Sunday, August 30, 2009

Aloe Vera Juice Drink
Hold The Pickle

Two or three years ago, my friend Laura went to California with her mother and her Aunt Edie to stay at a desert spa and basically high colonic their way to health. This wasn't one of those "now we march through the mountains" retreats, but more, "let's rest your system by the pool waiting for the next enema assault." I'm not sure if Laura picked up the recipe for this drink at the spa, or later in persuing "health is our only real wealth" mindset, but she got me on the kick, and I stuck with it for a good while. I do remember one plus is that's it's suppose to keep your metabolism at a healthy level.

I still had the ingredients floating around, so I decided to start doing it again. Simple really. Aloe vera juice (not the gel,) organic apple cider vinegar (both of which I got at Whole Foods,) and fruit juice.

The portions are as follows:

1/4 to 1/2 cup Aloe Vera juice (I usually go with 1/4 cup)
1-2 Tablespoons of Apple Cider vinegar (I usually do two)
Remainder of glass with grape or apple juice.

I've varied the juices. Since it's not necessarily something that's in the "sip and enjoy" category, but rather "get it down," I think you have to play around with the "juice" part. I tried cranberry, but that didn't really work. Now I do grape juice, but I could see orange juice working. Just something with more substance to override the vinegar.

I'm putting this on my blog, because I think Laura has given up on me in keeping my own copy safeguarded somewhere. Now I know where to look when I can't remember my portions.

I photographed this with an antique glass from Posin's. Do you remember Posin's? It was a Jewish market founded by Abraham Posin. His family had come to the United States from Russia around 1910. Young Abraham visited an uncle living in Washington, where he met and married Gertrude Rose, another Russian émigré.
The couple opened a store in Foggy Bottom, later moving to the Arcade Market in Columbia Heights and then in 1947 they moved to 5756 Georgia Avenue. Abe’s sons, (World War II veterans Max and Hyman,) eventually took over the store. Although most of his Jewish customers moved on in the 1950's, Max stayed to serve the African-American and Caribbean immigrants who took their places. He died in 1995, and his son Randy closed the store three years later. If you say to me "Posin's," I say "pickle barrel." Something that has disappeared from Washington in just the past few years. Even Giant, another store founded by Jewish immigrants, had pickle barrels in every store, next to the deli section.
A friend of mine remembers his aunt and grandmother going to Posin's every week. They would buy smoked whitefish (with the eye,) lox, bagels, challah, pickles, brisket (which Posin's was famous for,) and other Eastern European delicacies. I like shopping at stores with that Mom and Pop vibe, but they are harder and harder to find. Easier in the Asian community, and there are still some remnants of Italian stores floating around, over by Catholic University which at one time had a large Italian-American community. The passing of the pickle barrel. Sigh. (My friend said, "Bad little boys used to piss in them." Thank you for sharing that fact, Friendo.)

Founder Abraham Posin at the meat counter, with his son's Hy and Max.

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Blogger Ronda Laveen said...

Kind of a new age, nostalgia post. I loved reading the history of Posin's. And I surely do miss those pickles. Pee? Those dirty little boys. The brine probably took care of that problem though. I'll give your drink a try one of these days.

1:24 AM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Ronda: After he told me the pickle barrel story, I thought about not putting it in, but then I thought, "Why not." Let it ride....or float. It's funny how using that Posin's glass brought me there.

6:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pickles: I only eat homemade ones, having spent one nightmarish summer in college working at Vlasic Pickle in Bridgeville, Delaware. It was a dirty plant, hideously hot and they treated workers like dirt.

My grandmother used to make her own saurkraut, and Grandpa would drink the juice. Would that be considered a health drink nowadays?

-- Grince

1:56 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...


When I was a little girl, my mother and I spent the hot D.C. summers canning. We had a grape vine, so we made grape jelly. We would go to orchards nearby for peaches and apples and freeze the peaches, or pickle them, and make apple butter. We'd can string beans, pickle okra, make dill pickles, refrigerator pickles, pickles from yellow squash, chow chow....the pickling was the an un-air conditioned house in DC? And the spices? And the heat? Not good. We'd also made strawberry jam, damson plum preserves from plums we'd bring up from the South, pear preserves, canned tomatoes. On and on. You think I had summer off to play? HA.

I never buy Vlasic pickles. I usually get mine from the Amish Market or buy Mount Olive brand, but thanks for the warning. And yes, sauerkraut juice is considered a health food. They sell it at WF.

I can't attest to the true health benefits of this drink. I just know I feel better when I do it, and if it's nothing more than a mental state...I'll take it.

2:28 PM  
Anonymous Twinkie said...

Ok, you talked me into it. I'm trying that drinky pooh. I'll let you know my results.

btw... that poolside/enema comment cracked me up. hahahha

3:58 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

I won't try your drink.

I'm trying to keep it all in.

5:08 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Twinks: Don't blame me if you hate it. I'm not joking about the pool. She showed me the website. I think the place was in Palm Springs, but all holistic Indian flute boy vibe. I thought for sure it would be massages and yoga and leg lifts in the pool, but it was more about the zombification of the rich and their GI tracts.

Phil: It doesn't flush you out or anything. It's supposed to be more about balance.

Yanno. This post wasn't fun. Where are the stilettos and falling off barstool stories?

5:24 PM  
Blogger kob said...

I must learn how to use "high colonic" in casual conversation. i.e., "My, that was pretty high colonic of you," or "My day is nothing like a high colonic." Or, while watching football, "how did they high colinic that up?" I need to work on this, of course.

7:40 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Hang out with me, KOB. You'll be saying some very strange things.

10:35 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

i remember lots of italian mom and pop shops from when we lived in upstate NY. then there was a fabulous Jewish deli in Baltimore called Atmans on what was commonly referred to as "corned beef row". nicknamed for all the Jewish delis that used to line the road. i am sad that fewer and fewer mom and pop shops are making it these days.

my pickle of choice was Vlasic Kosher Baby Dills, but i can't find the babies anywhere!

12:00 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Rachel: I went to the Vlasic site. They still make the baby kosher dills. You're a California girl now. I'll bet you could still find a source of Vlasic pickles there. If need be, I'll ship you some. And how about those fires in L.A.? I was looking at the L.A. Times online this a.m. and the pictures are mind staggering. Since you're a color stylist, you would appreciate the varied hues of fire. Luckily, or not, you're in the land of fog and mist.

Baltimore is just the kind of place you expect to find the Mom and Pop's. In a D.C. suburb of Maryland, there is still a little enclave of Jewish stores (grocery, restaurants, bookshops, religious) in an area called Wheaton, Maryland, because they are in a predominant Orthodox neighborhood; although that neighbor is changing somewhat, so not too far, the shops will be shifting and changing, or never to return.

My word verification is slent. That's Yiddish for....enough already, get to work. DON'T look that up. I made it up. Laughing.

12:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cube: What do you mean, no bar-stool-falling? Add vodka!

Think of some Labor Day cocktails to cheer yourself up!

-- Grince

2:17 PM  
Blogger Hammer said...

Methinks Screamin' Jay Hawkins could have used your recipe.

9:58 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Hammer: I saw him open for Wall of Voodoo. Lemme tell ya. By the time he left the stage, they may as well have shut off the lights and said, "That's it, folks."

10:14 PM  
Blogger Cyndy said...

I had a Posin in my homeroom. People used to say that she was "one of THE Posins" but I didn't know her that well and had no idea what that meant. I didn't discover the joys of Jewish food until I was in college. I remember the pickle barrel from my days cashiering at Giant. That was a LONG time ago!

12:01 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Cyndy: If she was "one of those Posins," then "yes" it was this family. It's funny how those pickle barrels disappeared.

12:30 PM  
Blogger Rachel said...

aw, you looked up pickles for me? that was so sweet of you! i've been on a mission to find my baby dills. they have a variety of others- sneakily named baby gherkins with class dill taste, but it's just not the same...

i do miss the mom and pop shops. there's just too many strip malls and franchises in the world. blech!

Yeah, the fires are definitely scary. beautiful colors, but scary. SO glad i don't live near them

12:12 PM  
Blogger always write said...

A couple weeks ago I did an eight-day juice fast. It was tough but I felt great.

Oh, hello :)

(While compiling all the posts I ever wrote about my Mom - as a gift for her 60th birthday - I've had a blast reading all your old comments on my blog. I miss you, Cube! Absolutely loved your story about the teeth. I get it. Totally get it.)

10:05 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Always: You're back? :)

10:55 PM  
Blogger always write said...

Well I'm still not writing (though I would like to be), but I do read now and then. I miss you guys. Haven't seen anyone, virtually or literally, in a long time!

3:19 PM  
Blogger JadestarLIVE said...

Oh my goodness! I was looking for Aloe Vera drink and crossed your blog. It was so wonderful to see Hy and Max and their dad. I grew up right behind Posin's Deli on Georgia Avenue. My dad gave roses to all of their customers as they drove through the alleyways. Hy and Max loved my dad and we all loved them for the best 'eclairs' in the world! Soldiers in Vietnam War could not wait to get back to Posin's eclairs. Thank you very much for the Aloe mixture. I will try Washington Cube

2:01 PM  
Blogger JadestarLIVE said...

Oh my goodness! I was looking for Aloe Vera drink and crossed your blog. It was so wonderful to see Hy and Max and their dad. I grew up right behind Posin's Deli on Georgia Avenue. My dad gave roses to all of their customers as they drove through the alleyways. Hy and Max loved my dad and we all loved them for the best 'eclairs' in the world! Soldiers stationed in other countries talked about Posin's eclairs. Thank you very much for the Aloe mixture. I am anxious to experience it amazing powers. I will try it Cube. Thanks.

2:03 PM  
Blogger "Guppy" Honaker said...

Never heard of that deli, but I love aloe vera juice (no pickle, thanks!).

6:04 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Guppy: I'm a big fan of aloe vera, myself. It has so many interesting healing properties.

6:42 PM  
Blogger Rosanne said...

Wow! I just found this when looking to find the year of my Grandfather Abraham's death (before I was born). My father was Max and I miss those pickles more than you can imagine... and the rye bread... corned beef... and as my dad used to call them the "Washington Bagels".... among so much else. Thanks for the trip down memory lane.

1:53 PM  
Blogger Washington Cube said...

Rosanne: I'm thinking of selling those Posin's glasses on eBay. Just can't quite let go yet. So much history.

6:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ok, you talked me into it. I'm trying that drinky pooh. I'll let you know my results.

Visit my blog:

9:37 AM  

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