It’s beginning to look a lot like citrus season.

As the temperatures start to drop, so do the branches of many a lemon, orange, grapefruit and satsuma tree scattered throughout the South. Last week, I brought home some satsumas and grapefruit from the farmers market, and this week I started packing them in lunches, squeezing them for juice and working them into some recipes.

They may not be the first thing we think of when we think Thanksgiving, but satsumas have a lot to offer your holiday table. While feasting on turkey, dressing, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie, somewhere in the middle it couldn’t hurt to wake up our taste buds. Satsumas and a little simple syrup is all it takes to make a quick palate-cleansing sorbet. Just before the pies and more come out, sneak a tiny bowl with a scoop of citrus sorbet on the plate of each guest.

The sweet orange like flavor of satsumas adds a nice Southern twist to old-fashioned gingerbread, too. The warm spices in the cake welcome a touch of citrus. Complement your cake with a rich, smooth mascarpone cream flavored with just a hint of satsuma and lemon juice. This cake is very sturdy, but moist. Serve it in squares or get creative and cut it to make little parfaits or mini layer cakes. No mixer required for this recipe, which means fewer dishes to wash and more time to eat — or nap.

I wish you all a Thanksgiving table filled with the ones you love, plenty of Southern specialties to eat and a nice, uninterrupted nap. Happy Thanksgiving!

Teresa B. Day is a local food writer and author of the “I Eat BR” blog. You can reach her at