Saturday, January 1, 2011

Sweet Citrus-y Goodness

The first time I ever tasted Florida oranges straight from the grove was in December of 2006 at a grove near Venice Island called Nokomis Grove. Oh my! It was like a tangy taste of sweet heaven. I’ve never tasted juice like it before. The oranges had been picked either the same day or a day or two before they were juiced and we were paying nickel after to nickel to keep tasting the different varieties of citrus in little two ounce mouth rinse cups. We bought a couple of gallons and shared then with Greg’s family while we were visiting them. I did not get to indulge my taste buds again for another year.

The summer following that Christmas trip, Greg and I got married…and a juicer. We chose to drive to Florida that year. This meant that we got to bring the goodness home with us! We loaded our car down with oranges and I savored every morsel of pulp that graced my watering mouth.

We got to drive there again this year (our choice of transport as time allows for the 20 hour trip) and as usual, we made our way to the groves. Sadly, many of the groves were wiped out by a devastating hurricane a few years back. Hale Groves still stands and is where we chose to visit this year. We bought some Tangerine Honey, some jugs of already juiced oranges to enjoy with Greg’s family and a nice a heavy half-bushel check marked “Navels”. It also had the intriguing handwritten word, “Red” on the bag.

Little did I know that the Florida oranges could get any better. When I cut into these beauties I was delightfully surprised by the stunning red color resembling a grapefruit.

The only thing prettier was the juice that ensued. Each orange gave about a half a cup of juice! (I’m kicking myself for forgetting to take a picture.) I juiced half of the bag and filled three quart jars full and gave them to some of our friends. I made sure they knew how much they were loved since I was giving away one of my greatest treasures in life. The rest of the bag was juiced and gone before the end of the week. Next time we drive again I’ll just go ahead and buy 20 bushels. Maybe I’ll plant one of their seeds when we buy a house someday and see how they do in the Central Texas soil.

So delicious, reddish, goodness, until next year...

No comments: