Sunday, 29 July 2018

All Things Citrus on ABC Radio Canberra

You know those old sayings… ‘when life gives you lemons’ and ‘when life throws you a curveball’?  Well combine the two, and last week life threw a virtual grapefruit my way! Laura Dawes from ABC Canberra Radio contacted me on the Wednesday, asking if I was available to take part on air in the Fridge Fossick segment with Anna Vidot the next day on the Thursday afternoon. Eeeeeeeeek! Say what??? “Um, yes sure, I’d love to… what’s the topic?” I asked. “Citrus”, she replied. Now I’m no expert on the topic but I thought I knew enough a-peeling things about citrus, I curd talk my way through a 30 minute (orange) segment. Oh, did I mention that Anna is a lover of food puns? I thought, this should be fun. Scary and out of my comfort zone, but fun.

So with less than a day’s notice I set to work jotting down a few citrus related ideas, recipes, stories and tid bits, not quite knowing what questions would come my way, or what direction the talk would go.

Thursday afternoon I arrived at the ABC studios on Wakefield Avenue and parked in their exclusive Visitor Only car park right outside the front door. I felt very cool walking up the stairs and into the foyer. Chit-chatting with the security guard, he said I was a little early for my appointment, and said I could wait on the nearby chairs. No way was I going to be late for a radio timeslot, so I sat down to gather my thoughts, and catch up with the now very active thread on Twitter started that afternoon by Anna, with listeners posting their ideas about citrus, and their funny food puns. I made a note to mention some in my on-air talk.

I was greeted by the lovely Laura, who took me through to the Green Room, which was confusing as it had white walls, grey carpet and red furniture!!!! (I know, green room is the common term). All the while the nearby radio was playing Anna’s Afternoon show. I looked through the large glass window into the next studio to see Anna, who had just finished talking to her previous guest. It suddenly dawned on me…. eek, I’m up next! Then Lish Fejer, another ABC presenter, arrived and said she would be joining Anna and I for our segment. You see Lish is an avid foodie, and an even greater lover of puns. She said she wouldn’t miss this segment for the world. I’m glad she joined us as she is a vibrant spirit, full of interesting food ideas and food puns, and she’s a riot to talk to.

So into the studio I went, sat next to Lish, with Anna on the opposite side in control of all the dials. In front of me was a ginormous microphone that I had be really close to in order for my voice to be picked up. It was a little nerve racking when the segment began, but once we all started chatting time just evaporated, and it was a lot of fun. Several listeners texted and emailed in their ideas and suggestions for using citrus, including one fellow foodie Nick Brightman (aka Canberra Foodie Chef) who suggested making Limoncello from a glut of lemons. Great idea Nick!

This link will take you to the entire Thursday Afternoons episode, and our segment comes in at 1 hour 31 minutes. Enjoy!

Here are just a few really interesting citrus facts that I came across, but didn’t have time to mention on air, as the 30 minute show seemed to go very fast. For your vitamin C induced enjoyment:

- Key Lime Pie is a staple Florida dessert found widely on USA menus, but did you know that it actually uses a type of lime called a Key Lime?

- Pink grapefruits came about from radiation being used to trigger mutations in the fruit to achieve the pinky/crimson flesh colour.

- Whats the difference between a Cara Cara orange, and a Blood Orange? Cara Cara’s get their colour from lycopene, which is what gives tomatoes and watermelon their red colour, they are seedless, and originate from Venezuela. Blood Oranges however have a darker coloured flesh derived from anthocyanins which are rare for citrus fruits to have, as generally these compounds are found in berries and red wine. Blood oranges originate from Spain and Italy.

- The world’s heaviest pomelo weighed in at 4.8kg and was grown in Japan.

- Lemons make a great natural cleaner. Sprinkle your sink with baking soda (bi-carb) and rub a lemon over it. Rinse down for a sparkly finish. Or slice up a lemon, pop it into a glass bowl with some water, and microwave it for a minute or two. Wipe down the inside of your microwave straight after for a clean finish.

With thanks again to ABC Radio Canberra, Laura Dawes, Anna Vidot and Lish Fejer for having me as a guest presenter. It was a lot of fun.

So reader, what are your go-to tips for using up a glut of citrus fruits? What are your favourite recipes? And have you ever been on the radio?