We juiced for the first time today.
It wasn't a terribly adventurous recipe--carrot orange--but we went simple for our first time.
It was like liquid sunshine.
A perfect drink for this gray morning.
Isn't it pretty?
Our juicer is a vintage Champion.
I love the name, don't you?
It belonged to my parents, who hadn't used it in years and years.
They gave it to us a while ago, but the cord was broken so it sat in the cabinet, unused.
Aaron fixed it this weekend--he's so handy--and this morning I set the beast up on the counter and the kids and I decided it was time to make juice.
The Champion is a lovely shade of 70s green, big, and is solid.
It weighs a ton.
It has all the original parts.
My favorite is the beautiful wooden tamper and the original recipe and instruction booklet.
It was not super easy for me to put all the parts on and get The Champion operational.
Nothing went together easily and it didn't help that reading technical directions of any kind is not my forte.
Give me a poem and I can pull every nuance of meaning out it you could imagine, but directions for putting together a juicer nearly put me over the edge.
Thankfully I have an 8 year old with a very excellent mind for figuring out the way things work, and who is quite skilled at understanding visual diagrams.
Between the two of us we figured it out.
I only yelled, "arrrrgh! I hate this thing!" one time.
William scolded me, of course, with at look and these words, "Mom, saying you hate something is like saying kill. Do you want to kill the juicer? You're not supposed to say that, Mom."
Can you imagine his lecture if he heard me curse?
Finally, we were ready to juice something.
We started with a bunch of organic carrots.
I thought the kids would be more open to something not green.
At least for their first time.
They all cheered when the first carrot went through and the juice poured out.
It was so exciting!
(I didn't think about the pulp coming out. What do you do with all that pulp? Anything?)
They were also thrilled by the color of the juice.
"It's so orange, Mom!"
Next we headed outside and picked a bunch of oranges from our very own trees.
We used both the navels and the blood oranges.
As per my mom's suggestion, I peeled the oranges.
She remembered being often disappointed by bitter orange juice.
I figured that must have been from the pith or peel, or both, when you juice the whole orange.
It took a little extra time, but it was worth it to avoid bitter juice.
Everyone took a turn pushing down the fruit.
Taste test time!
Even with a distinct carrot flavor, everyone loved our juice.
It got a thumbs up all around.I have to say it was some of the most delicious juice I have ever had.
Part of it, I'm sure, was the fact that the oranges were right from our own tree.
Also, that it was juiced minutes before we drank it.
But I think, like so many other things, home made just tastes better.
That is why I make so many things from scratch.
It is messier, takes longer, and requires more effort, but it is almost always worth it.
We'll be juicing lots more, for sure.
And so I need recipes.
Do you have any favorites?
I'm looking forward to trying some green juices and getting those into my kids.
I'm looking for recipes that will help us fight off the colds and flus that seem to be everywhere this winter.
I'd love to hear your favorites recipes, or recipe sources if you have any.
After we got The Champion put together, we had so much fun with our new juicer, and especially enjoying the fruit of our labor.
Here's to two of my favorite things, vintage and homemade!