My friend Hilary and I bought a “NutriBullet,” which I have been told not to describe as a “juicer,” but as a high-velocity blender wherein you throw in (almost) everything from the plant world, fruit or vegetable, and reduce it, skins and all, to a drinkable, slightly pulpy mixture.
Our dear buddy Gunilla Asher is battling/being trampled by Stage 4 metastasized breast cancer. She mentioned to Hilary that she’d like her to pick up some organic veggies and fruits for the purpose of blending/juicing her own drinks.
Hilary, as is her wont, jumped into this project feet first, ending up with a Whole Foods shopping cart stuffed to the gills with fresh produce, the NutriBullet from Wal-Mart, and a resolve to custom-blend concoctions for Gunilla, as well as to change her own diet to one of the liquid kind.
Warning to Gunilla: Be very specific when you tell Hilary what items you prefer to be included in your produce drinks, in the event that you don’t feel like making your own. Without supervision, lord knows what concoctions you might receive.
Hilary came over to my place last night with a canister of nasty-looking gray/green sludge, containing: collard greens, carrots, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kumquats, blueberries, bananas, hemp seed and honey. This was a taste-test for me to see if I might be equally enthused.
I did not spit it out or up, but I did not drink it with gusto. I felt as if I had been out grazing in a field and was left chewing my cud. It was not totally unpleasant, but I did not yearn for a refill.
Hilary offered it to my shed-renter, who politely refused on the excuse of a delicate stomach. We offered a small portion of it to the dogs, in the interest of research. Huckleberry, Nicky and Freddie all instantly turned their heads away in the universal canine gesture of condemnation. But Ricky, the shed-renter’s gazelle-like dog with the appetite of Jabba the Hutt, licked the saucer clean.
To complete the meal, Hilary blended carrots, bananas, apple, lemon (peeled—the device apparently does not like citrus skins), nutmeg, fresh ginger, apple chutney and a little leftover homemade poppyseed dressing (olive oil, sugar, onion juice, mustard and salt).
This was a big improvement over the sludge. It was actually good. I may eat (drink) my words yet. It’s certainly easy, uses few dishes and leaves no peelings to clog the garbage disposal.
It’s easy to be in denial about Gunilla’s condition because she doesn’t look the least bit sick, as robust and funny as ever. I often sit with her when she’s getting chemo or transfusions, and the oncology nurses have to close the sliding door to muffle the laughter and profanities issuing from the room.
Perhaps feeding the monster inside her with Brussels sprouts and mustard greens will horrify it into fleeing the scene.
Su Lum is a longtime local who knows that life isn’t fair but there should be a limit. Her column appears every Wednesday in The Aspen Times.