Saturday, February 13, 2010

A Well-Deserved Gimlet



Do you have "family days" at your house? You know, weekend days where you ask the kids, "Hey, what do you want to do today?" and, barring a spontaneous journey to Mars, try to make that happen?

At our house, this is a dicey proposition. Consider the difference in ages: Awesome Stepkid R. (17), Miss D. (8), Miss M. (4). Do you guys know of an activity that delights a seventeen year old, an eight year old and a four year old equally? If you do, send me the memo, wouldja? Because I got nothin'.

What we usually do is take turns; ASR will pick the activity one weekend, Miss D. the next, and so on. It works okay for us, but often we will have at least one sulky child at said chosen activity, which is a pain in the ass.

A few weekends ago, however, ASR was busy at his mom's house, so Hubs and I asked the girls how they wanted to spend the day. The answer: lunch at our favorite neighborhood pizza joint, mini-golfing and a trip to Borders for a new book each. Sounds manageable, right?

So off we went. Lunch went okay, although it was a bit disjointed because Miss M. thinks it's funny to demand that Mommy take her to the potty every five minutes when we're at a restaurant. Especially once the food comes. Now realize that anywhere else, at any other time, Miss M. acts as if the potty is the Devil's Instrument. But when Mommy's trying to get food down her gullet? The potty rocks.

Mini-golfing seemed like a brilliant idea in the morning, when we looked outside and saw sunshine and blue sky. Ah, the wicked temptress that is Colorado weather. Sure it's sunny, but it's still only 43 degrees out and the wind had kicked up. We froze our cabooses off. Near the end, when everyone was ready to get outta town, more cheating went on than I think has ever been seen in the history of mini-golf.

And then, of course, there was the pee accident in the Checkout Line from Hell at Borders. Cue the wailing and the waterworks.

We arrived home, almost four hours later, drained of energy and in much need of refreshment. The girls sipped mugs of cocoa with marshmallows. Hubs and I felt we deserved something a leeeeetle stronger. Okay, a lot stronger.

What can I say? I think a rocking retro cocktail in the late afternoon is nothing short of brilliant.

Basil-Lime Gimlet
from Sunset Magazine
makes 4

3/4 cup gin (you can use vodka if you prefer)
3/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
1/4-1/2 cup basil simple syrup, or to taste
lime and basil for garnish

Basil Simple Syrup

In a saucepan, combine 1 cup water and 3/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil, stir until sugar dissolves and remove from heat. Add 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil. Let steep 15 minutes. Strain basil out of syrup. Leftover syrup keeps well in the refrigerator.

Combine the gin, lime juice and basil simple syrup in a pitcher. Add plenty of ice; stir, pour into glasses, enjoy.

34 comments:

  1. Mexican Train? I think that could work!

    Haven't played the one on this link myself, so don't...AS might try to jump the fence, but it sounds like something the little missies would enjoy.

    http://lauraleephotography.squarespace.com/lauras-journal-home/2010/1/12/family-fun.html

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  2. Perfect ending to an outing like that!

    My daughter loved walking around in restaurants, never actually sitting down to eat - too many things to see!

    One time on a family vacation, it was the last night and I splurged on a giant steak and shrimp. I think I had all of two bites because Hannah wanted to walk on the dock and look at the boats.

    I had it wrapped up - the next day I asked my Aunt where my doggie bag was and she said "oh, I didn't know you wanted that - I gave it to the dogs!"

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  3. Ah, at last. A recipe I think I can master. Even at 9am. Except for the damn reflux. OKAY. Coffee first, will dream of a gimlet. (Do I get to dream of a Mad Man to go with it, as well?) Rockin' retro indeed.

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  4. I get exhausted just reading this. You definitely deserve a drink. Or two.

    Are there any crazy museums around? Sometimes they're called Discovery Museums, sometimes they're just known as "the awesome museum with all the hands-on stuff." We had a couple of those back home and they were amazing. I loved them when I was in elementary school and I loved them when I went back a few years ago.

    Then again, they're really only good once every year or so, but if you haven't been recently...

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  5. I am laughing out loud, as usual. First of all, this cocktail sounds fantastic (and I love that you too end a day like that with a beverage ... ditto). And the story of your day just is so familiar and so funny. Eeek. We WILL look back and laugh on these moments, I know it, but when they are happening ... not as funny. That's the power of your writing, KW - you remind me of how wonderful and how funny this moment of life is, even as I'm living it. Thank you.

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  6. I needed one of those last night. Where were you? *g*

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  7. This recipe is so needed in our house this weekend. We're trapped, snowed in with three kids of a similar age range (17, 6, 5). Pour me another one!

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  8. I'm so rude: I stared at that drink and got so excited, I forgot to read the rest of the post before commenting. I'm back now: we don't have family days in the formal sense (I'm far too controlling for that). We try to have family evenings though, like last night: homemade pizza and Olympics.

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  9. Lord, hand me gimlet, chickie! After my day yesterday(inventory prep ay work,a cab that never arrived to pick me up at work and coming home to find Andy wrecked our new car) I could use a gimlet.

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  10. Gimlet=yum! I am a martini man. I like the idea of a basil simple syrup, I am going to try that.

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  11. So. Many. Outings. Like. That.

    I never thought to finish them with a gimlet. You're a genius.

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  12. A basil lime gimlet sounds incredible- especially after a day like that!

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  13. Oh your basil syrup sounds like a winning touch! I'll have to try that.

    I have just one daughter so I can't realate to the "do something to that make the whole family happy" thing, but I can to the bathroom thing. She would always have to "go" when we were in certain stores...or restaurants...come on, please not in public bathrooms! and if you say no you can't (knowing that they really don't have to go) if anyone is watching, they think how horrible is that mom!

    Cheers! Have a great weekend!

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  14. I'm making basil simple syrup right this second. I can foresee a basil martini in my future. Thanks for the inspiration!!!

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  15. You do have a challenge on your hands don't you? I think I'd be saying "Nope, don't wanna take you to a restaurant, you just have to pee all the time. I'd rather just stay home and drink."

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  16. I'd be all over this cocktail no matter was sort of day I'd had. Yum! Love the basil in here!

    What about Wii bowling and popcorn? We do that sometimes. Maybe 4 is too little for Wii bowling???

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  17. Sounds like a good end to a hard day! =)

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  18. We've been on a gimlet kick lately--it's such a simple, satisfying cocktail.

    I may just have this tomorrow when we go out for a proper drink following the movies.

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  19. A gimlet sounds like a perfect way to end your day. I agree with you, it is always a good idea to have a day with the kids at their request BUT it always seems to end in someones tears, well done to you all.
    The gimlet look yumm, I'll be adding it to one of my pre dinner knock offs for sure

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  20. And you're such good parents for having a kid day. That's awesome.

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  21. We have family nights on Monday and family days on Saturday. Fun, fun, fun. They usually turn into B and I talking like me normally do with reading stories in between conversations. Maybe when the kiddos get a little bit older?

    P.S. I coulda used a drink this morning. I took the babes to a friend's baby shower. It was 1 hour away. Screaming children in the car for 2 hours? That bites.
    P.P.S When I say drink I MEAN Dr. Pepper of course. What else?

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  22. Basil? In a cocktail? This obviously isn't coastal LOL! Will I regret it?

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  23. Aw, Kitchy. So sorry to hear about your accident at Borders. Perhaps you had one too many gimlets? :)

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  24. teen plus eight-year-old plus four-year old plus winter temps? BOWLING.

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  25. There's no pee accident too big that cocoa and marshmallows (or basil simple syrup) can't fix. Here's a toast to next week's family outing!

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  26. After a day like that, have two gimlets!

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  27. Doesn't a cocktail make everything better? You earned that one lady.

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  28. Can you make me one of those?

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  29. While I got nothin' for you concerning activities for a 17, 8 and 4 year old, and their parents, I do have to say that the drink looks lovely. And much deserved.

    Happy Valentine's Day!

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  30. First of all, I swear I've spent the entire last 10 years (since my daughter was born) with her in public restrooms. Does she still need me?

    Second, boy, can I relate to the age thing with the kids, and mine are only 4 years apart. But a 14 yr old video game addict boy and a 10 year old girl are worlds apart!

    I feel for you, TKW! Another gimlet on me!

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  31. oooo that sounds delicious! Simply delicious!xxx

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  32. I looove basil. So, this sounds great. Can you come to my house and make me one every night around 5:15? Ok. Thanks!

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  33. Ah man, I could use one of those!
    Why is it that when planning a family day it seems like it should be so perfect and simple, but in reality it's nothing like that at all? We RARELY have a day that goes according to plan, with no whining, moping, yelling, etc. Sigh...

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