Orange, mint and almonds and unifying sunsets


Hugo and Java are not natural allies. I’ve always dreamed of having dogs that cuddle up together in the same basket, but alas, it is not to be. The room that their baskets and the space necessary between them take up in order to prevent friction and growling is surprisingly large. Java would love to be Hugo’s best friend, but the feeling is not reciprocated. Not one bit. If she so much as deigns to lie on the same rug as him, she receives her marching orders accompanied by a dark, ominous look. I suspect matters aren’t helped by the fact that Hugo is rather envious of her speed; he used to easily outrun deer and rabbits in the forest, but age has slowed him down. Java can outrun anyone and anything, including her own sense, which is admittedly thin on the ground.

So imagine our surprise when we looked outside the other evening to see the two dogs lying side by side, bathed in the soft evening light. They were under a budding oak tree watching the magnificent sunset and it was as perfect a picture of tranquility, contemplation and friendship as I have ever seen. As soon as Hugo noticed us though, he got up, visibly horrified at having been caught. He made a show of vigorously shaking himself free of any residual girly sentimentality. Despite Hugo’s unchivalrous behaviour, and as fleeting as the moment had been, it made Java and me very happy…

Ingredients (serves 4)

4 large dessert oranges, peeled and sliced

2 teaspoons orange flower water (optional)

2 teaspoon honey

½ teaspoon freshly-grated ginger

½ teaspoon cinnamon

Handful of sliced almonds

8 fresh mint leaves

Arrange the orange slices in a shallow bowl. Add a little water, the orange flower water, honey, ginger and cinnamon to a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over a low heat, stirring to dissolve the honey. Remove from the heat. Drizzle the syrup over the oranges, garnish with the almonds and mint and serve with a dollop of crème fraîche.


10 responses to “Orange, mint and almonds and unifying sunsets

  1. Lovely dessert. I really like your addition of fresh ginger to the traditional orange-cinnamon-mint combo.

  2. I can relate all too well. It took Ginger 4 years to finally give in to Buddy and allow him to share the same stretch of couch let alone a bed. Now they are can be caught snuggling more often than not. Java, hang in there; more is yet to come…

  3. Wow I love that dessert, it’s lovely, light and a great way to showcase oranges. Hugo and Java always make me laugh. I think Hugo will not want to admit just how fond he is of Java, sorry you were caught Hugo snuggling with your buddy or is it that you were so sound asleep you didn’t notice Java sidle in next to you and when you realized it you were horrified.

  4. I just love the pictures that you not only paint with actual paint, but with words. I’m there watching them watching the sunset. Just so lovely.

  5. This post is so rich with words as well as a lovely painting and a delicious dessert recipe. Love your eloquence.

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