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Non Tearful Farewell
I have had enough. As you know from my last post in 2019, my most important Christmas requirement is that I don’t want to work hard for my enjoyment after December 25. Almost fifty years of holiday retail experience gave me this clarity of vision about December 26 through January 31. I have had enough character development. I want a nice cocktail and a snack. I might remove my glasses so I don’t feel any need to clean up post-Christmas clutter. I want a book that does not improve my mind. I do not want to watch a film noir or really any film that threatens to bolster what remains of my intellect. And this year, well, just for those of you who have missed this brilliant commercial from Match.com, I feel that that their creators hit most of the high spots from 2020.
The Drink’s On Me
I’m drawn to snacks from my Christmas baking, or failing that, some leftovers from this year’s smaller Christmas meal. I realize that January and February are going to be more of a slog than in previous years. But to join in the fray against a pathogen, I am in. I have had enough. Knowing that our planet will survive without us, I am more committed to try and clean up my mess. But in the meantime, these are my post-holiday diversions. If you are short on gift nibbles while you are collapsed on your couch, try this KD favorite. These addictive Spiced Pecans take less than 30 minutes to make and last for weeks. – who am I kidding; you won’t have them that long. Make the full amount of this recipe, which is from the second book of Flour Bakery‘s owner, Joanne Chang, and stash them in a drawer out of sight. I promise you will eat all of them if you leave them in full view on your table. This sharp-but-sweet cocktail is from the David Bouley East of Paris cookbook. Bouley is a brilliant chef who seems to hop easily around the traditional traces of the New York restaurant scene.
- 1/2 oz (15ml) freshly squeezed llime juice
- 1/2 oz (15ml)simple syrup
- 8 blueberries (frozen is fine) plus additional for garnish
- 2 oz (59ml) aged medium-bodied rum
- 1 cup (237ml)cracked or crushed ice or more if making more than this one drink
- mint leaves for garnish
- Chill your glass (or glasses if you are increasing the number of drinks).
- Pour lime juice and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker, add the blueberries and crush them with a muddler, or the handle of a sturdy wooden spoon.
- Add the rum, and 1 cup of prepared ice,
- Shake vigorously for 10 seconds and strain into a chilled glass
- ganish with a few blueberris impaled on a sprig of mint.
A Slice Of Life
Waitress has about all the 2020 symbolism I can drink in, literally. Hardworking waitress and brilliant pie maker in a US setting, which probably has been over-analyzed by political pollsters and pundits during this year’s election. Her husband is 2020 personified. I am so anxious for her to kick him out, but she can’t because, well, like the virus, there is no easy way out. But the pies she creates, the friends that she has, are endearing and the plot just makes me smile. True love takes a surprising turn. It’s all I ask for right now. I must add that Adrienne Shelley, who wrote, played one of the waitresses and directed this film had a tragic end. She was found hung in her bathroom, a victim of murder dressed as a suicide. Her bittersweet film, which was released posthumously, as well as the recipes for the fictional pies endure, I may even stir myself to make one during the dreary JanFebs of 2021
One Sip Leads To Another
As one who is constantly amazed at my husband’s knowledge about wine (I am a moderately ignorant but enthusiastic quaffer), Bianca Bosker’s book with the comic title of “Cork Dork“ sucked me into her astonishing investigation into the world of wine and the almost perverse universe of its sommeliers. Her easily digested journey into the rabbit hole of enology, the science and sales behind it, is done with a droll writing style that makes even the most arcane facts go down like a smooth sherry. She describes herself as one who wrote for years about the tech industry for an online publication and became fascinated with the sensory cultivation of serious wine drinkers. She figured out that her job, which consisted of staring at a screen for much of her work week, had made her sensory-deprived Her descriptions of sommelier competitions and garnering of titles depict, as she says, a kind of Westminster Dog Show with booze. Bosker became obsessed with obsession, as you will too. And in the end she says:
“I would argue that tasting the nuance is enjoying the wine. I take a great deal of pleasure from being able to really unpack the sensory, the intellectual and emotional components of a glass of wine. What’s nice is wine is no longer, for me, an accessory at a meal that you order because that’s what you do. It really is its own experience and has its own story to tell.”
Count me in!
After owning one of the best cooking stores in the US for 47 years, Nancy Pollard writes a blog about food in all its aspects – recipes, film, books, travel, superior sources and food related issues.