If you were to ask me if I'd ever had the bad luck to miss my daily cocktail, I'd have to say that I doubt it; where certain things are concerned, I plan ahead. - Luis Buñuel

Thursday, May 26, 2016

How can you mend a broken toe?

I'm back . . . with more tales of wine and frivolity!  To tell the truth, not a whole lot has changed for Dr. D and me in the last two (has it been that long?) years.  I guess that's a good thing?  We are a lot more involved in our local Episcopal church activities, and we still eat, sleep & breathe Ole Miss sports.  Our families' health situations have fluctuated, but all are currently doing well.  (Excuse me, while I go knock on wood.) 

However, at the moment, I'm hobbling around with a broken toe.  A 5 lb weight fell on it and, sadly, I wasn't even exercising.  Stupid accident.  But Dr. D taped it up, and brought me wine, so I'm going to be on the mend in no time, I'm sure!  He knows how to cure what ails me!  I feel better already.  So there's your answer - wine cures a broken toe, apparently.

The heat of summer has descended; Memorial Day weekend is here!  So pool time will exponentially increase, I hope.  As you know, I am a sad-sack when it comes to high temps and humidity.  So all I want to do for the next three months is . . .

                                         That's not Lemonade she's drinking, just sayin'.

If you want to believe that's what I look like, by the way, I'm okay with that.  

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Cocktail of the Week: Old-Fashioned

Two nights ago, Dr. D had a different take on a classic cocktail (see previous post) - he had a "Rum" Old-Fashioned.  I'm not a rum fan, per se, but it was sublime.  And it made me realize that I had been remiss in not spotlighting this classic drink.

The International Bartenders Association (that's an annual conference/meeting to look forward to, right?) established the following ingredients for a traditional Old-Fashioned:
  • 4.5 cl Bourbon or Rye whiskey
  • 2 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 1 sugar cube
  • A few dashes of plain water

  • Place the sugar cube (or 1/2 teaspoon loose sugar) in an (what else?) Old-Fashioned glass. Wet it down with 2 or 3 dashes of Angostura bitters and a short splash of water. Crush the sugar with a wooden muddler or heavy spoon.  Rotate the glass so that the sugar grains and bitters give it a lining. Add a large ice cube. (This is important, as large ice cubes keep your drinks colder longer, and melt slower, resulting in less dilution.  You can buy special trays at Williams-Sonoma) Pour in the rye (or bourbon). Serve with a stirring rod.

    You can't beat this classic version to make you feel like Don Draper from Mad Men.

    Bottoms up!

    Wednesday, July 23, 2014

    Flying to Rome on a Moment's Notice?

    No, sadly Dr. D. and I are not planning an upcoming trip to Europe.  The title references a line from a romantic classic - "When Harry Met Sally."  Meg Ryan's character is lamenting that she and her former boyfriend had talked about all the wonderful things they could do as a result on their unmarried and childless lifestyle (fly away to Rome on whenever they wanted, have sex on the kitchen floor, etc.), but that they had never done any of those things.

    Dr. D is always talking about the choice we made not to have children, and how we need to enjoy that freedom to the fullest. "Flying to Rome on a moment's notice" has always been the phrase we utilize when trying to motivate ourselves to be spontaneous and take life by the balls.  But the truth is, although we don't have children, we still have responsibilities, and reality and practicality always seems to dictate. It's really expensive to take a last-minute flight - we live in a mid-sized city, not a major hub.  We have two dogs that would have to be kenneled.  And there's our jobs.  Dr. D can't just tell his nurse to completely cancel his appointments for the next few days at the last minute. Well, he could, but he's not big of an a-hole.  Thus, sadly, vacations have to be planned in advance.

    Unfortunately, even when you try to plan ahead, those ole nemeses to fun (see above) get in the way.  Last week, we were discussing our upcoming (Feb 2015) 20th anniversary.  Dr. D suggested a fun beach getaway - someplace in the Caribbean.  So I promptly started looking at airfare and accommodations.  Sticker-shock ensued.  It's the high season for that region, even airfare wasn't cheap either. I started rationalizing that we have been putting off house maintenance and renovations to save money, so how could we justify spending $5,000-$7,500 on a week-long vacation.  That's the cost of a Sub-Zero refrigerator!  Have I mentioned that our fridge is very old, and our kitchen requires a major overhaul?  We were just too broke to go ahead with those renovations back when we did the others. So our pie-in-the-sky anniversary plans are melting quicker than a pina colada at the beach. Looks like it may be just a small dinner/party with friends, which could be nice too, I guess.

    However, there are small things we can do to give us a momentary respite from the everyday rut of marriage and life.  For example, last night, we attempted to shake things up and went to the local "craft cocktail" bar/speakeasy on a Tuesday night....because, you know, we could.  (It is liberating to not have to worry about soccer practices, etc.). We then planned to have a fancy dinner at the popular new gastro-pub place.  But, after the cocktail bar, I felt a bit off, and not too perky, so we ended up getting take-out pizza and going home afterwards.  Not an epic fail, but also not the night on the town we had expected, although there was "dessert" afterwards, so that's a bonus! (nudge, nudge, wink, wink). No, it wasn't on the kitchen floor.  Sorry, too much TMI? 

    Spontaneity doesn't have to be a huge, expensive gesture.  It can be as simple as going out to eat on weeknight at a dimly light restaurant and splurging on a great cocktail.  Enjoy the summer weather with a spontaneous picnic (just grab sandwiches & noshes from the local deli and go to a nearby lake or park!  No fuss or muss).  Or surprise your spouse with a small token of appreciation (their favorite dessert, champagne, flowers, take out from their favorite restaurant for a fancy meal at home).  Heck, it could be as simple as waking your spouse a bit early to have a leisurely full breakfast together in the morning before work, instead of grabbing your yogurt and coffee and running out the door. 

    It may not be a trip to Rome, but bringing a little spice and spontaneity to a long work day can really help to energize your marriage and life and make those days that you must tackle reality and responsibilities a little less painful.

    Friday, July 11, 2014

    Cocktail of the Week: Daiquiri

    First of all, forget that frozen sugary nonsense that pops into your head when you think of a daiquiri.  This post addressed the classic daiquiri recipe, which rose to popularity in the 1940s, when whiskey and vodka were scarce.
    More specifically, this post discussed the most famous of daiquiri recipes:  the Hemingway daiquiri.  It's pretty well known that Ernest "Papa" Hemingway loved his libations!  He particularly liked a daiquiri, which is not surprising considering how much time he spent in Cuba & Key West.   As the legend goes, he was in a Havana bar and, after taking a sip of the bartender's daiquiri offering, noted that he preferred his with no sugar and double rum.  So the bartender obliged, and the Hemingway daiquiri, or "Papa Doble", was born.  Obviously, with Hemingway, quantity was favored over quality, but here's a nice version of the recipe to beat this summer heat:

    The Hemingway Daiquiri

    Contributed by: Wayne Curtis at www.liquor.com

    • 2 oz Light rum
    • .75 oz Fresh lime juice
    • .5 oz Fresh grapefruit juice
    • 1 tsp Sugar
    • 1 tsp Maraschino liqueur or juice
    • Glass: Cocktail
    Add all ingredients to a cocktail shaker and fill with ice. Shake, and strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

    Personally, I prefer the simple, basic daiquiri, which is only 1.5 oz of white rum, 3/4 oz of lime juice & 1/4 oz of simple syrup.   Light & refreshing!


    Wednesday, July 2, 2014

    Land of the free; Home of the Bourbon

    Instead of trying to find some cutesy red, white, & blue cocktail to suggest for the upcoming July 4th holiday (which generally involves blue curacao - blech!), I thought we'd really celebrate the essence of the American spirit - Bourbon!  (Cue angels singing...or banjos picking, whichever you prefer). 

    I have just finished reading a book detailing the history of bourbon,  the ultimate American spirit.  (It's written by Dane Hucklebridge and is available on Amazon and local book retailers).  Bourbon is truly a spirit that we, as Americans, can call our own.  Federal rules require bourbon made for US consumption must be made in the US and only under certain standards.  Whiskey production in the U.S. has been around since George Washington's time.  In fact, Washington had a distillery near his home at Mount Vernon.  However, bourbon as we know it didn't come into being until the late 19th century.

    Therefore, I thought it only appropriate to share a refreshing summer cocktail showcasing bourbon.  It's a recipe by well-known chef, Bobby Flay (whose wife is from Texas so I guess we'll consider her a Southerner....somewhat).  Plus, we need to drown our sorrows after the U.S. loss in the World Cup yesterday. 


    • 1 cup sugar
    • 1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 4 large lemons)
    • 1/2 cup fresh orange juice (1 large orange)
    • 4 cups club soda, chilled
    • Lemon slices (about 4 large lemons)
    • Orange slices (1 large orange)
    • 1 bunch fresh mint sprigs, plus more for garnish
    • Crushed ice
      Combine 1 1/2 cups water and sugar in a small saucepan over high heat. Cook until the sugar is dissolved, about 2 minutes. Cool the simply syrup completely. This simple syrup can be made 1 week in advance and stored, covered, in the refrigerator. (In fact, I highly recommend keeping simple syrup on hand at all times - its the summer and you never know when you'll get a hankering for a mojito or margarita!)  Combine the simple syrup, lemon juice and orange juice in a pitcher.  Mix in the club soda.  Add the lemon slices, orange slices and mint.  Fill glasses with crushed ice. Add 1 shot bourbon to each glass and fill to the top with the sparkling lemonade. Garnish each glass with mint.
    Cheers and God Bless America!