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Sunday, January 2, 2011

My holiday surprise-fresh can be better

Over the Christmas break my husband the kids and I went to visit my husband’s sister and mother in California. My sister-in-law has a beautiful Valencia orange tree in the back yard. She also has a lovely lime tree that she says wants to be a lemon tree…they did look like lemons. The orange tree had dozens of oranges ready for the pickings. My boys found it really fun to pick the oranges and probably did so for an hour or so. It was great to see them entertained with something wholesome and away from their DSI’s.

Seeing so many oranges sparked a conversation about how some of us grew up drinking fresh squeezed orange juice and how good we remembered it tasting. How the supermarkets had machines for you to make fresh juice if you wished. My grandmother made her juice by hand every morning which made it even that much more special.

All the talk of fresh juice made my sister-in-law break out the brand new juicer she got for their wedding two years ago. We all helped peel the oranges and my in-laws and the kids put the oranges through the machine. That maybe took 45 minutes to an hour, but I don’t think any of us thought it was a major chore. It was actually a fun family activity.

We manage to make about half of gallon of juice from the dozen, maybe thirteen, oranges the boys picked. I think the hardest part of the whole process was waiting for the juice to chill so we can taste it. WOW! We weren’t disappointed in any way. It was refreshing to taste orange juice the way it was meant to be…pure oranges with no additives, preservatives, food coloring, sweeteners or pesticides involved. My youngest said the best part of the process was the taste. “It was the best tasting orange juice I’ve ever had”, he said.

It has been days since we returned and I'm still thinking about that orange juice. I might have to go out and buy myself a juicer and start making my own juice. You can’t beat that fresh taste, plus it is better for you.