How to make a real daiquiri, thanks to that great celebrity chef and food expert, Alton Brown. This recipe, and others like it, can be found at the Food Network website. Enjoy this clean, sweet drink. Cheers!
2 cups crushed ice, plus extra for chilling glass
2 ounces light rum
1-ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, strained of pulp
1/2-ounce Simple Syrup, recipe follows
If your glass is not chilled, do so by placing some crushed ice in it and set it aside while you prepare the cocktail.
Place the 2 cups of crushed ice into a cocktail shaker. Pour the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup over the ice, cover, and shake well. Remove the ice from your serving glass and strain the drink into it. Serve immediately.
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the saucepan and allow to cool completely. Syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Almost as good as pirate loot, but without the stealing, murder, threat of drowning, or eating of maggot infested beef. Behold: Swagbucks! A search engine, powered by Google, which doles out "swagbucks" as you search the Internet. Sometimes you get 1, sometimes you get 3, 5 or more. Not on every search mind you, but you can get a few a day. And it's not fake swag, either--once you build up anywhere from 1 to several hundred or thousand you can buy real things. For example, for every 45 or so swagbucks you can buy a $5.00 Amazon card to buy any gentlemanly apparel, books or gadgets you like. I heard of one woman who earned enough to buy a new Apple laptop. We here earned enough swagbucks to get about $100 or so worth of Amazon gift cards, with which we did a good deal of our Christmas shopping.
Swagbucks: Brilliant! Just click SWAGBUCKS and start earning. Happy looting!
(And no, there's no catch, nothing to buy, or try, or any nonsense like that--search, earn swagbucks, earn gift cards to participating stores and the like. That's it.)
Lads, it's time. Yeah, you know what for. No, don't say it! Do not say "Actually, I don't," because that's just the trouble. No, the trouble isn't that you don't know what I'm talking about, the trouble is that you "actually" don't know.
Here's the thing: From Isaac Laughlyn we have this observation: "People are always adding the word 'actually' to 98.3 % of their verbiage. Why won't they stop? Stop! WDG, what do you think?"
I actually think you're right. And in examining the foregoing sentence we will see that the word "actually" is what linguistic scholars and school children call redundant. All one has to say is, " I think you're right." Do I actually think that? Yes--otherwise why would I say it at all? As Bertie Wooster would say, "Expunge the word actually from your vocabulary."
This also applies to the word "literally." As in, "I was riding my bike and I literally crashed right into that street mime." Once again: Redundant! Either you did or did not run over a mime with your bike (one would hope you did, but that's beside the point). There is no need to add "literally" unless there is serious reason to suppose that others will think you're speaking figuratively about running into that mime with your bike.
Finally, we cannot forget the phrase, "A whole 'nother." For starters, there is no word "'nother." But even if there were such a word, 'nother would be a contraction of "another," thus producing the phrase "A whole another," which doesn't make a lick of sense. What is meant here is, of course, "A whole other." Sure, it isn't the best phraseology, but at least it actually makses sense, literally.
Gentlemen, we ought to speak as clearly, chivalrously and with as little redundancy and grammatical daftness as possible, for the sake of our listeners and in order to educate the masses, as gentlemen should do by their very example.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Trenches in World War I were muddy, messy, dangerous places; the sort that could cave in, the kind where diseases lurked and bullets whizzed by you from an enemy sometimes as close as 30 yards away. Just beyond your cozy bunker, bombs were being lobbed into no man's land, or into your trench if it was dug in a bad spot.
But on Christmas night, 1914, along a good portion of the front, the Germans did something a bit unexpected: They invited the English to join them in no man's land to sing Christmas carols. Pretty soon both sides were not only singing, but were engaged in fierce matches of soccer. They shared cigarettes, and showed one another photos of loved ones back home. It was a moment of sanity and humanity in the midst of horror and, well, insanity. And it was brought about not by the commanders, but by the guys doing the dirty work, the common soldiers. Some of the commanders did approve of the festivities, while others were afraid it was allowing the enemy to restructure their defenses. Maybe other commanders were afraid that peace might break out.
But it was the right response--gentlemen may be compelled to fight, and they hopefully fight honorably, but a gentleman knows that Christmas is not the time to be fighting. It's, well, Christmas.
With that in mind, please take a listen to one of the best, least played and most under-rated Christmas carols of all time, "Snoopy's Christmas." It's located at the top right of this page.
A Merry Christmas to you all, and a Happy New Year!