While I’ve become quite the nature boy of late (upcoming is a post about my new neighbor, the enormous spider), I haven’t forgotten the hallmarks of human civilization. After having a very fine Old Fashioned at Lunette on Friday night, I experimented with the cocktail over the rest of the weekend, concocting a variation of my own with muddled orange, lime, sour cherries in syrup (which I froze a month or so ago for just such an occasion), orange bitters, bourbon, and lemonade. Not the recipe in my Esquire Handbook for Hosts of 1953 (which begins, “In a squatty, robust-bottomed tumbler of the type designed for and dedicated to this drink, place a lump of sugar…”), but mighty good. I got the bourbon and orange bitters at LaNell’s in Red Hook, where the eponymous owner and I discussed the merits of swallowing versus spitting. Bourbon, that is.
Labor Day morning, I assisted OHS in the making of a key lime pie, from a recipe in the April ’97 Cooks Illustrated, which we then feed to two dinner guests. There was a savory to start, of course, but the pie was the thing. And damn, did it turn out well! Something about a graham cracker crust very much goes against Reverend Sylvester Graham’s conception of an anti-masturbatory whole wheat flour (no, I’m not kidding). Must be the Satan of sugar and the butter added to the pulverized crackers, inciting the animal lusts. The Adventuress reported that it improved her vision and J said she would return for dinner even if she wasn’t invited. (In my case, the pie helped to take out some of the bad taste in my mouth from the stunningly cynical choice of Palin to cement McBush’s appeal among the American Taliban.)