Saturday, January 17, 2009

Lime Juiced

Have you ever wondered how many limes it takes to create 3/4 cup of lime juice?

Now that we live in California, I figured I would do as other Californian's did (or how we think other Californian's do it): juice citrus fruits. Among other things, of course.

After my run last December with Eileen, Meredith, and Reid at Reid's father's house, I watched as a smattering of young whipper snappers gathered up limes from the backyard lime tree (don't all Californian's have back yard lime trees?). After loading up with as many as they could carry, the kiddies plopped said limes on the counter, where they were promptly juiced. The scent was wonderful, and I could only imagine what kind of yummy, delicious meal (or dessert!) would be created with these limes.

Key Lime Pie?

(cue mouth watering). Yes my friends, that would be one sort of Pavlovian response.

The thought of fresh lime juice seemed appealing, though Nathaniel and I lack our own special back yard citrus grove. And a juicer (key later on). Instead, I picked up a bag of 3 pound limes at the grocery store last week.

Then came the juicing part.

The recipe I was following called for 3/4 cup of lime juice.

Simple enough...

I pulled out the measuring cup, grabbed a knife and cutting board, and a few limes from my bag.

I knew I was in trouble when only a few drops came from my halved lime. I squeezed harder; producing only a tiny flow. With as much strength as I could muster, I tried to press every single last drop of juice from the lime. I repeated the process with another 5 halves (grand total of 3 limes), and was met with the happy sight of barely 1/8 cup.


Nathaniel - either cued by the grunting noise coming from yours truly or the scent of lime juice - entered the kitchen. While he may have smelled dinner being prepared, I scented opportunity.

Now there were two of us, juicing limes.

"Sweetheart?" He questioned, face red from the effort of squeezing yet another stubborn lime half. "Don't they have machines for this?"

I didn't comment.

He, on the other hand - pressed on. (Literally)

"I feel like I'm trying to pee in a cup, but nothing's coming out!" He grinned, fingers full of pulp.

We had been working a solid 15 minutes, and there was barely 1/2 cup.

Not wanting to admit defeat, I carried on, aiming carefully and trying to get every last drop out of one particularly large lime.

And that's exactly when disaster struck.

I swear - the though crossed my mind even before it happened. You know I thought inwardly I should probably not squeeze this lime in a half balanced stance. The last thing I would want when we're only 1/4 c. away from juice completion is for the measuring cup to tip-

And then it did.

I swear it was slow motion. I could see the lime juice rushing out of the measuring cup before it happened, before the clattering of measuring cup on the floor. And based on his shocked expression, Nathaniel could too.

I may have even shouted, but I'm not positive.

"Uh..." stammered Nathaniel.

I couldn't believe it. At least the kitchen smelled limey.

Then our eyes returned to the dwindling 3 pound bag. There were still another pound or two of limes left.


"Are you sure we don't have any lime juice? Or even lemon?" questioned my helpful Other Half.

"No - because I wanted the taste of freshly squeezed lime juice!" I cried.

The alternative was to simply make our meal sans juice. We looked down at our hands, full of pulverized pulp and stinging from the acid of the damned limes. And then we looked at the bag of limes. I would have give just about anything to own a juicer. Or already squeezed lime juice.

But we didn't. And I hadn't prepared for a failure contingency.

So we continued juicing. Another ten minutes. Good times!

In the end, we got our lime juice and weren't too much worse for the wear. Our hands stung and the kitchen smelled potently of lime juice. But the salad tasted great and we survived the 25 minute juicing endeavor.

Just in case you're wondering: It takes 3 pounds of limes (minus the two we had left over) to make about 1 and 1/4 cup of lime juice. By hand. All bets are off if you own a juicer, though. But you'll get a great workout and good bonding time with your loved ones if you do it by hand. Just make sure to be careful when you squeeze the limes into your designated holding container.

That - or have a spare bottle of lime juice on hand.


cat. said...

i use one of these everyday when i add fresh lime juice to my smoothie.
no fuss, no muss ... and definitely no stickey, stinging fingers!

Roo said...

I'm with Cat on this one. I have the same juicer. It only takes about 6 limes to make 3/4 cup and it takes out all the seeds for you!

Pedergraham said...

We have a citrus juicer that attaches to our food processor. I don't juice too often, though, because there isn't really anything to juice here in Vermont. Andrew can totally relate to the trying to pee in a cup. He swears that every drug test he ever had in the Army followed a 6 am 5-mile run in 95% humidity. Who could possibly pee then?

Glad you had a yummy salad and that you managed to put the marine(s) to work!

ADC said...

I just get ready-made lime juice. I am lazy!!!

Charisa said...

I have a juicer - call me next time you need citrus juiced :) I bet that was one awesome meal though!!!

Kim said...

You have so much more patience than I do! Glad you finally got your lime juice and yes, I can see Nate saying all ofthat stuff!! Funny story! Hope the meal turned out great!

Eileen Swanson said...

HEY Marit!! I can just see you using that juicer ;-) HA! Love it! Thought of you on my trail run today ;-)

Missy said...

It better turn out great if you had to go through all that work, seesh!

Katie Felker-Povolo said...

Bring me some of that Key Lime Pie...yummy!

Greg Remaly said...

oh yeah, i would LOVE to have a citrus tree or four in my backyard here but maybe it's not quite warm enough here in Norcal - I say let's plant some trees anyway and find out. Also, I want to plant an avocado tree - yum!

Sarah said...

Oh, dear. Yes, now that you live in CA ( lived in FL before...they have citrus there too, right??) you need to get a juicer!

Mine is simple one - you just put the half over the cone and turn, turn, turn - a little more work than anything electric but it's still much easier than doing it by hand. :)

You sure do have commitment, Marit!!

Shan said...

Yes, a juicer is a must if you can get one! I used to have a great one, but then I accidentally snapped a piece of the lid off and then it wouldn't juice :(. Totally lame! Of course the thing weight a bagillion pounds and was ancient so getting it fixed was not really an option...I'm still hoping to get another one in the future...but perhaps one not so bulky. Think of all of the wonderful juices you can make for post-workouts! My favorite is carrot-apple-ginger YUM!!