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Orange Blast from the Past February 13, 2011

Posted by alwaysjan in Recipes.
Tags: , , , , , ,

When I was a kid, the minute we arrived at the mall, my family got in line at the Orange Julius stand. An Orange Julius was the first smoothie and the recipe was TOP SECRET!  What was that powder sprinkled on top?  Whatever it was, people would wax poetic about its amazing taste.  It was like watching a bunch a methadone addicts lining up for their fix. I, being deeply suspicious of all fruit except bananas and maraschino cherries, never indulged in this rapturous experience. Not even a sip.

But three two weeks ago, I had what a colleague loves to refer to as a “Come to Jesus moment!”  I stopped at Vroman’s, our local book store.  The clerk, alarmed by all my sniffling and hacking, suggested that I might need some Vitamin C. Well, I’m not one of those people that thinks Vitamin C cures all that ails you – unless it’s scurvy.  But when I stopped at  Zeli’s for a coffee on my way out, I instead decided to order something called an Orange Blast. Now, you have to understand that I NEVER order orange juice.  It’s usually too acidic, and I don’t like the pulp. What can I say?  I was a picky eater. I was the weirdo in Girl Scouts who packed a strainer for campouts. No pesky lemon pulp in my lemonade! But something in my body craved orange juice.

I was handed a drink that was HEAVEN in a glass.  It cost me almost $5, but each sip was liquid gold.  On my way out, I asked the barista how he’d made it.  It was simple:  Orange juice, a splash of Torani vanilla syrup (the stuff you put in coffee), a splash of half  ‘n half, and ice.

The next week I woke up twice in the middle of the night craving this incredible concoction.  My son wandered out to find out why the blender was going full blast at 3 a.m.  To make things even sweeter, we had a big crop of juice oranges from our front tree.  Oh, life doesn’t get any better than this!

I went online to see if an Orange Blast was actually an Orange Julius by another name.  Who knew there were so many recipes and conspiracy theories as to what an Orange Julius contained?  I found one recipe that used vanilla pudding mix and another made with Tang!

I went through the last of our fresh oranges, so yesterday I stooped to using Tropicana Homestyle with some pulp. It was delicious! Note: The proportions aren’t really important.  You can always add an extra splash of vanilla or half ‘n half.  Too much ice makes it less creamy. Half the fun is tasting it along the way. Amen!


1. Sheri O'Brien - February 13, 2011

I hope you’re feeling better, Jan. Greg and I have both been quite sick too.

I spent my entire 3-day weekend in bed. Remember when colds lasted 5 days and then you were done?!!!
Achoo to you too! Jan


2. dogkisses - February 13, 2011

Yum! I love those ingredients.

My son and I used to go to an old time drug store that had a fountain bar and the man, who was ancient, made us these wonderful orange !!! I thought I’d remember the name of the drink when I wrote it. Orange-something-aid. Boy they were good.

I love creamy orange anything and also iced creamed tea.

Definitely gonna try this 🙂


3. Catherine Sherman - February 13, 2011

I remember those Orange Julius stores and tried to replicate the recipe. I can see why I never succeeded.

Darn you with an orange tree in your yard! I recently saw several trees full of oranges that were being left to rot! I should send them your recipe.

I’m no longer anywhere close to an orange tree, but you have tempted me to go to the store to get provisions for this heavenly elixir.

I’ve got to wait another year now for the next crop of oranges. I did enjoy calling my relatives back in the Midwest and mentioning that I’d been out picking oranges off the tree. But I’ve still got plenty of key limes to keep cranking those pies out. 🙂 Jan


4. elissestuart - February 14, 2011

I thought that oranges were year round – there are here behind the Orange Curtain.
I hope you are feeling better.
When I was growing up we had Orange Julius every time we went to the mall too.
BYW – loved the line about scurvy – I ended up not needing my nedipot after I read that!

Elisse – I think oranges are only year-round at Disneyland. Hey, when’s the last time you saw a grove of oranges alongside Anaheim Blvd.? Me thinks you are nostalgic! Jan


5. Janelle - February 25, 2011

Ha! My mother adored Orange Julius’s. We always stopped there when we shopped for refreshment. 🙂 Hope your orange fix made you feel much, much better. BTW, I figured you and your husband (as cool as you all are) might have some connection to Gary Shandling. 🙂 Who knew you had a connection to Mark Twain? I had to read Cathy’s blog to find that out!


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