Oh, hello there, and happy New Year! How is 2016 going for all of you? I'm going to be honest with you (because that's what we do here at xoJane): from where I'm standing, this year sucks. It hasn't even been a week and I've found myself in a situation I'd never thought I'd be in, and it's honestly kind of devastating.
This, among other things, is why I'm grateful to have Recipe of the Week, a place where I can go to forget about my troubles and focus on two things that (usually) never hurt me, food and drink.
But enough about me, let's get to the recipes. Last time, we swapped a bunch of glorious, sparkly, New Year-appropriate cocktails. The winning libation came to us from Mapsandpeaches, and it is a thing of beauty:
Y'all. I just made an incredible punch concoction, called Charleston Light Dragoon Punch from our "Charleston Receipts" cookbook, published in 1950 (it has a host of recipes from the Lowcountry, including one for terrapin soup that has the opening line of: "Cut off turtle's head. Invert to drain blood"). I served it in a punchbowl with a homemade ice ring filled with lime and clementine slices and cherries. It was refreshing and slightly tart and a beautiful grapefruit red.
Combine in a gallon pitcher and let sit for at least two days:
2/3 cup of green tea and constant comment tea (I steeped them together)2/3 cup of raspberry syrup (I made mine fresh, but storebought is fine)1/3 cup grenadine syrup1/3 cup Grand Marnier2/3 cup light rum1 quart whiskeyThe juice from 4 oranges and 3 lemonsA cup of pineapple and a cup of tart cherries, whazzed together in a blender
Once it's time to serve it, strain it. This made almost 2 quarts, and you need to combine it with a little less sparkling water than punch concentrate. It'll sneak up on you.
Okay so, since I was traveling over the holidays, I didn't make it home in time to serve this on New Year's Eve. I also didn't have enough people to share two quarts with, so I scaled it down. Even scaled down, it makes 3-4 servings once the sparkling water is added. My smaller batch was comprised of:
- 2 tablespoons tea mixture
- 2 tablespoons raspberry syrup (a handful of raspberries boiled with sugar and a little water)
- 1 tablespoon grenadine
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 2 tablespoons rum
- 3/4 cup rye whiskey
- juice of 1/2 an orange and 1/2 a lemon
- 1 tablespoon of of pineapple juice
- 1 tablespoon tart cherry juice
This was all combined in a large Pyrex measuring cup and allowed to chill in the fridge for a couple of days. To serve, it was shaken with ice, poured into a pretty glass, and topped with sparkling water.
Now, when Mapsandpeaches tells you this will sneak up on you, you best heed. This stuff goes down easy, and it is strong. You can taste the ethanol, but it never registers as unbalanced or unpleasant. I blame the bubbles and all the fruit juice. To summarize: it's fucking tasty.
Obviously Mapsandpeaches gets a trophy, and since my original response to her comment was "I think I love you," the choice is clear:
Now let's move on to the first topic of 2016. Food gets particularly villainized at the beginning of each January, and I'm not going to participate this year. I'm not going to ask you about smoothies or salads or anything like that. In fact, my current mood on the subject is best expressed by my good friend and Twitter personality, Shit Food Blogger:
Seriously, fuck a juice cleanse.
Anyway. The topic I want to give you is potatoes, because potatoes are never not good. Unless they're undercooked, there is almost no way you can serve me a potato I will not enjoy. Roasted, mashed, scalloped, with cheese, with bacon, or just baked with a little butter, potatoes are a true friend that will never let you down. One of my most recent wonderful potato experiences involved these babies:
So tell me your favorite way to eat tubers, and let's collectively stuff them in our faces. You know what? I think that's going to be my 2016 resolution: eat more potatoes.