This post was updated in November 2014 with new photography!
Smoothies and I go way back. Way, way back.
Smoothies are a summertime thing, even if the emergence of Booster Juice and Orange Julius would have us believe otherwise. But I have a special memory about smoothies from long before they became so mainstream.
When I think of summer as a kid, I think of my cousin Kelly. She has always been my closest friend. I guess you could say it helps that we’re family and she’s only 11 months older than me, but we’ve always got along – even as little kids – and have always loved spending time together. We never fought, and even though I was a mouthy brat and a troublesome teenager, she still liked me and never judged.
We truly grew up together. We saw each other all the time – Brownies, church every week, family birthdays and holidays, sleepovers… and as we grew up, we chose to spend more and more time together. I remember every summer was filled with Kelly & Julia time – swimming in Poppy’s pool, going to the cottage, laying under the sun or just wandering around our neighborhoods being social butterflies. Some of the best laughs I’ve ever had were with Kelly (like drawing all over the drywall in my basement, convincing ourselves that a robber/murderer was coming to get us, leaving a trail of bubblegum down Dorothea Drive, and lots of inside jokes… “for the rest of your life, the hair on this leg will be shorter than the hair on that leg!!!”)
One hot summer day when we were probably 13 or 14, we decided we needed a snack. It was Kelly’s great idea to make smoothies – something I’d never done before. I still remember the exact concoction to this day – she grabbed a frozen banana from freezer, fresh strawberries, milk, fruity yogurt and a scoop of vanilla ice cream and blended it all together. The result was better than any smoothie I’d ever imagined, and it was so simple to make! This started a series of smoothie creations and we finally decided that when we grew up, we were going to go into business together and open a smoothie shop called “Jelly’s”… (combination of Julia and Kelly… get it?)
Jelly’s Standard Smoothie
(makes two servings)
- 1 banana
- 1/2 cup fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries etc.)
- 1/2 cup yogurt
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 scoop vanilla or fruity ice cream
This love for smoothies followed me to university. When my Roomie got a Magic Bullet, I was making a smoothie every day. I pretty much use the same ingredients as Kelly did on that summer day, depending on what I have around. I’ve learned that ice is an excellent addition (especially if you don’t have ice cream) and bananas have a very dominant flavour well-countered by blueberries or raspberries. Regardless, almost every smoothie I make brings me back to Kelly’s old kitchen on Dorothea Drive.
Those were the best summers. Now we’re all grown up and I’ve moved away, but Kelly is one of the first people I see every time I come home. We know each other so well. We’ve been there for each other through absolutely everything – all the ups and downs little girls, teenagers and women go through. It seems we get closer the older we get. Although my mother is the third of four kids, I only have two cousins on her side (affectionately referred to as DeDe and BooBoo… and my sister’s nickname is George… how I managed to escape a weird pet name is beyond me). This side of my family is very close. As I get older and even closer with my cousins, I increasingly feel as though I have two extra sisters. I guess you could say I’m pretty darn lucky.
So this post is about smoothies, but is also an ode to my cousin and best friend. Cheers to BooBoo!