Lazy Saturdays

Life has been uneventful, though very healthy. The chia seeds have been doing great things for my insides (think flax seed but even better) and the weather has cooled off a little bit. This, of course, is a great thing. Believe it or not, northern New England is quite the humid place. We very rarely have dry heat. If you ever go to the beach on an 80+ day, you’ll probably find yourself pooling lots of sweat wherever your skin touches (i.e: back of knees, inner thighs, under arms, boobies.) It isn’t always a sexy scene. With the more bearable temps and bouts of shadiness, I was compelled to clean the house instead of desperately trying to make my way to the beach. This day turned into quite the adventure. There was fashion, food, and decorating all mixed into one.

Fashion

Pink is kind of a great color. I realized that a few months back when I did a post on a pink dress I wore to class. I haven’t always been the pink loving type. In fact, I think a lot of women shun the color, thinking it to be weak, childish, etc, etc. I now think pink is pretty cool (in small doses) and has the ability to perk you up. Recently I bought some pink sheets, which was quite the change up from the tan tones I was sleeping on for the past year. I love the way they contrast with my dark blue walls, and I cannot help but feel like a princess when I snuggle on in (or wake up in my glorious splendor.) Not only is the color great, but I’ve also realized the sheets are an excellent make-the-eggs-make-the-smoothie-walk-around-the-apartment look. The light weight fabric creates great movement—movement in clothing is so important—and I get to cover myself without resorting to gym shorts and crew neck sweaters. Am I a Grecian goddess? Am I a princess? Either way, I feel pretty good. I tried to take some pictures and I got this  really awesome effect. I’m not sure how it happened, but it needs to be immortalized somewhere, and WordPress seems to be the right venue. What do you wear when you traipse around your apartment?

80’s Movie sci-fi cover? I think so!

 

Gastro-Nonsense

After some passive cleaning, I dragged Chris down to the Asian market in the Old North End. I was listening to a raw foodie video the other day, which said Asian markets are great places to look for new fruits and vegetables—and I was bound to find a great supply of rice noodles. While Googling the best place to go to, I came across Asian 99, a store renowned in the area for a great banh mi sandwich.  Banh mi is a Vietnamese sandwich served on a baguette (there was a lot of French colonialism in Indochina) with shredded pickled carrots, onion , cilantro (I took that stuff off later), pate, pork salami Vietnamese style, and a spicy spread. The woman was quite understanding when I explained my gluten issue and that I would like the contents of the sandwich layered in a to-go box, which I would then assemble at home with some Udis. I also took a fat mango to go; the noodles would have to wait another day. Let me say: one has not lived until they’ve eaten a Banh Mi (and at $3.50 a sandwich I may have to live many lives!)

Humble looking, yet amazing.

Take. No. Prisoners.

Flowers and Rings: My Favorite Things

Before going out to meet a friend, I realized the apartment needed one final touch to spruce things up. My fake flowers have been a fuss-free godsend, but the other day I noticed some pink flowers growing right outside the apartment. With a water filled Mason jar and kitchen scissors, I stole away and clipped some branches off the bush. I added a few drops of bleach to help preserve them, and, voila, I was able to bring my mood enhancing pink motif into the kitchen. Let’s start making bets on how long I can keep them alive. Ps: Peep the awesome ring!

My Martha S. is shining through!

 

My days have been less hectic, but I’ve been finding ways to make the most of them!

Peel away ❤

Jocellyn

Mixologist in The House

Fair warning: this post might be full of justifications…

So, I grew up with a recovering alcoholic as an adoptive mom. I mean recovering in that according to A.A, you’re always an alcoholic. She’s been sober for 26 years, in fact. I’ve never seen her drink. But I’ve heard the stories, been to the award ceremonies, etc, etc. I even had a 5 month stint of sobriety the summer going into sophomore year o f college when I thought I was an alcoholic (turns out I was just a bad drinker, and not an alcoholic.) But growing up around the sponsors and rhetoric makes me always hypersensitive to my drinking habits. Like the fact that I’ve had two drinks (well, one drink, but filled with two shots) in the past 2 days. Eek! And the fact that I got tanked the other night (okay, that really only happens once a month, because I utterly hate being hung over.) But before I go worrying myself into oblivion, I have things to take into consideration. For one it’s summer, which means it’s sunny and warm and perfect weather for sipping a drink on the porch. I’m 21, which means legally I can drink as darn-tootin much as I want. And I like alcohol, which means I should enjoy it to its fullest (responsible ) extent. This doesn’t mean going uterus to the wall every night (or balls, for you gentleman readers, but last time the doctor checked I’m sorely lacking a set.) It means appreciating the flavors, variations, and good sales.

Lately it has been too hot and sticky for my go to red wines, so I ventured out and got some hard alcohol. From someone coming from tight purse strings (like, someone help me get the knots out) I encourage you to pay for good alcohol. You’ll like it more. You’ll be encouraged to mix and blend together concoctions that are so befitting of these warm months. Come winter I might start stocking up on wines again, preparing for the cold months, but for now I’m going hard…alcohol that is.

Here is a little creation I came up with. Tell me if this is a particular drink. It’s so refreshing, a tad healthy (okay, justification central….6 frozen banana slices does not a healthy drink make) and something you can savor over a chit-chat.

So delicious

Banana-gama

2 Parts White Rum (I went with Mount Gay Silver Eclipse. MMMMM)

4 Parts Pineapple Juice (fresh would be ideal, but I bought the bottle kind. If you want to up the quality go to your local co-op, health food store—or health section of our regular supermarket—and see what is on sale. That ensures a happy wallet and a nice rotation of options)

6-8 Frozen banana slices (these take the place of ice cubes…slice before freezing)

Blend together until frothy (and you cannot hear anymore bananas plunking around) and pour

This filled my mason jar perfectly. Strong, savory, sweet, and refreshing. I need to play around with it, but it ain’t a bad start!

Peel Away those long, hot days and make yourself something stiff and delicious

❤ Jocellyn

What Can I say? I’m the Miami Heat of Cooking!

Yesterday I cooked. Furiously. I came back from 8 hours of multitasking on 2 photocopy machines—I could live without ever seeing the button “properties” again—and needed to calm down. For the most part, the kitchen is generally my safe haven. The sun was still out, so as someone who’s working on their food photography skills, I jumped into action. I managed to take most of my photos before it got dark, and I tinkered around with the poor man’s photo shop (Picasa) to get some editing ideas. A fun and delicious evening. Hints and tips are welcome!

We’ll start at the end. Yesterday I felt like eating dessert first. I found a really awesome recipe on Pinterest a few weeks back for raw vegan chocolate mousse (there are so many floating around with varying ingredients) and decided that just had to happen. If you haven’t ever had raw vegan chocolate mousse…you just have to. That’s it. End of  story. It’s so decadent and not that bad for you, which are all good things in my book. Technically this particular mix isn’t 100% raw vegan (it’s more like 98%) because we use honey, which some vegans do not eat because it may harm bees, but it’s pretty darn close. If you want to go the full monty, soak some Medjool dates (or any dates, I suppose, but you can find those at a local co-op) in water for at least 2 hours and that will be your sweetener. At the last moment, sprinkle some berries on top and enjoy. I took the pictures in a pretty cup, but I’ll be honest and let you in on a secret. I actually ate some of it out of the food processor. Blade and all. My justification: it saves on dishes!

I won’t lie. The banana is mildly suggestive. PG-13.

My personal favorite!

 

I then decided my night needed a more visceral angle. My response was to grill up some red meat. Now when I take the time out to buy steak, which only happens once or twice a month, I go all out on the prep. Maybe it’s a rub, or a glaze, or both, but I very rarely slap it onto the grill and say “there.” My delicious mousse needed an equally delicious mate. I married my love off all things balsamic and coffee rubbed (although I don’t actually like to drink coffee) and found this delicious recipe. I only had plain balsamic and olive oil, but I used the other spices. Trust me, I don’t have flank steak money (a close cousin to McDonalds money), but I was able to turn this okay cut of meat into something delicious. For a side I made something I call: lazy man (or woman) “guac”. Slice up ½ an avocado, ½ a Roma tomato, and sprinkle with garlic sea salt flakes. No need to mash (unless you want to.) Bon appe-yum-yum. Note: I took this photo so you could have an idea of what I was eating. It got a little dark out by the time it was all said and done.

 

And finally, to tie everything together, I decided I needed a stiff drink. During my last week at Goodwill I bought a Cocktail book, which has proved to be most useful—or perhaps most wallet breaking, as time goes on.

My SAT reading comprehension skills are really coming in handy.

I guess we shall see. I found a recipe for a frozen daiquiri, so I made one from scratch and not that bottled stuff! I admit, it was a little strong, but prepared drinks aren’t necessarily something you should guzzle down. Nope, they need to be savored. Raw vegan chocolate mousse? Well, that’s another story. A very messy story.

 

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Groggy Mornings and Tasty Evenings

Last night I went out hard. No, I went out extremely hard. So hard that I woke up at 10:30 still plastered. Ugh, went my stomach. Grr, went my head. How did I use to live this way freshman year? I dialed Chris from the living room (yup, I was that pathetic) and offered him $1 to make me something to eat. He didn’t seem to keen on the idea, so I had to take matters into my own drunken hands: happy drunk at night is a delight. Still drunk in the morning? Everyone take warning. I rolled out of bed, got some toast in the belly, some Advil in as well, and went back to sleep in a mad attempt to sober up enough to make it to the beach. If a hangover isn’t the most perfect metaphor for Newton’s Third Law then I don’t know what is.

After some sun, fresh air, and ample amounts of water, I finally started to feel hungry, which is a good thing as I haven’t had much of an appetite these past few days. Tonight I took some south of the border inspiration and had a Mexican version of breakfast for dinner: re-fried beans, ½ an avocado, some steak slices cooked in balsamic, scrambled eggs, and homemade salsa. I’m still patting my belly and smiling in gastro-satisfaction.

The salsa was really easy to make, fresh, and light. Salsa, much like gazpacho, is one of those recipes you can really tinker with to suit your taste buds.  I cut up a roma tomato, a little bit of red onion, a glove of garlic, tossed it all in a little bit of olive oil, splash of red wine vinegar, and finally I sprinkled a spoonful of chia seeds on top. I made this first and let it sit in the fridge for awhile to let the flavors mix. In fact, I just took a brief writing break to try some, since it has had even more time to mix and mingle, and it’s absolutely divine.

Where the magic happens.

Hold up! Once you cut open an avocado it starts to turn brown and unappealing looking. What does one do with the leftover avocado half? Simple: you make yourself a delicious smoothie.

Berry-cado Smoothie

½ an avocado

1 banana

Milk or milk substitute

1-2 handfuls of frozen berries (I used raspberries)

Cut up the avocado, banana, and add to the blender. Then add in your milk. Right now I’m trying out Lactaid milk. Feel free to use any other dairy substitute as well. I admit I don’t measure out my milk. I’ve been making smoothies for a long time and know how much liquid to add so that I have a small mason jar sized drink. I know, me writing out recipes is mildly funny since I’m not much for measuring. But eyeball it. Do you want it thicker? Do you want it a little runnier? Start out small and keep adding (you can giveth, but you cannot taketh away—only God can do that!) until you reach a desired amount.

If you have a cheap blender, give the mixture a few pulses before adding in the berries, especially if you are using the frozen variety. If you’ve never used avocado in your smoothies before, you’ll be surprised by how thick just ½ of one will make your drink. Pour it into a glass and enjoy!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

3 Peat Purchases

Yesterday was my last shift at Goodwill, and I think the second hand god’s were really watching out for me. I arrived at work to see a fellow employee put this  rolling, tile topped island with a lower level cabinet behind register 1. My heart fluttered, then sank, because placing an item behind the counter meant a person wandering the store was soon to purchase it. The day went on, the shift ended, and no one had come to claim this prize possession. I just had to buy it, that rolling piece of magnificence. You see, these things are expensive. Even the cheap ones are expensive. So, as per usual, I hopped on it with lightening speed. Now I can cook things next to the stove, instead of chopping away under our weird cabinet. I also can use it as a clean template for food photography. I can roll it here. I can roll it there. The sun can longer hide from me (!) and there is great storage for my food photography plates and cups, which frees up some dinner table square footage.  At $10 (not including my discount) it was quite a steal!  I’m thinking of painting up the sides as well. Remember how I said I might try out a chevron paint job on our “liquor cabinet”? Maybe I’ll do a matching motif.

Where shall I begin? So gleeful!

Clean, crisp top

Along with that, after the prior shift I bought a 2-panel room divider to place in front of my bed to create a bit of separation and privacy. I don’t care if Chris see’s sleeping when he comes in the door, but if he decides to have friends over it might be odd. And it makes the living room bedroom division more concrete. It’s definitely a fixer upper project. It needs some new paint. But with the awesome blinds that open and close, and the $3.73 pricetag (new 3-panel dividers start at $60, and 2-panels are not much cheaper) I just couldn’t resist! What color should I choose?

Blinds down: Do Not Disturb!

Blinds Up: Proceed With Caution

I also managed to snag a great pair of high waist Guess Jeans for a cool $3.50 (they really could have been a little more expensive, but we’ve been hiring new people, and new people means a lack of pricing knowledge…I take full advantage of this fact, obviously.) I love high waist jeans. Chris calls them mom jeans, but it all depends on how they are tailored. High waist mom jeans are generally that way to accommodate for the often inevitable FUPA, where as high waist jeans for younger women help to slim, elongate, and make your cheekies look super fine.

Observe (yes, I know one side is more bodacious than the other.)

No worries, your cheekies could also look this sculpted. It’s the power of the jeans.

High waist pants are similar to dark wash jeans in that you can dress them up with a silk or embellished top, or you can dress them down with a snug cotton t-shirt. Just make sure the shirt is one that easily tucks in and doesn’t leave the tell-tale bunch. Cuff them, wear them down, throw on some heels, or tie up some sneakers. Have fun and look sophisticated sexy at the same time.

This apartment is really coming together and I got to complete my wardrobe before leaving the Goodwill. Success all around!

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Chia Take Two

Several months ago I did a video about my obsession with trying new things. I enthusiastically jumped on the Chia Seed bus and got off a stop later. Ugh. The taste was so unsavory. So nutty. Which, I admit, was what the packaging said, but I didn’t expect it to be that bad. Fast forward to now, and with moving in and buying a new bed I haven’t had the money to buy an abundance of fruits and veggies for juicing, and I didn’t have any spinach to make a nutritious green smoothie—bananas, water, and raspberries seemed a little lackluster.

Hankering for something to kick start my system, (I’m still feeling like I’ve had the rug pulled out from under me since the dairy incident) I unearthed the bag of chia from the dark confines of the cupboard. “You better be worth it, Chia seeds, because this is the last banana,” I’m pretty sure I said out loud. I blended together a banana, water, handful of berries, and a tablespoon (the recommended dosage) of chia seeds. Chia seeds expand in liquid, so I let my drink settle in the refrigerator for 15 minutes while I went about making dinner.

It didn’t smell nutty, so I took a tentative sip. Deliciousness from the Aztec running gods.  Chia, I guess you weren’t so bad after all…in small tablespoon doses. What else could I do with these delicious, tiny seeds? I decided I was going to make some chia pudding—a popular way to consume chia—but my way, not using the directions that had let me astray months back. The outcome was delicious, so I bring you the recipe. As usual, I sort of throw things together depending on how much flavor I want, so besides a few measured out ingredients, feel free to guesstimate depending on your taste buds (and how much nutrition you are going for!)

Jocellyn’s Snappy Chia Pudding

(or)

(Insert your name) Snappy Chia Pudding.

Chia Seeds

Water

Vanilla extract

Raspberries (fresh or frozen)

Cocoa Powder

Cinnamon (Whenever I use cinnamon I think of that Apple Jack’s commercial with the Rastafarian cinnamon stick that skateboards and says “here I come I am cinn-a-mon”)

In a small bowl put in 1 tablespoon of chia seeds. Add in 3 tablespoons of water and swirl together. Place in the refrigerator for 15-20 minutes. The longer you leave it the more water will be absorbed, but for this treat 15 minutes is just fine.

While this is going on grab a handful of raspberries. If you are new to chia seeds, and not sure how you’ll like the flavor, add in a few more raspberries for good measure. If they are fresh, awesome. If you be a broke person like me then microwave some frozen ones for 1 minute.  Sprinkle some cocoa powder over the raspberries. I didn’t use a measuring device for this. In fact, I couldn’t even give you a ball park estimate of how much (or little) I used. Let your at-the-moment taste buds be your guide. Set aside.

After 15 minutes, take the chia gel out of the refrigerator and add in a small amount of vanilla extract. Mine comes in a tiny jar, so I used one capful of the equally tiny top. Don’t go to crazy with this stuff.

Combine the forces into one bowl and mix together, ensuring you don’t get a huge chunk of chia. Add a little sprinkle of cinnamon and voila! You now have a seemingly indulgent, but healthy treat.

Peel Away & Enjoy ❤

Jocellyn

Upside Down

I like to think my life isn’t falling apart. But it kind of is. Okay, so maybe  I’m being a little over dramatic. Nonetheless, I’ve got some seismic plate shifting going on. For starters there is the whole single thing. And a few days ago I put in my notice at the Goodwill, after my boss went psycho crazy on me (and like everyone one else. Lady, I get it. You’re menopausal, but that isn’t an excuse to vent your anger and hot flashes. I don’t get snippy when I’m PMSing…end of rant). I’ve wanted to quit for a long time, but I was kind of waiting to have another job lined up, but after the altercation—and good phone call with my mom—I decided it was time to say goodbye. I then proceeded to go home and down an entire bottle of Rose, while watching some Netflix. Note to all: if you feel the need to have one of those nights I like to call “Wine Whines” go with Rose. At 5% alcohol content finishing the whole bottle will leave you very tipsy, but not sufficiently plastered like stronger reds.Although I have no desire to drink that much again for a long time, I definitely needed that night.

I’ve spent the past 17 months at Goodwill, so it’s a bit weird to not have to tie on my apron, and I’m definitely going to miss my 30% discount, but enough is enough. It was causing wayyyy to much unnecessary stress in my life. I still have my second job until the end of the month, and I have enough money for two months rent, but my days are basically going from usually having to work 6 days a week to having all this free time. Eerie. Of course I’m working on finding a job, but I wouldn’t say I’m running out the door. At least not until next week. I’m kind of looking forward to the break, of being able to relax on my porch, sleep in, and go to yoga when I want. OOh timeeeee is on my sideeee, yes it is. I admit, it’s a little scary, but so was working at the GW, walking on eggshells, waiting for my boss to lash out at someone. No thank you!

But back to the porch: that’s just what I did all stinking day. I poured myself a glass of water with some lemon slices, donned my belly baring crop top, grabbed a blanket, my least favorite yoga mat for cushion, and parked my cheekies outside all day to read The Hunger Games. I know, I’m a little behind the times…. Anyway, I’m excited to say I finished the entire book in one afternoon, got a little teary eyed at a particular scene (hint: it involves a net, Mockingjay birds, and a spear), and got transported into a world of starvation, injuries, and budding love. I’d say that was a success.

Let’s see what summer holds

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Lilac Toner…Finally!

Okay, so I’m admitting my poor taste in movie watching choices with this anecdote, but it has to happen. Who here has seen Jeepers Creepers 2 (“spoiler alert” ahead)? If you have you know the scene at the end where decades later the dad is sitting, with a shot gun, in front of the Creeper he has crucified to his barn, waiting for it to come alive so he can stop it from wrecking havoc on the mid western plains?  Well, that is sort of how I’ve been with a dairy intolerance. People with gluten issues also have a tendency to notice that dairy causes them the same discomfort, so I’ve been sitting with my imaginary shot gun waiting for the day when yogurt, cheese, and milk mutated into an untouchable food group. I’ve had an inkling for the past few months, but it was all made crystal clear yesterday after I drank a most delicious Nutella Smoothie. 20 minutes later I was hustling to the bathroom and soon I realized I needed to cut my afternoon with the ladies short and be in the comfort of my own apartment. Not cool. The familiar hand pain, nausea, and bloating was apparent, as well as the lack of desire to nibble on much. I fell into bed and took a long nap. This morning I didn’t feel great either and decided to call out of work and hope the stomach pains and feeling of inflammation in my body would subside.

A little stir-crazy from not making anything to eat, I decided to work my homemade beauty recipe magic in the kitchen. For weeks I’ve been looking for a lilac toner recipe and only came up with a very simple one. I decided “hey, I cannot mess up that badly” and decided to try my hand at making my own toner.

Lilac Toner for Rejuvenated Skin

1 Handful of Lilac Flowers

1 Knob of Freshly Grated Ginger

1 Tbs of Apple Cider Vinegar—you need to use the organic kind that has “the mother” (aka visible strains) if you want all the benefits. Braggs ACV is one of the most popular and the smallest bottle they say is only $3.50!

2 Squirts of Vegetable Glycerin

1 Cup of Boiling Water

While water is boiling pop the lilac flowers off the stems and place in bowl. Next grate a knob of ginger over the bowl. When the water is done boiling pour the 1 cup over the two ingredients. Add in the ACV and let steep for 10 minutes (this is a great time to catch up on e-mails or any dishes in the sink you’ve been avoiding.) After 10 minutes, strain into another bowl and throw away the remnants. Add in the small amount of vegetable glycerin and mix with a spoon. Then, carefully, move the final product in a glass jar for storage. Chill in refrigerator.

Compared to what you buy in stores the amount of liquid left over won’t seem like much, but since we are using all natural products we cannot store it for months. Ideally it’s best to find a friend to split the bounty with. When making skincare products with food (think avocados, strawberries, bananas, etc) people usually suggest using everything up within a week. With recipes like the one above, that feature more liquids, I’ve seen suggestions to keep anywhere from a week to one month max. Use your best instincts after a week by frequently smell checking. Also, ACV may be too harsh for sensitive skin types, even when diluted.  If you are concerned feel free to leave the ingredient out or do a skin test on your hand.

Even after one use I could tell I enjoyed this toner more than the green tea one I made a few months back. My face felt a lot more refreshed and I think the ACV helped pick up even more dirt and impurities. Plus the color is pretty awesome. Oh how a terrible yesterday lead to a most glorious morning.

Peel Away ❤

Jocellyn

Mango Soup

Sleep quality has improved ten-fold since getting my new bed. I love it. I feel rejuvenated in the morning. Heck, I’m bright eyed and busy tailed at 6:45, which is quite the feat! This morning was no exception, and I was a busy bee in the kitchen making kale chips for my yoga comrades (Saturday is teacher training day) and some raw soup to take to class. My last foray with raw soup—the carrot recipe—was not the greatest, but I have made a few variations of this one, so I knew I wouldn’t be terribly let down.  If you love mango, you must try this.

Cold Mango Soup

Ingredients:

  • 1 large mango, peeled and destoned
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1-2 small chilli peppers, minced (or to taste)
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp grated or minced ginger

Preparation:

Process all ingredients together in a blender until smooth and creamy, adding a bit more or less water as needed. Chill before serving. Makes two servings.

You’re in and out in 15 minutes max, and if you put your onion in the refrigerator the night before you’ll cut down on the teary-eye factor. If you don’t have whole chili peppers, approximately ½ a tsp of pepper flakes is equal to one pepper. Adjust accordingly. I’m a wussy and should have done a few less flakes, but it was still darn tasty.

Cilantro & Asparagus: Delightful or Devious Summer Foods

In the winter we rarely want to get out of our beds to walk or drive to our respective day responsibilities, so the idea of pot lucks is basically out of the question. Yes, in the winter I like to cuddle under a blanket, sip hot tea with honey, and stare angrily out the window, wondering (for the umpteenth time) why I didn’t attend college out of state. Aside from Thanksgiving (and for some people Chrismahanakwanzica) the colder months means cooking for me, myself, and I. But summer, for obvious reasons, is much different. We drink a bit more, we eat a bit more, we want to share the bounties from our community gardens, etc, etc. Coming together to eat is excellent. However, as we all congregate together to eat food and roast marshmallows over a fire, we should take into consideration summer dining etiquette.

Aside from asking about food alleriges people may have, I have come up with two common foods that are often over looked by food lovers. This post won’t be entirely bitter (if you pardon the pun, which will make sense in a few moments), as I get to tackle it from two sides!

The first food, related to the pun, is cilantro. Cilantro, also known as coriander,  is this green herb, similar to parsley, that is often sprinkled liberally in fresh salsa, on tacos, and used to intensify dishes. It truly is a love/hate thing. My friend and I hate cilantro. On our high school dinner dates out to Margaritas (oh, what a classy, true Mexican food establishment) we would sneer at the pretty green flakes floating around in our perfectly decent salsa. Oh, the travesty. Scientists have tried to figure out why some people absolutely abhor the taste and smell (I find it to be terribly bitter and many say it tastes like soap) and have figured out it comes down to genetics. So, if you are so inclined to make a dish with cilantro and bring it to a gathering (large or small) please be a dear and make 2 batches, or leave some cilantro leaves in another bowl for people to add (source) (source2).

On the flip side, I adore asparagus. When I had my small stint at High Point University, I dined at their 5-Star Steak House (so amazing) and was told by the waiter that Asparagus was a perfectly acceptable finger food. Just pick it up—perhaps hold up the pinky?—and crunch away in a respectable manner. It’s deliciously-simple with olive oil, pepper, and a hint of salt. Its great hot or cold. Even if you over cook it all is not lost. But some people hate it. Chris was one such person. I always wanted to incorporate it into our meals; you know a little change from the green beans! He was adamant we never add it to the list. When I finally asked why he was so against it, he sheepishly said it made his pee smell. And then I remembered hearing my Aunt talk about it in a very lewd way during my impressionable teen years—I blame my father’s side for the occasional crass comments I make. So, what’s the deal? Well, apparently people have talked about the horrific smell of urine after eating asparagus for ages. I felt superior, knowing my pee was putrid free…until I found out that ALL urine smells when you eat asparagus, but only 25% of the population takes note of it (source). Geesh, that’s enough to make an asparagus loving girl self conscious. Note to self: no going to the bathroom in a group after indulging in the green stalks. So, again, if you are in charge of bringing the vegetables to the gathering, and happen to know a fair amount of the people, ask around to gauge the general consensus. Green beans might be the way to go!

Most people have food ailments. It is impossible to be the perfect host. I would never expect someone to go overly out of their way to tend to my gluten issues. In fact, I tell them about my condition and offer to bring something gluten-free that everyone can eat, or I fill up beforehand. I mean, heaven forbid we go a few hours without eating. However, with sneaky foods like asparagus and cilantro, that people are genetically predisposed to either liking or disliking, it’s best to air on the side of caution, or else we’ll have people spitting out the salsa or running away from the bathroom!

Peel Away ❤