Thursday, July 10, 2008

Slash and Burn: A Cocktail (Recipe) for Disaster

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My body is roadmap of pain.  Of burns, slices and bruises so deep they last for weeks and change color with the seasons.

I have a caramel burn on my back compliments of the caramel burn on my hand.  The hand in question got dunked in 360-degree molten sugar.  I'm not going to go into the stupidity laced backstory on how it came to be submerged in sweet magma.  You need only know that when I had the foresight to remove it, my hand was festively wrapped in sticky hot sweetness.  No Halloween apple had a finer coating.  

My first reaction was to wipe it of on the back of my shirt.  I hit skin instead.  And I stuck.  I did a Martha Graham jig of agony to the sink and stayed there, paw in ice water, for the rest of the day.

I have a growth chart of burn scars up and down my forearms.  And two matching scars on either bicep.  I know how the former got there, hot sheet pans, but I don't know what the hell I did to earn the shiners on my "guns."

We have a mixer.  It's so large that it lives on the floor.  It's been in the exact same spot for three years, sitting just at the end of a stainless steel workbench.  We all cut the turn short at the table and slam our already tender right leg into the protruding gear knob of an immobile 50o pound mixer.  

I've sliced through a nerve on my index finger grabbing for a processor blade, which led to my nickname "psycho finger" because I was afraid to unwrap it from it's first aid swaddling for months.  Tim, he bakes with me, was out for two months with a blueberry injury.  He slipped outside on a nasty patch of ice hauling a crate of wild Maine blueberries. Broke his collarbone.  He lay on the ground, surrounded by thousands of juicy berries for twenty minutes. 

I've never locked up at the end of the day without some kind of wound; the shiny scars left behind on bakers are our equivalent of a laminated all access corporate i.d..  Some of these injuries deserve extra succor of the liquid variety.  Like after a trip to the emergency room for a life threatening lemon zesting injury, a little cocktail is the best medicine.

I tried this cocktail for the first time in Buenos Aires.  Ray and I went for Christmas for two whole weeks of vacation.  A hemisphere away from mile-high snowdrifts and unintentional power slides on black ice.  No waking at 3:30am and to bed at 8pm.  We ate dinner at midnight.  We'd have a cocktail to pass the time while we mulled the wine list.  I exposed my ankles to the sun and ate grilled meat for breakfast.  But what I took back with me as my fondest taste memory was this beautiful concoction.  It's tropical, mysterious and a great healer.

Passionfruit Healer

1 cup lemon vodka
2 tbsp Triple Sec
12 oz white cranberry juice
12 oz passionfruit juice
a few fresh mint leaves
a drop or two of ginger extract (to taste)

Muddle the mint leaves, ginger extract and a touch of the white cranberry juice in the bottom of a serving pitcher to release the oil in the mint leaves.  Ginger extract is POTENT stuff, so start out timidly.  Add vodka, triple sec and remaining juices.  Stir and add ice.  Serve in a large glass and behold a miraculous recovery.  
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