Oranges & Toast

I’m standing in my grammie’s kitchen watching her prepare my oranges. As we stand side-by-side at the sink, she cuts a large orange in half and goes to work on carving out the wedges between the rinds with her knife. She sprinkles heaping teaspoons of sugar on top of each half, and the sugar goes from white to see-through to nothing as it dissolves into the orange. Then she spoons the wedges, one at a time, into my mouth. I stand on my tippytoes over the sink to reach each syrupy bite.

When we’re all finished with the orange wedges, she cuts another orange in half and smashes each half, one at a time down into the glass juicer. She pours the juice through the strainer that sits on top of my glass. Before she hands it to me, I watch her squeeze two drops of her diabetic sweetener into the juice and stir it in. I take the juice to the kitchen table, where I sit and wait for my Pepperidge Farm toast. I can’t resist taking one tiny sip of juice before my toast arrives. The extra sweetness of the juice stays in my mouth even after I’ve swallowed.

When my toast is ready, Grammie tops it with thick pats of real butter, cuts it diagonally the way I like it, and places it on the table in front of me. The toast is golden brown, and the butter is still melting on top. I quickly take a bite, sinking my teeth into the warm pat of butter, and Grammie smiles at me before turning back to the sink to clean up.

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4 Responses to “Oranges & Toast”

  1. dave says:

    A sweet little vignette; very evocative. It brings back memories of my own grammy.

  2. Jamie Porter says:

    Tara,
    I am still crying after reading this. Hard to type through the blur. I LOVE this. You soooo captured our Grammie and how she was with her grandchildren. God I miss her…

    • Tara says:

      Oh no, Jamie, it’s supposed to be a happy memory! But do you remember those oranges? I still can’t bring myself to prepare an orange that way, even in a fit of nostalgia. That was something only Grammie would do. I miss her too. (Oh geez, now I’m crying…)

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