Tuesday, December 18, 2007

It's Orange Season!

Orange season is here! For most varieties, orange season lasts from December to July. While I cannot stand to drink store-bought orange juice, I love a glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice every morning (especially if someone else does the squeezing!).

I buy my oranges by the half-bushel at the local farmers' market. My favorite vendor, John, laughs when he sees me coming. He says I bug him about when the first oranges are coming in the winter, and when the first seedless watermelons are coming in the spring. Can't help it ~ those are two of my favorite foods!

Actually my favorite orange is the ruby orange which is in season for two weeks out of the year. It has a bright red inside and is delicious. John says the rubies will be here next Saturday. I'll be sure to show you a picture. The oranges above produced 2/3 cup of juice each!

Here we are making orange juice this morning...oops, we're in our jammies, so no picture of us! About 5 years ago I bought my juicer that I think is the best on the market...still! I've tried all the electric models, but this non-electric version requires less muscle than any of them.

Hamilton Beach Commercial Juicer Model 932. I bought mine on eBay about 5 years ago for $75. I just checked eBay and cannot find a single one for sale. That really surprises me since there were hundreds sold regularly when I bought mine. I checked the reviews on Amazon and they are still good.

There is very little mess with this juicer. See the little black cup next to the measuring cup? It slides under the juicer automatically when you remove the measuring cup. So no drips!

The only drawback for this juicer is that it is too tall to fit on the counter, so I have to keep it in the pantry. But it is a small price to pay for a great juicer. This juicer also has an attachment for limes and lemons. We are able to buy grapefruits that are the sizes of oranges, so we also make grapefruit juice.

Whatever you do, try to buy your oranges from California, not Florida. California oranges are naturally orange, but Florida adds a known carcinogen to make their green oranges the right color. Even though you don't eat the rind, it leaches into the juice once cut.

We are leaving in a little while for violin lesson, so I thought I'd show you the cute little guest-towel I made for Lizzie's teacher. Actually, I made 5 of these for my Mom, aunt, and cousins who are musicians. I will wrap it with a gift certificate in some music-themed fabric.

Hope you are enjoying this season. My children are making sugar cookies with sprinkles. I have always gotten requests for my sugar cookie recipe, but would tell people, it's in the butter. Use real butter. Each of my brothers' wives agreed that is the secret ingredient. (My brothers always asked their wives to make my sugar cookies:-).

Anyhow, Maggie has come up with an eggfree and dairyfree cookie that is almost better than the real thing!! Give her a day to post the recipe on her blog.

Keep warm, East Coasters!

Many blessings ~ Kathie

1 comment:

mhcowen said...

Kathie, how funny...to me! I am really craving oranges and watermelon right now and I have been so blessed to find good produce. I cannot stand store bought oranges. I try not to buy them. They always taste dry, half frozen, and really no flavor. Why bother? We live in citrus capital...well it used to be until the housing market took most of the groves away and replaced them with homes. I have a huge bag of oranges of which I eat about 4 a day! Thanks for the info on the Florida oranges. Watermelon and cantelope-have you tried the Dulcnea(sp?)brand? They tend to be a little more expensive but are always tasty and well worth the money. I bought 2 of them (regular size) for $2.00 a piece...SO GOOD!