Friday, April 20, 2012

Love is sweet, but marriage is like an orange

People would be rather surprised at some of the truths of my life. I think that it is because I get lost in the moment in  outward appearances, and the other facts of my life sort of blend into the background. Good and bad thing in that. One of those facts is that I am, technically , married to the clergy. My husband is an Ordained Deacon who can do anything a Roman Catholic priest can do ( and has) except hear confession, consecrate the Eucharist and give Last Rites. I am , in a fringe sense, a Ministers Wife. He was Ordained in 1994, and life has presented some very interesting moments since then. One involved a wedding for a Hispanic couple who desired a very ethnically traditional ceremony that included many details that seemed colorful, exotic and meaningful, such as a Lasso d'amore ( Lasso of love, where the couple were bound together with a lasso). It was at that time that we learned of a cultural term for a spouse or beloved- naranja . It means my other orange half or soul mate.

In life since then with my own naranja, I have contemplated that word. Some observations I have made seem to hint at the real meaning of the word. Two halves together make something that looks like the sun, and like the sun they can bring light and life to the world. Unless they have gone bad, and then they stink up the whole house.When the two halves are together you can collect the zest- which is the most aromatic, flavorful part of the orange, Almost impossible to do with a half or a segment. A whole orange can be sliced , for a much more attractive garnish than a wedge would make- could speak of either sorrows or children. In the case of children, knowing both parents on the same level of day to day interaction makes the qualities of both easier to see in the offspring ( lessons are more caught than taught afterall). When you think about it, an orange is a pretty profound simile for a marriage !

Along with offering such deep thoughts, it offers some very interesting culinary options. You can simply peel and eat, add to baked goods, toss in salads, or combine it with something you may never considered and bring out entirely new flavor notes. Something like this Sicilian classic

Arance con oliva insalada

3 navel oranges, rind removed and sliced
1 small can sliced black olives
olive oil
white wine vinegar
salt and pepper

toss orange slices and olives in a bowl and drizzle with 2 parts olive oil to 1 part white wine vinegar. Toss, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve.


Enz said...

I've had a salad similar to this - not sure of it's real name, but its orange slices with slivers of red onion drizzled wiht olive oil, pepper and a touch of salt. It sounds so wierd but tastes amazing!

I might just have to try this new to me version too!

Di said...

Yes it does ! Something about orange and onion just works. We have had that a few times , and I think it is simply called Sicilian Orange Salad. Great with navel oranges abd even better with navel and blood oranges combined, and so very simple to make !