Tuesday, October 27, 2009

White Trash Motherlode: Orange Julius

I absolutely adore this picture of Miss D.

Do you know why? Because, to my despair, most people don't think Miss D. looks anything like me. In fact, when she was a baby, I got the following remarks from anonymous folks in public places:

"Well, shoot, your DNA sure didn't translate, did it?"
"Oh Wow! You adopted a Shanghai baby, too?"
"What an adorable little girl! What country did you get her from?"

I mean, asshole remarks aside, I have a tiny streak of vanity that wants SOME part of my child to look like me. I can't help it. I just feel that way. And it hurt my feelings when people looked at Miss D., looked at me, looked back at Miss D. and then shook their heads, perplexed.

Unbeknownst to them, however, Miss D. does resemble me. Need proof?

I know, right? Lucky Miss D. got her Mama's stilt-like legs. And although I am saddened by the fact that she, like her Mama, will probably have to endure the nickname "Flamingo Legs," I am also pleased to see some part of me represented in this little human I grew for 9 months.

My legs aren't quite so scrawny any more, but when I was a kid, it was a problem.

My mother is still indignant, to this day, about a phone call she received on the first day of school in a brand new city:

Mama: "Hello?"
Lady: "Ummm, yes, is this the mother of (pause and slight riffling of paper)...Dana? In Mrs. ______________'s class?"
Mama: "Yes...?"
Lady: "Well,ummmmm, I'm calling, Ma'am, because Dana is sitting here in the front office? She's scheduled to be in gym class but the gym teacher?"
Mama: "Yes...?"
Lady: "Well, Ma'am, the gym teacher just wasn't real sure if your child could participate in regular gym activities? You know? With the frail legs and all?"
Mama: Long pause. "Are you telling me that the gym teacher thinks my daughter is deformed?"
Lady: realizing the shitstorm she just walked into... "Well, ahhhhh, I can't say anything about whether she thought that, mind you...but has your daughter been ill recently? Is that it?"
Mama: using that icy Southern tone... "I will have you know that there is nothing wrong with that child! She is just very small boned... And she's very active and just doesn't hold onto any weight, but I can assure you--she is certainly NOT deformed or sick. Lace up the gym shoes and get her back in there NOW."
Lady: "Er, ok, Ma'am, I'll pass that on. Thankyoubye."

Boy, Mama was steamed. And after that little incident, Mama started making me an Orange Julius every day after school, because obviously, someone needed a little meat on her bones.

Orange Julius
makes 2

1/4 cup orange juice concentrate
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon powdered milk*
2 tablespoons honey or powdered sugar**
1 teaspoon vanilla
6-8 ice cubes, depending on the size

Combine all ingredients in a blender and whirr until frothy.

* I don't really think you need this; Mama just threw it in to try to fatten me up. I bet some vanilla protein powder (something we didn't have back then) would probably ramp up the nutritional value.

**This version is not nearly as sweet as the version you can get at the mall...just a warning! So if you need the sweet--add another tablespoon or two of honey/sugar.

Serve to any child who is so moth-eaten scrawny that people assume illness or deformity.

P.S.: This Orange Julius is delicious, but I do not guarantee results. Children who have legs like Whooping Cranes often remain so for the rest of their natural lives.

P.S.S.: Miss D., little minx, I apologize. There's no denying where those gams came from.


  1. I'll have to try this. Two of my three are super scrawny and I always fear folks will think I don't feed them.

  2. I've got a son who's so scrawny that people stare at him. He's almost 12 and looks like he's 9. I'll try this, thanks!

  3. My son has the "flamingo legs" you speak of. I had not thought of the Orange Julius! Thanks for the reminder! My mom used to make these all the time. :D Fun Post!

  4. Let me begin this post by saying, please don't take any grammatical errors to mean I wasn't paying attention! :) I so enjoyed this post. My husband can sympathize with you to some extent. None of our children look like their Italian heritage daddy. Each one of them came out looking dark, we celebrated, and then they quickly changed to blonde hair and fair skin.
    Here's a slap in the face for ya: not too long ago my husband and dad took our boys to an Avalanche game. While waiting for some sort of concession, the woman in front of them commented on how my DAD's kids looked just like him. Nick was fuming!

  5. Okay, i didn't even notice the legs because she looks *just* like you in that picture. Part of it is the pose, and part is the smirk. It's you with a gorgeous tan.

    Also...I adore the memory of Orange Julius but am creeped out by malls and mall food. So this is lovely. Thanks.

  6. Miss D has the "I'm waiting for you to take yer head outta yer ass" pose.
    cute dress.

  7. Too funny...and she is gorgeous :D I used to love Orange Julius'...and my youngest son could use some meat on his bones...perhaps I'll try this "cure" ;)

  8. Awesome she does look a lot like you.

  9. Oh my gosh! My daughter, A, looks like maybe she could be yours. She has those exact same legs!! Not even joking. She's a tall, skinny, drink of water. This is something I think she'll love when she's about 16 or so. But for now, it's a pain in the ass. We're not sure where she got her long, lean ones from-definitely not her mommy! I am going to try and whip one of these up for her. We'll see if it helps the cause!

  10. You unlocked the secret of Orange Julius? I have fond teenage memories of OJ. You rock Kitchen Witch.

  11. Raising my fist in the air and shouting--"Woo-Hoo! Flamingo Legged Children, Unite!!" So glad to hear there are more of us out there :)


    Darling, of *course* you were paying attention in English class! :) And though Nick has my sympathy, he could do worse than a bunch of kids with those classic Redd looks. I mean, you were the girl who inspired poetry out of sassy Sophomore boys...I bet your dad thought the remark at the Av's game was quite the compliment!

    nap and Amy: you are too kind, ladies. She does have my smirk, however.

    jc: I wonder where Miss D. learned how to give *that* look?

    Funny how so many of us remember Orange Julius--what a relic from the past.

  12. I am short and stubby, and when I was little my uncle used to call my mom pretending he was from Ringling Bros. saying that they were looking for "little people" - what I would give, even now, to have legs like that!

  13. Both my boys are skinny minis - in the 90th percentile for height and 10th percentile for weight. We've heard our fair share of "sickly" comments, too. People just don't think. But so glad this post inspired the recipe for Orange Julius. I was raised on this and can't wait to make it at home for my kids!

  14. I just found your blog! Love it. I would like some homemade orange julius, too. With some rum.

  15. A lot of people would kill to have long lean legs like that, myself included. Well maybe not kill. Maim, yes that's it!

  16. Sounds delicious! Love the story, too, and Miss D. is absolutely gorgeous!

  17. I can see you in the "look", we know where miss D got that from:)

    I was so skinny at that age, but my legs were not long. Kinda short for being Dutch. Mine were little stick legs. Now my daughter is the one with Flamingo legs (perfect I have a picture of her feeding flamingos). A counselor at school asked if she was healthy because she was so thin. Not only is she tall and thin, she eats very healthy as well. She never liked bergers, or chicken nuggets, or the typical "kids" food. She's just starting to eat sauce on things. The only candy she'd eat was Reese's cups. She is so funny...if she thinks she didn't get enough veggies, she munches on some carrots. (she cracks me up) She even likes brussel sprouts (wtf?) Her favorite meal salmon with rice and steamed broccoli.

    Anyway, I used to make Orange Julius awhile ago. I always liked the orange creamsicle flavor. Mmm... now an Orange Julius Martini...

  18. Orange juice with milk? Really? I'm intrigued...I have never heard of that combo before! Your daughter does look like you in the face too - and the hair...not just the legs. xxx

  19. I wasn't just kissing your Flamingo Legs...I've seen pics of you and Hubs, and she looks exactly like you in some shots and like him in others. Perfect blend, y'all. Pat yourselves on the back and have some chicken wings to celebrate. ;-)

  20. You're 100% awesome, nap! xoxo

    Too bad that I dissected a chicken wing in the 4th grade and was so revolted that I've never eaten anything but boneless, skinless chicken ever since!

  21. oh i hear ya folks say the same to me about my lil one, she looks like her daddy well a lighter version gorgeous pictures and again you made me smile

  22. oooh oooh oooh orange julius. you bring back fond memories of childhood days. me no flamingo legs though, more like thunder thighs. send new potion to connecticut. pronto!

  23. It never ceases to slay me how idiotic/stupid/insensitive/thoughtless/hurtful people can be. She is gorgeous, and oh what I'd give for those legs!!!

  24. Although I don't have any small/scrawny/thin kids in need of fattening up, I do love your blog. Your recipes are great, but mostly, I do believe, I'm looking forward to reading more asshole-related stories!

  25. MP: you lookin' for assholes, buddy? This is your place!

    Again, I just have to say, I have the coolest readers ever. Somehow, you made me feel okay about my Flamingo Legs. Miss D., however, may never forgive me. Thanks to all of you for your kind and witty repartee. Y'all "give good comment." Which is an amazing skill.

  26. I got this about my middle daughter. She was so thin that the school was always suspicious about anorexia. She wasn't of course, ate like a horse in fact. She was just meant to be skinny. She still is and she still eats like a horse.

  27. My best friend's son looks nothing like her, my nickname was skinny as a kid, and I only learned to eat chicken wings in the last two years. Take comfort in the fact that your regular old average.

  28. Supercute story! Don't worry. All girls end up looking like their mamas.

  29. OMG! Too funny! I was once that skinny little girl. Not sure what happened to her, but weight gain is no longer a problem for me. As for the Orange Julius... I am lusting to try this. We have an Orange Julius near where I live. I never go there, though. On the rare occasion that I do, it's my sinful drink. It's sweet and they are so addicting. I wondered what was in them! Something tells me your version is better, cuz your mama made it.

  30. Don't all women want long legs? I wouldn't have thought it a bad thing, at all . . .

    My oldest son has weighed the same as his brother (16 months younger), since the baby was 6 months old. At this point in time, he's nearly four and still only a pound heavier. His pants ALWAYS fall down!! I've resorted to making them for him so they will be long enough and tight enough in the waist. sigh. And everyone says I don't feed him, particularly my mother-in-law. Even the doctor yesterday told me that I should just have food out for him 24/7 because he HAS to gain weight. So I totally sympathize. Unfortunately, I don't think he's going to drink an Orange Julius because he's going through that "I want everything plain" stage.

  31. I would trade flamingo legs for my tree trunks any day!! And you can tell she's her Mama's girl!!