Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Another year gone by. I think what amazes me the most about 2007 having passed by is that we are now 70% through the first decade of the millenium and 80% through the "oughts". Why so amazing? Because in October of 1962 (Cuban Missile Crisis) I had serious doubts I would make it to 2000, or even make it home from school between warning and total conflagration. [Later, we learned it was even closer than it seemed at the time, yet now we have a Presidential Press Secretary who is ignorant of the 10 days that brought us closer to nuclear war than at any time since Nagasaki. Sigh.]

It has been a good year, but I won't blog about those details right now because I have work to do to get ready for classes next week.

Next week!

That calls for ...

... a Mimosa (champagne and OJ) and a day of football.

Or, if there are others around, maybe Orange Blossom:

Two 12 oz cans frozen OJ
Three 6 oz cans frozen pink lemonade
Two liters of 7-Up
1 fifth gin

That recipe goes back to the 70s when you could buy a fifth rather than one of the metric sizes that alcohol is sold in today. [*] As the quantities suggest,it also goes back to when a lot of fellow grad students would come over to watch football. Lots of Vitamin C to cure whatever cold you might have picked up from the people at the party last night, or today.

An older one (circa 18th century) would be my reconstruction of Syllabub:

1 pint (2 C) of heavy whipping cream
1 C of wine
3/8 C of sugar
2-3 T lemon juice
1-2 t lemon rind

Premix the sugar and the wine, if convenient. (It is easiest to start with warm wine so the sugar dissolves easily, then refrigerate it until you are ready to make and serve this edible drink.) You can also include the lemon rind, but save the lemon juice for the final step. Starting about a half hour before you want to serve the Syllabub, whip the cream until it is, well, whipped cream. No pre-made shortcuts allowed! Fold in the other ingredients and chill for 10 or 15 minutes. Serve in parfait glasses (if you have those and servants preparing this for you) or plastic drink glasses (if not) with a bit of nutmeg ground on top.

Syllabub is like eating rich, alcoholic air. This would be served during a Christmas Eve or New Year's Eve party, but you could do it today if you wanted to.

[*] Alcohol converted to metric because they could sell 750 mL for the price of a fifth (757.08 mL) without anyone noticing. In contrast, soda converted to metric because they could market 2 L of what is basically water as a better deal than two quarts (1.8927 L) without really putting anything more of value in the bottle.