Who doesn’t love sweet winter oranges, especially when said oranges are zested and the tequila-sunrise-colored juice is hand-squeezed into a glass measuring cup – a few splashes of orange oil ripple towards the edge like ink dots. Fresh-from-the-farm eggs whipped with sugar become light and airy; flour is added in alternating batches with the juice and batter is ribboned into a loaf pan and baked.

Heady orange perfumes the kitchen and The Professor and I take turns peering through the oven door to see if the cake is ready. More juice and a few teaspoons of sugar are boiled into a slightly thickened sauce and as soon as that beautifully amber-colored cake is removed from the oven and turned out onto a rack, it is bathed in glistening stickiness. And now we wait.


Tick-tock . . . 60-minutes is all we can take before the serrated knife is pulled from its sheath and the first bites taken. ‘Mmmmm,’ I say. ‘Mmmmmm,’ he says, eyes wide. ‘I think this might be the best one you’ve made.’ I tend to agree . . . but I might need to make another, before I give my final decision.

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