"Gimme the girl that's beautiful, without a trace of makeup of on,
Barefoot in the kitchen, singing her favorite song.
Dancing around like a fool, starring in her own little show,
Gimme the girl the rest of the world, ain't lucky enough to know."
~Joe Nichols, Gimme That Girl

...not saying that this is me,
but Nichols sure nailed it when
he wrote the barefoot in the
kitchen line!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

letního nápoje: summertime drinks

   Lately, I've found myself grieving internally...about multiple situations in which life has included me.  It's difficult to gracefully accept circumstances, losses, and realities that are unrequested surprises, and as a relaxed, spontaneous individual, I have been rather perplexed at my own propensity to battle recent challenges.  I used to think that I was strong and capable, and that as a family member and as a friend, I could offer a sufficient support in harsh storms.  Now I'm finding that as I attempt a continuation of my presence for those who need me near, I am weak, drained, frightened, and unspeakably sad...  And I don't consider that necessarily a negative truth, but I do so long for blissful moments of silence, healing, and sunshine.  When they arrive, I am nearly drowned in the beauty of being whole and calm: if only for a tiny infinity.
   A kind friend assisted me towards a rather balancing perspective when I lamented to him that life just wasn't fair.  He was patient, but firm.  "Hey...you know life's not fair.  It can be beautiful, cruel, happy, sad, lush, and even barren...but never fair."  Holding in the tears, I understood that he was teaching me to quietly accept the present for what it is...to relinquish my fears, my anger, and my desperate longing for complete perception and control...to embrace the strength of each lesson brought my way, despite my own inadequacies.  And to simply understand that pain is inevitable, but that responding to the pain is a personal choice.
   Yes, grieving is hard, and I'm lost in that hardness.  Thank heaven, I have a beautiful family, and I have a life.  Someday, I'll discover a channel for retrospect, and I will see the reasoning within the inexplicable.  Until then, there are numerous lovely aspects and dynamics of this enigmatic existence that I am appreciating and studying for the mere sake of love.  Because without love, even the best of us are disguising lonely, crippled, lacerated hearts.  At the moment, I'm pretty much in love with summery drinks.
   Being in the culinary world, I am constantly immersing myself in the mental culture, and expansive potential it offers.  One of my deepest interests is watching liquid chefs and mixologists.  Molecular mixology is a bit heady for me, as I tend to bond with original sourcing and evidenced organic structure, but there's something mellifluous and unique about building drinks from ground zero.  I'm the kinda girl who dreams about creating her own coffee bar at home.  Complete with an espresso machine, a wall covered in rows of mismatched mugs, a small refrigerator, and a blender.  Lately, I've been favouring summery, cold drinks...and consuming less coffee.  I don't mind the gradual absence of caffeine in my Mason jar.  I've actually felt slightly healthier.  Exploring different drinks has given me the chance to play with flavour-blending, becoming a muddle-monster, and balancing liquid ratios.  Here are two personal pours that I made up this past week...complete with directions for making your own on the next hot summer's day.

   Gravenstein Tarragon Lemonade.
Muddle 1/2 of a Gravenstein with 2 sprigs French tarragon,
and 1-2 tbsps. unprocessed cane sugar in a Mason quart jar.
Juice 2 lemons, and pour the juice over the muddled mixture.
Add 1 cup of cold water, and 4 icecubes. 
Screw a lid onto the Mason jar, and shake vigourously until
slightly foamy.
Open the Mason jar, and pour the drink through a strainer...
preferably into a secondary, miniature Mason jar. 
Garnish with a slice of Gravenstein, and a French tarragon sprig.
Serves 1.


   CherryCherry Spearmint Lemonade
Muddle 5 whole cherries and 2 sprigs of spearmint,
and 1-2 tbsps. unprocessed cane sugar in a Mason quart
 jar with the juice of 2 lemons.
Add 1 cup of cold water, and 4 icecubes. 
Screw a lid onto the Mason jar, and shake vigourously until
slightly foamy.
Open the Mason jar, and pour the drink through a strainer...
again, preferably into a secondary, miniature Mason jar.
Garnish with a sprig of spearmint...unless that wildly
adventurous bright red screams "Drink me"...
and you decide to obey without the addition of a garnish.
Serves 1.

The Barefoot Girl