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November 2013

Not a Clara Bow

The Clara Bow is a cocktail that was introduced at Rye House in New York in 2009. I was introduced to it shortly after, by someone who made one for me in my dining room in New Jersey. And this afternoon, as I was wasting time reading the August 1931 issue of Photoplay, with emerging details of Clara Bow's meltdown and disgrace in Hollywood, I thought of making my modified version of it.

Modified because I use PAMA pomegranate liqueur instead of grenadine, and a regular nice bourbon in place of the Bulliet, because you just can't get me to appreciate rye. And I always use a somewhat higher ratio of liquor to mixers.

But I'd forgotten I'm out of bourbon! The state of the budget dictates I must wait until the end of the month to restock, so I thought, "why not try it with gin?" I always have gin.

Using gin required different proportions. I ended up with this:

2 ounces Hendricks gin
1/2 ounce fresh lemon juice
1/2 ounce PAMA pomegranate liqueur
1/4 ounce St-Germain elderflower liqueur
and a few mint leaves snow had melted from.

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It's not perfect. I kind of think that with the gin, the elderflower is an extra unneeded flavor note. But I do think it's nice enough to experiment with. I might try it again but with Domaine de Canton ginger liqueur in place of the elderflower. Take that, weird liquor empire feuding brothers.

Otherwise, this combination of ingredients does work better with bourbon (or Bulliet rye bourbon,) only I still prefer it with 2 oz instead of 1 1/2, and otherwise follow the ratio in the original recipe, since bourbon is sweeter than gin.


Remains of the Garden Day

60 degrees out, snow expected overnight, high of 37 tomorrow.

I got behind, taking care of things for winter. For reasons, but anyway. I got some of it done today. Another warm spell will come around, things are like that now along the 39th parallel. And here's some of the remaining pretty.

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All Brussels, no real sprouts. There's another one in a cart on the deck with itty bitty sprouts that are probably edible, but they are about 1/12th proper size.

 


Playing with grapefruit

I want to like it better than I do. It isn't that it's not sweet. It's the aftertaste. But I eat it anyway, because it is good for me. In advance of the citrus season, though, I played with turning some grapefruit into dessert. I got three last week from Green BEAN Delivery, along with two interesting Florida tangerines; a variety that is very sweet and juicy.
20131110_161028Yes, there is also a lemon there. It is just for show.

I peeled one grapefruit, then squeezed the juice out of all three. As they were small, and the pith was very thick, there was only a cup of juice. There was 3/4 cup of juice from the tangerines, so I topped off to a cup with store-bought orange juice.

Researching sorbet recipes led me to just come up with my own variation. But then I had the most miserable sinus headache yesterday, got a late start, decided to just let it be granita instead. And making it the way I did meant that I could take several outcomes from one process. 20131110_162405

First I made a thick sugar syrup; two cups of sugar and one cup of water, boiled for a few minutes with a bag of mulling spices.

I added 1/2 cup of the syrup to the two cups of (mostly) fresh juice, and also a tablespoon of Hendrick's gin, just for kicks. I put it in a shallow container in the freezer, and after a few hours, scraped and stirred, then again a couple times, until I got this. 20131111_112931It's delicious. But if made with only tangerines, would require only half the syrup; just watch this! 

While the granita was freezing, I added 1/2 cup of sugar and a cup of water to the remaining syrup, and set it to boiling again with strips from the grapefruit I peeled. They simmered under parchment for a couple of hours. (The parchment is a Martha Stewart recommendation.)

I shook them off, dipped them in sugar, and put them on a tray to dry. 20131110_200920

Then into a jar for storage. 20131111_093427

And the syrup remaining in the pan was thick and spicy; it will be great to use as a sweetener in some other recipe, but will probably require warming first. 20131111_093340

Three treats in one go; how frugal.