Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Orange Julius

When my father decided to open up his own business, he was seriously considering an Orange Julius franchise, which was so cool with me because I LOVED those things. We had a store at the Queens Mall and my dad wanted to open one up in Manhattan.

My parents really struggled financially in those days, so I don't think my father was able to cobble together the franchise money. But I still remember all the Orange Julius literature scattered all over the house (because to my father, the living room floor is a filing cabinet for all your important papers). When I found out that he decided to open up a Japanese restaurant instead, it was one more childhood disappointment.

For some inexplicable reason, Peter asked me completely randomly the other day, "What's an Orange Julius like?"

And I said, "Liquid AWESOME!"

Poor, poor Peter, never having had the childhood pleasure of an Orange Julius. No wonder he didn't like to eat fruit. His parents always bought mushy apples and pears and put bananas in the fridge. For the first few years of our relationship, my mother would give me Asian pears and I would ask Peter if he wanted a slice. He always turned up his nose and said, "I hate pears."

Then one day, he plucked one from my plate and said, "That's NOT a PEAR!!"

I said, "Huh?"

"Pears are gross and this is DELICIOUS!"

And I was all, "Yeah, well, WELCOME TO MY WORLD. I only eat DELICIOUS."

Once I realized that Peter was just fruit-ignorant, I introduced him to Fuji apples ("I didn't know apples could be crunchy"), pomelos ("That's like a huge-ass grapefruit"), pomegranates ("So, do I swallow the seeds?"), and other delights.

He asked me to look up an Orange Julius recipe and I found a couple of them on the internet--after some trial and error, we made up this recipe that tastes EXACTLY like my memory of an Orange Julius. Unfortunately, the closest Orange Julius location is 50 miles away and I haven't tried one since my age contained single digits, so I can't say that it definitely tastes this way. But it tastes like what my brain remembers.

The Orange Julius Recipe

6 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 teaspoon alcohol free vanilla flavor (that's what we have at home--but you can use extract)
8 ice cubes

Put everything in a blender and process until smooth and you'll have LIQUID AWESOME.

In order to make a slushy and not an Orange Julius, substitute the water and 8 ices cubes with one tray full of ice cubes and you'll get SLUSHY AWESOME.

FYI: The first time I used Trader Joe's frozen Organic Orange Juice concentrate--and it came out perfect.

The second time, I used my local Stop&Shop's Sunrise Valley frozen orange juice concentrate, which made the drink slightly too orangey--so you'll have to calibrate according to whatever concentrate you use.

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