Well, I’m back after a very long hiatus. If I’d been blessed with a good imagination, I would spin some great tale about my wild adventures to explain the absence. But, truth be told…I have just been experiencing a bit of a dry spell. Uninspired days, which have folded into weeks, most likely brought on by the arctic winter we’ve been experiencing this year. We, here in Chicago, or Chiberia as it’s since been re-named, have been buried under the evil white stuff for months. As soon as a path is shoveled down the driveway, the local news tells us of yet ANOTHER snowstorm headed our way. Add to that, the sub-zero temperatures and it’s no wonder I’ve been in a funk lately. I know the rest of the country has also been hit by this malevolent polar vortex. This is truly a moment when we as a nation can come together and moan, grumble, gripe, lament and, yes, grouse. (A thesaurus is truly a writer’s best friend)
Naturally, during this winter hibernation, we human beings are drawn to comfort foods – you know…stews, casseroles, macaroni and cheese and the like… So, in an effort to combat this overwhelming desire to throw in the towel on healthy living and say, “WHO CARES ANYMORE?” because, let’s face it – Spring will never, EVER come, my husband and I have decided to try the latest diet/health craze – juicing. We bought a juicer. Or at least we thought it was a juicer. Turns out it’s a really nice, probably super-expensive (I didn’t make the purchase) but most definitely, incredibly lethal blender. Lethal because the blades are insanely scary. Energized by this new addition to the kitchen, I went online to google juicing recipes because I’ve heard from people I trust (remember that part), that it IS possible to create tasty AND healthy drinks using fresh fruits and veggies.
My first attempt was to make a “Green Lemonade.” The ingredients sounded harmless enough: lemon, apple, kale, spinach and cucumbers. Now before you start getting all “Ewww….spinach and kale” on me, let me just say that I really didn’t think those additions were very noticeable in the drink. So, after the ingredients were properly annihilated in the blender, the final product was…well…pretty disgusting. It was definitely green and it did smell lemony, but it also had the consistency of sludge. Really, REALLY thick sludge. I added a little orange juice to liquefy the “drink”, but we still were kind of chewing it down. Okay, so the first try wasn’t a great success. But, I’m nothing if not an optimist. Plus, since I copied about a thousand recipes, I was on a mission to find one we could ingest.
Day two…thinking maybe a trip back to basics was in order, I decided to try the “Beginner Green” which the recipe claimed was good for beginners (that would be us) and was “probably the most delicious thing I’ve accidentally made.” And, yes, that WAS a direct quote. I was intrigued. Plus, the ingredients did sound a bit more suited to the amateur juicer: apples, oranges, lemon, spinach and celery. Okay, so far, so good. Final product? AGAIN, a very thick, green sludge. I added water. Still super-thick, but we choked it down. The surprise? Of all the ingredients in this drink, the one we decided will definitely be omitted the next time (yeah, right…next time – please repeat that in a very sarcastic way because there will NEVER be a next time) was the celery.
Okay, well maybe just ONE more time because I think I might try the “Hulk Blood” recipe. I mean, at least it sounds cool. This consists of apples, avocado, celery (no thank you), grapes, lime and spinach. I’ll add some liquid to it this time. And, if it isn’t delicious, I’m tossing all the rest of the fresh produce purchased in the name of good health and weight loss, which is taking up WAY too much room in my fridge, and replacing it with NORMAL food. Thank you very much. I’m not as upset at the money wasted on the produce as much as I am on the ink I wasted printing out these stupid recipes. I have learned one valuable lesson from this, though. The people I thought I could trust? Their names have been written down and a line crossed through them. Yeah, that’s right…