Monday, August 8, 2011

Weekends in the Kitchen

My new Boston life is much more relaxed than my old NYC life. It feels like I have more free time. (I think not having to work summer Saturdays helps a ton!) So, a rainy Sunday and an abundance of rosemary inspired a barkeep afternoon in the kitchen. which is significantly more roomier.. I've been wanting to make herbal simple syrups for some time- something to jazz up club soda or to give a cocktail even more flavor.

The rosemary simple syrup is just too easy to screw up. Yet, I research and research proportions, afraid it will come out terrible! And it turned out delicious and refreshing, and easy. The simple turned a lovely green color. I may try adding more rosemary next time for a more intense flavor.

As I write this, I'm enjoying it with club soda. It's a tad too sweet for my liking, so will adjust my proportions accordingly. This would make an elegant nonalcoholic drink for your next cook out- perhaps mixed into lemonade, topped with club soda! (And spike it with vodka for your imbibing guests!) I think it could also work with gin! I love exclamation points!

Here's what I did:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 sprigs of rosemary

    Combine all three into a small pot and simmer until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Strain simple syrup into a clean jar and enjoy it!

Up next, brandied cherries. I can't leave the supermarket without buying a bag of cherries! Hands down, one of my favorite fruits. I'm a Manhattan drinker, and inspired by my drink the other night, I decided I would make my own brandied cherries. I poked around at a few recipes and nearly followed this Brandied Cocktail Cherries.

My word of advice- if you plan on removing cherry pits, invest in a cherry pitter. Oh my. I found that using a cake tester from C&B and moving it around the pit and massaging it out worked, but it took forever.

Here's what I did.
  • 1 pound of cherries, stemmed and pitted while watching a National Geographic documentary about solitary confinement.
  • Combined 1/2 cup organic sugar, 1/2 cup water, 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, a sprinkle of cinnamon (as I didn't have a cinnamon stick), and a shake of salt into a medium sauce pan. Simmered until sugar dissolved. (It was starting to smell like Christmas!)
  • Added the cherries and the brandy to the syrup and simmered for about 2 minutes stirring the entire time. (Why did I do this? Not sure- maybe to cook down some of the sugars, but I don't think 2 minutes is enough of time.)
  • Poured cherries into jars and covered with syrup.
  • Cool to room tempertaure and then into the fridge!

Stay tuned for their appearance in a cocktail!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

a study on drivers


The small lever located near the steering wheel that signals to other drivers your direction.
So, dear Mass Drivers- does your blinker deactivate within the city limits of Boston? Are you lane hopping so frequently that you developed repetitive use and can no longer signal? Is there an assumption that since we are all Mass drivers we have intuition about your quick changes from lane to lane.

Is it self fulfilling? Mass drivers have a bad reputation, therefore I will drive like a maniac. Admittedly, it's not hard. There are frequent left hand turns across traffic with no dedicated turning lane, and one does have to get to work. Tailgating becomes unintentional as there is frequent stopping. Not to mention that Boston appears to have been without a city planner when designing the roads. It's a bit of a mess, and I'm navigating City Tiny Car through the mayhem, signalling all the way.