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From Monica's Blog…

New Cocktail: The Last Word

For the fatigued palate…just what the doctor ordered!

If I ever had a cold and had to go to work–at least during my waitressing years–Elsie, the old German matriarch of the night crew, would have me sip a shot of Green Chartreuse (maybe that’s redundant, but there is a Yellow Chartreuse!) Boy would that stuff clear out your sinuses! Ever since then, I’ve thought of Chartreuse as medicine and stayed away–until now. As I cycle through the easy stuff–the approachable cocktails–I find some of them start to taste the same, especially the gin sour types (my favorites). The flavor profile that isn’t so approachable–the anise-to-menthol type stuff like absinthe and Chartreuse are a bit more challenging but a welcome change of pace…I’m a huge fan of equal parts cocktails because they’re usually boozy & balanced but most of all because the recipes are so easy to remember! All booze cocktails are a bit hard for me to swallow these days, though, so I like an equal parts with a bit of citrus. The Last Word is all of the above & I do believe it has a bit of a cult following and I totally get why…Here ya go (from cold-glass.com)

3/4 oz dry gin (I loved Nolet’s in this but plymouth, etc will do)

3/4 oz green Chartreuse (expensive but worth it…warning, the darn stuff is 110 proof!)

3/4 oz Luxardo maraschino liqueur

3/4 oz fresh squeezed lime juice

Keep the drink small so it stays cold; make sure you put your nick & nora or martini glasses or coupes in the freezer before you start making the drink, & shake it with ice until very cold. Strain & serve….Then find a quiet place to sit and savor…

Mezcal Sour …OMGosh….

Mezcal Sour

  • 1½ oz. fresh lime juice
  • 1½ oz. Mezcal
  • 1 oz. Amaro Montenegro
  • 1 tsp. light agave nectar
  • 1 large egg white
  • Angostura bitters and lime twist (for serving)
  • Shake lime juice, mezcal, amaro, agave, and egg white in a cocktail shaker (or in a tightly lidded 1-qt. glass jar) until frothy, about 1 minute. Fill shaker with ice, cover, and shake again until outside is frosty, about 30 seconds. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a coupe glass. Garnish with a few drops of Angostura bitters (drag a toothpick through drops to create a swirly pattern if you wish). Top with lime twist.

Southern Favorites: Hurricane & Alabama Slammer

Hurricane (my Mardi Gras pick)

[…I just used dark rum and white rum but I bet it’s even better with spiced rum….]
2 oz passion fruit juice (welch’s makes a great passion fruit juice blend in a carton)
1 oz orange juice

 

Juice of a half lime
1 tbsp simple syrup
1 tbsp grenadine
GARNISH WITH CHERRY AND ORANGE SLICE

 

HOW TO MAKE:

1. Add rum, passion fruit juice, orange juice, lime juice, simple syrup and grenadine into a shaker.
2. Shake and pour into crushed ice-filled hurricane glass or other specialty glass.
3. Garnish with orange and cherry. 

Alabama Slammer (hear me out!)

My liquor cabinet is overflowing with stuff I only used once and I can’t keep buying weird little things to put in my craft cocktails if there’s no room to store the bottles, so my husband and I are doing a “liquor store challenge” and not buying anything from the liquor store for one year (ending this Thanksgiving). So far so good, but we’re only four months in…In this spirit (!), I’m trying to make cocktails with what I have…and sadly, I have a super huge bottle of Southern Comfort – not my favorite cause it’s so darn sweet! but the Alabama Slammer isn’t bad & can be made with a couple of different substitutes so you can actually make it delicious…here’s what I came up with…
 
1 ounce (some recipes say 2 ounces!) Southern Comfort OR dark rum (like Koloa, my favorite) OR whiskey (in keeping with the variation below)
1 ounce amaretto OR creme de noyaux (which is MUCH less sweet) OR a combo of both
1 ounce sloe gin
2 ounces OJ
 
shake it in a shaker with ice then strain it into an old fashioned glass filled with ice
 
here’s a variation I haven’t tried yet, but boy I’d like to!
1 ounce amaretto
1 ounce bourbon
1/2 ounce sloe gin
1/2 ounce lemon juice
 
shake it in a shaker with ice then strain it into a chilled cordial glass
 
 
 
 

“Love, Like Me!”

I wrote this story some time ago about my oldest child. Although my story relates to filial love rather than romantic love, I still thought it was suitable for Valentine’s Day, and because the T-shirt referred to in the story is a Ron Paul rEVOLution shirt, I couldn’t resist posting it! [this post is part of my effort to restore my posts after the Wordpress purge]

“That says ‘LOVE,’ like me!”

Two years after my son Luke was born, we went on vacation to a family-friendly resort in Mexico. While I was swimming in the big pool with Luke, a woman came up to me and said, “How old is he, Mom?” I said, “two.” She bade me follow her and led me to her family. She introduced me to her husband, her two daughters and her son, a real corn-fed looking blonde teenager who had Down syndrome, like Luke. I was still struggling to understand what life would be like with a child who had Down syndrome so I was happy to meet her son, but as had happened before when I met people with Down syndrome, I was completely lost trying to communicate with him. His language was totally unintelligible to me. As a well-educated person and voracious reader with the gift of gab, all of my interest in human interaction consisted of exchanging ideas. I couldn’t get anywhere with this kid and finally gave up. I asked the parents a few questions beginning to think about politely exiting. As the conversation was winding down they mentioned what a joy their children were to them, and pointing to their son, now back by the pool, the father said, “Just look at him, he’s all love!” But all I saw was a boy with a chromosomal abnormality with whom I could not imagine having any kind of relationship. I truly could not see what they saw, but I was comforted to think he made them feel good.

Six years have passed and Luke is a beautiful, articulate, charming 8-year-old boy. But does he ever keep me running! He gets into trouble every chance he gets, often darting from the scene, mischievously looking over his shoulder to get a kick out of me dashing after him or catching a falling bookcase or battling whatever mayhem he left in his wake. He wasn’t potty trained until he was 5 ½, he needs continuous supervision at school so he doesn’t escape (he was found blocks from the school on two occasions last year), and he will dump his food on the floor just to watch the dogs come running. No matter when he goes to bed he gets up at 5:30 a.m. and will empty his dresser drawers if no one hears him stirring. In short, this kid is a lot of work…but it’s worth it. Luke is hilarious and sweet and oh-so-cute. And he really is smart and clever and surprises us all the time. But I will say this for having a child this demanding: You have to be dedicated! It puts a strain on your marriage and requires that your other children make many sacrifices, but when it goes right, you can see how everyone in the family becomes richer for the adventure.

Nowadays I love to see other families who have children with Down syndrome. Those kids put a smile on my face. So not long ago, when my husband and I had the opportunity to grab a quick bite at Chick-fil-A–just the two of us–he pointed out to me a young man who had Down syndrome sitting with his family on the patio. The boy looked healthy, happy, composed and confident. I got a closer look at him as he walked past us through the restaurant to get something he needed from the counter. As he walked by I observed, “Everything that boy is, all that he can do, is the result of love. All his confidence and competence is the product of the people who love him taking great pains, time, effort and patience to make sure he could do what he needed to do and do it right and be proud and secure about who he is and his place in the world.” It touched me deeply to see in that one boy with his straight back and purposeful gait the years of love and selfless devotion his family must have committed to him. I hoped my own efforts would be that fruitful.

A few weeks later, my husband put on a shirt and in the design appeared the word “Love.” Luke looked at it and said, “Look Dad, your shirt says ‘love,’ just like me!” He laughed to me, “Luke’s so funny—he knows he’s LOVE.” And in my mind’s eye I remembered the woman at the pool and her husband, and I recalled her son and, clear as day, I saw what they saw.

 

 

Update (2/23/2019):

I sent this to a friend who has a son with Down syndrome…I told him it was NSFW but he didn’t listen! I was genuinely moved by his comments so I am sharing them here…it’s true–once you have a child with Down syndrome you are just drawn to them–you run up to them in grocery stores & freak their parents out! It’s a real phenomenon!! Truly, these kids are gifts from God…

OMG! I loved this article and can relate to all of it! The unknowing, the Chaos, the strain on every aspect of life, but the true LOVE that these amazing humans are and display, trumps all of those bad days, moments and weeks of unending, frustrating, hair pulling and teeth-gnashing times of struggle to learn, eat, use the bathroom, obey simple commands etc. etc. etc. I truly feel that my worldly perspective changed for the better the day Josh was born. Now when I see anyone with DS, I’m finding ways to get closer and interact with them, drawn to them like a magnet! Thank you for sharing this, i’m crying at work by the way….

Show this Sunday, plus BONUS SHOWS coming soon to WSB!

To make up for lost time, WSB is giving me a few extra shows…here is our schedule for the next few weeks:

Sunday February 24, 12-2PM ET

Saturday March 2, 3-6PM ET
Sunday March 3, 12-2PM ET

Saturday March 9, 5-6PM ET
Sunday March 10, 12-2PM ET

“No Nation Building” ==> “Let’s Build Democracies!” Rinse. Repeat.

From George W. Bush to Barack Obama to Donald Trump, we have seen candidate after candidate attest that we should not wade into the affairs of other countries only to argue as president why we must and then do it whether the argument compels or not.

In reviewing some old notes, I found in a May 2017 document a “What to Watch Out For” (#WTWOF) to myself:

Read more“No Nation Building” ==> “Let’s Build Democracies!” Rinse. Repeat.

Dialectical Lemonade: The MAGA Hat Kids

Like everyone else who listens to any amount of mainstream media on a regular basis, I heard the story of the racist kids from Kentucky wearing Make America Great Again hats and taunting a tribal elder in DC at the Women’s March. I tuned it out as a psyop immediately for numerous reasons. With stories like this I am often reminded of the scene in The Mission where the cardinal, about to order devastation upon the Indians in Paraguay, is rightly troubled by what he is set to do. His aide tries to comfort him by saying, “The world is thus, Your Excellency.” The cardinal replies, “Thus have we made the world.” Reports of obnoxious and overtly racist kids crashing the Women’s March wearing MAGA hats and attacking Native Americans are meant to convince us, “The world is thus.” I see how inorganically these incidents (to the extent they are ever accurately reported) have emerged and I think, “Thus have we made the world–are we making the world.” And I refuse to participate by engaging in the dialectical bait even intellectually. But the story did end up engaging me in the end….

At first the dialectic was “privileged white racist Trump supporting teenage boys menace peaceful Native American elder engaging in a call to prayer.” Not much of a dialectic really–who’s on the other side of that? The boys are not sympathetic–a dialectic has to have adherents on both sides to drive toward a pre-planned solution. (The dialectic is simply understood as Thesis-Antithesis-Synthesis or Problem-Reaction-Solution.) This wasn’t really a dialectic, just another pulse in the “Trump’s America Is a Racist America” meme. But then something strange happened. As other videos emerged, it became clear that the story offered by the Native American, Nathan Phillips, and his supporters, was false, and the media had accepted their narrative of this out-of-context moment with very little to go on but bias. No matter…as Saul Alinsky advised, if your original goal isn’t achieved, take the outcome as it is and turn it toward your own interests anyway. That is, you get lemons? Make lemonade.

And so it was done…

Read moreDialectical Lemonade: The MAGA Hat Kids

Festive & Refreshing! The Poinsettia Christmas Cocktail

This year I’m going with the classic poinsettia cocktail with a slightly modified recipe I prefer…this makes four cocktails …

Put four champagne flutes in the freezer.

Combine the following three ingredients and chill:

4 oz cointreau
3 oz vodka
8 oz cranberry juice cocktail

When ready to serve, divide the mixture evenly among the four glasses and top with about 3 oz champagne each glass and garnish with a twist of orange.

Covfefe!

For a non-alcoholic cocktail, simply fill half the glass with cranberry juice cocktail and top it off with seltzer, 7UP or maybe even ginger ale. Garnish with a twist of orange and enjoy!