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The Last Weekend Saturday, August 30, 2008

Posted by Grace in from the kitchen, strange days.
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Well, this  it.  Next week I’m back to campus and back to classes. This is the last weekend, the final hurrah if you will.

It is only fitting that in a few hours we are heading out to the beach.  The weather is great, and its going to be good to soak up a few more hours of sun and vitamin D before hitting the library.

The last weekend of summer needs it’s signature cocktail, so I’m gonna let you guys in on one of my personal favorites: the Jolly Rancher. It’s sweet but tart, and if I could hold the alcohol, I’m pretty sure I’d drink a pitcher.

Jolly Rancher

1 oz green apple Sour Puss, or other green apple liquer

1 oz Peach Schnapps

Splash of cranberry juice

(And if you’re a lightweight like me, Sprite or some other mix to cut it.)

All you need to do is pour the first three ingredients over ice in a cocktail shaker, give it a good shake, and strain into a glass. I like it over ice, but I’m pretty sure it is standardly served straight. If you’re using the additional mix, pour it over top.

I hope the end of everyone out there’s summer is going to end well. The season may not be over, but University looms.

Summer Kisses and Drunken Cherries Friday, August 22, 2008

Posted by Grace in from the kitchen, until the wheels fall off.
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…And then I don’t post for eleven days. Ha ha.

Cherries always make me think of kissing. The bite of flavor from one gives me a similar rush to when a certain someone’s lips are on mine. That, and the taste of cherries takes me right back to my first kiss.

I was working up at one of the national parks for the summer, not too many years ago, as a camp counselor. It was Saturday afternoon, in that gorgeous space of time when one week’s campers had left and the next week’s weren’t going to arrive until the next morning. That left the entire camp: kitchen, cabins, beach, canoes and kayaks to the camp staff.

A group of us counselors had hiked the hour or so into town, to pick up various amenities that had run out over the week. Candy, soap, sunscreen, etc. At the tiny general store, which carried everything from swim suits to screw drivers, I purchased a bag of cherries.

When we got back from the excursion, some of us went to suntan or nap, and the rest of us headed to the beach to swim.

Sitting on the dock, drying in the sun, we talked of schemes that seem to bubble up in camp counselors left to their own devices.  How long would it take to swim across the lake? Lifejackets would slow us down, wouldn’t they? How could another fan be jerry rigged into action in stifling hot cabins with a single electrical outlet? Do we have enough finger paint left from last week to make a mural on a staff cabin wall?

People gradually started to head back to shore from the floating dock, taking with them their sandy damp towels and half empty bags of chips, candy and fruit that had been contributed to the floating smorgasbord. It was starting to get cool, so the last of us started to pick up our stuff. I folded up my towel and zipped the top of what remained of the cherries.

As I stood up he stepped in and I was face to face with TM. And he smiled, took my hand in his, and kissed me.

… Neither of us heard the end of it the rest of the summer.

Drunken Cherries

Ingredients:

1 ½ lbs dark cherries

2 C red wine

½ C sugar

2 strips of orange peel

1 stick of cinnamon.

In a saucepan, bring everything but the cherries to a boil for a couple minutes until it gets syrupy. Let cool. Strain out orange peel and cinnamon stick.

Put the cherries in a bowl that has a tight fitting lid. Pour syrup over cherries. Cover and put it in the fridge. You’re going to want to let it get happy for a couple of hours, or even make it a day ahead.

When you’re ready, ladle them out into cups or bowls. They’re great by themselves, but even better over ice cream.

Summer Romance Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Posted by Grace in strange days.
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March, at least on my agenda, is birthday month.

Last week alone, there were five birthdays to celebrate. That’s Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and two on Friday for those who are counting. This week, we already had a St. Patty’s birthday. I’m soon to depart for festivities for today’s birthday boy.

I do know a lot of people, the network is spread and rather spider web like, but nothing points it out like this stretch of March. Fortunately, it is also conveniently tucked between midterms and finals, so people can be celebrated.

Birthdays are so much fun because you get to party and you have another obvious chance to be with the people you love and show your appreciation of them.

I just find it kind of weird that so many people fall into this couple of weeks in the spring. Then again, looking back 9 months I guess it makes sense.  Some people must have busy summers…

Song of the Day: Summer Romance (Antigravity) – Incubus