Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Making Guava Juice

Asalamu Alaykom,

When I first came to Egypt, I tasted fresh guava juice for the first time.  It was immediately refreshing.  The taste was neither too sweet nor too abrasive.  It was this smooth soother.  With milk it was incredible.

So, making guava juice was one of my first kitchen catastrophes over here.  I was determined!  I was also clueless.  This was before I had enough sense to ask locals how to prepare their cuisine.  With my super-huge ego, I was going to bluster in blindly and figure it all out on my own.

I had my half kilo of guavas and I began to cut away the skin and then cut out the seeds.  I cut and cut and eventually I had this really small amount of guavas to use.  That didn't seem right!  They had dwindled down to nothingness.  Then I thought that I should cook them to make them soft.  I mean...the whole thing was a disaster.

The funny thing, at the time, was that I should have skipped cooking the guavas and cooked the milk instead.  The milk I bought was fresh from the dairy and needed to be boiled before drinking.  I hadn't known and nobody had told me yet.  Somehow, my son and I drank that concoction and lived.

Afterwards, I knew I had done it wrong so my super-huge ego got bruised.  Even though I really wanted to make the drink, I didn't try making it again.  I let my sisters-in-law be the ones who could make it.  I would drink their juice and wish I wasn't so bad at making it.  I allowed myself to bounce between thinking I could do no wrong to thinking I could do no right.  For the last two years, I stayed away from making guava juice.

Then, this week, my son was sick with a cough.  I wanted him to drink more and flush out that yuck from his system.  I had guavas in the refrigerator.  I had a sister-in-law in the kitchen downstairs.  I went to her and asked.  She was, of course, very happy to share the recipe.

So, the funny thing is that you don't skin them and you don't cut out the seeds. I hadn't realized that before.  You only get rid of the bottom part.  Wash and cut and plop everything in the blender.  Put in water and a little sugar and pulse it about five times.  If the guavas are very hard, you might have to pause for them to float down again before pulsing it again. 

Now you have the seeds in with the juice.  You have to get a strainer and pour the juice over it while kind of banging it to make liquid seep through.  It doesn't really work to do this over a glass.  It's best to have a wide-mouthed pitcher.  This takes some time but the effort is really worth it.  If I had wanted to, I could have added some milk too.

My son really enjoyed the juice.  I do think that it helped him (even in a small way) to recover, alhumdulillah. 

It also helped me to get over a moment of being stuck in stupidity.  While it's good to try new things, we don't need to be so solitary in our attempts.  We can gather information from experts in our midst and we can submit to their knowledge.  That's better than being wrong.  Admitting we don't know is better than pretending we know it all.  The results which come from submission to the truth are infinately superior

--and tastier!

1 comment:

Sadaf Hafeez said...

Wow what a refreshing post.Esp. the end ' submission to truth can bring superior results' was just excellent ! :)