Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Let's not drink to my health

Now that spring is turning into summer, the days can make me feel like I'm growing a beard and crawling across a desert, ready to croak out a parched "It's...." when I finally reach the nearest camera. Those familiar with Monty Python references may realize that in this scenario, I'd be more likely to be met with a rousing rendition of "The Liberty Bell" than much-needed liquid refreshment. Today's healthy beverages from Natural Cooking the Prevention Way (edited by Charles Gerras; 1972) might be enough to make any thirsty traveler prefer a march.

First up: A lot of people like to greet the day with some tea or coffee. What's the proper way to do this if one is a health food fanatic in the '70s? (Hint: If your guess is "make a cup of tea or coffee," you clearly don't get '70s health food.)

No, if you want coffee it has to be "coffee." A teaspoonful of blackstrap molasses in a cup of hot water is fine if you are feeling lazy, or you can roast yellow soybeans in an oven and send them through a coffee grinder if you're feeling ambitious. If the thought of a steaming hot cup of roasted soybean water doesn't make you want to jump out of bed and start the day, your name is probably not Moonbeam.

If you want tea, you get super-thin strained oatmeal. I guess eating the oatmeal that gets strained out of the "tea" makes this a complete breakfast.

Okay, what about those who want milk? Yes, this book does have recipes for nut milks that we can easily buy at the store now, but it also has recipes for "milks" I've never imagined...

How about starting the day with watermelon seed-nasturtium milk, or zucchini seed-dill milk? I'm not sure these sound terrible, but they certainly sound odd. (Plus I'd be reluctant to drink any beverage in which the recipe starts with an instruction to "whiz.")

What if you need milk and you're out of seeds? Try some magic milk!

Raw eggs and oil... Wait-- is this arguing that mayonnaise is really just "milk" that needs more water?

The sunflower and sesame seed mix sounds like it could be good, but I'm not sure about cooked eggs in my "milk."

Add some soy sauce and this one is fried rice milk.

Okay. Let's forget the milks. How about a nice, refreshing shake?

That is, a hot soya shake! There is no way those three words belong together, ever.

Plus it's got carob powder! "Carob" is the magic word that makes cookies at a vegan bakery instantly invisible to me. "That looks goo.... oh, carob. Maybe they have some brownies? Ye.... carob. Never mind."

Maybe I should just have a nice glass of wine and forget about all of this.

I don't know who I feel sorrier for-- the writer who thought that vinegar dumped in a glass of grape juice is just like wine, or the child who is given such a concoction and led to believe that this is what she has to look forward to when she grows up. On the plus side, it may help prevent underage drinking.

Like real wine, this recipe can give me a headache, but I only have to look at it! No need to even consume it.

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