Julius! Julius!



"Julius!  Julius!"  My two-year old, Loretta,  still in her PJ's and soggy diaper (remember when, with your first child, you actually changed his diaper in the middle of the night?!), waits not-so-patiently for me to mix her morning cocktail.  Orange juice and soy milk, or "orange julius," as I generously term it.  If you were hoping for an inspiring recipe today, I'm sorry.  The good news is, you don't have to be close to kitchen-savvy to benefit from this little concoction.

Most mornings, I pull out two cartons and , in a 1/2 OJ to 1/2 soymilk ratio, shake up a batch in a Nalgene water bottle (you can also just stir it with a spoon) and pour it around.  For some reason, it always tastes divine.  I am not a big soymilk junkie, and since no one in my family is lactose intolerant, I haven't experimented with things like vegan mac and cheese or scones.  I appreciate the need some folks have to do that, but I suppose I'm still stuck in the soymilk-is-medicinal mode.  Call me an earth-hater.  However, I always have it around for this morning ritual, and I also enjoy its nutty flavor over oatmeal.

The orange-and-cream combination is a time-honored one.  Remember those little ice cream cups with the wooden spoons?  I had one recently at some potluck or other, and they haven't lost their luster.  In high school, I used to work at Nordstrom back when Bellingham had a thriving downtown with department stores.  The Nordstrom espresso bar was one of the first espresso bars in town, and it was quite a novelty.  It was staffed by the coolest female college students--snowboarders with hippie style and enough avant-garde sensibility to make them stand out in Bellingham.  Maybe I filled up so many punchcards there just to be around them.

Of course I wasn't drinking coffee at 16.  Only the Goth kids did that, and I was as straight as they came.  I did partake of the Creamsicle, however, and it's this drink that my lowly orange julius hearkens back to.  The Creamsicle was a type of Italian soda--if Italian sodas don't typify the '80's, I don't know what does.  It was made with vanilla syrup, fresh-squeezed OJ, seltzer water, and heavy cream, all over ice.  I'm salivating just thinking about it.  I have no idea if they still make that or if there's anyone in Seattle profligate enough to drink it, but my friend Heidi Harris and I spent many happy hours sipping those while we inventoried stock in the back room.

Once Loretta is sucking up her "Julius! Julius!" through her little sippy cup straw, I usually have a small window to make coffee and start reading the paper until the next demand comes. As you mothers know, that's priceless.