14 April 2009

Frivolity galore

Phew, it has been a week of exceptionally frivolous poetry and as much frivolous goat's cheese and sparkling wine consumption.

To illustrate frivolity galore, let me first begin with (so-called) poems of my production. What follows is one such example.


A dude took a pot and went with it abroad.
The dude was cute.

(And because he is a genius and such a progressive thinker, I am dedicating this couplet to Luke.)

Or another one:


Oh my, oh my, oh my -
I am glad I am still alive.
A river of sparkling wine and a pot of curry
Made my mind somewhat blurry.
(In case you question -- rightly so – the rhythm and metre in the poem,
Please know this: both are aggressively forced!
The meaning too, in fact.)

Holidays, I find, bring a great opportunity to learn new things about yourself. I, for instance, have discovered that festive alcohol consumption is a source of calamitous poetry in my life (see above). What’s more, I also found out that booze in cheese makes me loopy, somewhat. And, to crown it all, ginger juice in sparkling wine (or champagne) boosts a confident lunatic in me. Jo-ho!

It all began when I said I’d love to contribute to a quickly-thrown lunch for four that was to take place on Saturday in a faraway corner of Holland, which is the city of Nijmegen where Luke lives (nearly two hours by train from Amsterdam down to a German border!).

After a fiery negotiation it was decided that I bring bread and goat's cheese from a farmer’s market. Was it a mild or sharp goat's cheese that I should bring, I asked. ‘Surprise me,’ was the answer.

In passing, I should note that, generally, the ability to surprise is my second nature. Yet, I fail to do so when I am expected to surprise, you know. To this, however, I have an antidote that I’ve developed over the last couple of months. It’s very simple: when you are asked to surprise somebody  -- surprise, that is, with your choice of goat's cheese -- go for quantity as well as for quality. You’ve got my word that the quantity alone may be very surprising to people. So instead of ravaging my mind with a task to choose one type of goat's cheese, I got three (needless to say, I would go for more if I were not on a lean student budget at the moment). These were: young and soft natural goat's cheese, sharp and ripe Tome de Chevre, and goat's cheese bathed in Vieux Marc Bourgogne and subsequently wrapped up in rosemary, for good measure. The latter, so rich in taste as well as spirits, made me later laugh like a sailor – loudly, snorting-ly, absolutely unladylike. Jo-ho!

The day progressed, and so did the degree of my spiritedness. When the evening fell, I reached the point of non-stop laughing and thus scared my companions a great deal. Who is this girl?

Speaking of alcohol consumption I must say that as a rule (and as my mother used to instruct me) I usually don’t go for more than a glass of wine at a time, one and a half at a pinch. The same mother, however, also instructed me that, shall a necessity for being hyper-frolic arise, it is better, even desirable, to indulge yourself in the gifts of Bacchus -- (sparkling) wine -- rather than trying ‘the-devil-knows-what’.

We are now in a position, Dear Reader, when I should tell you about my adolescence experience of taking my first sip of wine for which I did not express any interest well until my sixteenth summer. By then, all my peers had already got a lot of drinking savvy, and my mother thought that it was only a matter of time before I tried beverages stronger than soda. She did not want to hurry things up with my natural evolution, of course; still, she did not want me to end up completely drunk somewhere at a party where my peers could start nudging me to try this and that. That was how mother figured that she should be the person who would first introduce me to wine. She thought it would be simple and easy. Only it was not. Instead of trying red wine which mother gracefully poured in a glass and diluted with water (!), I spent the whole evening whining. I was scared - what! - to get drunk, which I believed I would as soon as wine would touch my lips. Eventually, I tried what I was offered. That made me stop whining.

But back to the present, that is, to last Saturday when I announced to everybody that I was going to make an easy cocktail of two ingredients: sparkling wine and fresh ginger juice. Luckily, I did not meet much resistance to my plans, so the festive evening proceeded. As did my laughter. Jo-ho!

Champagne with Ginger Juice, or Punchy 'Punch'

Loosely adapted from Monina Bhinde, via Leite's Culinaria

The idea found me together with this clip in which Monica Bhinde suggests a simple recipe for Guava Bellini cocktail, sewn together by guava puree, ginger juice and sparkling wine/champagne.

Having no guava puree at hand, I thought of something simpler. This: Over a small bowl, grate one-inch piece of fresh ginger (peeled). Squeeze the juice with your fingers. Pour the juice – 1/4 to 1/2 tsp - in a tall champagne glass and proceed with demi-sec sparkling wine (or champagne). Normally, I prefer Brut, but in this mix the sweetness of the demi-sec plays nicely against the fresh ginger's punch, leaving your palate slightly tickled and excited.

Drink as such, or assign it to accompany a spicy Indian meal, for instance. You’ve got my frivolous testimony that it's going to work.

I hope you had a nice Easter weekend, My Dear Reader!


Anna said...

mmm, this drink recipe looks delicious! i'm so excited to try it on a special occasion. it seems very apt for spring!

anya said...

Anna, it is absolutely delicious, and - a word of warning - quite addictive. Please let me know what you think once you try it! :)

Toni said...

Anya, your posts are getting funnier and better all the time! Would never have thought of ginger juice with champagne. Orange juice - yes. But ginger juice? However, a bit of the bubbly and who cares what the juice is? LOL!

anya said...

Toni, thanks! I've discovered that to make fun of myself (and some others) is, well, so much fun. :) For the same reason (my fixation on humour, that is), I'm even writing my premaster dissertation on humour in presidential debates 2008. How does that sound? :) To be honest, it's a shame, though, that writing academic paper does not allow for humour per se. Anyway...We've got bubbly and ginger, so things shall be good.