and sunny here. It’s just a statement of fact. And we’d love to have you visit any time.)
One of our favorite places for orange picking is Heritage Park in La Verne, CA. The orange grove at Heritage Park is one of only a handful of small orange groves that remain in Southern California. The La Verne Heritage Foundation has lovingly preserved the grove and accompanying buildings. For instance, onsite is an 1800s farmhouse and barn, surrounded by 1 1/2 acres of citrus trees. (Your kids will also enjoy checking out the outhouse.)
The grove is open on Saturday mornings for grapefruit and orange picking. While you’re there, you can take a tour of the frozen-in-time farmhouse (and gawk at the seemingly ancient cooking implements in the kitchen).
At Heritage Park, there are navel and Valencia oranges available for picking. Navel oranges are a delicious sweet snacking orange. Valencias are extra-juicy and perfect for juicing.
In fact, navel oranges are so bright and pretty that we love to add them into just about everything (salads, salsas, pancakes, etc.)
What we’ve done with our navel oranges here is add them into an easy coleslaw. We’ve also made the coleslaw a little extra-orangey by adding orange juice to the dressing. The result is a bright, sweet and tart coleslaw that’ll give you just a little extra spring in your step, whether it’s sunny and 72… or snowing outside.
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh-squeezed orange juice
- 1 tsp granulated sugar
- 1 tbsp brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 16- ounce bag coleslaw mix shredded cabbage and carrots
- 2 large navel oranges peeled and sliced
In a small mixing bowl, combine the mayonnaise, cider vinegar, orange juice, sugars, and salt. Mix well until thoroughly combined.
In a large salad bowl, place the coleslaw mix and orange pieces. Add the dressing and stir to combine. Chill until ready to serve. Optional: Garnish with additional orange slices.
Note: An easy way to prepare the oranges is to cut them into slices, cut each slice in half-moon shapes, and then gently remove the peel. Then you can separate the segments of the peeled orange slices.
Let us know if you ever want to come orange picking!