The Extra Mile:
A tale of fruit, heat, and booze

The Extra Mile

This week, I am restless. Our Spring began with nearly a foot of fresh snow on the ground, and I spent the past several days glaring at the dreary, dull-white landscape outside my desk window, feeling rather unenthused about everything. (Don’t worry, I promise my entire post isn’t this grumpy. It gets better, and there’s booze!)

For me, yesterday was the first day of Spring. I say this because it was the first day this year that I opted to walk rather than drive to the UPS drop box near my house. When I say near, I mean three blocks away. And when I say three blocks, I mean three Burlington blocks, which is maybe the equivalent of one block in NYC. It’s less than a mile walk, total. I hate winter. And having to put band-aids on my feet every time I want to walk downtown so I don’t get boot blisters-turned-calluses.

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Ginger Tonic
(and several ways to use it)

There’s nothing quite like discovering you can make the simplest of things yourself. I can recall very two distinct Holy Sh*t, I Can Make That?! moments from my past. The first occurred shortly after I discovered stumbleupon many years ago. (This moment actually sparked my love affair with food blogs, so it’s kind of a special, landmark point on my timeline.) For anyone who isn’t familiar with stumbleupon, it’s a site that allows you to select a bunch of things you’re interested in, and then SU lets you bounce around to various articles or posts online that align with your interests. Basically, an Internet user’s ADD-esque dream. So I, having probably selected an interests lists that was something like science / food / kittens, was clicking through posts one day, when SU brought me here. How to make butter? For freakin’ real?! I was locked in. I spent the next couple hours reading pretty much every post on Aleta’s blog, and I was convinced I’d found the most amazing thing the Internet had to offer. And then, I discovered that there were more food blogs out there. Run by other talented people who make delicious things. (Does it seem ridiculous that I didn’t know food blogs existed? I guess I just assumed blogs were for people who want to whine about their problems or broadcast way too much information to the world. Silly me!) And that marked the start of my food blog obsession.

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Blood Orange French 75

I’d like to start off this post by saying that I’m not all that big into Valentine’s Day in my personal life. J and I don’t go out to dinner and I don’t expect jewels or flowers (although I usually do get the latter). We might use the occasion as a reason to buy a bottle of champagne and drink some bubbly things, but that’s about it. For some reason, though, I get really into thinking up Valentine’s Day posts. I made my crazy pink cake this weekend, and now I’ve got a delicious cocktail to share with you. But first, I’m going to tell you a story about how I’m a crazy person. A crazy person with an obsessive personality, an extreme loathing for rude, stupid jerks, and keen Internet sleuthing skills.

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Soyer au Champagne

There are so many bubbly drinks bouncing around the blogoverse right now that it makes me feel like a kid in a candy store. (Or maybe just an adult in a booze store.) As I pondered which champagne cocktail I’d like to have a go at for this post, this drink in Ted Haigh’s Vintage Spirits and Forgotten Cocktails caught my eye. What makes this cocktail unique is the fact that it’s a dessert drink. Now, before you go shouting “blasphemy!,” let me assure you that this isn’t some cake batter or raspberry cheesecake martini. The Soyer au Champagne (translation: “Silk with Champagne”) is a classic cocktail dating back to the late 1800s. Haigh’s description of it “really hit[ting] a sophisticated harmonic that sweet, after dinner dessert beverages rarely aspire to” piqued my interest. Add to that the fact that I’d have a rare opportunity to bust out my vintage dessert glasses and there’d be pretty, foamy white bubbles involved — I was sold.

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French 75 Popsicles

Boy, could I go for one of these things right about now.

I’ve finally returned to VT after my house-sitting stint at my parents’ place in cool, woodsy upstate NY, and the northeast has decided to welcome me back with yet another heat wave. I feel like a bit of a weenie complaining about 90°+ days as I realize it’s plenty hotter in other places (and I’m lucky to have power to run the AC), but I suppose everyone’s tolerance for heat varies depending on where they were born/raised or the climate they’ve grown accustomed to. (I still remember my college friend Nishi, who grew up in South America, raving about the “perfect weather” on a particularly hot and humid day while I sat wilting in a chair in our stuffy dorm room, wondering if crying tears of misery would cool me down a little, or just feel like hot, boiling liquid running down my face.) So for someone who’s a product of shady, middle-of-the woods living, 95° = major grossness. Even my mother greeted me on the phone today with, “man, it’s [bleeping] hot.” (Mom!)

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