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The Dance

February 1, 2010
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I promise that this is the first and only time I will talk about toileting on a food blog. I know that the two subjects do not play well together. But I have to share this story in hopes that someone, somewhere, will listen and understand. At my place of business, they just installed automatic-flush toilets. This is great, except that (1) they often flush the paper no-cooties seat liner before I can sit down, and (2) they HAVE NO PANIC BUTTON. You know. The button you push if it flushes early, which mine always does, or you need to call in a courtesy flush, or whatever. The button they have in civilized restrooms.

So now, every time I go, I … go, and then I perform a pas de deux with the porcelain gods. I stand. I sit back down. I back into the corner of the stall and stand on my tiptoes so the toilet thinks that I left. I wait. No method is foolproof. All the while, I know my coworkers can hear and see me doing the please-flush-for-the-love-of-Pete shuffle. This is only marginally less awkward than bumping into a coworker while exiting a stall that has been … less automatically flushed than anticipated. And really people, I have to get back to my desk at some point.

I need a drink.

Rosemary 75

I first had this dangerously good variation on the French 75 at a dinner party. After drinking two of them, I performed every song I can play from memory while tipsy on the party host’s piano. And when I say “every song I can play from memory while tipsy,” I mean “What I Did For Love” from A Chorus Line 10-12 times. (We did what we haaaaad … toooo … dooooooooo!) I beseech you to vary the amount of simple syrup until you find your very own champers cocktail sweet spot.

1.5 ounces dry gin

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons rosemary simple syrup (recipe follows)

6 ounces dry sparking wine (champagne or prosecco will work)

Shake the gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with ice. Strain into a champagne flute and top with sparkling wine. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary–the lazy mixmaster’s lemon rind curlicue. Serves 1.

Rosemary Simple Syrup

I feared making simple syrup for far too long based on some nebulous mental montage of Food Network Stars admonishing me that sugar burns are extra painful. When the syrup started simmering, I briefly feared that it would explode, and I would end up the bad vegetarian version of Batman villain Two-Face (Bread or cheese? Bread or cheese? How about we FLIP A COIN TO DECIDE FOR ALL ETERNITY). I still have both halves of my face, and I think the odds are decent that you will pull through with both halves of yours. BUT MAYBE WE SHOULD FLIP A COIN?

1 cup sugar

1 cup water

4 fresh rosemary sprigs

Stir together the water, sugar, and rosemary sprigs in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, and then boil for about 1 minute, or until the sugar dissolves. Careful now. Think of Two-Face. Remove from heat, and let stand until cool. Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Store what’s left in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.

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