I’ve never actually had an Orange Julius, but this is my homage to them. This is what I think they ought to taste like.
The notion of Orange Julius makes me giggle because when you grow up in Wichita Falls, you are keenly aware of what your city doesn’t have. I mean this in a self deprecating way only, because the older I get the more I appreciate the beauty of my hometown, and I encourage anyone not from the Falls to get off the highway on your way to Colorado and actually toot around a bit. It is a lovely town with a great university and just the right number of amenities to make it self contained, but with a town feel not a city feel. Anyone from Fort Worth will agree that the feel of Fort Worth is more town than city. Dallas is more city than town. This isn’t a judgment on that being good or bad, it is just a feel and each has its fans.
But the mall in Wichita was a far cry from the brat pack havens in all of the great 1980’s teen movies. It wasn’t particularly cool and I always thought we were incredibly lucky to have a Dillard’s. And while my pal Richi (my Junior prom date…perfect gentleman…I swear) assures me that there was at one point a Karmelcorn that served Orange Julius, there was never an actual Orange Julius. Now folks from Dallas still give their directions on NorthPark Mall based on precisely where the Orange Julius used to be located so I know the “city folk” had one. Why do I care? I don’t, particularly. But, it has always been my impression that the mall was actually a character in those movies. It was a character with no lines but the mall scenes provided context. You can still tell a lot about the times in which they were filmed by looking at the stores and the food courts. THE food court location in my mind has always been the Orange Julius. And we had no Orange Julius, so in my mind it has added value.
Well, I’ve still never had an actual Orange Julius, and now I’m more interested in it being a Berkshire Hathaway property than a hot mall spot. All of this has sort of filtered down to a mild fascination with the “idea” of the Orange Julius. So recently I found a really lazy recipe for Orange Julius in a frayed church cookbook and I turned it into popsicles. And, as I mentioned, I dig them thoroughly as do my kiddos. So break out your blender and Dixie cups and sticks and give it a try. This is a cheap sugar high which makes the Dixie Cup size serving a good idea. It is a taste of summer. And you can make it and do one of several things…1) reflect on how I think too much about really random things, 2) reflect about your good old 80’s days and your bad perm while a Cars track plays in your mind, 3) eat one on your back porch and realize that soon you will be griping about how cold it is instead of how hot it is, or 4) skip the Dixie cups and add a cup of rum like Richi said he was going to do.
One can of frozen orange juice concentrate
¼ cup sugar (use more if you don’t like a slightly tart edge…but taste it first)
½ cup half & half
1 teaspoon vanilla
6 ounces water
10 to 16 ice cubes
Put it in a blender. Blend. Pour it into Dixie cups and put a popsicle stick in each. If you work quickly enough, the sticks will stay upright in the freezer. Put them in the freezer for at least 6 hours or overnight. When you serve them it is easiest to tear the cup and peel it off.
That is it. They are divine.
This is another recipe where the Tovolo Pancake Pen comes in handy. Pouring the blended concoction into the Dixie cups can be messy. If the kids are involved with the pouring, doubly so. So if you have a pancake (or cupcake) pen, get it out and try it for this. I also need to say that I have never had such amazing follow up service for a $10 gadget. I had a small problem with my pen (because I wasn’t cleaning it like I was supposed to…totally my fault) and Tovolo not only sent me a new part free of charge but also told me about a compatible screw on top for the pen that is actually made for cupcakes. I like this company.