I remember when Fiona Apple first broke through my radar, I was in middle school or early high school. I thought she was super weird and creepy at the time but I loved her angst-filled music and her crazy huge gray eyes, and was perplexed/mesmerized by her music videos. Fast-forward years and years later, I am now officially obsessed with her latest album (I’m always late to develop my full-blown music obsessions as Matt wrote a really beautiful review of the album last summer when it first came out, and we paired it with a light salad we whipped up after returning from Sicily). Good music pulls your insides out a little, makes you tap your feet, nod your head, mouth the words, and makes your heart twist. It fills your ears and moves through your body like hot liquid that eventually settles in your middle. The focus of the post I wrote last July was beautifully-fleeting moments. The big and small things we learn to appreciate. Recently, I’ve found myself really appreciative of the way that music can transport me to special times and places. Reading Kathryn’s post made me think about just how much I associate memories with music.
There’s my first solo London tube ride (on the way to meet my mom for an epic mother-daughter trip to London, Prague, and Zurich). Something Corporate (remember them?) blasted through my headphones; all college-angsty. Dancing in my living room with Matt to Beirut over and over, as we practiced for our first dance at our wedding. Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill and my 13th birthday party with a wooden dance floor in my backyard and a bunch of boys who crashed the party, and my friend Lindsey’s mom who was mad about boys at our all-girls party. There’s Tupac and my first ‘adult’ trip to Vegas for my roommate’s 21st birthday. Sublime and the long, dusty drive back to San Diego from said adult trip (accompanied by a box of Krispy Kreme donuts and a wild hangover). And Beyonce’s first album, which brings me back to the handful of bars I frequented on virtually every weeknight while I studied abroad in Siena. There’s Yelle, which places me on a train in Portugal with my friend Maggie. I can go on and on and on. These songs, they are a part of my memories so much so that without them, these memories are faded, muted, quiet.
I didn’t intend for this post to be about music. I meant to tell you about a muddled blackberry mint julep that I made the other day, as a sort of ‘cheers’ and ‘good luck to ya’ on our upcoming (family) trip to Ohio, Nashville, and Louisville (we’re excited to check out the Hutton Hotel and 21c Museum Hotel). That’s right, Matt, me, and baby Neko (2 months old!) are going to visit family in Ohio and then taking a little mini Southern road trip. I’m the least Southern person you’ll ever meet but I love biscuits and grits, sweet tea and mint juleps. Can you blame me?
It’s almost April and pretty soon, the longer days will be accompanied by warmer temperatures that call for the good stuff: bourbon, mint, and inky blackberries. I can’t wait for those blackberry stains on my fingers, and they are oh-so-close.
Muddled Blackberry Mint Julep
Adapted from Food & Wine
1 1/2 ounces of bourbon
handful of mint leaves, plus a few for garnish
1/4 cup of blackberries, plus one for garnish
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 extra large ice cube, plus a few small ones
1. Combine the bourbon, sugar, blackberries, and mint in a shaker. Thoroughly crush the blackberries and mint using a muddler. Add small ice cubes and shake well.
2. Place an extra large ice cube (we love this ice cube tray for this purpose) to a glass. Strain drink, pressing down on the solids, and pour over the ice cube. Garnish with a blackberry and a few fresh mint leaves.
Musical Pairings: Psychic Ills – One Track Mind + Muddled Blackberry Mint Julep
More on the Turntable.