Yuzu Bath: Don’t try this at home

We went to the library last week for the first time in a very long time. You know it’s been a long time when your not quite five year old asks ‘do you think we can go to the library today?’

So we went and, in addition to grabbing the requisite Thomas DVD that never works because it has been viewed way too many times, we left with a stack of books. Making up for lost time, I guess.

In the pile, was this little gem which has turned out to be a favorite. G is fascinated with the depicted ‘festivals for children’s growth’ and ‘sushi’ and ‘tea ceremony’.

But he’s really fixated upon the ‘yuzu bath‘ mentioned in the book. Which, if the book and the internet are to be believed, is an ancient tradition occurring on the shortest day of the year. Apparently, a steeping tub is filled with hot water and yuzu oranges. The hot water apparently causes the scent of the oranges to be released.

The seven year old narrator of the book opines that the yuzu bath leaves them ‘warm and smooth.’ Two concepts that fascinate our Gort. ‘What’s warm and smooth?’

So, in an effort to be on-the-ball-maximizing-teachable-moments-mom, I came up with the bright idea of approximating a yuzu bath at home, by dumping some regular American navel oranges in the boys’ bath.

G seemed pretty psyched about my idea. Oranges. In a bath? In the end I decided it was pretty wasteful to take a bunch of tasty oranges and throw them in bathwater, so I compromised and suggested we only use one orange and quarter it. To create the effect of there being several oranges in the water.

Which was fine and good. Except, the tepid water could never coerce any orange – yuzu or otherwise – to release a semblance of scent. And the Hen kept trying to grab the oranges and put them in his mouth. And then G set the oranges on the edge of the tub where he may or may not have squeezed them, sending sticky juice everywhere. And when the water had drained, there was orange pulp clinging to the bottom of the tub.

So, ‘warm and smooth’….didn’t happen…and my experiment was a bit of a bust.

Next time I’ll leave the teaching to someone else.

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