the letter ‘c’

The letter ‘c’ has been on my mind as of late. Connection, change, compassion, compelling stories, cocktails, cookies…wait a minute. I will get to the signature spring cocktail first…


It really is not a ‘new’ cocktail to this is simply a modified cocktail for the 2011 Spring season! I wanted today to be a day filled with cooking, photography, tasting and relaxing. However I ended up getting in some sorely needed gym time, yard work, baked up some cookies (to be given away – hence the gym time) and made a simple syrup.

The simple syrup was, well, super simple. 1 1/2 cups of water, 1 cup of suger, fresh ginger root roughly cut, grapefruit zest (this is the ‘twist’ on the original) were boiled and simmered for 30 minutes or so. I cooled it down and stored it for later.

The pear ginger martini came about a few years ago. I wanted to be super chic and have a signature cocktail on hand…why? I am not so sure. Maybe just in case I ever threw a dinner party and needed a pitcher of martinis maybe? That has not happened…yet. Give me some time. I *know* I will have super happy guests when I unveil this cocktail! It is easy to make, light, and delicious:

3 oz. of pear vodka (I store it in the freezer which makes the vodka thicker – almost syrupy), 1 oz. of simple syrup, some fresh squeezed lemon (I usually use lime but I only had fresh lemon on hand). These ingredients were combined with ice and I danced around the kitchen with my shaker in hand. I poured this into my chilled martini glass and topped it off with some seltzer. Voila. A perfect cocktail was made!

I threw together a batch of some apple oatmeal cookies as well….just because I needed to make something. It didn’t matter what I made I just needed to be in my kitchen, in my space, and in my home. One thing I have realized as of late…the kitchen simply grounds me. It makes me feel a-ok again. You see I have gone through some tough times lately. I am not even sure that I have grasped all that has happened over the past few months to be honest. I feel like time will have a say in that. But one thing I know is that I can feel an instant calm when I hit the kitchen. I can finally breathe again. I can let go, create something, and feel like myself again.

I have been juggling what has felt like 100 balls at once. I realize this is not atypical of any person at any given time. Hey fellow music teachers – when is your next concert/parade/graduation/ etc.!?!?! Yes, in a few weeks? Yeah, I hear you! And when we all pause a moment, for a few days away from our precious rehearsals (*gasp*), to take time to celebrate the students who have been selected to participate in the All State Music Festival it is amazing. It is overwhelming to see all of these students working so hard to come together, perform, create and play/sing their hearts out. They get ‘it’. They get how the power of music restores and reinvigorates you. Yes, we are all exhausted. Yes, we all have a concert coming up. But there is an undercurrent of energy that takes over when you hear fine, young musicians take the stage. Incredible.

I don’t usually get super personal here and I typically keep things fairly vague. But, in all honesty, I have been grappling with the loss of close family members. I realize this is a ‘part of life’ and I should simply deal with it and move on. One thing I am trying to do is look at life with a new pair of eyes. To look at life and remember a few things these two fine gentleman have taught me: to help others, to work hard, to do my best, to give, to not settle for the sake of settling, to love, to live life, and remember that your mother will always be there for you – always. So, today, I raise my fancy little pear ginger cocktail in honor of those people. Cheers.





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