Monday, February 29, 2016

The Benefits of Wheatgrass

So, I make these smoothies for Nick and I in the afternoon. He's the usual starving fifteen year old after working out and I don't eat much midday except salad greens and I forget how to make dinner because I get so hungry. Okay, today, I baked a portabella mushroom with cheese and onion for lunch. It was delicious, but by 4pm, I was hungry again and couldn't think.

I offered to make Nick a smoothie about the time he threatened to eat three or four peanut butter and jelly sandwiches out of the good brioche buns I bought for tomorrow's dinner. I had a plan. It was going to be delicious.

Here's the thing - I almost always put spinach in our smoothies. Nick knows and tolerates this because of the strawberries and bananas. The green of the spinach doesn't show up until the whole thing melts and by the time it turns from pink to a sickly green, Nick has sucked down all but a tablespoon of what I blended.

I like making him smoothies. It's a treat, like a milk shake, except that I sneak in some healthy stuff and sometimes rice protein to tide us over until the next meal.

Yesterday, I was diverted from my normal plan. If you didn't already know, I'm a sucker for beautiful produce. I can make myself walk past the tulips in varied hues, but you walk me past avocados, heirloom tomatoes and a neat row of lush wheatgrass, and I'm hooked. I usually end up bringing at least one if not all of the the pretty colors home with me. Yesterday, it was avocados and wheat grass.

When I got home and unpacked my groceries, I had an idea and cut the tough roots of the wheatgrass and put a chunk of it in a low vase on the windowsill, reserving the rest by the sink. Very pretty. The bonus was that Seth, who usually chews my potted plants to tattered ribbons, could have a treat too. Finally, an arrangement he could eat and not get yelled at. I made sure he couldn't get to the wheatgrass by the sink. He wouldn't need to. He had his own bouquet.

For Christmas, Nick bought me an orchid that was so pretty I needed to name her. At first, the only name that came up was Lily. You can't name an orchid this way. She would have been tormented for life. So, I named her Fifi and I prayed that she lived past New Years. She kept her showy blooms for two months and finally dropped the last of them last week. Seth has been trying to chew on her leaves but must not have liked her flavor. He mostly leaves her alone. I've read that she won't poison him, but I just didn't want her to start looking like my poor spider plant which eventually gave up the ghost because Seth tormented him daily. Fifi is managing fairly well so far, but I wonder if she'll ever bloom into her glory the way she was when Nick brought her home. I don't care. I love her anyway. So, I was particularly pleased with my wheatgrass distraction.

Seth jumped immediately to the windowsill and got to work. After he was done, it was a bit shorn but still very pretty, except that he went into the laundry room and puked up a little green wad of wheatgrass with yellow bile puddled around it. Yuck. There is always ugliness in every act of beauty. Think about it, the gorgeous girl with the ugly hands, the dramatic cliff side view that leaves no way down, the sleek lines of the cheetah, the efficient stalking machine. But I had additional plans for my  wheatgrass. It was going to be luscious.

This afternoon, when Nick asked for his usual smoothie, I took out my kitchen scissors and sheared a hunk of wheat grass from the half I didn't offer the cat. I did this instead of adding a handful of spinach to the usual smoothies. I added the same other ingredients, bananas, strawberries, rice protein and all. I cut another hunk of grass for my own smoothie minus the bananas. I can get a sugar overload from bananas.

And I blended.

As I popped in a green straw and handed Nick his smoothie, I said, "So tell me what you think. I used wheat grass instead of spinach."

He took a big sip and gave me a noncommittal nod. What the hell is that supposed to mean? But he kept sucking at the straw, so I assumed everything was good.

I went back into the kitchen and blended my own smoothie. My mouth began to water. I wasn't sure why, but the whole thing reminded me of summer. This could be the beginning of spring, flowers blooming and food getting so fresh it didn't need you to add much. I love cooking this time of year.

I chose another green straw in celebration of my wheatgrass concoction. I took a big sip and held it in my mouth before I swallowed, ready to savor the fresh new flavor.

It tasted like I had paused while mowing the lawn and stopped at the pile of grass clippings for a snack. With the second taste, I got a hunk of chewy unblended grass in my mouth. The little green and yellow cat puke I'd cleaned up in the laundry room came to mind.

Welcome to spring.

Thank you for listening, jb


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