A common man marvels at uncommon things. A wise man marvels at the commonplace. CONFUCIUS

Sunday, 11 April 2010

How To Peel An Orange

It is shocking and profoundly regrettable, but, apparently, sales of oranges are falling steadily because people can no longer be bothered to peel them. As soon as I read this I began buying oranges more frequently... Now I peel an orange very slowly, deliberately, voluptuously, above all defiantly, as a response to an age that demands war without casualties, public services without taxes, rights without obligations, celebrity without achievement, sex without relationships, running shoes without running, course work without work and sweet grapes without seeds. From The Age Of Absurdity: Why Modern Life Makes It Hard To Be Happy by MICHAEL FOLEY

Oh I agree, I do so agree. I got into conversation with a shopper in a supermarket the other day. She told me her daughter would only buy grated cheese, as she couldn't be bothered to grate it herself.

I can understand some minor exasperation with, say, artichokes. But oranges?

Right, I'm off now to peel an orange. Slowly. Deliberately. Voluptuously. Defiantly. Why don't you do the same? With a bit of zest we can perhaps subvert the zeitgeist...

God help us all.

19 comments:

Tim Shey said...

Peeling oranges can be controversial and revolutionary.

Without peeled oranges we will be a people no more.

Orange teeth, orange taste, orange eyes, orange everything (my apologies to William Shakespeare).

I don't eat many oranges. This doesn't mean that I am anti-orange. But I am definitely in an unpeeled orange moment in time.

Oranges can be timeless. Which begs the question: if oranges are timeless, what is orange juice?

ksam said...

Tim...

Cliff's Notes? Readers Digest?

The Weaver of Grass said...

I needed somone to say all that Robert - dare I say I hate peeling oranges, but I love eating them so I endure the hardship of getting there.

Rachel Fox said...

The one that always makes us laugh is pancake batter mix/yorkshire pudding mix. Flour, eggs, milk, salt (and the mixes still need milk anyway I think). How hard can it be!
x

George McHenry said...

Just a note, Solitary Walker, to let you know that I recently discovered your blog and I am enjoying it immensely. Like you, I am walker and a seeker. My own blog, Transit Notes (transit-notes.blogspot.com) will be released into cyberspace in the next week or so. I am referencing your site as one that I read and enjoy on a regular basis. Thanks for the information on walking and the shared wisdom of others.

Tim Shey said...

ksam:

No Cliff's Notes and no Reader's Digest. I used to be a William Shakespeare addict years ago.

I was hitchhiking through Wyoming this past week and I camped out near Buffalo, Wyoming. Someone gave me an orange. It was my first orange in probably a year. It was a very good orange.

I think I like orange juice better.

backpack45 said...

This is SO unreal. I know that little kids can't peel them, so they depend on their caretakers (parents, nannies, etc.) to do it for them, so indeed if the adults are too busy....
I bet sales of the Sweeties (maybe these are the same as Clementines's?) are up, though, because they are easily peeled, sweet, and kids love them.
Life without oranges would be no life at all! I'm going to start buying more.

The Solitary Walker said...

While we're talking of difficulties with fruit, I've always found it tricky to dice a mango - it's that awkward-shaped stone in the middle (though they peel easily enough).

Yes, Susan, the peel just falls off those non-orange orange citrus, satsumas and clementines ('Sweeties! I like it!), almost as soon as you look at them. Some sweeties are good for you!

Oranges are not the only fruit, as Jeanette Winterson once said...

The Solitary Walker said...

Thanks, George. I look forward to reading your blog.

The Solitary Walker said...

Susan - 'sweeties' (UK) = 'candy' (USA)

backpack45 said...

Actually, I keep forgetting the name they are putting on these delicious little citrus thingies--it's Cuties, not Sweeties.

Right, Solitary Walker, but we in the States do have a "sweet tooth" for "candy".

The Solitary Walker said...

Cuties is even better!

Grace said...

That is so sad. When I hear stuff like this it makes me think about how close the movie WALL-E's protrayal of the future human is. Scary.

ksam said...

Actually reading all your thoughts and considerations...down to the last one by Grace, makes me think we may be approaching the realization of a Saturday Night Live sketch from the very early years. It was for a restaurant called, PreChewed Charlies. Yes you didn't even have to chew your own steak at this restaurant! The all time definition of culinary laziness!

Oran Mor said...

Remember when oranges actually had seeds? I love that citrusy spray when you break a juicy one open. Why, peeling it is half the fun. Like cutting off slices of an apple with your pen knife. It tastes way better that way.

The Solitary Walker said...

Like lots of things, eating has become just another 'mindless' activity in some places. (Not in the Mediterranean countries, or the Far East, thank God, where food is appreciated, enjoyed and celebrated.)

The Solitary Walker said...

Oran Mor - I so agree! Peeling fruit, chopping a chunk of cheese and hacking some bread with a Swiss Army knife (or my olive-wood Pyrenean knife!) is half the pleasure. Specially if you're out of doors on a sunny day in the middle of the wilderness. (Or even in your own back yard.)

fireweedmeadow said...

I won’t be able to look at those oranges sitting on my counter, waiting to be peeled of the perfect packaging in which nature enveloped them, without thinking of this post. After reading the Guardian review of this book, it looks like I have yet another tome to add to my list.

I was at a fundraising sale a while ago and bought several excellent old tools – everyday things like rakes and spades, but good ones that were built to last and will probably outlive me and my garden. When I paid the rather large lady at the sale table (who, now that I think of it, looked like the type for whom the exertions of orange peeling might prove traumatizing), she looked sourly at my purchases, groaned and said, “That looks like work.” I seem to be encountering this attitude more and more often. Mr. Foley is definitely onto something with this book of his, happiness is not and cannot be the product of ease and effortlessness.

The Solitary Walker said...

Well, fireweed, I just completely agree with you and Mr. Foley. Happiness is not something that drifts down to you on a cloud as you lie on the sofa watching TV, something you have a right to expect for nothing. It's something that creeps up on you when you're doing things. Like most things in life, it has to be worked at and earned. And I'm not talking about the Protestant work ethic here. I'm talking about karma.