Ishaan has developed a taste for sweet lime juice 🙂 It’s now become a darling routine between my Mom and him! Every morning after his shower, he rockets into the kitchen, looking for Mom, and demanding, “Nani, Joosh!”, holding out his hand for his sipper full of the pale-yellow, sweet and sour liquid that is his morning ambrosia! I’m not exaggerating! His obsession with juice has reached such proportions, that it’s now the first thing he asks for when he stops to catch his breath after his morning cricket session!
Two things amaze me – he never asks anyone but my Mom for it, and he doesn’t drink any other kind of juice! I know, I’ve tried, when Mom got all panicky because the sweet-lime season was drawing to a close and “What would her darling drink then?” Luckily, she was over-reacting as always and sweet limes, I discover, much to everyone’s relief are available all year round, even here, in the backwaters of Goa! They do not always however pass her high standards of juice-worthiness, and I often overhear her mumbling about how dry they are and how even the juice from four fruit is barely enough at times to fill half a sipper!
She has rules – like she does for most everything else – she will not use more than four fruit (it’s an imaginary limit she has set, beyond which tummy upsets and other dangers lurk!); every fruit is carefully selected on the basis of clear, thin skin (thinner skin = more juice & no blemishes for her darling!) and ripeness. The chosen ones are then rolled vigorously between the palms of her hand and the cool granite of the kitchen platform to release every last drop of their precious nectar. Then they are carefully washed (she has this down to an art ;-)) and dried, sliced cleanly in half and each golden hemisphere, squeezed on an old handheld juicer that thanks to this routine has now received a new lease of life! Then the juice is strained again through a strainer into a vessel, both of which she has set aside for this process (I am not kidding!), and seasoned with a pinch of salt and sugar to taste. A vigorous stir, and now at last, it’s ready for the prince and his sipper 😛 The whole process takes her about 20 minutes – the juice is drained by Ishaan in a single non-stop gulp, in under two!
And yet for my Mom, this morning ritual, I like to think, must be therapeutic. It is her special bond with Ishaan – unique, sweet and juicy 😀 She takes it very seriously and it would upset her no end if for some reason, he had to go without! As for me, this is one of those many times that I am grateful for being in Goa with my parents, while raising Ishaan! Grandparents are the best and I’m a lousy juicer!
p.s. The sweet-lime, also known as citrus limetta (now you know how much time I have on my hands ;-)) is native to south and south-east Asia and is also cultivated in the Mediterranean. And India, with about 16% of the world’s overall lemon and lime output, tops the production list! I call that Destiny 😉