Moments after I purchased my new juicer, I realized I had been doing myself a serious disservice by living so long without one. It opened up new doors and inspired new ideas not unlike the way some people regard a spiritual advisor.
I’ll admit, it was a bit of an impulse buy. Wandering through the Machetazo store in San Felipe, it stood out like a sore thumb. Industrial Juice Extractor the box read, in clear block letters, followed by the phrase that probably sold it for me: Extract liquid from just about anything!
It was less the actual merit of this feat that attracted me and more the pleasure of fantasy that it elicited; as I saw myself sitting atop a large mound of exotic ingredients, extracting juice from even the driest of things like a flank steak. Here’s a box of raisins, I wanted to challenge the machine. See what you can make of them.
The gadget was built by Black and Decker, a company famous for designing drills. And if you know me, you know I’ll always jump at the opportunity to add to my kitchenware collection of motorized devices. I liked how Black and Decker named the machine an Extractor as it sounds more professional and technical. Friends would surely gawk if I was to tell them I was staying at home on a Friday night to cuddle with a juicer. But “I’m doing some research with my new Extractor.” That’s a pretty legit-sounding excuse.
Because it was a slow day at Los Cuatro Tulipanes, I invited one of the maids, Deyra, to go shopping with me for things to juice and boy was I glad I did. Little did I know, but beyond doing a killer load of laundry, Deyra is really imaginative in the kitchen and transitively at the Sunday market where we picked up pomegranates, guavas, guanabanas, Buddha hand citrus, and leechee nuts.
“Excuse me, are these good for extracting?” I asked the woman behind the chili pepper stand who I swear, was like two hundred years old. She looked at me like I had asked her to do sexual favors and shrugged. “Yes of course.” Awesome!
I even ran into another gringo who I saw was eyeing my Extractor. She had been juicing things for years and recommended some really good flavor combinations. Being introduced to this new subculture was spectacular.
We finally got back and unloaded the Extractor which was about the size of a small personal baseball pitching machine, with an arm up top and a handle so nothing got too out of control. When we turned the thing on, it roared like a lawn mower! The sounds and the smells were amazing and we sat there dumbfounded by the amount of juice that can, under the right circumstances, escape a single carrot.
I went on to make juice all afternoon and long into the night. I brought some new creations out to some locals in the street around midnight where they received the small cups the way you might a trivial phone call at three in the morning as if to say, why are you bringing me this, now?
Deyra and I spent the next day dreaming up combinations and recipes like little children discovering one of life’s pleasures for the first time. The possibilities and flavor combinations seemed endless and not unlike a boyhood crush, the juicer had added a nice, light, spring to my step. I’m debating whether or not to get one for every room in Los Cuatro Tulipanes to share this revelation, but for the time being, the grapes and the beets and the celery and the plums are for ME to do with what I wish.