I have made a lot of orange juice in the last five years. Oh, my, an awful lot.
And a week ago, I stopped.
Why, you may ask? Well, first of all, oranges are not in season. You can buy them, imported from somewhere that is not here. This alone never sat well with me. Mind you, I am all for oranges when they are in season in Italy -- from late fall to spring. Beautiful, luscious Sicilian blood oranges, or naval oranges. This has always "kind of" bothered me, since I profess to eat and prepare seasonal foods that are made from local ingredients. I am, at the heart of the matter, a slow food girl. As I was coming slowly to this conclusion, in rides my hero on an orange cantaloupe. Mark Bittman , who, let's just say I adore in a big way, presented Agua Fresca on his NYT on line segment a couple of weeks ago. He professed to enjoy a blended mixture of seasonal fruit, fresh cold water, a few herbs and maybe a touch of sugar.
He suggested. I experimented.
So far, the favorites are: Watermelon, mint, lime and raspberries.
Cantaloupe, lime and strawberries.
Thank you, Mark. It's like getting icy, fresh gulps of seasonal fruit. Soooo good. So Bittman.
The mixtures foam up, and I see the guests scooping every last bit out of their glasses. The reactions so far have been:
"Oh! This is fresh!" "Hmmm, I like this, never had it before." " Is there any more in the blender?"
I am going to stay with this experiment for awhile. It makes sense to me, in a slow food way.