A Virtue Rewarded

About seven or eight years ago, I was making Japanese food at our previous home in West Los Angeles. I had a rare delicacy — a yuzu fruit, a small Japanese citrus that, on the odd occasion you can find it, sells for about $3-$4 a fruit. Yellow and wrinkly, about the size of a lime, it is filled with seeds, and you’re lucky if you get a few drops of the pungent, floral juice from within. More useful is the aromatic zest, which the Japanese will shave over tempura, use to brighten sauces and fold into dishes both savory and sweet.

Koi pond, bamboo & yuzu tree

Koi pond, bamboo, afternoon sun & yuzu tree

I have no recollection what I did with the yuzu that evening. But what I do remember is planting several of the seeds in a pot outside in the garden the next morning. A couple weeks later, I had a few bright green seedlings which somehow over time became reduced to one gawky, spindly little yuzu tree. More

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