Florida Holidays: Christmas Morning Mimosas
Here's an email we received from listener Beth Daniels:
I loved the radio piece about the smoked mullet gifts that friends look forward to with such relish. It made me think of my own special Florida tradition.
Being born and raised in St. Pete, I love a nice sunny Christmas Day. As I went away to college and met more and more folks from other climates, I grew tired of people always saying, “Oh, don’t you miss the snow?” or “What is Christmas without snow in the fir trees?”
Last time I checked, there were a lot more palm trees than evergreens and snow in Bethlehem. Just sayin'.
Anyway, I have always been proud of my full-fledged "Cracker" roots. So, when I moved back here for good in 1979 and bought my first little house in Clearwater, it was in an old grove area and had a back yard full of mature citrus trees.
I got really fond of pruning and taking care of the trees so that they produced tons of great fruit. There was nothing prettier than those trees with all the fruit getting brighter orange by the day as Christmas approached. I strung up colored lights all throughout the backyard, and the growing fruit looked like orange ball ornaments all over the trees.
Then and there, I started a tradition that no one could pick any of my oranges until Christmas Day. You have to hope for just enough chilly nights leading up to the holidays to sweeten them properly. Christmas morning, I get out the juicer, take a basket out and go pick the fresh oranges.
With the champagne (or Asti Spumante works well, too) already chilled, now it is time to make fresh mimosas. Now that’s what I say makes for a merry and thoroughly Florida Christmas morning.
That’s my story, and if you are in my house on Christmas, that’s the way it has to be done.