Everyone keeps asking me the same question. How was your Christmas? And I give the same answer each time with complete sincerity and honesty. It was so good.
I could go into details and tell you that I woke up on my own. That I got to make breakfast for friends, and practice my egg pancake cooking skills. That I talked face to face (though through a screen) with family. That I ate amazing food and opened thoughtful presents. That I got to spend a quiet day with Scott, at home, in my pajamas. We even played a game of Monopoly.
I’ve noticed customers at my work sit down to drink their coffee, taking a moment to themselves before starting their day. I watched this episode recently, and found myself keyed into the words of this book. I loved that the French culture encourages people to enjoy things more fully. To have a drink (coffee, tea, cocktail, wine) and notice the complexities. To go to a cafe, order an espresso, and people-watch, rather than yell at cashiers and cut drivers off on the interstate. I could sit here and wish our culture was more like that of France, where people took their time to sip their espressos, or walk to get a loaf of fresh bread, or enjoy how lucky they are to live in such a beautiful place.
Or I could just try and live that life. Even if it’s for a few moments in my day.
When we were cooking breakfast last week, Scott offered to make us all Bloody Marys, even though he isn’t a fan. I prefer mine on the spicier side, with plenty of horseradish. Tweak this how you wish, but don’t skip the secret staple: Guinness. Add a splash on top, something we learned at this bar a few years ago. It calms down the acidity of all the other ingredients and smooths out the drink.
This beverage is heavy on the ingredients, but it’s far superior with more complexity than keeping it simple.
3 ounces vodka
1 tsp horseradish
2 teaspoons steak sauce
2 dashes tabasco
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dill pickle juice
3 dashes Worcestershire sauce
1/4 teaspoon peperoncini juice
1 cup tomato juice
Splash of Guinness
Cracked salt and pepper
Pepperocini, pickled asparagus, pickles, parsley, celery, and any other garnish of your choosing
Mix all ingredients but the tomato juice, Guinness, salt and pepper, and garnishes. Add tomato juice, stir, add a few cubes of ice and garnishes and enjoy. I’ve found that it’s best enjoyed after a few minutes, to allow the ice to melt slightly and the flavors to meld together.