Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sweet and Easy Orange Ice

Can you believe this weather? If you get up early enough it feels like spring again. I was up early this weekend picking the remaining Valencia Oranges that were hiding in the tops of the trees. In my Arcadia neighborhood it's suggested to pick every fruit off the tree before the roof rats smell the sugars in the oranges. I know, it sounds awful, but it's true. You can tell the rats have been eating the oranges by the round holes in the fruit, and the way the inside of the orange has been sucked dry! This year there have been no sign of the nasty pests. I think it's because we have had numerous stray cats roaming the premises. They must be quite hungry.
I like to leave my oranges on the trees until I have time to juice them. They start to sweeten in March and are perfect in my opinion up to May or early June. After that they start to taste overly ripe. I have five remaining orange trees that were planted back in the 50's when this whole area was one big orange grove. My old trees still give me the best fresh orange juice I have ever tasted. Probably because they bring back memories of my childhood days when I would help my dad juice the oranges on our big Sunbeam juicer. Now my daughters help me with the juicing. We save our yogurt and Tupperware containers and fill them with the juice and stick them in the freezer until ready to use. After a few minutes of thawing these make a great personal-sized, sweet, refreshing, orange slush. If we really want a treat, we use the frozen orange juice to make a nice home made Orange Julius. You just mix the o.j. , a little milk, a little sugar, a little vanilla and a few ice cubes to taste and you are all set for a blast from the past.

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