Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Tricky Blue

Inexplicably impressed by a recent exhibition of the celery/food coloring experiment, we followed suit, slicing a stalk of celery off the heart and standing it in a glass of water and McCormick Blue No. 1. Our celery absorbed the dye into its leaves but for some reason not into the lining of the veins in its stalks, which I was really hoping to see. Nevertheless, our blue celery seems to be somewhat of a crowd pleaser in its frosty creepiness. I had recently come across mention of the discovery that blue dye can stop the progression of spinal cord injury, so I suppose the blue had become more of a comfort than before, when I'd see my daughter's lips dyed blue raspberry and feel increasingly heinous. But of course, she takes after her mother, who's never been pure.

In a moment of boredom I cracked a book someone picked up of a Brooklyn curb, "Meetings with Remarkable Men" by G.I. Gurdjieff, to a page that addressed the color in question. "When Soloviev was given leave from service on account of poor health and discharged from the hospital, this prisoner asked him to take a letter to a friend of his who lived near the station in Samarkand. As thanks for devliering the letter, he steathily handed him a phial of blue liquid, explaining that this liquid could be used to counterfeit the green three-rouble notes - but not any other kind."

Perhaps it was some kind of solution of copper sulfate, which was a childhood favorite of mine, along with blue raspberry, because who'd think it, since when is copper blue, and how did it grow such geometric crystals, right there in my bedroom? Of course that's a blue better not eaten.

No comments: