When Life Hands You Oranges….

We make orange juice!

When we woke up, it was raining. Then a little later, the sun came out–for like 5 minutes.  Oh, and then it rained again.  And it rained all day.  But it was 77, so I didn’t mind.  I swear, there could be a blizzard here and as long as it was 75 degrees or more, I’d be OK with it.  Get it?  There are no blizzards in Florida?? Ha ha.  OK, I’ve been telling jokes to a toddler for too long!  ANYWAY.. back to oranges.

One of my earliest Florida memories was of freshly squeezed orange juice made from the oranges straight out of our grandfather’s back yard.  The taste is absolutely unforgettable.  Until today, I don’t think I’ve had fresh OJ since I was a kid.  I mean, the stuff you buy in stores is pretty good, but it doesn’t hold a candle to the homemade stuff.  As you may know, I’m obsessed with vintage things and vintage kitchen things, in particular.  Naturally, I had to get myself  a vintage juicer.  Did you know that the actual pointy part is called a reamer?  I had no idea.  I just thought it was a juicer.  Neat little factoid for you.  Anyway, I perused EBay and Etsy for about 3 days and finally decided on one.  I wanted to go all fancy with Depression glass or milkglass, but I ended up opting for a nice Gemco retro one in bright orange plastic with a screw-on glass container attachment.  It’s a pretty sturdy piece, which is good for the little munchkin and her clomper hands.

We braved the rain and headed to our neighborhood produce market, Collins Produce.  It’s really just a big tent set up in a parking lot, but it’s full of amazing and fresh Florida goodies.  We don’t buy any of our produce in grocery stores anymore–this place is that good.  The tomatoes taste like tomatoes should.  Fresh boiled peanuts, local honey, potted plants, ice cream shakes, and local exotic fruits.  They even carry a variety of Amish products.  The smoked sausage is to die for.  And shopping in an open-air atmosphere year round is good for this transplanted cold dwelling soul.   Anyway.  Oranges.  My plan was to pick out some oranges with the sole purpose of juicing them today.  So that’s what we did.  {She chose her own outfit and was dying of heat within 5 minutes of being in the store.  Good thing Mommy brought a t-shirt for her to change into.}


We chose 8 oranges to take home–they were 4 for $1.  I have no idea if that is a good price or not, but spending $2 to re-live my childhood memory and create a new one for Ella seemed A-OK.

Here’s my vintage Gemco juicer:


marisa and ella

Once I sliced all of the oranges in half, we were off.  Of course, I did the first one to show Ella how.  Then she took the lead and squeezed away…


And then she drank all of our profits!  Good thing too, because I am pretty sure naked juicing violates all sorts of health codes!


And drank and drank some more…


I did manage to keep her away from the juice long enough to actually get a large glass saved and in the fridge.  It’s best served ice cold.  Although, there is something about it at room temp–right after you squeeze it.  It’s more natural that way.  I don’t know–more pure.  Like a woman with unshaven legs or something.  More raw.  Ok, ok, I think I took that too far!  You catch my drift!  Sorry, I really do need to get out more!  Anyway, back to my oranges.

When you think about it, every little thing we do with our children becomes permanently attached to them.  And it’s my opinion that the things our children carry with them should be positive and enriching things.  Sure, juicing oranges–what’s the big deal?  Why spend 15 minutes spinning oranges to make one glass when you can buy it in the store?  It’s the experience.  And it’s the memory.  True story: every time I see an orange or lemon tree, I think of my grandfather’s yard and anticipating the fruit every year at “Christmastime.”  I mean, why not just say winter?  He always said Christmastime.  But it’s those things…those memories that set us apart from one another, but yet bring us together in some ways too.  Today, Ella and I started the seeds for one of our own little traditions and it was pretty cool.

Have a good week, friends.  And thanks for reading.  Happy New Year!



2 responses to “When Life Hands You Oranges….

  1. Loved this post. One of my favorite childhood memories is of my dad making fresh orange juice for me. I, too, bought an old school juicer last year.

    People have always called me picky for not drinking any orange juice but fresh squeezed, but they don’t get it. It’s worth the work, sweetened by memories. ❤

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