Wednesday, September 16, 2009

My Lazy Sunday

This past Sunday marks the first time in quite a while that both Heather and I have stayed in the borough of Queens for an entire day without leaving. We had a couple of things that we could have done--we talked about going to Governor's Island and hanging out, then we talked about perhaps heading over to the High Line on the west side of Manhattan and winding up at Chelsea Market. Heather made a very involved breakfast that morning using apples she bought at our local farmer's market in Jackson Heights. I'll spare the details in case she decides to post about it, but it was very, very good.
By the time breakfast was over, it was early afternoon. Heather was a little beat from cooking breakfast and I was beat from the previous work week so we decided to bag all that stuff we talked about and keep it local. It was time for an official Lazy Sunday. We walked to Espresso 77, the really cool local coffee place and read the newspaper for a little while. She got a normal, boring coffee and I got a New Orleans iced coffee. We then hit the bakery to pick up buns for turkey burgers (turkey meat also purchased at local farmer's market) and headed home.
We could have gone out to one of the bars we like in Queens--maybe a Dutch Kills or a Studio Square--but we had kind of a pleasant home bodies thing going and we didn't want to ruin it. Heather wanted to challenge me to do something different for pre-dinner cocktails. She visited the website of a bar in Manhattan we both enjoy, Death & Company, and found that they publish some of their drink recipes. Many of them are pretty basic and a lot of them involve gin--a spirit both Heather and I find repellant--but we found a few that we both found appealing and had the ingredients for.
The first one was a drink called 8. It involved whiskey (we subbed bourbon for rye,) orange juice, lemon juice and grenadine. It seemed like a lot of citrus, but it worked out pretty well. The grenadine and orange juice did a fine job of tempering the tartness of the lemon. Heather commented that it seemed like a cocktail that the folks at Death & Company would make. I took that as high praise; those bartenders are pretty skilled.
Our second round was a sidecar. This is a pretty classic drink that you see advertised on drink menus all the time. It may seem odd that an eighty year old like me has never tried one, but for some reason I thought there was gin in it. I learn new things all the time. It has Cognac, orange liqueur (we used Grand Marnier,) and lemon juice. This one wasn't nearly as sweet as the first one. The mild sweetness that it did have came from the Grand Marnier so it was a more complex sweetness than say sugar or juice. We had a drink in mind for a third round but we decided to cap it after two. We don't drink hard; we drink smart. Also Heather doesn't like to go into work with a hangover. I'll never understand women.
As smart as we drank, I realized by the end of the day that I really didn't drink anything without either caffeine or alcohol. I don't know whether to feel shame or accomplishment. Probably a fair amount of shame. But all the drinks were prepared with care and careful consideration. I wasn't just cracking Bud Light Limes all day. That would be too classy for me.
I just finished a two month long sketch writing class that ate up a lot of my free time. This is my first week off from that and, while I love writing sketches, it feels good not to have a deadline staring me down. Every now and again you need to take a personal day to just screw around, have fun, mix drinks and spend time with the person or people you love. That and playing Mario Kart for Wii--that's what's important.

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