Throwback Thirsty Thursday

Fotor_156254983049744 This is an old pic from the rental house. I miss the bamboo privacy fence and the log bench in front of the fire pit he built me for Mother’s Day. 

It had been muggy and hot for days on end. Everything felt gross, but the flora was thriving. It was almost like I lived in a jungle but with groundhogs and deer.

The particular day was a sticky, hot, and there was a storm coming in fsat. Both Nik and I were out dealing with the lawn and what not so we could get it done before it started to pour, leaving us really living in a jungle!

We finished with less than an hour to spare so the hurried sweat added to our gross. While Nik got cleaned up, I was sitting on the log, waiting to do the same.

But before I went out to be a bump on a log, I thought I’d pour a drink. I was already a little dizzy from the heat and sweating, so I decided a mocktail would be better than a tall glass of iced wine.

I found a bag of blueberries in the freezer and plunked them in the glass with some ice sticks on top. Blueberry Lemon seltzer went over that.

It wasn’t fancy, but it was light and refreshing with the blueberries creating little ice capsules to crunch on while I waited for the rain to start.

When it did start, boy did it come down. I sat on my log sipping my drink as the warm water fell hard on and around me.

It didn’t help with the heat or humidity, but the bamboo did get taller that day.

In full disclosure, Tuesday night after a crap ton of bs, when I poured the wine into the pan for dinner, I poured half a glass for myself and filled it with ice. I’m not totally in the mocktail life, but I’m drinking a lot less than I was…and that’s a lot less calories too!

 

Thirsty Thursday: Bloody Mary

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A brunch joint in Wilmington’s
Make Your Own Bloody Mary Bar.
We indulged.

It’s a fairly well known fact that I hate tomatoes. Slimy squishy water and blech. Generally speaking, tomatoes are a no no. I like sauce, salsa, and otherwise cooked, but man. They’re gross. I tried a Bloody Mary early in college and it was gross so I figured I’d never try it again.

Maybe I should have tried it at a better establishment or not off the specials’ menu?

One lovely day few years later I had a change of heart. I had stopped off at my friend’s house because we’d made tentative plans to make our mothers happy and go to mass. He was on the porch having a Bloody Mary and asked if I’d like one.

Um, no thanks.

But he got a look in his eye, told me to trust him and try it. I have (admittedly sometimes, possibly, misplaced) implicit trust in this friend, and he’s never let me down on food or drinks…so I went with it and took the glass from him. Fast forward to today? He’s one of about 4 people I’ll take a Bloody Mary from.

If you’re wondering, we didn’t make it to Mass, but if I recall, we did hear angels singing and saw and spoke to Jesus.

When I emailed him, he was kind enough to share how he makes them so you too can miss Mass but still talk to Jesus if you’d like:

The first thing you need to do is find your favorite pint glass (or party cup) and fill it with ice. Then you need to add the following:

  • 3 fingers (about a 6 count) of vodka
  • A pinch of pepper
  • Pinch of celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fresh horseradish
  • 2 dashes of Worcestershire sauce
  • A dash of hot sauce
  • A squeeze of a wedge of a lemon and a lime (then both thrown in)

Top with tomato juice, shake or pour from glass to glass until well mixed, and add a celery stalk for garnish.

You can use Clamato or tomato based V8 of your choice if you prefer and add olives or even Slim Jims for garnish. Once I saw a small piece of pizza, but that’s ridiculous!

What do you put in your Bloody Marys? What’s the strangest thing you’ve see in one?

Thursday Three – Things I try to remember

Fotor_153625531593187Over the last year or so, I’ve gotten more into the concept of “self care” and have been trying to take better care of myself physically, mentally, and emotionally.

I have varying degrees of success with this. It feels like there’s often something else to take care of and I’m not good at making myself a priority.

But part of my self care is taking care of what I like to think of as my brain heart. You know, the heart that lives in your head, not the one in your chest. It’s where your feelings are, not your blood.

(Personally, my brain likes to be mean to it’s heart, but we’re working on it.)

Often, I find myself repeating little bits or mantras to myself when I’m feeling off track or I’m something is hurting my feelings. It probably doesn’t help that I’m a worrier by nature, but I’m working on being less so. (The antidepressant I started for my birthday has been helpful in breaking thought cycles which caused a lot of worry for me.)

Lately, here’s the three I find myself using most:

  1. Don’t borrow tomorrow’s worries. There’s probably enough to worry about or figure out today.
  2. If you’re being kind, how people treat you is about them, not you. (Also, jerks are jerks no matter who they’re talking to – don’t take it personally. Sometimes I actually say a prayer for jerks because I do hope they find happiness or at least peace and stop being jackholes to others.)
  3. Wow, they’re being terrible but they aren’t terrible people! Is this about [insert situation] or is there something bigger going on and I need to show them kindness? I know with many of the people I come across (including myself) bad attitudes, mean spiritedness, and general jerkdom is about something much deeper than my interaction. Stopping to figure out what’s really going on works wonders.

Since they’ve helped me, maybe they can help you too.

Do they fix the ills of the world? Nope, but I find these and a few others help soften the harsh moments of a day. The reminders that I can’t fix everything all of the time, that people being unkind isn’t about how they feel about me (usually), and the old adage of everyone is fighting a battle we may know nothing about make my day a little easier.

All of this isn’t to say I excuse unkind behaviors, trust me. But since I don’t have to tolerate people being unkind to me, I’ve been careful to cull out people who have been hurtful, harmful, or who are just are jerks from my life. Turns out as a grownup I get to choose who is in my life! (Psst. You do too.)

I also forgive people for things they’ve done. But that’s a topic for a different post.

What do you tell yourself to soften the harsh edges of the day? Have any bits to share?

 

 

Thirsty Thursday: N’s Lemonade

Fotor_152946072211812“Hey Court? Can we make homemade lemonade for Sunday instead of just buying some?” N asked.

Sure can kiddo. But what I told her was we’d have to see if we had time to go to town to get lemons.

Most of the time, if we have time for something  they want to do in the kitchen or that’s crafty with me, I’ll say yes. Except to make slime. That stuff is evil.

After we did a few errands, I asked if she still wanted to make lemonade. She excitedly told me yes. I didn’t know how many lemons we’d need so I turned to my favorite recipe guide and answer guru, Mr. Google.

Mr. Google was so kind as to lead me to Aunt Betty’s recipe which we loosely used.

We got lemons (and extra lemon juice) and headed home where we ran into a challenge. I don’t have a citrus juicer. Hm. I do have a meat tenderizer we could use for some off label use.

N looked at me oddly when I took out the tenderizer and took off the handle.  She didn’t say anything, because she’s catching on to the fact that my ideas might not make sense at first, but they work.

Fotor_152935305307131You’ll need:

  • a way to juice the lemons
  • a pitcher
  • a strainer
  • 3/4 to 1 cup of sugar
  • 8-10 lemons (we used 10 and it wasn’t enough for the 2 cups of lemon juice needed)
  • 6+ cups of water
  • Bottle of lemon juice (optional, but handy)

What you’ll do:

  1. Juice the lemons and strain the seeds out. If you don’t have a juicer, squeeze what you can and then use the handle of your meat tenderizer to smush more out.
  2. Mix 3/4 cup of sugar into about 2 cups of warmish water in your pitcher.
  3. Mix lemon juice into water and top off  pitcher with cold water.
  4. Taste a tiny bit and decide if it needs more sugar or lemon juice. Adjust to taste.

We put 2 TBSP bottled lemon juice in at the end to perfect the flavor.

Fotor_152935311861368I’m going to give you a couple of hints about making lemonade: Put about 2 cups of warmish water into your pitcher and dissolve your sugar into that before you put the lemon juice and rest of the water in. It mixes much better this way. Also, roll the lemons around on the counter before you juice them. You can do it, put your back into it. You want them slightly squishy when you squeeze them. This breaks down the juice vesicles (what ends up being the pulp) inside. It’ll be easier to get the juice out and your kitchen smell nice.

N learned to use the big chef’s knife which was exciting! She knows she can’t use it alone, but if I’m standing there watching it’s okay.

N served this to several of our guests and they loved it. There was about a glass left at the end of the party so I froze it for her into fun ice cubes so she can have them later.

If you’re asking yourself why I’m blogging about something as easy as lemonade, it’s more about the time with N and our adventures. N wanted to spend time in the kitchen and was excited to make a drink for our Fathers’ Day party. My family spent a lot of time making memories together and I’m hoping to do the same for our girls.

If you come for a visit and it’s hot out, let N know if you want some lemonade. She’ll probably make you some. If you want, I’ll add some Absolut Pears to it.

Thirsty Thursday: Absolut Pears

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You might have seen this pic on my Instagram?

Back in the day, I wasn’t really a fan of vodka unless it was in Jello Shots or one of Heather’s ‘Tinis because I found it overpowering. It probably didn’t help we were drinking cheap stuff that was more like paint thinner than anything else.

Or that people tended to pour with very heavy hands.

When I stopped drinking beer and whisky because of gluten  I decided to try vodka again. It wasn’t as bad as I recalled.

I was on vacation with Mom and Bill and we were having a drink before dinner. They were out of the Parrot Bay I’d been drinking (don’t judge) and I was looking at the options. I don’t really like fake flavors and they only had weird Stolis and some interesting looking Absoluts. Hm. Pear. I like pear!

I tried it with some Sprite. It was too sweet so I asked for some lime and squeezed it in. Hm, that was tasty.

The next round I ordered with seltzer and a lime and it was perfect. When I went to the store to find it, they didn’t have Absolut but I think they had another brand that was okay.

Later that week we had some people over for a picnic and I started pouring the pear and lime drinks. They were a hit! I was flying home so I left that bottle in Florida. It didn’t make it back to NY because SOMEONE finished it, but that’s okay.  I can share.

I’ve had a bottle of Pears in my cabinet since and on hot days when I’d like a bit of a cocktail, I make the following in a tall glass:

  • 1 shot of Absolut Pears
  • Plain or lime seltzer (lemonade is also very tasty)
  • 2 slices of lime

Put lots of ice in your glass, pour in the Pears, top with seltzer, squeeze in lime. Give it a swirl and enjoy, preferably in the sunshine. Or on the couch. I won’t judge.

Try it. Enjoy it. Channel your inner 30something Court and have fun. Just be responsible. Make sure if you’re out you have someone sober to drive you home or a couch to sleep on.

Thirsty Thursday: Swedish Fish Shots

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I don’t have a picture of the shots,
but this was probably taken there.
Goodness, I look well rested.
Must have had a nap that day.

Once upon a time, (10+ years ago now) in a kingdom far away (Albany), Court and her friends frequented a fine, upstanding, establishment by the name of the Eugene’s Side Door Cafe for libations, karaoke and shenanigans. Sometimes food too.

Dave, the owner, employed a delightful, buxom mixologist named Heather. Heather was a genius behind the bar and did a fine rendition of Big Black Horse and a Cherry Tree to boot.

I remember one night, early in our friendship, it was my  night to drive and I came in with a coffee. She took my coffee, put Frangelico, vanilla vodka, something chocolatey and handed it back to me. To tell you the caffeinated concoction was brilliant would be an understatement.

It was my go to anytime I had to drive. It was the one drink I had those nights and it was amazing. She really is a gifted mixologist. I hope I do her justice when I try my hand at recreating delicious beverages for myself and guests. (Her chocotini and appletinis are crowd favorites.)

Heather also loved to hand us colorful shots. Ones that looked like window cleaner but tasted like refreshing heaven, purple ones that would mess you up if you weren’t careful, yellow ones that tasted like pineapple cake, and several different red ones.

One of these red ones was a Swedish Fish Shot. The web tells me that there was blackberry schnaps in it, but I don’t think that’s right. I would sometimes text Heather to find out how to make things so I could have bartenders whip up a batch.

If you’re looking for something tasty for your next party and are a fan of the delicious red candy like I am, you can whip up a batch for your friends and/or yourself.

Unless I’m mistaken (and if I am, Heather can correct me) you need the following:

  • 1 oz Peach Schnapps.
  • 1 oz Vodka (it can be flavored)
  • 1 oz Apple Pucker
  • 1 oz Cranberry Juice Cocktail.

Shake with ice and strain into shot glasses. Or directly into someone’s mouth as might have happened once or twice.

Enjoy it. Channel your inner 20 something Court and have fun. Just be responsible. Make sure if you’re out you have someone sober to drive you home or a couch to sleep on.