"Good Olive Oil" Voice

Painting of fruit and a bird.
Charles V. Bond, Still Life: Fruit, Bird, and Dwarf Pear Tree, 1856. Via the National Gallery of Art.

By Sarah Miller.

I was asked to write about smoothies because, overwhelmed with the deliciousness of the smoothie I made Wednesday of last week, I tweeted an arrogant tweet which the Board Of Directors of this website could not help but take note of.

A screenshot of Sarah Miller's tweet.
Sad content.

They got in touch with My Agency and asked if maybe they would get in touch with me to see if I had room in my schedule to write something about smoothies. The bigwigs at My Agency got together and had a special meeting to see if it was worth it to get one of the first year associates to craft a request to me, in the only way anyone at My Agency is allowed to communicate with me: a handwritten letter, blue ink, cursive, on cotton bond stationery.

I was flattered but felt immediately like a fraud. Did I know anything anyone else didn’t know about making smoothies? Were my smoothies special, or did I just really like smoothies a lot and then think, wow, this is great, the way queer people think Taylor Swift is sending secret messages about being queer, or anti-imperialists/Marxists think everyone was/is in the CIA, because they were/are, including my friend’s dad, my other friend’s brother-in-law, and my grandfather, who, it turns out, I’m actually not even “related” to.  

Handwritten smoothie recipe.
My Boyfriend thinks you can predict how much liquid goes in a smoothie. You can't. It is a spiritual process that you learn and unlearn with every smoothie. When I gave him a "recipe" for this smoothie, I let him think that the process was under his control. It is not. 

It saddens me that I did not grow up with smoothies. Frozen fruit existed. Liquids existed. Blenders too. My family had a fine blender, 1961-2004. They’ve had four since, all pale imitations. But I didn’t start making smoothies until I was middle-aged. It all started because there’s a place near here that makes smoothies, and it’s not just that they’re expensive, it’s that this place is the slowest place in the world. So after having a few smoothies there (smoothie is a disgusting word) I realized I could make smoothies myself for ⅙ the price and in 1/10000 of the time it took to get one there.

Do you know what’s funny about me and smoothies? I think nothing of getting coffee outside the house, though I do usually make it at home. But a $7 latte, I’m like, sure, fine. But I would never buy a smoothie. I am horrified by how much they cost. Also, I hate supplements, nonsense like spirulina, bee pollen, maca, vitamin C, zinc. Supplements are for suckers. Vitamin C in a fruit smoothie! That’s like rolling an ice cream cone in calcium.

This reminds me of when I worked at a law firm and we did a lot of property stuff like people saying “I bought this building or rented this office and actually, it’s broken.” Our world at this firm revolved around photos of collapsing walls and poorly hinged doors and leaking pipes and I used to do imitations of these objects for my friend Jane, and she would laugh so hard that one time she farted and Jane did NOT fart in public. Jane died in the crash of Swissair Flight 111 in 1998. Looking at this blender reminds me of her laughing at my imitation of a toilet fragment in a photo of a failed bathroom in a failed house in a failed office building somewhere on Long Island, from some time in 1992.

But then when I go to a Smoothie Place I get overwhelmed by all the things they can put in your smoothie that will supposedly help you feel better and I sort of want all of them, even though I want none of them. I don’t like that feeling. I’ll waste $13 on a lot of things but being overwhelmed isn’t one of them.

Also, more importantly, no one makes better smoothies than I do.

However, the thing I am forced to admit even after what is now not just one but two—the first retreated from, and the second, a vigorous doubling-down—public displays of smoothie self-regard is that if you blend frozen fruit and oat milk or almond milk or milk milk it will probably be good.

But—obviously—I think I still know some things.

I don’t use “thickeners.” I sometimes add a teaspoon or two of oil, though, especially when using frozen mangoes, because it makes it more like ice cream. I think this is why my smoothie the other day inspired me to tweet about it. Avocados do the same thing, but they cost more and I don’t think it’s worth it. I like avocado oil, but I rarely have it around. Olive oil is fine. Also, it doesn’t have to be “good” olive oil. Go ahead and use “good olive oil” in your recipe, just know that if I ever meet you I am going to whip out several olive oils and some paper sample cups ask you to rate them from “Most Good” to “Most Un-good,” and if I think you’re wrong, you’re going to have to buy seventeen crates of Bertolli with your own money and use it until it’s gone. Yes, you’re “even going to have to finish your soups and salads with it.”  How do I know this? A little Bertolld me!

I also put mint in almost all my smoothies. It’s expensive to buy mint all the time so you should have a mint plant. I stole a mint plant from somewhere. I’m not going to say where because I don’t need a visit from the mint cops. I assure you that the place I stole my mint from will not miss it.

Mint is supposedly good for you. But that’s not why I like mint. I like mint because I steal it from jerks.

The very best smoothie is frozen pineapple, banana, almond milk, kale, a little bit of protein powder  and mint. Unless you have a really great, really expensive blender, I think it’s better to do the kale and the milk first. Also, I don’t put that much kale in. A handful. How much kale do you need? My God.

Protein powder helps you feel full longer and has protein but can be gross.

A good smoothie is mango, almond milk, a banana, a little protein powder, cinnamon, and a little oil.

What else. If you make a lot of smoothies, just always buy bananas so you never have to use unripe ones. Ripe ones should always be waiting for you. If there is someone in your house that doubts your need for a constant influx of bananas, it’s possible that person does not have your best interests at heart.

I like to let my frozen fruit sit for about ten minutes so it’s a little less frozen but still frozen.

I don’t honestly think blueberries are that great in smoothies. Sometimes I am in the mood. But mangoes and pineapple are better.

Recently, I bought an expensive coconut cream powder at a store that also sells plants and accessories for the yoni. I am not against yonis but i can feel uncomfortable when attention is drawn to them in certain ways. I bought the powder because I felt a strange guilt about how resistant I was to the yoni products. I bought it to cast suspicion elsewhere. I like this stuff a lot. If you add this to a pineapple smoothie, you will be blown away.

Vanilla can be enjoyable. If my smoothie is not as sweet as I want it to be, I add something sweet, like sugar, or honey, or a sprinkle of Jello pudding mix. I would never add that to kale though, I think that goes without saying, I murmur, in my best “good olive oil” voice.

Sometimes I just say no kale, who needs it. I was asked about spinach. The truth is I have never tried spinach in a smoothie. I feel like you would taste it too much? I don’t know and I don’t want to know. If you need me to write a version that’s pro-spinach just let me know.

This smoothie, a dull color, not for serving to anyone but yourself, has no kale because I wasn’t in the mood. It also has no protein powder because I am out. It’s a frozen fruit blend, almond milk, a banana, a tiny bit of vanilla pudding mix and a lot of mint, like four times the normal amount. (FROZEN FRUIT BLENDS are something I learned about while visiting the home of a writer I will not name who puts JUICE and YOGURT in her smoothies, and I do that when visiting, and enjoy it, but I don’t recommend it as a PRACTICE.) This smoothie was great. Sometimes you think you want toast in the morning, but a smoothie is always a better idea, unless you really want toast so much you can’t see straight.‌ ‌

Sarah Miller is the writer (or a writer idc) in Nevada City CA behind The Real Sarah Miller.

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