Juicing has been a huge part of my family’s life for the last five decades. It started off with my grandfather, a new immigrant at the time who had left everything he knew and was comfortable with in Eastern Europe, seeking a new hobby, one that did not involve any kind of new adjustment and just reminded him of home.
He started off with fresh oranges from the yard that he picked just after they ripened, put all of them on the kitchen counter, picked out the ones that he thought looked the best, and then began slicing in half and juicing. At first, my grandmother thought nothing of his daily routine of making orange juice before work, but soon it turned into what she classifies as an obsession.
It became the family business
My grandfather retired as soon as he turned 60, and began going all out with grapefruit, watermelon, strawberries. Any fruit he found delicious while fresh, he decided to make juice. There was so much juice in the kitchen that soon my grandmother started giving away juice to neighbors, local schools, and eventually decided to open up our family juice store.
I’ve learned a lot from my grandparents’ juicing stories and experiences. I look forward to the family fruit picking and juicing every summer when we visit them; the yearly juicing has done more than provide me with fresh juice, it’s provided me a platform through which I can catch up with my cousins, aunts and uncles, and nieces and nephews.
Every summer, my grandfather still tells us the same stories of his first orange juice. Even though I’ve heard it so many times, it never gets old. It reminds me of how important it is to enjoy life as much as my grandfather has for the last 85 years, and of course to never forget to buy fresh fruit and drink delicious fresh juice and to keep learning more about it.