I have a few official responsibilities here at the convent. I remember when I got my list, I was so excited to have some jobs like the other sisters. Doing these tasks really helps me to feel like I am contributing in community.
I help clean a few places, I help decorate for birthdays and on Sundays, I make the refresco for lunch. Essentially, refresco is juiced fruit with a lot of water added. The fruit here is inexpensive anyway, but the sisters also have a lot of fruit trees, and that's where the refresco gets its start. For as long as I've been here, there has been an abundance of grapefruit which is what is used to make refresco most days.
First, I grab a bucket and head out to the trees. There are at least seven of them. Most of the fruit in arm's reach is gone, so I take a pole with a special small basket on the end specifically for picking fruit. I pick enough fruit to fill the bucket and add them to any grapefruits that are already waiting. Then, using a large knife, I give the fruit a light peel. This makes it easier to juice. Once that's done, I cut them in half and get to work juicing. No electric juicers here, I bet they wouldn't even want one. As they are juiced, I strain out the pulp and seeds. Today, I did about 12 grapefruits. They were big, so I probably didn't need that many but that's ok, because now we're set for dinner too. After completing the juicing, I divide up the concentrate into large pitchers and fill two for lunch with water. The rest goes in the fridge to make for dinner.
It was my first time making it solo on Sunday, and I am happy to say everyone thought it was just right! The scraps from the fruit go in a bin to be fed, along with the other food scraps, to the ducks, chickens, geese and a friendly young wild brown agouti, all who live back by the grapefruit trees. In the end, it took me about an hour and a half to make the refresco. I am sure I will get much faster but it was a lovely way to spend my Sunday morning.