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There are three things you’ll always find on the verge of going bad in my kitchen:
- Sauerkraut, which I’ve made religiously by hand every six months for the last two years, and I’ve never eaten. I buy a cabbage, ferment it, and then forget that it exists. By “forget,” I mean ignore. The idea of sauerkraut is good in theory, but when it comes to actually eating it, well … my sock looks more appetizing. By “looks,” I mean “smells.
- A quarter cup of homemade hamburger helper. We have “hamburger helper” every two weeks or so here, and no matter what, no matter how hungry everyone is or how full everyone is or how many dogs I threaten to adopt to eat our leftovers, we always have exactly one quarter cup of it still in the pan when dinner is over. It’s enough to where you feel a guilty pit in your stomach for even considering throwing it out. But it’s not enough for another meal for one person the next day. So into a glass jar it goes, and in the refrigerator it stays, for three weeks, until my conscience is clear enough to say, “Well, if anyone tried to eat it now, they’d just get sick. Even that imaginary dog. Might as well throw it out.” It’s a system; who am I to change it?
- One mushy, brown avocado. If you want to ripen avocados quickly, you store them in your cupboard for two or so days. And then you take them out and cook with them, or put them in your fridge to slow the ripening process. Unless you’re me. Then, you buy three avocados, even if you only need two, and forget that there’s one in the cupboard for a week. Then, one day you’re filling your water glass, and a little voice from the cupboard goes, “Hey. Hey. If you don’t pay attention to me, I’m going to grow legs and hair, move to Portland, and start an indie band called mono:unsaturated.”
Yes. You can steal that band name.
Anyway, if you’re anything like me – although you’re probably not, because you actually eat your sauerkraut – you’ll have an avocado ready to go for this easy-peasy, food-on-your-hands, super mono:unsaturated hand treatment.
I actually put together this recipe, not because my hands are terribly dry – because it’s 67 degrees in December in Colorado with a relative humidity of 15%, which is like a sauna around here – but because Crunchy Betty is going to be in Vegetarian Times Magazine!
We should see one recipe (using rice) show up in the next issue or two (I think), but that danged incredibly beautiful, tempting and tantalizing magazine invited me back to submit more recipes for the April/May (or April or May, I’m not sure) edition. The moral of the story is, just look for ’em in Vegetarian Times magazine every month between today and, say, July 2015. Just to be safe.
Anyway, this isn’t the exact recipe I submitted along with the recipes to Vegetarian Times. It’s a riff on that recipe, if you will. A drum solo in the middle of the mono:unsaturated’s 15-song set. This particular recipe is meant to be used over the course of three days, for dry winter hands that need extra tender lovin’.
Yes, it is for dry, winter hands – and to ease my guilty conscience about all the over-ripe, mushy avocados in your cabinets, just waiting to be used for practical purpose. Let’s be honest. No avocado really wants to be in a band.
The Lean, Green Avocado Hand Moisturizing Machine Recipe
This recipe, you’ll store in your refrigerator and use twice a day for three days.
It’s quick to mix up, and it’s quick to use, but the results are easy to see – and your hands will soon be back to their mid-summer, dewy and moist (but not in a creepy way) condition. In the middle of winter.
Do, though, be careful with this recipe if you have broken skin anywhere. It might sting a bit. Wait until your skin has healed to apply fresh foods to it, mkay?
Ready to soften your hands, the avocado way? Here’s what you need:
Half of an avocado, olive oil, sugar, and patchouli essential oil.
Slice your avocado in half, and save the pit to throw at an unsuspecting cat. You can skip the last part. But I don’t.
Anyway, you want to mush it as well as you absolutely, possibly can. My avocado was actually a little unripe (gasp), because the overripe one I had in my cabinet had grown hair and legs and was packing its bags for Portland already.
So, my recipe may look a little more lumpy than your does. That just means you’re better than me.
Add in your olive oil and stir, stir, stir until it’s all mixed together.
But be prepared. You’re going to stir a little more. And then a little more. But not any more after that.
Now you add in 4-5 drops of patchouli essential oil, which, despite what everyone says, isn’t just for hippies anymore. It’s actually a warm, cozy scent that makes you want to snuggle with your cat, but he won’t come near you because you threw an avocado pit at him earlier.
Patchouli, by the way, is an excellent essential oil for healing and nourishing dry and/or flaky skin. It also happens to smell divine with the rich, thick, green scent of avocados.
Now you stir in 1/8 c. of sugar. And that’s all you have to do.
Except, of course, you still have to apply it, and that’s SO much easier than making it.
Scrub your hands with the mixture, and let the alpha-hydroxy acids in the sugar soften old, dead skin cells, while the avocado, olive oil, and patchouli essential oil moisturize and nourish your hands underneath. Scrub for a few minutes, and then rinse off well.
Here’s the whole recipe/instructions:
The Lean, Green Hand Moisturizing Machine Recipe
- 1/2 of an over-ripe avocado
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 c. sugar
- 4-5 drops patchouli essential oil
Mash the avocado well, until you have a thick paste. Blend the olive oil in completely, and continue stirring as you add the patchouli essential oil. Quickly stir in the sugar.
To use: Over the sink, place a healthy-sized glob of avocado hand treatment in your hands. Rub your hands together, scrubbing every inch, but concentrating on super dry areas. Leave this on for 30 seconds to a minute, and then scrub your hands together while rinsing off under lukewarm water. Finish with shea butter or a moisturizer of your choice. Repeat this treatment once or twice a day for three days.
Put the remainder of your avocado hand treatment in a glass container with a lid, and store in your fridge for up to three days. If the sugar in your avocado hand treatment dissolves too much, just add a bit more sugar before using.
That’s it. You’re done.
Your hands are soft and touchable, and you’ve just saved Portland from one more avocado indie rock band.