Sunshine state of mind

Fresh-squeezed orange juice

It’s been almost eight years since I last lived in Miami and almost four since I lived in Florida in general. And for the most part, I haven’t ever wanted it any different. No homesickness for this girl. But every once in a while when I’m back there, something, whether it’s a 70 degree day in early January or a plate piled high with Cuban food, makes me kind of miss the ol’ Sunshine State.

A couple of weekends ago, while the boyfriend and I spent the weekend in Lakeland, Florida with his family, that something was a glass of fresh squeezed orange juice made from fat, ripe oranges plucked from trees out in the backyard.

Even slightly warm from spending the early morning hours in the sun, the juice from those oranges was sweet and tart with just the right amount of pulp (i.e. not chunky but not so slick and smooth either that it brings back nightmares of Sunny Delight). Is there anything more simple, more quintessential, more reminiscent of everything good about home than fresh squeezed OJ on a warm February morning? Nope. Not on most days. Good thing they bottle it.