Citrus for Cooler days and Covid

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During the peak of the Covid pandemic, a friend of mine was tested positive. He went to hospital and when the worst was over, he was discharged. It was before the vaccination was made available. I was very curious to hear what sort of treatment he had received so I phoned him.

I was a little shocked to learn that besides being kept in isolation and being monitored every day, the only medication (if you can call it that) that he received was vitamin C.

At the start of the pandemic my wife had purchased a large bottle of Vitamin C tablets which we religiously swallowed every morning and that was over and above the orange or grapefruit we had with our breakfast. It made me feel good to think that nature had provided, perhaps not a cure, but something that would help us build up a resistance to such a deadly virus.

My gran would always instill into us the old adage, an apple a day keeps the doctor at bay! In my experience, I seem to think that the orange or any other citrus fruit for that matter, did a much better job.

When I was in primary school, they handed out a segment of orange and a small milk to everyone. Perhaps that’s why our attendance register looked so good, everyone was healthy. Either that or the clip across the head you received from your mother if you even hinted at not going to school because you thought you were sick.

Here are some recipes containing the big C. I doubt if they will make you any healthier but they are delicious.

Asian orange, honey and ginger chicken wings

A crowd-pleasing favourite


  • ½ cup (125ml) orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp (30ml|) honey
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) ginger, grated
  • 1 chilli, chopped
  • 1.5kg chicken wings, partially roasted


  1. Mix together orange juice, honey, soy sauce, ginger and chilli.
  2. Toss chicken wings in sauce to coat.
  3. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  4. Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  5. Serve.

Sticky citrus pork-neck steaks

Next stop: umami bliss! Grapefruit adds a lovely bittersweet note


  • Grated peel and juice (160ml) of 2 oranges
  • Grated peel and juice (250ml) of 2 ruby grapefruits
  • ¼ cup (60ml) honey
  • ½ cup (125ml) soy sauce
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 6 pork-neck steaks
  • 3 onions, quartered
  • 2 fennel bulbs, cut into 1cm slices
  • Handful rocket, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  2. Stir citrus juice and grated peel, honey, soy sauce and garlic together.
  3. Toss steaks in mixture and marinate for 30 minutes.
  4. Layer onions and fennel in a roasting pan and place pork on top.
  5. Heat remaining marinade over medium heat for 10 minutes. Set aside.
  6. Roast meat for 30-35 minutes, basting throughout with cooked marinade, until vegetables are caramelised and pork is cooked.
  7. Scatter with rocket, if using. Serve.

Packed with zesty orange flavour, these delightful doughnuts make a moreish treat

Orange doughnut drops


  • ½ cup (125ml) castor sugar, plus extra for serving
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup (250ml) amasi
  • 1 tsp (5ml) vanilla essence
  • 1 Tbsp (15ml) grated orange peel
  • 2 cups (500ml) cake flour
  • 2 tsp (10ml) baking powder
  • Pinch salt
  • Vegetable oil, for deep-frying
  • ½ tsp (3ml) ground cinnamon, for serving


  1. Mix together castor sugar, egg, amasi, vanilla essence and grated orange peel until sugar dissolves.
  2. Sift together cake flour, baking powder and salt.
  3. Slowly add amasi mixture to dry ingredients and stir until combined.
  4. Roll teaspoonfuls of dough into little balls and deep-fry in vegetable oil for 5 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.
  5. Drain on kitchen paper and roll in extra castor sugar and cinnamon.
  6. Serve.

Lemon and lime poppy seed slices

Tangy, floral and ultra-elegant.


  • ⅓ cup (80ml) poppy seeds
  • ⅖ cup (100ml) cream
  • 1 cup (250g) castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 cups (300g) self-raising flour
  • ⅘ cup (200g) soft butter
  • Juice (60ml) and grated peel of 1 lemon
  • Juice (60ml) and grated peel of 2 limes
  • 2 cups (260g) icing sugar
  • Candied orange peel, for serving (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Line a 21cm square tart tin with baking paper.
  3. Place poppy seeds, cream, sugar, eggs, flour, butter and grated peel of lemon and lime in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a balloon whisk attachment.
  4. Beat until pale and fluffy.
  5. Pour batter into prepared tin and bake for 35-40 minutes – it’s done when a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  6. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. (Weigh it down with a cutting board to smooth out any unevenness.)
  7. Turn out onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
  8. Stir lemon and lime juice, and icing sugar together until smooth.
  9. Drizzle cooled cake with citrus icing and set aside to harden.
  10. Slice into strips and serve with candied orange peel, if you like.

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