If you have to live in Fresno, California, one good thing is you usually have at least some type of citrus tree in your yard. We do. In fact, we have 12. There’s a small orange grove in our yard, which is like an acre and a half. And we have two kumquat trees. And a loquat tree. If you don’t know what that is, you’re missing out. I can’t wait till those ripen. We had a loquat tree when I was growing up in Napa. Those things are delicious. I didn’t think I’d ever find one again, but when we got here, there it was in all its glory. That was my first sign that maybe Fresno wouldn’t suck.
So yeah, I have oranges coming out of my a**. I remember visiting Papa Don in Arizona and seeing his fancy electric citrus juicer. I went back to Oregon and bought one of those bad boys so I could juice oranges. Only I had to buy bags of them to do it. Now I have all the oranges I want … for free. It’s awesome. But I don’t know how much longer they’ll last. We’ve harvested them again and again, so there aren’t that many left now. But the trees keep getting new blossoms (which smell like heaven BTW), though I don’t think oranges have a second harvest. In the meantime I’m looking at a full bag sitting on the kitchen table. I can’t make orange stuff fast enough. I’ve made Orange Muffins, Orange Cupcakes, Orange Sugar Cookies, Orange Chicken, Orange Glazed Salmon … the list goes on and on. And naturally I’ve squeezed a gazillion oranges for juice and zested about a bazillion. My freezer is turning orange. But I’m not complaining; it’s awesome. I went home (to Oregon) last month and checked a huge suitcase full of oranges to take to the family. I can’t get rid of these things fast enough. I hand them out to Jay’s brother, Jay’s co-workers, visiting relatives, the neighbors, the pool guy … yeah, I have a pool guy. Fresno doesn’t suck.
Anyway, when I juice oranges I think of my Grandpa BK. When I was a kid and spent the night at BK and ME’s house, BK would go out to his orange tree in the backyard, pick a bunch, and come into the house and squeeze them (by hand, not with the fancy electric juicer like I have). Me and my sisters were raised on frozen concentrate and Tang, so when BK offered us the fresh-squeezed OJ, we’d wince – so he’d add a little sugar and it was all good. He was so proud of that tree. He’d be thrilled with our little orange grove.
Another thing I think about when I juice oranges is that ’70s kid show H.R. Pufnstuf. I loved that crazy thing. I wanted Freddy the Flute more than Witchiepoo did. And she’s why I can’t get this ridiculous song out of my head when I juice oranges.