Who Would Want To Be Bugged on Valentine’s Day? Probably Lots of Folks

cochineal bug

Cochineal feasting on a cactus.

Early this morning the Daily Beast published an article that was too timely and relevant to pass by, and because of my Bouverie docent credentials Ann has given me permission to take the lead on this quickie lagniappe blog.  It turns out that one of our favorite (and most attractive) aperitifs, Campari, owes (or owed) much of its beauty to a lowly bug (to be entomologically correct, insect) mentioned in yesterday’s blog – the cochineal.  And although Campari no longer contains cochineal-based dye, it still makes some gorgeous cocktails.  Here are a couple of Valentine’s Day suggestions using Campari: the bourbon-based Boulevardier, which we blogged about earlier, or the Mezcal Negroni which we are presenting here. Continue reading

I ♥

“How do I love thee? Let me count the ways.” 

♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥

Or maybe better yet:

♪ I love you truly, truly, dear.  Life with its sorrows, life with its tears.  Fades into dreams when I feel you are near.  For I love you truly, truly, dear.”♪  (I’ll be curious what you think of this/their/his performance.  Be sure to listen! 🙂 )

And here via YouTube is the scene with Edith from All in the Family, loving Archie truly with the same song.  Lord, they were funny….but wouldn’t make it in today’s world.

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Which brings me to my Colorado College days – and singing that same song in a circle in our sorority.  We would be alerted by our president before a chapter meeting that a candle would be passed, meaning someone amongst us had just gotten pinned or engaged.  The excitement would be palpable.   We would sing – and harmonize – as The Candle was passed around once – and then on the second pass-around the lucky girl would announce her pinning by blowing out the candle – to everyone’s screams of joy.  A third go-around (better yet!) meant an engagement.

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All I wanted in my college life was to get to blow out a candle before I graduated.

It didn’t happen.

And yet now – so many years later – I have lots of loves.  Here for Valentine’s Day are 10 of them:

Continue reading

Mezcal-licious

We’re over soup and cold weather and are off to Oaxaca, where it’s sunny with highs near 80.  And we’re looking forward to doing a Mezcal tasting at In Situ.  To get in some essential pre-trip conditioning, we decided to buy some Mezcal in Sonoma.  We know nothing about good mezcal but do know that the label of one of the bottles on the shelf was speaking to us.  It was imported by “Sazerac Company, Inc.” located in Metairie, LA, and was produced and bottled in Oaxaca!  Not only did we live in Louisiana for 27 years, we have blogged about Sazerac cocktails, and we’re heading for Oaxaca.  We had no choice but to buy it.Mezcal Bottle

We solicited a suggestion for a mezcal cocktail from our son-in-law and Tacolicious‘ El Jefe, Joe.  We tried it last night, and it was delicious.  So if you want a mezcal cocktail – without going to Oaxaca – this will do the trick. Continue reading

Soupcon

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I just ♪ put another log on the fire ♪ (did you know that Shel Silverstein wrote that song?), and I’m getting ready to make soup.  It’s January.  I’m looking forward to spring and re-birth – in our yard and elsewhere.  Andy is having lotus/Lotus fantasies.

Soupcon.  I love that word.  Yes, soup’s on in our house, but our portions will be small.  Could we say a soupcon of soup’s on?  Admittedly, our kiddos think we underfeed them proportion-wise when they’re here.

In 1996 The Washington Post had a review of the film, I Shot Andy Warhol.  The title of their review? “A Soupcon of Warhol in Every Scene.”  To tie that into today’s world, the woman who shot Warhol – in 1968 – was Valerie Solanas, described by the Post as: the founder and (apparently) sole member of a revolutionary feminist sect called the Society for Cutting Up Men (a k a SCUM), and the author of “The SCUM Manifesto,” a rabid yet frequently hilarious polemic proclaiming the natural biological superiority of women and urging the eradication of the male sex. “Just because men, like disease, have been with us forever is no reason they should continue to exist,” she wrote.

But again I digress.

For your own personal SoupsOn evening, we have three suggestions.

First: a wonderful and easy clam chowder that is just ever-so-slightly adapted from my brother’s sister-in-law, Joyce.  We like to keep things all in the family!  Joyce reports that she in turn found the recipe in a 1967 edition – 1973 printing – of Sunset’s Seafood Cookbook….and has been making it on Christmas Eve ever since.   It’s a go-to for us.

Or how about a red lentil soup?  It’s Super Simple, quick to fix, healthy, pretty, delicious.  What more could you want?  Plus, you can tweak it so many ways.

And finally, a perfect chili for a cold winter’s night, one which we adapted from one of our favs – Melissa Clark from the NY Times.

Continue reading

It’s Crunch Time

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Andy and I are getting ready for a long-anticipated trip to Oaxaca, so for me it’s crunch time.  Actually, I’m thinking about nuts again (crunch) and seeds and New Mexico, more than I am about the lengthy instructions I need to write for our cat/dog/house sitter on dealing with our disfunctional animals while we’re on our Mexican holiday.  Andy’s got some nutty ideas too – and really, really delicious ones.

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A jicama about to go into my salad.  Crunch.

Ever since David wrote the last blog, New Mexico has been on my mind.  I love David’s New Mexican Calabacitas recipe.  I also love a jicama salad recipe that comes from one of my favorite old cookbooks, The Feast of Santa Fe.  Actually,  I just love any crunch this time of year, when garden-fresh veggies seem like a time long past.

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I’m trying to stick to my New Year’s resolution – at least for one blog.  That is, I’m going to loosen up and be adventurous and less recipe-focused in my cooking.  All of the following salad recipes encourage you to branch out and create!  Also, in accordance with my NY’s resolutions, I promise not to have my suitcase packed and sitting by the door 2 weeks prior to our departure for Mexico. Continue reading

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