I first got a juicer years ago in college. I grew wheat grass on my windowsill and juiced everything in sight. The juicer was of centrifugal design and involved intense cleanup, especially if allowed to sit. But I loved it anyway, it was fun and fresh and made me feel as if I were drinking liquid energy. Then I moved, and moved again. I put my stuff into storage to travel, cook and write and when I returned I no longer had a juicer. I think I loaned it to a friend and just never remembered to get it back.

Recently, I was gifted another one. This one of auger design, fit for making not only juice, but pasta (and sausage?!). And here I am, juicing again. Liquid sunshine in a glass, and the cleanup isn’t as hard as I remembered, or maybe I’m just a bit more responsible. I need to stop putting it into the cupboard after use. When I first received it the poor juicer languished in a cardboard box, waiting patiently for its day. Once on the counter exposed, part kitchen appliance, part workshop drill, it reigned.

In celebration of my lovely juicer and its healthy addition to my life in these dark, overcast winter times, I’ve come up with the following recipe – well, maybe not exactly a recipe, so much as a guideline:

Full Circle Vegetable Juice

3 carrots
2 stalks of celery
a small piece of ginger
a handful of spinach or chard
1 pear
1 apple

Cut into chunks, don’t peel. Juice it!

Seriously. That’s all I have. I mean, you can go crazy if you want. You can add potatoes, turnips, minneolas. You can make straight spinach juice or even the best, freshest Bloody Mary mix ever (but wait till summer when the heirloom tomatoes are fit for bursting), or you can just grab a few things, juice it up and drink it. It is awesome.

If you don’t have a juicer, I suppose you could use your food processor and then put it through a sieve or squeeze it through cheese clothe  – now that’s hard core. The only thing to remember is, there are no rules. Juice, juice, juice away. And don’t forget the ginger, aids in digestion, gives it extra kick and spice and makes the blood vessels tingle. Better than coffee, swear it. And if you happen to be watching Q13FOX Tuesday morning, February 1st, for 6am to 9am, you may just catch a glimpse of Full Circle’s founder and owner Andrew Stout sharing a glass of juice with FOX’s Kaci Aitchison!

As for next week’s box:

Celery                     Red Leaf Lettuce
Rainbow Carrots       Red Chard
Broccolette               Navel Oranges (sub minneolas)
Shallots                    Mangos (sub grapefruit)
Green Beans            Red D’Anjou Pears
Cremini boomers      Gala Apples

It sounds like stuffing is in order. I’ve got my hands on a nice free-range, organic fed turkey and since I wasn’t home for Thanksgiving, and it feels like enough time has passed that turkey sounds good again, it’s time for Thanksgiving in January! Not like you can ever give enough thanks. So if I’m making a turkey, I’m definitely making stuffing, and all the necessary starters are right here – celery, carrots, shallots and mushrooms. From there its just a little step to the oyster and hazelnut stuffing I wanted to make (but my sister vetoed). Plus green beans for casserole and some chard for a side dish, and all the fruit for fruit salad. Are you kidding? I better invite some friends over.

Maybe next month we’ll have another Christmas. I doubt you want to hear about stuffing recipes in January really, but I’ll come up with something exciting and give you a review of my try at grill smoking a turkey, which I’ve never done but always wanted to do. Until then, eat well and be well.

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