A couple months ago, I made the best purchase I can recall in a long time: a stainless steel hand citrus squeezer for a whopping $5. In no time, I was in the habit of squeezing my own orange juice several times a week, which felt downright luxurious.
More accurately, it felt simultaneously indulgent--given that fresh-squeezed OJ is a favorite of the yuppie set-- and thrifty for exactly that same reason. It felt like I was bucking the system--like haha, see if I ever pay $4 for a glass of fresh-squeezed OJ at brunch ever again! (I use 2-3 organic oranges for a glass, which according to my calculations, is about a pound...which I paid $1.40 for today at Co-Opportunity). That being said, I do appreciate the labor involved--some serious elbow-grease is necessary. But I've come to quite enjoy this little morning ritual--both the amazingly fresh, tasty result and the squeezing process itself. There's something so satisfying about squeezing every last drop out of each orange half. I must admit I've found the whole process quite grounding and invigorating. It's like a whole new juicing world has opened up to me! Of course, an added bonus is that you save a carton or plastic bottle every time you squeeze your own. And if you aren't a failed composter like me (no negative self-talk, no negative self-talk), then you compost the rinds and are totally zero-waste!
I was recounting my recent citrus adventures to a coworker the other day, and his response was "Cool, but I would never do that because it takes too long". Well, yes, it takes a few minutes, depending on how many oranges you use. You have to wash, cut and squeeze them. It takes more planning and energy than grabbing a Naked Juice from the store. On the other hand, I know I've gained a tiny bit more of a connection to my food supply and that fleeting sense of satisfaction that settles in when you are present for a few moments, concentrating on a task. Perhaps if we had a few more moments of presence rather than convenience throughout the day, we would all be a tad more grounded.
At any rate, I'm hanging onto citrus season as long as I can. My farmer's market is still selling some wonderfully juicy blood oranges, which also make for amazing mimosas, as I discovered a couple lazy Saturdays ago. This year, I luck out because I'll be catching the citrus season again in the southern hemisphere in a couple months. Woohoo! Until then...can you juice nectarines?