Monday, April 27, 2015

Cucumber Apple Juice with Basil

This is what Santa Barbara looked like when I arrived Saturday afternoon. The wind was blowing hard enough that I had to store my clothes under a rock, and if you got below the level of the beach you could see a thin layer of soft sand blowing across the top like a dust storm. Maybe it was wishful thinking, but the colder weather and the wind tinted the water nearly Northwestern. Despite the wind and the chill (and the strange looks I was catching from fully clothed strangers) I walked straight into the waves and dove in. Glorious. How can I live in Utah? Honestly, what am I doing here?

It continues to amaze me how tenuous my sense of stability is. Most days I'm fine- I waitress, I take classes, I see my Utah friends, who though few in number have become comfortable. I know I'm moving forward. I know I'm in the right place. 

That knowledge is, for me, more peace than I have ever had, but it's far from stable. A weekend away and I'm whirling again, scrambling to catch ahold of the pieces of my life and cram them back into a linear plan, one that leads somewhere I understand. I want to know, now, how I will look back on this period of my life. I want to know that I will be looking from a better place, from somewhere I feel fulfilled and happy and less lonely, and maybe  even  have enough money to spend a weekend at the beach just for me.

What surprised me more than anything was how much I enjoyed the hour or so we spent in Venice Beach en route. Somehow, without trying, I found myself drinking a green juice at a food truck with my glamorous younger sister and feeling happy about the whole thing. What happened to my inbred nor-cal prejudice? Am I opening my mind, or  just being worn down by Utah?

Because change can't come quickly enough, next week I'm moving into a hippie commune with a fellow whose given name is Lovejoy. When I got home from meeting my new roommate- who is at least 70 years old and has a meditation room- I decided to make myself some juice. Suddenly the ground is back, as is my somewhat stable life. Does anyone know what I'm doing here?

Green Juice of Confusion
Recipe inspired by LA's Juicebox food truck

Note: I am not yet enough of a hipster to own a juicer (although I'm very, VERY afraid that I will end up that way), and as you know I recently broke my blender. If you've got one... use it.

2 cucumbers (not the shrink wrapped kind- the tough skinned cheaper kind)
2 apples*
6 leaves basil + extra for garnish
3 Tablespoons lime juice

*I don't think the variety matters much (mine were reddish and unknown), although green would be on theme.

Put everything into a food processor or blender. BLEND! I basically let my cuisinart run while I did some dishes, until there was a wet green slurry. Place a strainer above a bowl, and line the strainer with cheesecloth. Pour in the green mixture, then wait about a half hour. If you're impatient like me, you could put another bowl on top and then weight it down. If you're really like me, you could start squeezing aggressively at the cheesecloth and spurt cucumber everywhere. Fill a cup with ice, then juice, then garnish with basil. Drink with your sister in Los Angeles, or sitting on the front steps of a place you're just starting to call home.

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