I'm getting back to eating a lot like we did when I was a kid, and it's helping me win the war against diabetes (more on that in another post). My mom fed us very healthy food most of the time, and I'm so very thankful for that. Nearly everything she came up with was delicious, Mom is a great recipe inventor. It was nearly always whole grain and healthy as well.
Take drinks, for example. We never made Kool-Aid. It still seems gross to me because it's just sugar, water, food coloring and artificial flavors. We occasionally had soda as a treat at holidays and birthdays (which isn't any better than Kool-Aid though it seemed like it was to me because it was fizzy). Mostly we drank water, Postum, herbal tea, nutmilk date shakes (goood stuff!) and occasionally juice or homemade lemonade. Mom would make orangeade and limeade with real oranges and limes, it was delicious.
When I was ten years old, Mom somehow acquired a container of orange drink mix powder--the kind that is manufactured by our church, complete with artificial coloring and flavors. One fateful day, she decided to mix some up.
Later that afternoon, I wandered into the kitchen, thirsty. I opened up the refrigerator door, and what did I see? There, in its chilled glory, was a full pitcher of Orange Drink. (I think that's what we called it.)
I couldn't believe my good fortune. It was untouched, full to the brim. Me, the first one?
I drew it carefully out of the door, taking care not to bump the lid and spill any. Almost reverently, I filled a tall glass, nearly to the top. I put the pitcher back into the refrigerator door. Then I took the cool glass, light reflecting off of the nectar inside, glowing as if it contained the sun itself, and I--chugged. No savoring there, I was thirsty! I chugged and chugged until the glass was nearly gone before it hit me.
No, the glass didn't hit me--but an awful, sick feeling did. In the time it took my taste buds to connect with my brain the glass was only 1/4 full. I set the glass down on the counter quickly as my stomach churned to toss that drink skyward. I managed not to hurl, barely!
My mother, somehow, had reached for the salt container instead of the sugar. I was expecting a sweet, orange wave and got hit with rusty seawater.
To this day I get sick thinking about it.
I don't like Orange Drink anymore, even when prepared properly. There's a distinctive taste to it, and that taste reminds me of excessive salty nastiness because I now connect the two.
To take your (ok, my) mind off of this experience I will give you a healthy recipe I came up with for tonight's Family Night treat. Not a drink, but the kids loved it! Clicking on the link will take you to the recipe blog I share with my mom, and sister Karen.
Here's to ending on a sweet, healthy note! And if you keep salt in a bin, please-- for the sake of your children--grab a big, Magic marker and write "SALT" on it. Immediately.*
*Unless you want to give them an experience, that upon recall, could possibly help treat an accidental poison ingestion or some such emergency. It's your call.