There are some who might say, perhaps rightly so, that I’m just a malcontent. And there’s no use trying to make or keep me happy. I might be one of those people who might, perhaps rightly so, describe myself as such.
However, I’ve been right proud of myself.
In spite of vexatious challenges, I have, mostly, kept last winter’s vow that I would not complain about the heat.
Now it was touch and go here for a couple of days, but I neutralized the pressure of pent-up whining by talking about the pent-up whining and what might be the imminent danger of my spontaneously combusting.
Still and all, other than a few Lawsy, Miz Scarlett, it sure be hot, I have not let the Inner Brat run free with her tantrums.
It is hot. It’s all over the news. Millions of us have become very learned about the heat index which for those of you not sweltering is summer’s version of wind chill. [I have been cogitating on whether damp and cold feels colder than dry and cold and wondering if there’s a corresponding cold index and also wondering about wind chill as it relates to stagnant, putrefying air versus summer breezes, but Lawsy, Miz Scarlett it be too hot for heavy thinking.]
The primary reason I haven’t volleyed a heat-induced rant on the topic of heat is that the Pied-a-Terre has air conditioning.
Now back to that malcontent descriptor. I have lived for so long now without air conditioning in my abode, I find it disconcerting. With air conditioning, I lose the white noise of fans and the flutter of my hair. I lose the fragrance of night-blooming lovelies. But mostly, it’s the sound of summer nights that I miss. In the cool confines of the apartment, I cannot hear the peepers or the breeze ruffling the tree canopies or the cat knocking over the pot of mint (again). It’s unnatural. And sort of creepy.
While it’s true, air conditioning at the apartment has probably kept me sane, I have very much enjoyed the past few days here at the barn. As long as one doesn’t move too fast, wears a minimum of clothes, and keeps an iced drink at hand at all times, it really hasn’t been that bad.
The iced drink thing leads me to my next topic. Chef Boy R’ Mine has made a liar out of me again. It’s a long boring story, but years ago I tried some alcoholic libations made with gin. Ack. Spit. Yuck! [gag]
Online, somewhere, somebody said something like, “gin is like sipping last year’s Christmas tree through rubbing alcohol.” Prior to reading that analogy, I ran around saying gin tastes like juniper-infused kerosene. I like the Christmas tree thing better – there’s pathos embedded that kerosene doesn’t invoke.
Child of Mine has been waxing rhapsodic about gin and fine wines for a time now. The sommelier at his club has been sharing some Truly Great Vin and, once in awhile (far too infrequently), I get to partake of some wines that I can’t envision ever being able to afford.
The gin thing I pooh-poohed as youthful indiscretion.
On his latest trip home, The Boy came bearing Tanqueray 10. We were here at The Barn. There was a heat index of 115F. He was cooking. We were talking. One thing led to another and I was fishing rocks glasses out of the china cabinet. [I’m a stickler for the right glass for the drink.]
I was prepared to be a good sport.
Oh my. OH MY.
I was astonished. I’m not much for mixed drinks – particularly those involving carbonated mixers. I had, once again, to admit I hadn’t known what I was talking about when I threw around descriptors like kerosene.
Chef Boy R’ Mine tells me that Hendricks gin is even better and that if I try it, I must garnish it with cucumber rather than lime. The cucumber thing rather intrigued me given that one of my favorite summer meals is tomato-cucumber-avocado salad with fresh ground pepper and sea salt.
Still and all, I was kind of puzzled. I honestly don’t like juniper which is the flavoring that makes gin gin. I went web-surfing and found a host of folks, including the Christmas tree guy, that weren’t fond of traditional gin, but liked T-10.
It seems this “premium” gin is made not only with juniper, but also with Florida oranges, Mexican limes, grapefruits and coriander. Mixed with tonic, these beautiful botanicals combine with the quinine to protect me from malaria and the quinine also acts as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory. As I ponder whether to have a third gin and tonic, I tell myself it’s medicinal.
So. I’ve had two gin and tonics this evening and am pondering a third. One with lime. And one with lime and cucumber. The latter is a real winner. It’s pretty in the glass, it’s tasty on the tongue, and it’s refreshing like a scented summer breeze in the cool of the evening after a blazing hot day.
[Aw, hell, hang on, it’s not like it takes a long time to make one of these things. And it is medicinal.]
I still haven’t whined.
Damn, this is a fine drink.