Wednesday, July 15, 2009

days of sloe gin and idiocy

On Friday I stopped off at a wine shop to pick up some inexpensive yet fabulous wine and beer, amongst running other errands with my complaining children. Among other distractions and irritations, Lola, who had been charged with carrying a loaf of fresh artisanal bread from the bakery, dropped the bread on the sidewalk after complaining bitterly about having to carry it, and Iris uber Alles fussed about being hot and tired. When we got home, I unpacked all our purchases and found that along with my bottle of wine and bottle of beer, there was a bottle of Plymouth Sloe Gin. I hadn't paid for it.

This caused a crise du conscience. I love Plymouth Sloe Gin (we went through two bottles of it last year in a sloe gin fizz craze), but I hadn't intended on buying a bottle. I really am trying to cut back on spending after the incredible extravagance of buying my baby parrot (who had her first word lately, "hello"; I am so proud). I initially decided to keep the sloe gin, figuring that multimillionaire and mayor Gavin Newsom could afford to give me a bottle of sloe gin (he's half owner of this particular store), plus I have a grudge against that store because they give some customers tastings but never offer me a sip of anything, even when I hold a bottle up and twist it about in my hands pointedly, but then I would be too ashamed to go there again, and it is conveniently located near Lola's dance lessons. I really wasn't raised to be a thief, even an accidental thief, so in the end I called the store and authorized them to charge the sloe gin to my credit card. They were thankful I'd called, having realized the sloe gin went astray.

The next day was a long-awaited, rare date night for the Sober Husband and me. I'd bought us tickets for "Jack Goes Boating" at the Aurora Theatre, a play which had great reviews (indeed Philip Seymour Hoffman, who originated the role of Jack in New York, is turning it into a movie which should come out in 2011). As I was getting ready, the Sober Husband asked me what time the play was. "Eight, I think," I said, wriggling into my fishnets. He wasn't satisfied by that and went off to check, using his iPhone rather than a computer, as is his iPhone-addicted habit. "Seven!" he shouted. "It's at SEVEN, not eight!" He looked at Google maps on the iPhone. "It will take us at least forty-five minutes to get there, and it's at SEVEN."

We'd planned to go by the Triple Rock Brewery first, but that was clearly out. "I'm glad you checked," I said as I brushed my hair and put on make-up.

By six o'clock I was ready to go, in my shoes, with my velvet coat over my arm. The husband was anxious. The children, still in a funk from having been made to do housework that afternoon, were eager to escape from their parents' eyes into the custody of their teenaged babysitter. But where was she? At 6:05 the Sober Husband began to stress. "Relax," I said. "But she's never been late before," he said. He called and left a message. At 6:15 he walked down and knocked on her door, but there was no answer. He came back. "At this point, we can't get to the play on time," he said.

I felt like crying. I had really wanted to see this play, and I'd been looking forward to it all week. Since it was a sold-out show, I called the box office and told them they were free to release my tickets from will call and sell them. The box office woman kindly told me that she'd treat it as a donation to the theatre and send me a letter for my taxes.

We were at a loss, being all dressed up with no ability to go out. "We could all go out to dinner," said the husband, but the children were tired and slobby. We decided to open the sloe gin and have sloe gin fizzes, and I made a list of what we needed (lemons, soda water) and started to make a batch of simple syrup. Then our teenager called, apologetic, saying she could be there in a few minutes.

The Sober Husband, for some unfathomable reason, decided to look at the theatre schedule again. At this point he discovered that he had misread it. The show was at eight, like I'd said, not seven. It was on seven on Sundays. He shared this with me. "Dammit!" I said. "I gave the tickets back, and I didn't have to!"

I made him call the box office, and unbelievably enough they could restore our tickets unto us, and we set out once our babysitter was in place. The play was just what I like, a strong ensemble cast performing a witty script, with an imaginatively done set. On the way home the Sober Husband expressed a desire to see more experimental theatre, rather than "people talking", and I felt defensive. "I always feel like I'm apologizing for my taste to you," I said. "This was what I like. I like this sort of thing. I like to read novels, and I like to see this kind of play. I like Southeast Asian coffee, and I like a strong ensemble play, not a big musical or something with a star." The husband however wants either "old plays that have stood the test of time" or "something more experimental, like in Chicago." In the end, though, which one of us keeps an eye on the theatre listings and knows when there's a play which has good buzz, and which one of us doesn't even read the datebook section of the newspaper? I foresee plenty more witty ensemble plays in the future and a dearth of improv.

The next day we opened the sloe gin and were able to agree upon the sloe gin fizz as one of the world's finest cocktails. "It's fruity, but it's still manly enough for you," I remarked, and we both lifted out glasses happily.

Sloe gin fizz

2 parts sloe gin (preferably Plymouth)
1 part regular gin (I like Tanqueray)
1 part simple syrup
1/2 part fresh lemon juice

Shake over ice, and then pour into a highboy with plenty of soda water. Garnish with a lemon slice if you aren't lazy.


Vodalus said...

I'm glad that this had a happy ending! Also: parrot pictures, please. ^_^

NonymousGoatsePants said...

Fizz' should have some egg white in them to make the fizz part fizzier!

Now for my strident omnivore comment of the day (SOCOTD):

Explain this bit of ex-vegetarian logic:

[Naomi Pomeroy's] Favorite cheap eat Portland’s Pho Oregon. “I eat pho [Vietnamese soup] twice a week. I don’t eat the meat in it. I need to know the meat I eat is sustainably raised, and at $5 a bowl, I doubt it.”

Actually, can I just smack her?

Silliyak said...

The post title made me think that earlier posts about your spawn during their fashion girl days could have been titled "Days of Whines and Poses"

the Drunken Housewife said...

No, I can't explain that logic, Alan/Nonymous/GoatsePants. It's idiotic. First off, a real vegetarian wouldn't buy beef pho, because a real vegetarian would get sick eating the broth in it. Next off, I think she's a moron for supporting something with her money that she disapproves of. I carry out various boycotts due to animal issues, and it's not just about drawing the line at my brightly lipsticked lips. It's about not paying for practices I disapprove of morally.

On the cocktail topic: We make pisco sours with egg whites which are really amazing and yummy, one of the world's best drinks.

NonymousGoatsePants said...

So, that's a big Yes on the Schmackin' question, right?

A long time ago in a bar, far, far away, I tended bar to pay for tuition. This dominican guy came in one day and asked for a Pisco sour.

I told him I had no idea how to make it, but if he knew how to make the drink, and we had the ingredients, I'd try and make it for him.

He told me it's a whiskey sour with Pisco instead of whiskey. But if we didn't have Pisco, he'd have a draft. At first I thought he was pulling my chain. (Huh... Huh... You said piss-co.) After he convinced me that there really was a liquor named Pisco, I was sad to inform him that we didn't stock it.

That's my Pisco story. The end.

Carol Ann said...

Memories.... I learned to drink on sloe gin fizzes.

the Drunken Housewife said...

It's pronounced "pee-sco", no "piss-co." It's a whiskey-like drink from Peru, but a pisco sour is not at all like a whiskey sour. It's pisco, lime juice, simple syrup and an egg white shaken for a REALLY LONG TIME over ice and then decanted, with a tiny dash of bitters on the top. Absolutely yummy. I know two bars in SF which serve it (Absinthe and some place I forget the name of on Upper Market, a little upscale Peruvian place). I love it so much.

i went to Peru once which is where I learned to love this mighty, mighty cocktail.

the Drunken Housewife said...

p.s. I dunno about shmackin', but that wench deserves some kind of shaking-into-sense.

Missy said...

I'm very sure your sloe gin fizzes taste a lot better than the ones we drank in the disco days, at sixteen, passing for eighteen.

The very word "sloe gin fizz" brings back a whole lot of memories!

NonymousGoatsePants said...

You have to say Pisco like a Dominican. It kind of sounds halfway between an i and an e. It's definitely not a long ee sound like a castilian i.

Now, a whisky sour is just sour mix and booze. A Pisco sour (I googled, since I couldn't trust my memory) is Pisco and sour mix (made with lime juice instead of lemons) and a dash of bitters after you've shaken the crap out out of it and poured. Similarly, a sloe gin fizz is a sloe gin sour. I always thought that the people that invented drinks were kind of like composers. Start with an existing song, change the melody, muck with the counterpoint and twiddle with the rhythm and you end up with a new song. Some of them suck, though. Those usually involve green or yellow chartreuse.

And I think the purist alcoholics will bitch and moan if you put egg white in a sour. But I prefer it.

I try and stay away from Oregon. It's really too close to the west coast for me. But if I ever get out there, I'll make sure I try her restaurant and send back all the vegetables because they don't appear to have lived a stress free life prior to harvest.

Ok, I'm done now.

NonymousGoatsePants said...

...but that wench deserves...

My wife always smacks ME when we go to restaurants and I call out for the servin' wench.

So then I ask for the GARKON. It usually causes her to bang her head on the table, repeatedly.

You'd think she'd have learned after all these years!

the Drunken Housewife said...

My husband, to piss me off, mispronounces Spanish words. (I studied in Madrid as an undergrad and used to speak Spanish fluently). I cringe when he coaches the children to say "tortilla" pronouncing the l's. Why would someone want his children to sound like idiots????

Anonymous said...

Because it's cute when they are small, when puberty hits it loses it's charm. We parents sure can teach our children how to do the most annoying things.


Anonymous said...

maybe you don't remember buying the sloe gin because you were hammered. stop driving around with youre kids, fat and annoyed, buying booze. your a pig.