Oysters eaten raw, sucking the heads of crawdads, a Sunday barbecue of marinated chicken, a pre-seance meal of broccoli and mussel salad, lemongrass soup and Chicken Jakarta, a weekday afternoon sipping Abita beer, and of course, drinking in the French Quarter. One of my favorite scenes is the excellent passage when Antoinette takes Ned to a French Quarter bar and he drinks a made-from-scratch Sazerac cocktail for the first time. You know, absinthe, bourbon, sweet vermouth, sugar, bitters. The secret is you take the absinthe, swirl it around the glass,and throw it out, then add the other stuff.
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In honor of Mardi Gras, coming up on Tuesday, I decided to try my hand at reproducing the Sazerac cocktail as described in this Big Easy-flavored novel. Cocktail experts, mixologists, historians and purists all have a variation of this recipe.
EASY GHOST MADELEINE COOKIES
Some use rye whiskey, some use cognac, some use a combination of those liquors, some use bourbon. Maybe I should have used rye whiskey? This is the method that worked for me. I also, of course, had to cook something New Orleans in mood and flavor to soak up the booze, so take a gander at my shrimp Creole recipe found here.
Rye whiskey, bourbon or cognac of your choice. Lemon peel. Pour a shot of Pernod into your highball glass and swirl it around. You want that hint of perfumed anise. Add about two shots of bourbon, your melted sugar, your bitters, and ice into a separate glass. Stir gently, and strain into your highball glass. Take a slice of lemon peel and rub it around the rim of the highball glass, then twist it so that the lemon oils are released into the glass.
Then, sip it while you turn your attention to decorating your miniature king cakes, cooking shrimp Creole and contemplating life in The Big Easy. What flavors will remain after this moment has passed? Weekend food, Wednesday Shakespeare, Giulia Neri illustrated poetry, and other things Tonno Bisaccio. A blog about Horror fiction, Horror writing, and Horror criticism Paper and Salt attempts to recreate and reinterpret dishes that iconic authors discuss in their letters, diaries and fiction.
Part food and recipe blog, part historical discussion, part literary fangirl-ing. Skip to content. I also, of course, had to cook something New Orleans in mood and flavor to soak up the booze, so take a gander at my shrimp Creole recipe found here and miniature King cakes, complete with babies and fleurs-de-lys.
No beads, though. Ingredients 1 highball glass, chilled if possible Absinthe or Pernod I used Pernod here. Lemon peel Method Pour a shot of Pernod into your highball glass and swirl it around. But beware. By now we know enough about Ned to figure that fear of getting murdered by Antoinette's current boyfriend could hardly be a deterrent. Watching her mix a frozen cocktail, Ned thought, "There are those rare nights reach exceeds grasp and the implausible becomes as real as the coins in our pocket. The narrative zings along, going back and forth in time, driven by history and gonads.
Why do I like this guy so much?
He's gracious to bag ladies. He can list all he possesses in a single sentence with four commas. He distinguishes between making love and having sex. And he tries to talk his way out of a mugging by telling the story of General Gordon's getting hacked to death by dervishes in Khartoum.
EASY GHOST MADELEINE COOKIES
That Ned continues to pine for the narcissistic Antoinette has to do with his yearning for the redemptive power of love and its ability to help us confront mortality. Girardi doesn't hit you over the head with this. Love is like faith: either you have it or you don't.
Ned's investigations into the saint and his ghost disclose a seance, a suicide, some miracles and a mummy. A woman breast-feeds poisonous snakes, 10 slaves are crucified, and there are people eating people. Ned's historical perspective will remind you that humanity has always been bonkers.
Things aren't worse now. We just see them closer up and faster, thanks to CNN. Quibbles: If you were almost fatally poisoned by oysters you shared with the person you loved most in the world, wouldn't you call that person and say, "How are you? But do women in New York pick up strangers in bars for one-night stands, then leave them alone in the apartment with a note to let themselves out?
I've never been sure what a beach book is, but there's a good chance "Madeleine's Ghost" is one. It is so freshly observed that the sound of surf won't distract you. When you laugh out loud, nobody will complain. When the covers are closed, what's irritating about it disappears faster than sand between your toes.