My husband Jerry became a grandfather for the eighth time three weeks ago. His son Yoni and wife Esther had a beautiful baby boy, who joins two older brothers and a sister. And that meant a trip to Israel, which meant Chanukah in August for the kids and grandkids, which meant lots of strategical packing by me. How to fit everything into one suitcase.
It wouldn’t have been that hard, had the packages come on time — but they were scheduled to arrive by 8 pm on Tuesday and I had to leave at 6:30 to take Jerry to the airport. I called the UPS number that my friend Rosi gave me and I begged the person on the phone to please get the packages to my house by 5:30. They arrived by 5:55, which gave me 35 minutes to open, remove the contents, save the instructions, cushion breakables and cram everything in. Somehow it all fit.
Once in Israel the lovefest between Jerry and his grandchildren began.
One morning, Jerry and his 3 oldest Israeli grandsons were left home to fend for themselves until his daughter Jordana returned from school.
Around midday, they decided to go on an ice cream scavenger hunt around their Rechavia neighborhood, looking for the best ice cream destination in their part of town. Around and around they roamed, searching for the holy grail of ice cream, while baking in the unforgiving Jerusalem summer sun. Now, Jerry avoids the sun like the plague. On cruises, while I luxuriate in the beautiful Caribbean sun, Jerry remains ensconced within the ship, reading or spending hours of joy in the indoor gym. We always joke that I go on a cruise while Jerry remains in the ship’s Grossingers.
Jerry was having the time of his life as they trekked throughout what felt like a Jerusalem desert, when his daughter called. She asked him to meet her at the shuk, and the boys knew the way. Like his ancestor Abraham before him, Jerry and his able grandsons journeyed through the promised land to the place his daughter said that salvation awaited them.
She met them at the entrance to the shuk and shepherded them to the juice bar. She ordered the boys a beautiful-looking red juice smoothy which they gulped down while making yummy sounds of satisfaction. Jerry could no longer contain himself. She asked Jerry if he wanted a regular or large size, as these fresh juices needed some getting used to. Jerry roared like a lion and said that he needed the largest pitcher available as he felt his life force ebbing as he waited.
To his consternation his drink was insect green rather than red which he craved His daughter advised that he approach his drink prudently as it was strong. However desperation prevailed and he attempted to inhale it like a Carvel extra thick float that he would order after playing ball on a hot summer day.
The green drink tasted like someone had mowed and stored a square mile of lush fresh grass and created a concentrated liquid to serve to a herd of cows. Grass to the max, with no fruit or other sweetness. Worse, it was served warm. Jerry attempted to down the green before him and was reminded of the time he was served a fish’s head with lifeless fish eyes staring at him daring him to try.
Was Hashem testing him, or perhaps punishing him?
He loved Jordana and she looked so lovingly into his eyes, hoping he would enjoy the drink as much as she did. Discretion proved to be the better part of valor after he downed about half his oversized pitcher.
“Please, Jordana,” Jerry pleaded, “can you just add a little fruit and ice, mixed in with the cow grass?” She agreed, and some human friendly ingredients were included. He finished his drink down to the last drop, as every worthy son of Holocaust survivors would have done. He soon became exhausted and desperately nauseous. He couldn’t eat dinner and attempted to sleep. At some point, when everyone fell asleep, his body finally rebelled. Ultimately, order was restored; he had survived and defeated the green juice angel.
For those of you who have never attempted to have a drink like that before, just be warned that it takes getting used to and you cannot have large amounts at once because it is extremely concentrated.
For those of you who want to have a super healthy snack and are afraid to try a super concentrated green drink (and afraid you should be), here is a recipe that Jordana came up with; it’s delicious and nutritious.
Healthy Breakfast in a Cookie
Preheat oven to 350F
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg beaten
In a separate bow, mix together
1 cup oatmeal
1/2 cup oat bran
1/4 cup almond flour
1/4 cup ground flax
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture and add chocolate chips, raisins or both. Form cookies and place on greased parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and bake for a about 15 minutes or until desirable crispiness is reached.
These are packed with all the nutrients for a quick breakfast, a healthy snack or a pick me up.