Cocoa-Raspberry Smoothie

Deep Purple Smoothie

Are there any other Dean Martin fans out there? I simply cannot make this smoothie without feeling so inspired by its plum-colored hue that Dean’s “Deep Purple” instantly gets stuck in my head. And stays there. For days. I’m singing it right now.

The first time I ever consciously listened to Dean Martin was at my grandmother’s in Canada. It’s funny, because-aside from that year we stayed with her-I have spent most of my life living in a different country from my grandmother; the thing is, of everyone in my family, I think I’ve seen her most! Despite the fact that I grew up in Upstate New York, we drove to see her, without fail, every single Sunday. My friends knew never to make plans with me, except on Fridays and Saturdays, because I would not be in the country.

Once there, my grandma would doll herself up-taking out her rollers and fluffing her bangs, patting lipstick on her cheeks to match her red pout, drawing brown eyebrows where before there was only very light hair-and we would take her out for coffee at her favorite haunt, Tim Horton’s. Coffee was sometimes followed by a shopping trip; other times, we’d jaunt back home and waste the day snacking on shortbread and talking. My favorite days were the ones when she would pull out her stash of music-The Casinos, Hank Snow, The Beach Boys, Elvis-and waltz to it, alone, all the while keeping an eye on the world outside her giant, living room window.

I was 13 when she decided it was time to introduce me to Dean Martin. The minute I heard “That’s Amore,” I knew this was going to be my next big thing. It’s been 10 years, and things have changed. Sadly, I live too far away now to visit her every weekend, and dementia makes it very hard for my grandma to recognize the grown-up me. On the bright side, though, my Dean Martin collection has grown exponentially over the years; I now own all of Dean’s albums on CD, various fun copies on vinyl-my favorite being the one with the cover picture of him singing to Chatty Cathy-and several recordings of his TV show (what a flirt!). I am so grateful to have had the chance to build the memories I did in Canada every weekend, and I know my darling Daniel is, too. His instant recognition of the theme from “Swanee River” in A Prairie Home Companion is due solely to the days I have spent belting out that song in the kitchen while making soup. Don’t ask me why, but it happens every single time. Fortunately for him, this smoothie isn’t nearly as time-consuming as soup, and Dan therefore only hears my awful rendition of “Deep Purple” once before it is ready to drink.

Something about those raspberries and that cocoa generate the most lovely color and full-bodied, tart flavor. It serves as a great, sinful-feeling breakfast, and soothes every craving for chocolate and other deliciously awful-for-me things. But if I’m being honest, let’s face it–I make this smoothie when my self-regulatory abilities are too strong to allow me to stuff my face with cake. And it is awesome.

Cocoa-Raspberry Smoothie

Makes 1 smoothie, or 2 teensy ones

1 cup frozen raspberries

2/3 cup soymilk

½ tbsp dutched cocoa

1 tbsp honey

pinch of cinnamon

  1. Combine all ingredients in blender and obliterate until smooth. You may need to stop the blender, stir, and start up again.
  2. Pour into a glass (or two) and serve.
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