In my defense, it’s been a slow month. With the Christmas tree in the alley and the New Year’s champagne gone flat in the fridge, now begins the sluggish slog toward spring. Not even toward, a word denoting purposeful speed. Rather, vaguely in the direction of while wearing boots so heavy they seem dipped in concrete and a thick coat that obscures sight and sound; layers of clothing which, when removed compel friends to comment,
“Wow, you’re way thinner than you look.”
To which I respond, “I’m sorry, I can’t hear when my glasses are fogged up.” True and strange.
Amidst such aggravation, the smallest events give one a thrill. To whit: a week or so back, I received an e-mail, subject line: “Horchata Revolution !!!” Apparently a new type of Horchata is scheduled to hit Chicago in late January, but I’d been selected to take a sneak peak. This is just the sort of glamorous perk you too can anticipate should all of your blogging dreams come true. Who am I kidding? I was instantly psyched; my correspondent had me at Horchata. The three exclamation marks didn’t hurt either; I admire a man who’s emphatic about his ethnic beverages. Though I took a moment to ponder the ethics of accepting his offer to send me a product sample, in the end, moral integrity isn’t my strong suit, at least not in below zero weather when I’ve exhausted every card game I know. Besides, can something made of rice really count as a bribe?
Fast forward to yesterday when an ottoman-size package arrived. Inside amidst a serious quantity of Styrofoam, were three oversize cans. (I’ve helpfully included a photo if you cannot envision this. The down-the-shirt-shot is unintentional; I looked like a cantankerous rhesus monkey in every other picture.) Inside the cans was…liquid rice pudding, and I mean that in the most delicious way possible. Seriously. I just had to take a break from blogging and have another sip.
Before you run to your nearest “Hispanic market,” apparently the intended location for the impending beverage revolution, please note that my Id is responsible for the prior sentence. Now, let’s hear from my super-ego: In order to consume Madrina's Horchata on any sort of regular basis I’d need a case of Lactaid and a lobotomy. The former, because I am lactose intolerant, the latter because the product’s first three ingredients are Treated Water, Sucrose and wait for it…Non-dairy creamer, which itself contains my nemesis, corn syrup. (My other nemesis is Lincoln Avenue because it is confusing and diagonal.) Much much lower on the list you’ll find ingredients like whey protein and rice flour, that is if your tongue doesn’t twist out of your mouth as you struggle to pronounce the parade of robot words preceding it.
To sum up, would I purchase Madrina's Horchata? I won’t even buy jelly; it’s superfluous, so probably not. Will I gulp down all my free cans and get a stomachache? It may not be December, but yeah, I’ll drink it.
A freelance writer with an MFA in Creative Writing from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Sarah Terez Rosenblum, when not writing, supports herself as a figure model, Spinning instructor and teacher at Chicago's Story Studio. Inevitably one day she will find herself lecturing naked on a spinning bike. She’s kind of looking forward to it actually. Follow Sarah on Twitter: @SarahTerez