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Adventures in Writing, Reading & Book Culture

Day 5: Stirred, Not Shaken

martini comboI’ve pointed out previously that good American whiskey is expensive in Europe. So, being in a land where vodka is prominent (not quite as much as beer, a drink, however, they use to chase vodka), I’ve decided to switch to martinis. Good vodka is inexpensive, and olives, lemons and dry vermouth is abundant. I don’t have a martini shaker, but I do have a glass pitcher that resembles a 1950’s-style cocktail pitcher. I dug out a couple ancient champagne glasses that themselves resemble martini glasses. I think I’m set. Necessity is the mother of invention.

And let me tell you: a stirred martini is just as good as 007’s shaken variety. Here’s my new recipe: douse 1 cup of ice with 4 parts vodka and 1 part vermouth in a glass pitcher. Use a spoon or, if you have it, one of those glass martini rods, and stir vigorously. The idea is to hear the ice crackle together, and the glass tinkle. The combination of sounds gets you excited about drinking! Load up a toothpick with olives and drop into a martini (or champagne) glass. Pour a measure or two of the cocktail onto the olives. Enjoy your libation.

So on a not-entirely-antipodal note, I was thinking that one should try to learn something about oneself every day. This goes along the same lines as the adage, “you learn something new every day,” only you need to put a little introspection into motion to find out something about yourself. A lot of people don’t bother with introspection, I think; they like to bitch about other people, but did you ever hear someone say about him or herself, “I can be a real fuckhead sometimes!” Not hardly.

I think introspection scares people. They are asking themselves to think about who and what they are. Or perhaps they just don’t give a damned, and so never really think about making adjustments based on what they might see if they did look closely. Anyway, you might think this leads to something that I want to say about myself … like what I learned today or yesterday or looking foward to learning tomorrow. You’d be wrong. All of that is much to personal, and since this blog is very public, I’m not exposing myself like that. Do you think I’m crazy, or something?


  ClaireMargaret wrote @ August 27th, 2008 at 1:45 am

Glad to see you are keeping up the tradition. Looks like an great setup to me. All you are missing is the provalone!

  Mark wrote @ August 27th, 2008 at 8:00 am

Though lots of cheeses are available, I’ve not come across a provolone yet. It was a struggle just to find grated parmesan! A different culture in so many ways. They like their bread, that’s for sure.

  andy wrote @ August 27th, 2008 at 10:40 am

Hope it all goes well today mate chat soon.

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