Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Muddling Through

Old Fashioned
Originally uploaded by whatstepheats

Today was rainy, rainy, rainy - continuous drizzle punctuated by spells of downpours.
I chanced a brief walk to the gym in the afternoon, and the pregnant sky was kind to me - she held together until the moment I got home. Then - whoosh!

April is difficult like that. I've often said that the climate in Rhode Island is suitable for only 6 months of the year - May through October. I stand by that declaration. The other aspects of life here (the corrupt politics; the ignorance and anger that permeates the general population; the extremely high cost of living without salaries to match; the lack of industry/jobs; the generally poor attitude, aptitude, and altitude of the citizens; the shocking lack of skill among bartenders - on 3 recent occasions I had to teach Manhattans 101; the lack of exceptional sushi...I'll stop there, for now) are not so savory, but the weather is truly wonderful from May through the end of October.

So, we're almost there, meteorologically speaking. Thus my thoughts on muddling through.

I found this recipe for an Old Fashioned in the March 2009 issue of Gourmet Magazine. It was the cocktail of the month, by Dale DeGroff in The Essential Cocktail. It involved muddling, which I'd not done before! But the result was delicious, and I'm enjoying the fruits of my labor whilst the rain continues to fall.

I deviated a bit from the recipe since I did not have any cherries on hand, only a sour cherry syrup. I think I used less sugar (granulated, not superfine bar sugar), because I don't like my drinks overly sweet. But it's hard to say because I did not measure. I used Evan Williams bourbon and did not measure that either, because I'm like that. But the results were very good and the technique very easy.

The following is the recipe as quoted from Gourmet Magazine, March, 2009:


The Old Fashioned

Dale DeGroff, in The Essential Cocktail (Clarkson Potter; $35) muddles a teaspoon of superfine bar sugar, three dashes of Angostura bitters, a slice of orange, a cherry (we used Luxardo's marasche), and a splash of water or club soda in an Old Fashioned glass. He then removes the fruit solids, adds ice and two ounces of bourbon, stirs, and garnishes the drink with an orange slice and a cherry. It shows off bourbon's charms."

I couldn't agree more.

April Showers

So what's the deal, Spring? It's been pouring off and on since yesterday afternoon. There go the plans we had to throw some fish on the grill tonight.
But it's the 21st century, after all, and we can bake this delicate turbot inside. I've been quite inspired by several of you out there in the blogosphere (and you know who you are!) to concoct a variation on the roasted beet, avocado, walnut, and cilantro salad theme on the side.

So, as I sit here and smell my cilantro-scented fingers, I am reminded once again of how good we have it in life, and how things could always be much, much worse - both with respect to dinner options and finger scents.

In other news, the Dinnerman and I had a lovely day Saturday visiting his mom in Revere Beach. The weather was beautiful and we got to eat at one of our favorite places - The Newbridge Cafe in Chelsea. Sunday we had the pleasure of brilliant sunshine and a late lunch at Madeira.
Last night my eccentric aunt called from Idaho at 3:30 am to let me know that there will be meteor showers tonight. Somehow I don't think they'll be visible through the cloudcover, but one never does know. (I love my aunt - she and I are startlingly alike in so many ways.)
Tomorrow night we have a dear friend visiting, and he wants some New England seafood, so Hemenway's it is. He trained with the Dinnerman long ago and is from Brazil by way of Omaha. The man loves food, and we've already taken him to Bacaro and Al Forno.

Stay tuned for what I hope will prove to be the most interesting meal I have cooked in 4 months.

And stay dry!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

I'm Boring These Days, and I'm Bored

And all my meals look the same.

Spring is officially here and it still feels like winter. I've had a generalized case of the extreme blahs lately, like there's not much on the immediate horizon to look forward to. I'm sick of what I cook and kind of sick of my day-to-day. Not that I've ever been any good at routine. It sucks the life out of me. It drives me mad and bores me to pieces.

I hate predictability, and that's just what everything has been lately. Yuck.