Inspiring words turned into a refreshing drink
I was doubly honored this week by two outstanding and original bloggers. First, Zerrin at Giverecipe shared her very first award, Kreativ Blogger, with me and 9 others - take a look at both her list and a simply sweet apple compote recipe! Zerrin, who blogs from her home in Turkey, started her site in late January with the goal of introducing readers to the incredible depth of her native cuisine. In this short space of time, she has presented a breathtaking variety of dishes, beautifully photographed and accompanied by thoughtful, personal commentary. Some recipes may be familiar to those already well-acquainted with Mediterranean food but so many others are complete revelations.
Next came the Sisterhood Award from a Wonder Woman of blogging - ChefBliss! If you haven't visited her site yet, head there immediately and check out the other recipients of this honor. From the very start of my blog, ChefB has been there to cheer me on, going so far as to cite something I've written as an inspiration for one of her posts and being kind (or is it brave?) enough to try one of my recipes. Quite simply, her blog exemplifies the joy of food.
Now, both of these awards came with requisite rules about passing them on but I can only reiterate that it is virtually impossible for me to choose from so many incredible sites. Once again, I wish to share this with all my fellow bloggers because we have in common not just a passion for food but also the desire to communicate and share it with a greater audience.
This brings me to a timely post from Lori at Fake Food Free who yesterday asked us to consider how and why we write, read and nurture blogs, both our own and others'. The discussion has touched on the rewards and difficulties of supporting each other in the food blog community, especially through comments.
It can be tough to leave meaningful words for every worthy post as we each discover new blogs to read in addition to our established favorites, all within the same limited time afforded by other aspects of our personal lives. However, such messages are the most tangible way to show each other support - for me, even a single phrase is a paragraph of encouragement.
So how can we reconcile showing such reciprocity of support without becoming consumed by posting, reading and commenting? The answer must lie in what we as individuals feel is appropriate for ourselves - there is no quota, standard or formal protocol. Instead, I'd like to think that we have become a community of friends who boost each other at every opportunity while recognizing that we don't necessarily need to be a constant presence to show our appreciation of fellow bloggers' creativity and hard work. With that said, I want everyone to know how incredibly grateful I am for each and every comment you leave on my posts - your complimentary and encouraging words are fuel for my blogging fire!
In fact, among the comments for the previous post introducing my entry to the Eating Your Words Challenge - a gelatin expression of gustatory appreciation - was this candid assessment from Spryte:
"Stuff floating in jello has always kinda creeped me out . . . well . . . unless it's a tequila worm in a jello shot!!"
I loved it! In addition to encouragement, comments left on blog posts also often provide inspiration and that was the case here. I thought that perhaps my Jell-O creation could be made more appealing to Spryte if it were floating in a completely different medium. I had some mango jelly left, so I roped our resident mixologist, Mr. Noodle, into helping me create the following potent libation. It's not a tequila worm but I think it's worth a (jello) shot!
Named after its inspiration, this drink recipe is pretty standard and very flexible with regard to proportions. We chose rum as the alcohol base because it's a classic pairing with the coconut flavor found in the mango jelly as well as the citrus-infused simple syrup.
Bacardi Silver Rum
Orange-infused simple syrup (see suggestions at Online Pastry Chef)
To make syrup: combine 1:1 ratio of sugar and water (for 2 servings, use 1/3 cup of each) in a pot and add orange zest or peel with pith scraped off. Bring to a light boil until sugar is completely dissolved. Remove from heat and leave to cool for at least 30-45 minutes. Syrup will thicken a bit; zest or peel can then be removed. For best results, allow orange flavor to steep in syrup for at least one day.
Mango/coconut jelly, cut in small cubes (mix can be found at most Asian groceries)
Optional: sprig of mint or basil (Thai basil, pictured)
In a highball glass, add crushed ice and equal parts rum, club soda and simple syrup. Stir well and add several pieces of mango jelly. Top with herb garnish and enjoy!
3/7/09 update: Resident mixologist, Mr. Noodle, cautions that an equal part of simple syrup may result in a sugar overdose. He recommends approximately 1 oz of syrup per glass or, better yet, adding it to taste.