Saturday, April 18, 2009

One for the Road.


(Print Recipe Card)
1 oz coconut rum
1 oz light rum
1/4 oz key lime juice
1/4 oz pineapple juice

Lime wedge or slice of pineapple for garnish (optional)

Place all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cracked ice. Shake well, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, then garnish with a lime wedge or slice of pineapple. Find the nearest sunset, remove shoes, + enjoy.

Makes one cocktail

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Birthdays, Bikini's + (empty) Bank Accounts

Today it is a glorious 72 degrees here in New York, and all I can say is, it's about freaking time. Winter has long overstayed it's welcome here in the Northeast (it was flurrying!!! last week) so this little spike in the mercury is a welcome change. Alas, it won't last very long--Sunday's forecast is for more gloomy weather and another dip back down into the 40s. On top of the indignity of having to continue to wear wool/remain pale and pasty, this tax year was an especially bad one for me. Wait, I take that back--did I say bad? Sorry, I meant, catastrophic; I owe Uncle Sam in taxes what many Americans earn per year. When my accountant asked me if I had any questions for him, I replied by asking him if he had anything that got rid of nausea.

Oh, and I turn forty-five on Monday.

But, true to my nature, I am rolling with all of this. I don't believe I have cancer, and I am typing this entry with two working hands, and am about to make my way over to the fridge for a beverage on my two, very sturdy, working legs. I currently have a roof over my head that doesn't leak when it rains, and a car that gets me from Point A to Point B in both a fun and reliable manner. My belly is not grumbling, and there are no holes in my clothes (well, except in the knees of a few pairs of jeans, but I like them that way). I have family + friends who I can rely on for both love and laughter, and when I wake up in the morning, I rise not with a sense of dread, but with a sense of peace. The glass--for now, at least--remains half full.

And, despite the fact that I am about to empty my bank account and hand a big burlap sack of money over to our spendthrift government, it's not stopping me from hitting the road for a little birthday adventure next week. I've not been on a vacation in a really, really long time, and I've decided that now is as good a time as any to go someplace warm, and tropical, and delicious. A place where I can live in a bikini and flip flops, and spend most of my day sipping rum-based drinks, while listening to Bob Marley. At least that's my grand plan at 5:39 on this Friday afternoon. If I veer off course, and happen to find myself on some other wacky adventure along the way, I promise that you'll be the first to know.

Until then, have a wonderful week.


Friday, April 3, 2009

Joy + Clotheslines

Last night I had dinner with my friend Terry, and, as I have found to to be the case when I spend time with a woman as opposed to a man, we spent very little time discussing topics like work and the economy, more time chatting about the things that give us joy in life--things like family, and friends, home, health, and faith. After dinner, I hugged Terry goodbye, and as I walked to my car I realized--despite the fact that I had just wolfed down a lamb T-bone large enough for a caveman--I felt lighter. I felt lighthearted. For suddenly I realized that I had grown up to become a woman who makes decisions in life that are not about money or material things, but rather simple joys. I thought about the upcoming summer and what I am most looking forward to, and I was happily surprised that I could not list one thing that had a price tag associated with it. Instead, the things I long for the most are to hang a clothesline for the first time in years, to sit in a big old tire tube on a lake with a gin and tonic in my hand at the end of a long day, to grow a really fabulous vegetable and herb garden, to plant a preposterously large row of sunflowers, to string up a hammock, and to barbecue as much as humanly possibly.

I know the economy sucks right now, but I have to admit that I am almost relieved that we as a nation are returning to simpler times. There is no shame in living leaner, appreciating things we've in the past taken for granted. I for one, cannot wait to sleep under sheets that have been kissed by the sun and a warm summer breeze, and to wake up to a big vase of sunflowers smiling at me from my bedside table.

From my book, Summer: A User's Guide

Infuse your linens with the sweet summery scent of flowers or herbs. Spray onto your sheets and pillowcases before ironing to add a soft scent, spray onto sheets to freshen up the bed between washings, or use as a lightly-scented room spray.

Spray bottle (sterilize with boiling water before using)
10-20 drops (or more, depending on your preference) of an essential oil. You might try lavender, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint, rose, jasmine or any other summery scent.
3 ounces non-flavored high proof (80+) vodka
25 ounces distilled water

Pour the essential oil and vodka into spray bottle and shake well until it is thoroughly mixed, then add the distilled water. Shake well before each use.