*: a nice wild card for cats and drinks::::
Now that we are just stepping into spring, I am already anticipating the summer heat, magnified certainly by being in my third trimester during the summer months. And I am immersed in some relaxation now in foresight. After moving to California almost three years ago, just last month was the first time I have made it back to central Illinois to visit my immediate family and visiting siblings. Despite the sickies, we still had a chance to catch up, laze around, drink tea, and have a typical weekend-everyday kind of feeling.
We usually celebrate with food in some sort, either cooking together or talking about it, my mother always so gracefully willing to allow us to mess up her kitchen for an afternoon, or more. You can see two of these instances in my whole-wheat sandwich bread recipe and my flourless caramel oat cookies recipe. Even though this is much of what I remember in my home growing up, these kitchen projects, I also became nostalgic for other parts of my childhood. I went running in the neighborhood, remembering old friends of mine and my siblings as I passed their parents’ homes. I remembered my sister’s friend J with the older brother who took ballet. There was my friend D who lived down the street from J, whose dogs clumsily slipped across half of her backyard after an ice storm as they ran out the door to pee. And T, the quiet, best friend of D, whose mom died of breast cancer when T was in high school. That was a day no one knew what to say. There was S, the high school football player, who also lived near our old house in another neighborhood, who got burned on his Dad’s Weber grill when he backed into it as a kid.
And then there was S, my best friend for many years, who lived in a nearby neighborhood. Her love of chocolate, her dog Jenny who died in a windstorm, how she cried when Michael Landon died, her love of dance, and under-confident approach to cooking are just a few things that I couldn’t help but recall has I passed nearby her parents’ old home. I never doubted she couldn’t cook, but it never seemed like anyone else in her home thought she could. Sometimes the best way to conquer something unknown or feared is to attack it as you are an expert. All the mistakes are learning points. Things get ironed out in the end. This was maybe too daunting a prescription for her, as I often wound up making zucchini bread for her mother and oversaw the preparation of many a chocolate-chip cookie recipe.
But this recipe is something I know she could make. The ingredients may seem a little exotic for her high-school or college tastes, but I know if presented with this recipe then, she could tackle it with my encouraging. The reason why this recipe is named a strawberry-lychee *ocktail is for the wild card representation of “c” or “m” as appropriate, but also for the remembrance of S’s sister’s cat, unusually and unforgettably named K.A.T.T.*. Yes, “*” is part of the name. She was bought in Chicago when her sister was doing an away-semester in college, living in a cramped apartment, needing a good mouser. K.A.T.T.* ended up back in central Illinois with S’s parents after that semester, wide-eyed, forever shedding her cottony fur, and without a mouse to catch.
This is for you, S. You can make this, no problem. The presentation is perfectly pretty, just like S’s old ballerina leotard, her pink mohair sweater in high school, and girly bedroom. A perfect match, with a little star to add.
One year ago: carrot-pineapple cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (and a cake)
Two years ago: strawberry-rhubarb crisp
- 3 small strawberries, hulled
- 1 canned lychee plus ¼ ounce syrup (can replace with fresh lychee and lychee liqueur if you can find it)
- ¼ ounce simple syrup (I actually used the lychee syrup here also)
- 2 ounces light rum (or may replace with seltzer water, if you're preggo like me)
- ½ ounce fresh lime juice
- Muddle the strawberries, simple syrup, lychee and lychee syrup in cocktail shaker.
- Add the rum, lime juice and ice, shake well and pour into a pretty glass.