I’ve been driving around for the last few days with a 10-kilogram bag of sugar in my backseat.
Not even in the trunk — there isn’t enough room between all the flats of diet coke.
Lately, I’ve found myself in a position where I’m going through lots of sugar. Maybe not quite enough to justify purchasing a bag the weight of a small child, but it is a lot more cost effective this way.
It’s not that I suddenly have insatiable cravings for sweet stuff (I will almost always take savoury options over sweet ones when it comes to snacking, despite my love of baking), it’s that recipe testing comes with a lot of trial and error. And that means going through ingredients pretty quickly.
See, I’ve been keeping a small secret. At first because details had to be ironed out. And then because I just wasn’t even sure I believed it myself and finally because I didn’t really know how to even start that conversation.
But here it is: I’m writing a book. A cookbook.
(I celebrated signing by drinking some Veuve Clicquot Rose. Sometimes a girl just has to splurge on herself.)
This time next year, people — friends, family, strangers — will be able to walk into a bookstore, or go online, and purchase something with my name on it, with my recipes inside, with my photos illustrating those cocktails, cookies, salads, main dishes and more.
The book contains all recipes that use lemons, limes and grapefruits and it’s called (and I do love this part) Pucker.
When I started this blog five years ago, it was a little side project, a hobby, something to counteract the gloom of covering crime and calamity in the city. These were the years at the height of the gang war and city police were handling upwards of 30 homicides a year. Those days when I worked night shifts, those weekends when I wasn’t listening to the police scanner, I was baking and cooking, photographing and writing, all for the pleasure of it.
Now I get to do all that as my job. And that led to me writing a book as a result.
Life is amazing sometimes.
Let’s have a drink to celebrate, shall we?
How about with a Meyer Lemon Bourbon Sour.
Meyer lemons are slightly sweeter, more fragrant versions of their regular cousins, which are more typical for sour drinks. They work just as well, as long as there is compensation on the simple syrup end of the equation. A sweeter citrus means less sugar is needed.
I’ve gone old school with this sour, using egg white in the recipe to create a smooth and frothy cocktail. Those who don’t want to take chances by consuming raw egg can just leave it out. I make it both ways and both are equally good. (Though, admittedly, not using the egg white shaves off at least a minute. You know, if that drink needs to be made quickly. However, if you do use the egg white, may I suggest hanging on to the yolk and making some lemon curd?)
When I first started drinking sours, I made them with whiskey. (Good lord, this blog has come a long way since then. Yikes!) Over the last year, I’ve come to realize that I’m really much more of a bourbon girl. In particular, Buffalo Trace. So, that’s what I use in my cocktails, like this Old Fashioned. But, of course, use what you like, whether bourbon or whiskey.
And yes, this will probably be in the book.
Meyer Lemon Bourbon Sour
- 1 1/2 ounces bourbon or whiskey
- 1 ounce Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 ounce simple syrup
- 1 egg white
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine all the ingredients. Shake well. Strain into a glass and enjoy.