Back when LiveJournal was the leading blogging platform, I didn’t quite understand the concept of being ‘found’ on the Internet. I wrote, unapologetically, about my failed romances, obnoxious lecturers, job opportunities and small indecencies. It was only when a long-time crush approached me to tell me he did not appreciate my venom-fueled posts in which I called him out by name for not reciprocating my obvious advances (sorry but not sorry about that), that I realized the Internet is a public place, and unless I put a password lock on my site, people could and would find what I was writing.
I’m not the sort to hold my tongue so inevitably, I find it hard to edit myself. I have, on many occasions, blasted something into the world that I wish I could have taken back.
There have been times when I’ve put on a brave face and written about things maturely, wisely reflecting on something I had no clue how to handle. Met with supportive accolades, I’ve felt guilty for suggesting that I even remotely had my shit together, so to speak. Those occasions have made me realize that, at my core, I am an imperfect human being, as we all are. I want to prove to myself, as much as to everyone else, that I can hang.
But recently, I’ve been tired. I’ve found myself wavering a bit. I’ve had a hard time keeping up. With my friends. With blogs. With cooking. With cleaning. With spending time with my family. With writing. With Mad Men. It frustrates me that I no longer make yogurt from scratch and I literally laughed when I flipped through a recent issue of Saveur, in which a number of recipes that caught my eye required upwards of three hours of prep time. I thought to myself, I finally understand those people who thought I was crazy for making my own ice cream or baking bread from scratch. But, still, I find myself wanting this time. An afternoon in my kitchen, meticulously working out a dough or finely chopping garlic is therapeutic in so many ways. It isn’t just some random hobby, it’s my creative being.
Recently, I’ve been getting this distinct feeling that time is slipping away. The cherries will be gone soon! I have yet to make a peach crisp! And, oh the zucchini bread! The peas! I glance at blogs and magazines and instantly feel behind (I am, in fact, sitting on a recipe for pumpkin muffins that has yet to make an appearance here). I keep reminding myself that this isn’t a race against time. It’s ok to slow down. It’s ok to enjoy a bagful of cherries and not feel like I must adapt and publish the latest Bon Appetit recipe before anyone else (lest I get scooped!).
But today, I’ve got a Hibiscus Float recipe that neither takes too much time, nor feels unseasonal and most importantly, aims to keep you occupied in the kitchen for no other reason than to slowly slurp down every last drop. As if time, in fact, is actually standing still.
For the hibiscus syrup:
1 cup of water
1 cup of sugar
1 ounce of dried hibiscus flowers
Vanilla bean ice cream
1. Combine the sugar and water in a small pot and simmer until the sugar is disolved. Stir in the hibiscus flowers and remove the pot from the burner. Let the flowers steep in the syrup for 5 minutes. Strain, disgarding the flowers, then transfer the syrup a glass jar with a lid and refridgerate until ready to use.
2. Add 1/4 cup of syrup to each glass. Top with a scoop of ice cream and finish with club soda. The best way to drink a float is with a straw. Preferably a striped one.
Musical Pairings: Still Corners – Strange Pleasures + Hibiscus Floats
More on the Turntable.