Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Orange Juice

I grew up in a small town and the small-town grocery store didn't have everything you could get in the big city. I say this because frozen orange juice did not appear in our house until the A&P came to town in the late 50s and it had lots and lots of frozen goods that we never had available to us in the other grocery stores in town.

I have put pictures of two types of juicers that my mom used. If she was juicing a bunch of oranges, she used the juicer of the type shown in the bottom picture. She had a good rhythm with that juicer and would cut six oranges in half and then slip one half orange in the do-hickey at the top and push the lever and the juice would start pouring. She used this machine when she was making juice for the whole family.

Mostly, however, she squeeze one orange in the morning for my father and she used the glass juicer.

I was unable to drink OJ in the morning. It always made me sick, but I often wanted a glass of juice after school. Did I get fresh squeezed? No way. I got orange KoolAid. It was a substitute that I didn't mind, but it wasn't the same as fresh squeezed.

I did get the real thing on my trips to Philly with my mother, about which I've written before. (Perfume, 9/27/07) The orange ade mentioned in that BLOG was billed as fresh squeezed OJ.

I don't know why this came to my mind, except when mom found this frozen juice in a small can and knew she could make a pitcher full for 10 cents (the small cans were 10 for $1 back then on sale) we all started to enjoy OJ at any time of the day, as I do now.

Mom would cut the top and bottom off the can and slide the frozen concentrate into a pitcher and mix in the water. Thus we had OJ with the pulp and everything. And I have to say it tasted really good. Unfortunately, my taste buds have changed over the years and frozen OJ doesn't do it any more. I think it gets too watered down when the water is added. I need that fresh-squeeze stuff (not from concentrate), even if it comes in a carton or bottle. I am an OJ junkie and in a two-week time I, alone, drink a gallon of the stuff. Maybe that's why my weight stays where it is. But I do need the vitamins and potassium that OJ has.

So, I weigh the pluses and minuses and come up with a definite need for OJ. And often when I'm drinking OJ I think about my dear mother and how she had to squeeze those oranges, and all I have to do is remove the cap from the container.

PS: I have a juicer which I use when I am able to get oranges in bulk. It's an attachment for my mixer, and it works very, very well.


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