Monday, August 23, 2010
The other day Vince made me a yogurt fruit smoothie for breakfast. I usually look forward to his smoothies because they’re tasty. And summer is the best time for them, too, because we usually have fresh strawberries and blueberries in the fridge. Blended together with a banana, some lowfat vanilla yogurt and ice and – voilà! – a cool, yummy breakfast.
Except that Vince likes to, um, experiment. My mom calls them his concoctions. He looks to see what’s in the fridge and then comes up with a meal based on those ingredients. Unlike me. No, when I cook, I have to haul out the Betty Crocker cookbook – and when I see that we don’t have any fresh cilantro – I slap the cookbook shut and then suggest it would be a very good idea to have dinner at The Olive Garden.
Fortunately, Vince has a much better success rate than I do – even with his concoctions. Most of the time.
So there I was on my way to work with my smoothie. I stopped at a red light and took a big slurp from the straw and…made a crinkly face. What WAS that in it? I couldn’t tell you immediately, but I knew it wasn’t just strawberries, blueberries, banana and yogurt.
Turns out it was cinnamon. Now, to me, cinnamon in very small doses is okay. I’ll take a cinnamon strudel any day. And I love cinnamon-scented candles or those plug-in scent thingies when a lovely cinnamon scent wafts throughout the house and reminds me of Christmas. But I don’t want to taste cinnamon in my fruit smoothie!
It was all I could do to get half of that drink down. We don’t like to waste food, but I’m okay with tossing out something that I am not enjoying, which is pretty much anything that causes me to make the Crinkly Face.
Often when I make the crinkly face, he responds with something that has begun echoing in my head. “But, Janie,” he’ll say. “It’s good for us.” Ugh! This phrase invariably makes me roll my eyes. But does it stop my husband? No sireebob!
The other morning I came downstairs to find Vince in the kitchen flipping a pancake. At first I thought he’d burned the thing, but then I looked in the mixing bowl – and the batter was also dark brown. Huh? I was wearing my crinkly face before I’d taken a single bite! I just looked at him, shook my head and said, “Dumped too much cinnamon in the bowl, huh?”
Now, if it had been me and I’d accidentally added more than the recipe called for, I would’ve immediately hauled the bowl over to the sink and poured out the excess. Not Vince. He just mixed it right on into the batter. This is partly due to the fact that he’s “experimenting” and partly due to the whole not wasting food thing. Either way, he’ll try to cover his mistake by saying, “But, Janie – it’s good for us!”
Yeah, right. Like I’m gonna fall for that. Again.
Personally, I think this cinnamon kick is his dad’s fault. A few months ago Vince was talking to his dad who said that cinnamon has some beneficial medicinal properties. Like lowering blood pressure or something like that. Well, that was all Vince needed to hear. Since then, he has tried to hide cinnamon in my coffee, in my pancakes – and now (evidently) in my fruit smoothies.
But it’s not only cinnamon. Yesterday at Costco he was examining a package of some weird looking food that, to me, looked like bird seed. I tried to hurry him along, “Hey look, honey – Pop Tarts!” But no go. He continued reading the ingredient label on this bird seed-looking food – and then (to my horror) dropped the package into our shopping cart!
Hey, our pantry is stocked with healthy stuff like brown rice and whole wheat pasta and flax cereal. That’s bad enough…but I’m putting my food down here. I am not eating bird seed!
The thing is he’s pretty good at tricking me. He’ll prepare a meal and, no matter how often I ask him what’s on my plate, he won’t answer until I tell him whether or not I like it. If I admit that it’s pretty good, he’ll triumphantly inform me that it was the very food I’d protested or said I absolutely would not eat.
Probably he’s going to do that one day soon with the bird seed. Drat…foiled again!
Oh well. I have to admit – eating whole grain bread or wheat pasta is way better than the carb-laden white stuff. And I appreciate his efforts at finding healthier alternatives for us so that we won’t feel quite as guilty on those nights when we scarf down barbecue wings.
But I can only hope that the next time I slurp on my fruit smoothie, I won’t hear the words, “But Janie…it’s good…” comin’ out of Vince’s mouth. I also hope there won’t be any cinnamon in it so the appearance of the Crinkly Face will not be required!