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Do you ever have a difficult time deciding what kind of wine to serve with Thanksgiving dinner?  Of course you do….more than half of your guests like red wine and we all know white wine is the appropriate wine to serve with fowl.  Should it be a strong Malbec or Cabernet?  Or perhaps a Pinot Noir or Zinfandel?  And what white wine should you serve?  Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, Chablis, Sauvignon Blanc?   Well you can see it’s really a conundrum, so I suggest you stick to Apple Cider.

Apple Cider, the traditional Autumn harvest drink, is the perfect non-alcoholic beverage to accompany your Thanksgiving feast.  I see these cocktails being served before dinner because I think the traditional Thanksgiving meal is on the sweet side.  I try to keep the sweetness to a minimum; No marshmallows on my sweet potatoes, even my cranberry sauce is tart;  I make it with grated ginger and sherry vinegar.  

Which one of these cider concoctions will you be serving this year?

1. Cider & Pomegranate Margaritas:   Coarse salt,  1/2 oz. simple syrup,  1/2 oz. fresh lime juice, 2 oz. tequila,  2 oz. pomegranate juice,  4 oz. apple cider. Dip the rim of the glass in water, then in the salt.  Combine all ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake vigorously, strain.

2. Citrusy Cider Scotch & Lavender:  1 sprig fresh lavnder,  lemon wedge,  1/2 oz. simple syrup,  3/4 oz. fresh lemon juice,  2 oz. scotch,  4 oz. apple cider.  Combine main ingredients and ice in a cocktail shaker.  Shake vigorously.  Garnish with the lemon wedge and lavender.

3.  Cider Dark & Stormy: lime wedge,  4 oz. ginger beer, 1/4 oz. fresh lime juice, 2 oz. dark rum, 2 oz. apple cider.  Combine the cider, rum, and lime juice in an ice-filled glass.  Top with the ginger beer. Garnish with the lime wedge.

Don't Forget the Mint Sprig

Don’t Forget the Mint Sprig

4.  Gingery Cider with Tequila:  1 spring mint, 1 small piece sliced fresh ginger, 1 strip lemon zest, 1 TBS fresh mint leaves, 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp agave, 2 oz. tequila, 4 oz apple ciderMuddle mint leaves, ginger, lemon zest and agave in a cocktail shaker.  Add cider, tequila, and ice.  Shake vigorously.  Strain over crushed ice and serve with the mint sprig.

5.  Cider Shandy:  1 orange slice, 6 oz. lager, 6 oz. apple cider.  Combine the lager and cider.  Serve with an orange slice.

6.  Smoke & Spice Cider:  1 sprig mint,  3 slices jalpeno, 1 TBS fresh mint leaves, 1/4 oz. simple syrup,  3/4 oz. fresh lime juice, 2 oz. mescal, 4 oz. apple cider.  Muddle the mint leaves and jalapeno in a cocktail shaker.  Add remaining ingredients and ice.  Shake vigorously and pour into the glass. Serve with the mint sprig.

Apple Cider Champagne

Cider Bellini

7.  Cider Bellini: 1 spring fresh rosemary, sparkling wine like Prosecco,  1/2 oz. apple cider. Pour the cider into a champagne flute.  Top with sparkling wine.  Serve with the rosemary sprig.

8.  Fall Cider Sangria: 1 sliced apple, 1 sliced pear, 1 sliced orange, 8 oz, apple brandy, 1 bottle white wine, 32 oz. apple ciderCombine all ingredients in a large pitcher.  Chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

9.  Spiked Cider Tea:  2 thin lemon slices, 1 black tea bag, 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract, 2 oz. gin, 8 oz. apple cider.   Bring the cider and vanilla to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the tea bag;  steep 3 minutes. Remove tea bag and stir in the gin.  Serve with a lemon slice.

10. Rum & Pineapple Punch: 1/2 sliced fresh pineapple, 1 oz. fresh orange juice, 1 oz. simple syrup, 1 1/2 oz. lemon juice,  2 oz. brandy,  4 oz. rum,  16 oz. apple cider.  Combine the pineapple, cider, rum, brandy, lemon juice,  simple syrup, and orange juice in a punch bowl.   Chill at least 4 hours and up to overnight.

I think I’m setting a record for myself by making this three weeks in a row that I’ve failed to post Six Word Memoir Monday on the appropriate day of the week!  Good God!! Me, Miss Organization!  The definition of the saying, “A day late and a dollar short”  is late and ill-prepared.  Mmmm I’ve got to clean up this act next week.

So last week, I suggested a Six Word Memoir on advice.  I thought it would be easy but my brain has only been functioning in real estate mode now for the last couple of weeks.  NOT that, that isn’t good because it is, work is work after all.

Here’s what I received in the way of reader contributions:

1. “Don’t just eat vanilla, try pistachio” – Laura

2. “Remember, there are always other options” – Me

3. “Smiles are free….Give away plenty” – Laura

4. “Every action = reaction, good or bad” – Me

And from the contributors to Smith Magazine‘s Six Word Memoir Project, we have the following gems:

1.”You made your bed….Remake it” – LotLessMonster

2. “Trials and tribulations, harbingers of revelations” – Daisylublue

3. “Choose the path of least regret” – anb7

4. “It’s never too late for Paris” – 0opsalittle

Next week how about Thanksgiving in 6 courses – Uh no I mean Six Words!

My friend and gourmet cook (and food photographer), Grace Gotham, has lately been posting yummy photos of her culinary creations.  She cooks healthy, light and delicious dishes and has given me permission to post her tuna salad roll.  Seriously her photos practically make you want to lick the computer screen!! I know that sounds gross but you’ll see for yourself!

Here’s is Grace’s quick and easy recipe:

Tuna served lobster roll style! Tuna salad made with @fage 2% Greek yogurt, fresh dill, lemon zest, lemon juice, finely chopped celery and onion, diced kosher dill pickles, and a smidge of Sir Kensington mayonnaise. @gothamgreens Bloomin Brooklyn iceberg lettuce adds fresh crunch. All on a classic Martin’s potato roll. ‪#‎gracegothamgourmet‬ ‪#‎tasseltotable‬

Tuna Served Lobster Roll Style

Tuna Served Lobster Roll Style

Almost but not quite, everyone has a nickname.  Babies get temporary nicknames like sweetie pie, bunny, cookie face, doll baby.  As these little babies grow up their given names may also evolve into some shortened version albeit a nickname that is easily recognized as an abbreviated take on their actual name.  For example just in my own and extended family, Janet became Janie, Ellen became Ellie, Chiara became KiKi, Lorraine became Lori and Alyson became Sonny.

And then there are some nicknames that have historical origins and our Thursday’s Top Ten List will explore some of them.

1. WHY IS DICK FROM RICHARD?

The name Richard is very old and was popular during the Middle Ages. In the 12th and 13th centuries everything was written by hand and Richard nicknames like Rich and Rick were common just to save time. Rhyming nicknames were also common and eventually Rick gave way to Dick and Hick, while Rich became Hitch. Dick, of course, is the only rhyming nickname that stuck over time. And boy did it stick. At one point in England, the name Dick was so popular that the phrase “every Tom, Dick, or Harry” was used to describe Everyman.

2. WHY IS BILL FROM WILLIAM?

There are many theories on why Bill became a nickname for William; the most obvious is that it was part of the Middle Ages trend of letter swapping. Much how Dick is a rhyming nickname for Rick, the same is true of Bill and Will. Because hard consonants are easier to pronounce than soft ones, some believe Will morphed into Bill for phonetic reasons. Interestingly, when William III ruled over in England in the late 17th century, his subjects mockingly referred to him as “King Billy.”

3. WHY IS HANK FROM HENRY?

The name Henry dates back to medieval England. (Curiously, at that time, Hank was a diminutive for John.) So how do we get Hank from Henry? Well, one theory says that Hendrick is the Dutch form of the English name Henry. Henk is the diminutive form of Hendrick, ergo, Hank from Henk. Hanks were hugely popular here in the States for many decades, though by the early 90s it no longer appeared in the top 1,000 names for baby boys. But Hank is making a comeback! In 2010, it cracked the top 1,000, settling at 806. By 2013 it was up to 626.

4. WHY IS JACK FROM JOHN?

The name Jack dates back to about 1,200 and was originally used as a generic name for peasants. Over time, Jack worked his way into words such as lumberjack and steeplejack. Even jackass, the commonly used term for a donkey, retains its generic essence in the word Jack. Of course, John was once used as a generic name for English commoners and peasants, (John Doe) which could be why Jack came became his nickname. But the more likely explanation is that Normans added -kin when they wanted to make a diminutive. And Jen was their way of saying John. So little John became Jenkin and time turned that into Jakin, which ultimately became Jack.

5. WHY IS CHUCK FROM CHARLES?

“Dear Chuck” was an English term of endearment and Shakespeare, in Macbeth, used the phrase to refer to Lady Macbeth. What’s this have to do with Charles? Not much, but it’s interesting. However, Charles in Middle English was Chukken and that’s probably where the nickname was born.

6. WHY IS PEGGY FROM MARGARET?

The name Margaret has a variety of different nicknames. Some are obvious, as in Meg, Mog and Maggie, while others are downright strange, like Daisy. But it’s the Mog/Meg we want to concentrate on here as those nicknames later morphed into the rhymed forms Pog(gy) and Peg(gy).

Edward "TED" Kennedy

Edward “TED” Kennedy

7.  WHY IS TED FROM EDWARD?

The name Ted is yet another result of the Old English tradition of letter swapping. Since there were a limited number of first names in the Middle Ages, letter swapping allowed people to differentiate between people with the same name. It was common to replace the first letter of a name that began with a vowel, as in Edward, with an easier to pronounce consonant, such as T. Of course, Ted was already a popular nickname for Theodore, which makes it one of the only nicknames derived from two different first names. Can you name the others?

8. WHY IS HARRY FROM HENRY?

Since Medieval times, Harry has been a consistently popular nickname for boys named Henry in England. Henry was also very popular among British monarchs, most of whom preferred to be called Harry by their subjects. This is a tradition that continues today as Prince Henry of Wales , as he was Christened, goes by Prince Harry. Of course, Harry is now used as a given name for boys. In 2006, it was the 593rd most popular name for boys in the United States. One reason for its upsurge in popularity is the huge success of those amazing Harry Potter books.

9. WHY IS JIM FROM JAMES?

There are no definitive theories on how Jim became the commonly used nickname for James, but the name dates back to at least the 1820s. For decades, Jims were pretty unpopular due to the “Jim Crow Law,” which was attributed to an early 19th century song and dance called “Jump Jim Crow,” performed by white actors in blackface. The name “Jim Crow” soon became associated with African Americans and by 1904, Jim Crow aimed to promote segregation in the South. Jim has since shed its racial past, and is once again a popular first name for boys all by itself, sans James.

10. WHY IS SALLY FROM SARAH?

Sally was primarily used as a nickname for Sarah in England and France. Like some English nicknames, Sally was derived by replacing the R in Sarah with an L. Same is true for Molly, a common nickname for Mary. Though Sally from the Peanuts never ages, the name itself does and has declined in popularity in recent years. Today, most girls prefer the original Hebrew name Sarah.

May 24, 2010 – 5:07am

Today was exactly the kind of day, this hearty soup would be an excellent choice.  Yesterday it was 61 degrees in New York City and this morning it was gray and foggy.  By noon the sun was full out  shining brightly and the temperature zoomed up to the mid-60’s BUT by the time I walked home around 6pm, the temperature was dipping into the 40’s  – And that’s why you’ll want to make this Fish Chowder!

Speedy and Smokey Fish Chowder

Speedy and Smokey Fish Chowder

This is one of those recipes that calls for you to use your own judgement as to how much of each item to use.  We start with just a bit less than a pound of fish and then you’re on your own but don’t worry, I think the familiarity of the ingredients will dictate the amount to use.  It’s a matter of personal preference and taste.

Dice some bacon if you’re a meat eater, or melt some butter if you are not (or both if you are reckless), and sauté some onions, carrots and diced potatoes in the fat and meat until the onions have gone translucent. Hit the mixture with some salt and pepper and a flash of smoked paprika if you have it. Some of the ears of tiny chowder-corn that are in some farmers’ markets would be a fine addition, so too would be a cup of frozen corn.

Do you have any fish stock? No? White wine? Surely you have water. Add enough that the potatoes are almost swimming, then a bay leaf, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Allow the chowder to bubble along until the liquid has reduced by a third and the potatoes are tender. Add a splash or two of milk or cream and allow it to heat and thicken slightly.

Now cut the fillets into chunks and stir them in gently. Five minutes later: chowder. Serve with crusty bread.

I found this recipe in the NY Times Cooking Newsletter

Here’s my excuse this week, I’ve been  working really hard, getting an apartment ready for the market.  I’m  excited about this opportunity, I believe it’s going to sell quickly and at a good price.  It’s only been a week since I met with the owner and together we’ve removed several pieces of furniture, books, personal photos and lots of things - the stuff we all have!  The furniture has been moved to storage along with many boxes of books and things.  Then I staged the apartment, the windows were washed, some of the rugs removed – we’re all set for the photographer tomorrow. 

I had a feeling I might not make the Monday deadline so I’m staying up tonight to get yesterday and today’s blog up.

Last week I suggested we follow the lead of Smith Magazine who issues a challenge each week;  It was Sell Yourself In Six Words.  Thanks to Susan who was the only reader who sent in a Six Word Memoir about herself in ad form.  Now that means I have to come up with a few!!

1. SALE; Classic Woman, Kind Loving Heart – Susan

2. Not Too Much Wear And Tear – me

3. Condition Good – Some Wrinkling At Corners – me

4. Choose Wisely - We Don’t Give Refunds – me

And here are some of the very clever entries from Smith Magazine:

1. Tends To Swim Against The Tide – Midnight

2. Ex-Stripper Turned Writer – More Exposed Now -Christine MacDonald

3. Minimalist Who Is Anything But Simple – Susan_Breeden

4 Chameleon Likes Punk Shows, Fancy Restaurants – Chewy D2

HELP - 5 Cents!

HELP – 5 Cents!

How about this for next week?  The Best Advice In Six Words

Happy Sixing – Hope to hear from you!

 

Let me just say that the cool weather has not in the least dampened my desire for ice cream.  If ever there was a dessert for all seasons,  ice cream is it!  However, also being an avid collector I thought why not feature some of the fun collectibles associated with my favorite food – Ice Cream.  Today it’s all about vintage and antique ice cream scoops. 

Vintage Heavy Metal Scoop

Vintage Heavy Metal Scoop

Antique Bell Shape Scoop with Heart design

Antique Bell Shape Scoop with Heart design

'50's Turquoise Ice Cream Scoop

’50’s Turquoise Ice Cream Scoop

Antique Ice Cream Slicer/Scoop

Antique Ice Cream Slicer/Scoop

Early Ice Cream Scoop

Early Ice Cream Scoop

Vintage Metal Scoop

Vintage Metal Scoop

Old Wooden Handle Scoop

Old Wooden Handle Scoop

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