02 March 2012

juice, a job and homemade coconut oil...

This is it.  The best orange juice ever.  One of the things we love doing when we visit grandma and grandpa in Florida is going to the juice factory.  Trust me, we get our fill.  The juice factory is a huge warehouse building with all sorts of Florida knick-knacks with a juicing factory in the back.  They have several types of juice you can sample right there--grapefruit, orange, strawberry orange, lemonade, etc...and then you buy a half or whole gallon of what you want to take home.  The cart fills up quickly and it always amazed me at how much we were buying--and then how quickly it disappears.  At home, I usually buy Minute Maid (either frozen or the carton) and have loved the taste, but for some reason I grabbed this orange juice the other day (and the lemonade by the same brand).  When I poured myself a glass and took a sip, I swear I was on the screened-in patio in my bathing suit and coverup looking over the orange trees and at the golfers at San Carlos Golf Course in Ft. Myers.  Light, orangey, refreshing.  It was incredible. (The memory and the tiny sip)  I swallowed, blinked, and was in my kitchen again with a pile of dirty dishes under my nose.  Bummer.  But at the same time, I still cannot believe I found juice that tastes exactly like it came from the juice factory!  (Don't worry, grandma and grandpa-this will not keep us from visiting you!) And since I can't stop thinking about it, I think I'll pour myself another glass. 

In the meantime, I have found a job.  I wasn't looking for it, so perhaps it found me.  Actually my friend Misty found it for me.  She has an awesome job working for the chamber of commerce and heard that an organization called Work Hard Work Smart (I don't understand the program yet, but in my simple terms I'd call it some kind of employment agency) Anyways...they are looking to host a job fair and need someone to plan the event (ME!) -- it's a temp job and I'll be working there until May 4th, but it sounds like it's going to be a lot of fun and a great experience.  (Thanks, Misty!!)

I know, I know...what about teaching?  Well...I'd love to sub, but I've been waiting since applying at the beginning of January to get "hired on" and it hasn't happened yet.  It could happen in the next two months and in that case, I'll start subbing after my temp job.  Or I can get hired on this summer and start in the fall.  No biggie.

My current "I crossed the line" project (referring to being "cheap"/"resourceful"/making too much work for myself) involves homemade coconut butter.  My friend Sarah told me about it (her sister in law had posted something on her wall) and being the idiot that I am, decided to give it a whirl.

Except for, I didn't see the original blog post where the item came from and only went from Sarah's instructions (which were good, but lacked a few key details...or I wasn't paying attention, which is more likely) Like what to do when you can't get the oil out of the jar.  (Melt it, of course) But in the real world, when you're trying to whip oil, it's best if it doesn't start in the liquid state.  (news flash)  Allow me to explain further. 

I found the jar of organic coconut oil on the top shelf of the oil section at the commissary.  There was only one jar, so my decision was easy (whew!).  I brought the jar home, opened it up and realized I wouldn't be able to get the hardened oil out of the jar.  So I did what the label said and sat it in warm water for about 15 minutes.  Then dumped it in my KitchenAid mixer, nice and liquified.  Sarah said it only has to whip/beat for about 7 minutes.  So I got my camera/phone ready and got excited.  7 minutes passed.  Then 10.  Then 20.  The I went upstairs to fold laundry and came back down.  45 minutes, and my mixer was still plugging away on the liquid that hadn't whipped into a creamy coconut butter.  (tear)  Then my husband came home and verbally expressed that he didn't even want to know what I was doing (he later said he was relieved because he thought maybe what I was mixing was supposed to be for supper)

See?  Liquid.  My poor mixer.  Then I got smart.  (This is about 8pm, mind you, I had been turning the mixer on and off in 15-30 min. increments since 4pm) I put the bowl in the fridge and set the microwave timer for 15 minutes.  Then I scraped the bowl and set it to mix (this time starting at the lowest speed and working my way up to med-high). 
It was amazing!  After just chilling the oil for a bit and mixing again, it was already becoming more "butter-like".  I repeated this once more after I had put the butter in my jar and decided it was still to liquid-y. 

 See?  The end result should be firm enough that it doesn't drip or drop from the spoon. 
Voila!  My messy, time-consuming all-natural project is complete.  And since then, my pregnant friend Amy has used this on her adorable (yet itchy) baby bump and said it took the itching away immediately.  For me?  I'm just hoping it cures my gorgeous winter alligator legs in time for the pool this summer.  (Thanks, Sarah!  And Lisa! :)

Happy Friday!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oooh...I like this idea. I just made some balm for Stanley using that exact product. Maybe I'll have to whip it into butter form for me!


PS That job sounds perfect for you. You're so versatile!