We have an orange tree in our yard planted by the previous owners. Last year, the tree only had 4-5 fruits on it, but this year, we had a bumper crop. Just that the oranges were full of seeds making it not palatable to even try to eat them. But it sure seemed like a waste to let it rot. So I decided to juice them. . .
Let me tell you what a pain in the you-know-what it was! For one thing, picking them off the tree was a chore in and of itself. I was a bit apprehensive about getting back on a ladder after my mishap last year. I did the best I could, then promptly delegated the picking to my 17 year old son. He was not happy, but threatening to cut off his gas money did the trick! ; ) I then started to juice. . . and juice. . . and juice. . . It was a bitch of a job. Since I don't have a state-of-the-art juicer, it seemed like I was having to dump the seeds every other minute from my crappy $5 model. This continued for THREE DAYS!
After I juiced the oranges, I strained the juice through a mesh strainer to get rid of the pulp and stray seeds. I then bagged the juice in ziptop sandwich bags, placed the bags on a baking sheet to freeze in the freezer. I'm hoping I will be able to use the juice in recipes and perhaps frozen drinks for my sons at a later date.
On two of the days, I decided to give another try at making jelly. Last year's attempt with another fruit ended with the "jelly" not jelling. Note to self: follow a recipe. Winging it when you have never done something is a waste of time and money. This time, the jelly jelled, after I read a recipe and found out there is a way of testing whether you have reached the jelling point. I now have 12 bottles of homemade orange jelly to use at a later date.
The annoying thing about the whole experience was when, after slaving for three days to "harvest" our oranges, my husband asked me how much a gallon of orange juice cost. When I said, "about five dollars," he quipped to the boys, "hey, your mom just saved me five dollars!" I could have killed him just then. . . But the reason I did it was to practice making jelly, so I guess it was still a worthwhile experience. The jury is still out whether the process will be repeated next year. . .