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Archive for the ‘Whys’ Category

I roused myself from my now usual 8:45-9:30 nap with the goal of writing a wry and charming blog post. On the way to the computer I had the brilliant idea that I’d put those grocery store cookies in the oven and reward myself after my post with a nice warm chocolate chip cookie before tidying up and heading off to bed. But then I got distracted by dinner leftovers still on the stove, and quickly loaded the dishwasher, ate three unbaked chocolate chip cookie dough balls and the oven timer went off before I even had time to open wordpress. Now I can’t remember what I wanted to write about, and my tummy is full of cold raw cookie. This is it, isn’t it? The slow slide into ding-bat motherhood. One day I’ll wonder why my kid thinks I’m a nut. And I’ll remember this is how it started.

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Sweet Chrysanthemum

1 teaspoon of Absinthe

1 oz of Benedictine

2 oz Dry Vermouth

1 tsp of agave nectar

a twist of orange peel

Mix the liquors and agave nectar in a cocktail mixer with 4-5 ice cubes, shake and pour into a cocktail glass. Twist the orange peel over the glass so the oils fall into the drink. I personally like to mix enough for two, and leave half in the mixer in the freezer for a bit.

The Sweet, Sweet Chrystanthemum

Now the why. This drink is magical. Seriously. I’m drinking it now, and realized, after just a few sips, that the cares of the world are in little piles on the floor around me. I will let them lie.

Absinthe: Mysterious, dangerous, erotic absinthe. Muse of mad artists and poets. Just to say it is somehow sexy. The spirit is a distillation of several aromatic herbs, including anise, licorice, fennel and hyssop, and the famed wormwood, whose leaves contain traces of a toxic compound known as Thujone, which has a chemical structure similar to that of THC, the active ingredient in cannabis. It made its way from Gay Paris to New Orleans in the 1800s so many American cocktails containing absinthe are of that grand and sinister lineage. In 1915, the Department of Agriculture banned absinthe from sale in the US. In 2007, laws were relaxed to allow the manufacture and sale of absinthe so long as levels of of thujone were below 10ppm. It’s also cussed expensive. But I found a little 100ml bottle in the minibottles section of the liquor store for just $8 and away we go.

Benedictine: In contrast to the sibilant whisper of the word absinthe, the percussive Benedictine rattles off the tongue like machine-gun fire. The herbal liquor is made from some 27 herbs and roots, a proprietary formula. Every bottle bears the initials D.O.M. which stand for the Latin Deo Optimo Maximo, “For our best, greatest God”.

Dry Vermouth: Yet another mouth-pleasing word, all arrrrs and ooooos. Vermouth is a fortified wine, flavored with aromatic herbs and spices (cardamom, cinnamon, marjoram and chamomile). Dry vermouth is slightly bitter.

Agave nectar: Sweet, faintly caramel-like, syrup derived from the agave plant and an excellent replacement for sugar in warm and cold drinks.

I feel great. I forgot what else I was going to say. Cheers.

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Why do you eat in?

Huffington Post’s Green blog just hosted a “Week of Eating In” which I, unfortunately, mostly missed. Nevertheless, I wanted to share this post from them with you because I think all 9 reasons for eating in are great ones that we should take seriously.

Top 9 Reasons for Not Eating Out

Here are my favorite reasons from the article:

4. Dinner Parties Are Contagious

Eating in is a habit that breeds upon itself, just like eating out is. For instance, if you don’t have any leftovers or remaining half-bunches of food in your fridge from the night before, you’re less likely to want to cook that day. Just as cooking for yourself can have a domino effect, so does throwing the occasional dinner party. After making the effort of having one, your friends may decide they want to invite you over for dinner, too, to repay the favor, or just because they found it to be such fun. Then the next couple will, and so on. Potlucks have a way of repeating themselves, too. So long as the mood is light and casual — not stuffy, formal, and put-upon, as in the fanciest restaurant outing — it’s much less intimidating for folks to want to repeat the fun.

6. Tapping Your Creativity

There are those who say they just can’t cook, but everyone should be capable of making something edible. Whether or not that looks like something from Julia Child is another thing, but hear me out — you do not have to make a known or familiar entree. It can be improv, kitchen-style, a little bit of leftover rice with some extra greens and a poached egg. It can be your painting, on a plate. As time goes by, your creativity will surely liken itself to your palate better, and you’ll figure out ways to satisfy yourself that even a restaurant wouldn’t know.

I had a poll on One/Week last month asking how often most people cook at home, and almost 60% of responses were “Nearly every night”. Why don’t you share your reasons for eating in?

Flames lick the pot, transforming it's contents into homecooked goodness.

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“What does success look like?”

When I was pondering starting this blog a couple of months ago, I didn’t have a strong sense of what I wanted it to be, what I wanted from it, and what I wanted it to give (to me, to others). But I knew it was time to try something fresh, and felt somewhat compelled that it should be a blog.

I turned to blogger Amanda Hirsch – sending her a link after a couple of posts and pages were up. Her questions and advice have helped me pin down what One/Week is about for me. Amanda’s best comment was a question:

I think when it comes to blogging, the question you have to ask yourself is “who is this blog for?” One way to answer this is to imagine yourself a year from now. You’re sitting in your living room, talking about how excited you are by what a big success the blog has been. What does that success look like? (more…)

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