The Final Frontier

SpaceX Launch May 22, 2012

© SpaceX

Last week Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX), an American company that designs, manufactures and launches American rockets and spacecraft, launched its Falcon 9 rocket into space.  Then again three days later SpaceX’s unmanned Dragon spacecraft became the first commercial spacecraft to successfully attach to the International Space Station.

Wow!  I can’t remember feeling like this since I was in grade school sitting on a linoleum floor watching any of the Apollo launches on a 19-inch black and white TV on a rolling AV cart.  It’s good to know that Americans are back in space, even if it isn’t NASA.

Burt Rutan said it well in a talk he gave back in 2006 when he said “It’s not good enough for us to have generations of kids that….look forward to a better version of a cell phone with a video in it.  They need to look forward to exploration.”

It’s good to see that entrepreneurs are stepping up and filling the gaps when it comes to space travel.  I don’t know if these ground-breaking commercial steps into space will lead to any type of space tourism that I could afford during my lifetime, but hope has returned, along with that childhood twinkle in my eye and my imagination.

Blueberries–The Thickerer Smoothie

Blueberries were on sale at the supermarket this week, so I brought some home to make smoothies.  Besides, blueberries have a low glycemic load and they’re chock full of antioxidants and phytochemicals.

I didn’t use anything unusual in the smoothies, just fruit, yogurt, vanilla and ice.  A few minutes after pouring the smoothies into glasses, we noticed that they seemed to be getting thicker.  And the longer they sat, the thickerer they got…freakishly thick…JELLO thick!  The straw that started out leaning on the side of the glass, was soon able to stand straight up the middle with no visible means of support.  It wasn’t long before our drinkable smoothies seemed more like a pudding or custard that you’d eat with a spoon.

My curiosity got the best of me, and I started googling around to get to the thick of the matter.  After looking around a bit, I discovered that apparently blueberries contain a lot of natural pectin.  For those of you who don’t make homemade jam, pectin is the gelling agent used when making jams and jellies.

As far as flavor goes, the blueberries tasted great in the smoothies, so don’t hesitate to try them.  But if you don’t like super-thick smoothies, don’t hesitate when you drink them either.

Find my Blueberry Banana Smoothie Recipe here:  http://www.steffaniskitchen.com/wwc/recipepage.asp?vSelRecipeID=681