“Spring is coming!” the old woman at the market tells me.
She inches closer and I smile in agreement; we’re picking through a cart of oranges.
“I love oranges, they’re always so plentiful in winter” I try to make small talk.
“You know what else is coming?” she asks, “Valentine’s Day” she says, tapping on the oranges.
“What, oranges for Valentine’s day?” I’m intrigued.
That’s when she tells me about ‘winter’s sunshine’, a tangy citrusy drink her husband makes especially for her.
For years, he would make it on the weekends with breakfast, which they had in bed.
“I used to get the cold a lot when we were first married” she explains.
It’s perhaps the sweetest thing I’ve heard in a while; she tells me she’s been married for a very long time, so I ask her what her secret is.
“It’s love, silly! And a little patience but mostly love, that’s the secret to any long and happy companionship”
The old woman and I both grab a couple of oranges, lemons and limes; I thank her for the recipe and bid her a fond goodbye.
For the next several weekends leading up to Valentine’s Day I test out her recipe, I make modifications – more lemons, lime only, sub maple syrup for honey, blood orange and grapefruit (which is a winner), but I like the simplicity of the original recipe.
I would sip the drink often thinking of the old woman, and enduring love; the kind that lasts decades… that quiet lifelong friendship.
I want to hear her stories, perhaps there’s a lesson there; on love beyond the heady passion and heartache.
Indeed, spring is coming!
- 2 Oranges
- 1 Lemon
- 1 Lime
- 1/2 – 1 cup of filtered or sparkling water
- Honey to taste
- Splash of rum (Optional)
- Cut and juice oranges, lemon and lime in a large pitcher
- And water and honey and stir well
- Garnish with slices of lemons or oranges and serve chilled