Wondering Lately | Slow food, smashing oranges and saving the planet

It’s SUMMER. Let’s all take a deep breath. I’m the only one here, so I’ll go ahead and do that now.

Aahhh. Better. Summer as we’re taught through the merry-go-round of August/September—May/June school years is a time for sun and laughter and breathing. Yeah, no, totally not allowed to breathe while homework is on the brain. 😂

In the late morning today, I spent a good couple hours just slowly reheating some French toast and bacon in a small pan on the stove, and set out to squeeze some fresh orange juice. To be honest I wasn’t sure if the orange I found in the fridge was still good so I was too delighted not to take a selfie (or two) with it.

  

Okay okay 😂 serious stuff now—let’s talk about religion and not wasting bacon.

The bacon was brought back to life on the stove fairly quickly, fattiness bubbling and all. As the French toast continued to simmer through, I began cutting up an orange the size of a softball. We have a manual juicer somewhere…but I couldn’t find it, and began to just squish pieces in a ceramic bowl. It was incrementally more disappointing as I realized how much juice was left in each segment I could crush no longer. The yield was pretty skimpy too for what looked like a huge orange. Gorgeous color though. The vibrant red-orange squeezed out syrupy sweet citrus flavor, and I was satisfied to continue with the process.

Once the French toast was warm enough I took a break from making orange juice and sat down to eat. I realized how much waste was going to be made of the ravaged orange flesh and began to collect it off the rind. Since there was still juice in it and it was so fresh, it was so lovely for brightness on top of decadent caramelized toast. A combination to bookmark for later.

I didn’t keep track of how long the whole process took, and for the sake of becoming a better chef I ought to suck it up with the whole ~measuring~ thing before I can truly be an instinctive and good cook. But the instinct-driven pace of it all was so nice for the surprise alone time I had. (Introvert win.)

Eventually, I finished off my breakfast and finished totally dissecting the orange. My dad collects coffee grounds from our Jura machine for composting, and since they’re so often still in their compartment, I figured I could make some sort of orange mocha compost pile. The yellow zucchini in our veggie garden would loooove meeee. The great thing about having fun with compost-mixing is that it doesn’t have to taste good, but you get internal extra-credit for the fun things you put together. Is that true? I don’t actually know a thing about compost so I don’t know. 😂

I peacefully diced up the orange peel only to find that my dad actually had cleaned the grounds out. So much for Earth Day. Gaha actually I guess he made it Earth Day by keeping it neat. 

I should look into this, but as I cut and peeled, I wondered where all the pulp Jamba Juice produces ends up. I wouldn’t be surprised either way if it was reused as compost or if just tossed. I was watching Julia Ziegler-Haynes‘ show The Dinner Bell on the Munchies YouTube channel last week, where she hosted a birthday party. Julia is all about instinctive cooking, having an art background and more or less creating her own culinary training. She said something about the depth of intimacy in really making food from scratch and for people you love, that it is a sort of sacred thing. And this is why I went on chopping without further thought on the incredible amount of waste chain smoothie joints must produce, and where it goes.

*sidenote: later I had some kale peach …other stuff?? concoction AT jamba 😂*

The slowness of it all was luxurious, and yet not so at all. It’s me who gets just a tiny bit of orange juice *win*, and it’s substance that I know is good. Still, it’s just a little bit and now I have all these dishes to wash.

I’ve been fascinated lately by Jewish culture. Whoa, whoa, that’s outta left field. Well, it actually stemmed from talks with a new friend, and her spiritual journey being raised non-denominational Christian. She now attends an Anglican church and is considering Catholicism. She loves Flannery O’Connor and being an intentional, grounded, educated woman of a lot of love.

It actually highlighted a previous conversation I had with a big brother, who has a lot of issues with the Catholic church but deeply respects how many of their traditions come directly from church history and a knowledge of it, versus how free modern American Protestants can be with feeling out how ritual and structure should be looked at and, usually, discarded. I honestly didn’t know until talking with my friend that Anglican was Protestant, not Catholic. Now that I think an extra second on it, it makes a lot of sense haha.

Fuller commentary would make this an entirely different post but this is just my train of thought.

The idea of history and that which is sacred and how on earth ancient people lived just fine with the same humor and same struggles, but none of this microwave, fast-casual, upscale, downscale?? processed, processed, marketed, processed junk.

And how many people really know the history of their people (or whose beliefs they identify with), like a professor of mine who wears the kippah and prayer tassels daily and named his baby boy Gavriel.

You may have read my last Wondering Linkly (you didn’t?? how could you?? baha i forgot half of what was in it anyway), where I linked a couple of Munchies videos on Kosher and Halal traditions. I had no idea that Halal particularly (not saying better) prioritizes humane treatment of animals raised for consumption. You’re supposed to know where it came from, as it who—what farmer—and Who—what Creator. And the purpose of being close to slaughter is a commitment to conscious gratitude.

If one halal chicken is to be killed, no other chickens are to see it die. Death is dealt with reverence. Life is held in respect. We’re so desensitized to excess food (and blood) in America, that we often forget where that leftover chicken we’re not going to eat came from—a life.

So um, all this to say that I want to learn more. Man I keep rambling and concluding that way… Yeah, let’s kick the tires of what we really believe—and what that should mean for the way we practice anything in our lives.

As Switchfoot (BESTBANDCOMEON) sings,

What you say is your religion

How you say it’s your religion

Who you love is your religion

How you love is your religion

All your science, your religion

All your wars are your religion

Every breath is your religion yeah

Is this the world you want?

So regardless of name, what is it that we practice?

…Is this the juice you want? Well you’re makin’ it.

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