Here's the Scoop: Aug. 4, 2010

Smoothie move
Each summer, I like to designate an item as the “in” food for that season. I know that hip folks in magazines are spending the warm months downing endless amounts of mango-covered scorpions encrusted in pecans and other exotic dishes.

My tastes are not as extreme. This year, my favorite is pretty cool though, since it’s a Smoothie.
It’s not like I’ve never had Smoothies before. Just not so many.

In the past, my wife has been Head Smoothie Maker. That has changed this summer. As a general rule, my food skills involve a knife, fork and occasionally a spoon. Somehow, though, Smoothie Madness has taken hold this year.

Until a few months ago, Smoothies were mystery beverages simply to be enjoyed. And then one day, I inquired about the secret recipe of Smoothies. My wife ran down the list and the whole concept seemed pretty simple. She had no idea what was going to follow.

Fill blender, switch on
For those who are not familiar with Smoothies, the basic concept is to toss a bunch of fresh fruit, yogurt and ice into a blender. Then you hit the switch and proceed to drink large volumes of this concoction. At least, I do.

Once I had the recipe down, I was hooked. I began scouring the fruit bowls for anything blendable. In my book, that was just about everything.

After I made a few Smoothies of which my wife approved, I began to get more daring.
“Hmmm, this one tastes a bit odd,” she commented in response to one of my special mixtures. “And what are those chunks in there?”

“Oh, I think I tossed the banana peel into the blender instead of the compost container,” I replied. Scratch off that experiment.

But that little bump in the Smoothie Highway has not deterred me. In fact, because no one got sick from what I had been prepared to advertise as “The World’s Most Ap-Peel-Ing Smoothie,” my inspiration soared.

Despite the fact that most of my recipes were very well-received in the taste-bud department, there have been concerns about my newfound fascination.
“We never have any fresh fruit anymore,” I was told after my wife searched fruitlessly for an afternoon snack.

“Sure we do, you just don’t recognize it,” I responded defensively.
I actually thought she would be pleased that I was eating more fruit than during any period in my life.

Going down easy
The real treat in Smoothies, for me, is the fact that they don’t involve a bunch of chewing (the banana peel experiment being the exception). I’m not a huge fan of chewing; I have other, more important, things to do.

And did I mention that I love experimenting with tons of ingredients? I know I’m not alone in my Smoothie fascination. Everyone I mention my Smoothie Period to tells me about a special recipe that they have for these drinks.

While I appreciate the sharing involved in the Smoothie Brotherhood, I prefer not to use a recipe. The experimentation is the fun part of me. I feel that Smoothies are like snowflakes — no two are alike.

As a result, my Smoothie list grows. Bowing to my wife’s concern with me blending us out of all our fresh fruit supplies, I am slowly moving in other directions, seeking unique concoctions.
Because of my previously mentioned distaste for chewing, I was thinking of grinding up a bunch of random meat from the freezer and see how that washes down. When I told my wife about this plan, she suddenly realized that maybe a peach and blueberry shortage was not the worst problem to encounter.

“So you don’t like the idea of the Carnivore Concoction Smoothie?” I asked.
“No offense,” she replied, “but that’s one of the Dahmer ideas you’ve ever had.”
— Brian Sweeney