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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

I did not like Green Drink, I think

When I was 8 or 9 years old my aunt became very passionate about eating healthily. In fact, she was what we called a Health Food Nut - partly because what she advocated was different from what my daddy wanted to eat - vegetarian, organic, whole foods; partly because she was passionate about her theories; and partly because she was a little nutty. At some point in the fall she sent Mama a recipe for what we later called Green Drink - a little pineapple juice (not enough), some almonds and an enormous bag of leafy dark greens thrown into a blender and ground into a poi like paste. It was thick, gooey, and bitter -  all the things repugnant to a child's tongue. And Aunt E convinced mama to try it. Mama requested and got a blender for Christmas that year and on the 28th of December she stirred up the first batch of witches brew and began systematically torturing her children. It was my littlest sister B's birthday and I remember her weeping bitterly about being poisoned on her very own birthday. 
It really was a hideous beverage which, now and then, Mama would make less hideous, though we couldn't figure out why.  Sometimes you actually swallow it while the rest of the time you had to hold your breath and choke it down. Mama was never a good cook and she had no a sense of what might work well together. She was quick to hand over dinner chores to any aspiring cook among her daughters and we actually are all pretty decent chefs.  But the green drink. Ugh. Thankfully, it was served in little 3 ounce juice glasses from the 50's, not the supersized things we haul out now. We suffered through that dreadful breakfast routine for one winter and then it was never produced again.  Over the years, whenever we wanted to complain about our rigorous childhood, we'd haul out the story  of the year of green drink and the whole family would moan and laugh and point accusing fingers at our mother. She would lift her head, toss it a little and say "You were never sick once that whole winter - you were never that healthy again"

Several years ago, though, thoughts of green drink bubbled up from my memory and I began to ponder why it was so dreadful and if it could be made palatable. Starting with the original recipe I doubled the pineapple juice and watered it down some more, making it more of a green broth type of thing. This was a vast improvement.  Unfortunately, the pineapple juice is high in calories and not exactly the flavor I was looking for. Then V-8 came out with their Fusion and even a Fusion lite - which has sucralose in it - and my bad - I like sucralose -  so that's the juice I use. I also switched from fresh greens to frozen ones, mainly for the ease, but also to add a slurpee like texture. So now Green Drink is a pretty regular drink around  my house - especially on nights when I'm serving pasta and don't feel like making a salad. 

In December sister B visited for a few days and I offered her a green drink. Her whole body shriveled and she actually took a step back. I could see the suspicion in her eyes as she tried to decide if her mean big sister was trying to tease her again. But like Sam-I-am, I urged with all the sincerity I could muster and she took a tentative sip. What a good thing it was to see her whole face blossom in delight.  I sent her home with a bottle of V8 and the recipe - which is not really a recipe at all. Just a cup of juice (I only  like the strawberry/banana flavor) with a cup or so of frozen greens and a couple of almonds in a blender. Soft bananas go well in it too. Whir till pour-able. Enjoy.

At last - both Mama and Aunt E are vindicated. Green drink is delicious.

Knitting progress? Of course. I had a snow day. This is definitely NOT a crisp fabric - but it doesn't have to be. It will be comfortable and breezy on hot summer days. And I do think this would make the cutest little dress for a little girl - with maybe a garter stitch bodice and a twirly lacy skirt. 

1 comment:

  1. Leaf shapes and 'twirly' that a wee bit o' sparkle I see? Definitely a perfect girly skirt...and (less twirly) summer top. :-)

    P.S. I have a recipe for a green drink that I got from 'O' magazine some time ago. I don't like drinking my meals, so hardly ever make it, but basically it's a typical fruit smoothie with spinach (I use frozen) thrown in, and it tastes pretty good.