Friday, June 1, 2007

Grandma’s Old Citrus Juicer

Ubiquitous Project
My Family Significant Artifact, Grandma’s Old Citrus Juicer

By: Reo Santoso, 3116894

A citrus juicer is basically a hand held utensil that is usually crafted from plastic, glass ceramic, stainless steel. Its shape is specifically designed to extract juice through side ridges. It is used for squeezing juice from soft-cantered, citrus fruits (orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit). Typically, a citrus juicer has a teardrop shape with the pointed end used to enter the fruit. A user presses the fruit down and turns the fruit back and forth to extract juice. They discard the fruit afterwards. Pulp and seeds are retained in the edges. The juice from the citrus juicer easily flows through the ridges to be collected.

Grandma’s Old Citrus Juicer
Image courtesy of the author

My Grandma’s old citrus juicer is one of my family’s significant artifacts. It is a tool that shaped my own family tradition and brings us together to share the fun, joy and laughter of the family. It is one of the most crucial parts in my family that cannot be replaced or removed with anything else.

Grandma had been keeping the citrus juicer for a long time. It is one of Grandma’s most precious items. I remember Grandma said that the citrus juicer was given to her for birthday present from Grandpa. It was her 68th birthday and she still looks very animated on that ages. Grandpa knew that Grandma loved oranges very much and Grandpa always knew what she liked. He always remembers special days like his wedding anniversary, Grandma’s birthday, his entire Grandson’s birthday and even Valentine’s Day then he always comes up with a lovely surprise in the end. Grandpa is a very loving and romantic person I have ever known.

Every Sunday morning my family will join with my aunts and uncles, my cousins, my brother, and my sister and her boyfriend at my Grandma’s house. It is the day I look forward to all week. We usually watch soccer game, play cards, joking with each other, listen to jazz and country music, eat and drink together, squeeze oranges and celebrate the familial love we share. This tradition began from the day when my Grandpa passed away and since that day Grandma always looks very depressed and lonely. She cried almost every night. We couldn’t bear to see her in that condition, so we decided to come visit her every week to cheer her up and bring smile back into her face.

On the morning before we go to Grandma’s place, we always stop by on the nearest market to buy some ingredients and especially some oranges because Grandma loves oranges so much, she even has her own orange tree in her backyard and she would be very blissful that we bring a bag full of fresh oranges. We usually bring about 15 to 20 kilograms of oranges and it is quite a lot because we have a big family to feed. After we have arrive at Grandma’s place, each of us will be busy on our own things, the women go to the kitchen to join grandma do the cooking, prepare the dishes, setting up the table, while the men will be sitting and waiting for the food in front of television and the kids play on their own in the backyard and try not to disturb the kitchen. When the cooking is ready, then we start to prepare the orange juices. Oranges are the must have food in our family tradition, we all love the sweetness of oranges but the main reason is that we try to make our Grandma happy and smile always. The women start with slice the oranges in half, men and kids will crush and squeeze them into the citrus juicer and then extract all the juices into a big jug. During this time, Grandma always stands in the back and watching all of us from behind and smiles gladly. When the food all sets up on the table, we will join up together in one big table and share a prayer before the meal. After we finish the food, we will have big toast of orange juices. Then we will spend wonderful time together; have a chat, joke with each other, gossipping, etc.

I remember when I was a little kid, my parents always dropped me and my little brother in Grandma’s house so there would be someone to take care of us. We usually played soccer together in Grandma’s huge backyard with some friends around the neighbourhood. While we were playing, Grandma always busy in the kitchen with two of her maids. After couple of hours, Grandma usually shouted at us to stopped playing and enjoys the orange juice first. We still remember what the orange juice taste like, it is very sweet and Grandma always looking down upon us and smile. She asked,” Want more?” “We still have plenty of juices.” And we said, “Definitely!”

One day, I remember my Mom brought a new electric citrus juicer and I still remember how it had been promoted on the TV. It is the new LG citrus juicer product with its sleek and ergonomic design, quiet yet powerful 50-watt motor makes quick work of all your citrus fruits, unlimited capacity; dispenses juice directly into container, Unique auto-reverse spin feature extracts more juice from pulp and so on. It seems very powerful and appealing; I cannot wait to see the performance of it. For the first time we used the new LG electric citrus juicer, we amazed with the speed of it. The usual amount of time we need to make orange juice for 23 people is between 45 to 60 minutes using the old citrus juicer. With the electric one, it only took exactly 12 minutes. Using the new electric citrus juicer is great but Grandma refused to use it any longer. She said that we lost the time to spend with the others; time to socialize, time to talk, time to had fun and time to be one as a family. She also said that the taste is different when we used the electric juicer, it taste less and not as sweet as before. I knew that Grandma never trusted machines. She believed that humans will always produce much better outcome than machines.

The use of Grandma’s old citrus juicer has created a custom or a tradition only my family practices it. The tradition gathered together my family and strengthens bonds between all of us. This occasion unite my family together and maintain relationship between each other, it gives the feeling of security and belonging for each of us. In a family, love is needed to hold everything together. Without love the family has no chance of being healthy in their relationships. Through all this gathering tradition, strong family bonds will be enhanced.

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