This orange Julius swaps out the traditional egg whites with sweetened condensed milk, for a tangy and safe summer treat. Photographed July 4, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

This orange Julius swaps out the traditional egg whites with sweetened condensed milk, for a tangy and safe summer treat. Photographed July 4, 2021, in Nikiski, Alaska. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)

On the strawberry patch: Adding some orange to the red, white and blue

A quintessentially American drink cools off any Fourth of July celebration.

By Tressa Dale

For the Peninsula Clarion

On the morning of July 4th, my husband and I took our son to Kenai to see the American Legion train engine before the parade. It was hours before the start, but people were already lining the streets with their folding chairs and coolers, decked out in glitter and ribbons and smiles. My son was much more interested in the classic cars than he was in the train (just like my dad), so we walked down the sidewalk to count the tires and admire all the custom paint and polished chrome.

As we passed each group gathered around each shining car, I overheard snippets of conversations, bits of stories of summers past and of old friends, some punchlines and snickers and inside jokes. The atmosphere was nostalgic and somewhat bittersweet, as it often is for events that commemorate the past. Our world is constantly changing, and nothing ever stays the same, so we cling to our traditions and memories to manufacture some permanence in our impermanent lives.

I got my very first job in the summer right after high school at the orange Julius stand in the Northway Mall in Anchorage. I had never heard of them before I worked there, but for some of us those frothy concoctions are an icon of summertime and nostalgic Americana, so they make the perfect treat for a sunny Fourth of July.

The original drink contained raw egg whites, which we now know are not safe to eat, so my version uses sweetened condensed milk instead. Traditionalists will say that the egg whites are irreplaceable. And to a certain degree they are correct, because my version doesn’t taste or feel exactly like the original, but that doesn’t make it any less delicious, and now it certainly won’t make anyone sick, so I consider it an improvement.

Ingredients:

6 ounces (or ½ a container) frozen orange juice concentrate

½ cup milk

1 cup cold water

¼ cup sweetened condensed milk

2 cups ice

Makes 2 large drinks (around 12 ounces)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend on high for 10 seconds or until smooth.

Garnish with an orange wedge and drink it before it melts. A frozen glass will help to keep your drink icy.

Try adding ½ a frozen banana, or ½ cup frozen mango, or a handful of frozen strawberries to make new flavors. Or you could try using different frozen juice concentrates (POG juice is an excellent choice) to make as many different variations as you can dream up. Over the year or so I worked there, I made up about a thousand different drinks and was rarely disappointed … however, I will suggest not trying pineapple and blackberry because, trust me, it was awful.

An orange Julius is nostalgic for me because it reminds me of all the excitement and trepidation that came with my first weeks and months out of the nest; the thrill and pride and terror at the reality of my situation and the consequences of my own independence. I have come a long way from the timid girl in the smoothie shop in the mall, and I still have a long way to go, changing for the better all the time, just as our great country does.

Tressa Dale is a U.S. Navy veteran and culinary and pastry school graduate from Anchorage. She currently lives in Nikiski with her husband, 1-year-old son and two black cats.

More in Life

Photo courtesy of the National Archives 
This photo and information from a “prison book” at San Quentin state prison in California shows Arthur Vernon Watson when he entered the prison at age 23.
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 2

Well before he shot and killed a man in Soldotna in 1961, Arthur Vernon Watson was considered trouble

Virginia Walters (Courtesy photo)
Life in the Pedestrian Lane: Thanksgiving

We at least have a good idea of what our political future looks like.

This is Arthur Vernon Watson at age 39, when he was transferred from the federal prison in Atlanta to the penitentiary on Alcatraz Island near San Francisco. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 3

Anchorage probation officer Roy V. Norquist was monitoring Arthur’s movements and reported that he was pleased with what he saw

Cranberry sauce made from scratch with hand-picked berries makes a special holiday treat. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
Foraging with love and gratitude

Gathered and prepared by hand, cranberries brighten a Thanksgiving feast

File
Minister’s Message: When the going gets tough…

Suffering as a Christian is not always a popular preaching topic.

Letitia Wright as Shuri in “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” (Image courtesy Marvel Studios)
On the Screen: ‘Wakanda Forever’ picks up the pieces

“Black Panther” sequel grapples with grief and hope after franchise loses its star

Oxtails are cooked with onions, garlic and daikon. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A bowl full of medicine

Oxtail soup makes a healing winter meal

Will Morrow (courtesy)
Ride on!

Later this month, I’ll turn 49

Arthur Vernon Watson was 23 years old when he was incarcerated in San Quentin state prison in California. (Photo courtesy of the National Archives)
Justice wasn’t elementary, Watson, Part 1

The Frolichs’ establishment, then called the Watson Motel, had been owned by Arthur Vernon Watson and had become a crime scene

Korean red pepper paste adds heat to this Mapo tofu recipe. (Photo by Tressa Dale/Peninsula Clarion)
A spicy meal to burn away the sadness

This hearty meal can be adjusted to be as mild or spicy as you wish

Nick Varney
Thanksgiving memories of the unhinged kind

Let’s take a first look at the oncoming day of feasting

The first snowfall of the year arrives in Kenai, Alaska, on Oct. 25, 2022. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clarion)
Minister’s Message: Delight in the wonder of winter

Seemingly overnight, we’ve transitioned from our summer playground to our winter lives