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Friday, April 20, 2012

Life is a Bowl of Cherries...and a Tad of Almond Extract

From Whole Foods Circular

For two weeks, I have been looking forward to trying a recipe that was in the Whole Foods circular.  I was enchanted by the idea of combining the flavors of cherry and almond in a Cherry Almond Smoothie.  Finally, I had all the ingredients stocked.  I pulled out the frozen cherries. Check. Almond Milk. Check. O.J. Check. Bananas. Check. Cinnamon. Almond Extract. As I layered the ingredients in the blender, I decided to add 1/4 chopped almonds to increase the protein level. I debated whether I needed to still add the almond extract.  I had a thought, just for an instant, of omitting it.  I didn’t remember when I bought it, but the thought was fleeting, and my hands were faster.  Whirrrr.  The Vitamixer made a smooth, creamy, vitamin-packed breakfast in seconds. The color was a vibrant, bluish-red.  I filled my favorite glass to the brim. Inserted a bendy-straw and ... voila..... Parfait!  Except, wait.  The first sip started gloriously, but there was a burning, alcohol flavor in the back of my throat.  Another sip, my face screwed up at the lingering acrid taste that I was picking up.  I thought of a wine tasting that my husband I once attended. While everyone was nodding and oohing over a wine we had been served. My husband commented quietly to me that the wine had turned. I tasted it. Vinegar. What was going on with everyone?  Finally, after the sommelier had served the entire room, he picked up his glass in preparation to speak. He brought it to his lips, then away, to make a point. Again to his lips, again, no taste. Finally, over his lips, his adam apple bobbed. Just a frisson passed over his face.  Another sip. I remember my husband and I holding still, waiting to see what of what stuff the sommelier was made.  Would he ‘fess up in a room full of nodding heads that the wine had turned or gloss over it?  I couldn’t take the suspense.  I formulated the question that had to be asked, “Do you think this wine might have turned?”  
“Excellent, excellent. This is an excellent opportunity for us all to learn.... “  My husband and I kept our laughter to ourselves. When we got to the car, we roared that an 
entire room needed an "expert" to confirm the obvious.

I walked over to the cupboard, collected the bottle and poured the almond extract down the drain.  However certain I was that the extract was not good, I couldn’t waste all the fabulous vitamins that I wanted and needed. In four glub-glubs, I downed the smoothie. When the Vitamixer was clean and my glass rinsed and put in the dishwasher, I did the math. One eighth teaspoon of almond extract spoiled two cups of smoothie. The lesson was clear; it takes a little bad attitude to ruin an entire day.  I needed no special training to trust myself on this one.  

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