Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Five Things That Confuse Me: White Sangria

-Because a good bitching session is in order.-

Reality Cooking Competition Shows 

I don’t watch a lot of television. Mainly, it causes me to lose hope in humanity. If there’s a God and he’s judging us based on how we entertain ourselves then all he has to do is catch a rerun of Toddlers and Tiaras before he ends it all for us with a meteor and starts over. I admit that I watch True Blood, The Legend of Korra, and Downton Abbey. I’ve also a penchant for watching the Real Housewives once in a blue moon because it helps me stop and say, “Garrett, you know what? You do have your shit together!” before I turn off my brain and drool on the couch for fifty minutes while a loud Italian woman banshees at her cousin.

But cooking competitions. Why? What is the fascination with people doing what you (supposedly) do every day except they might get cash while you only get dishes? Watching a traditional cooking show you can learn something, like how to hide the fact you flipped on omelets on the counter or how to whiz together hummus.

On a cooking competition show you’re watching people be bitches – sure – like every other reality show. But at the end there are composed plates of food! Styled! Haute! (Well, maybe.) Seen before in your copy of the French Laundry cookbook, but with far less talent and forethought. You can’t taste it. You can’t smell it. You barely get to look at it.

However, the judges will spend 10 minutes telling you how great it is, grinning it up that the shmucks at home aren’t here to try this god damn epic filet of salmon with blueberry-lavender reduction. It’s a culinary cock tease.

-Plus, without the power to reach through the television and slap people my joy diminishes.-

People Magazine (or Any Magazine of its Ilk)

Okay, now I know it's brain garbage just like some of the television shows I just rattled off. I acknowledge that. What I don't get is how invested some people are in the lives of celebrity strangers.

I grant that you may feel a connection to these people. Singers and actors play an important part of our lives and emotionally affect us. But to obsess over their marriages, children, back fat, and cocaine problems? That we devour images of them in court, or of them grocery shopping like normal people? That we casually offer them advise as they stare back at us from the page?

Personally, I feel most people probably have enough drama in their own lives. (Or, worse, maybe it's just me?) Why fuss over another person's?

I assume critiquing someone more powerful, wealthy, famous makes people feel good. That I get. I mean, I judge people all the time. I consider it a hobby.

Fifty Shades of Grey 

His pointer finger circled my puckered love cave. “Are you ready for this?” he mewled, smirking at me like a mother hamster about to eat her three-legged young. 

Read that line out loud. Try to sound erotic while doing it. How did that work out for you?

First off, there is no way to smolderingly “mewl” at someone. Next, I have issues with the whole hamster thing. Particularly the cannibalistic infanticide and comparing it to buttsex. Lastly, “puckered love cave.” PUCKERED. LOVE. CAVE.

This is the fastest selling paperback novel of all time.

So that's a fake quote. My bad. Helpful reader pointed that out. I thought it had been from later in the novel as I put it down after a few godawful chapters. Let's look at a real passage:

“Does this mean you’re going to make love to me tonight, Christian?” Holy shit. Did I just say that? 

His mouth drops open slightly, but he recovers quickly. “No, Anastasia it doesn’t. Firstly, I don’t make love. I fuck… hard. Secondly, there’s a lot more paperwork to do, and thirdly, you don’t yet know what you’re in for. You could still run for the hills. Come, I want to show you my playroom.” 

My mouth drops open. Fuck hard! Holy shit, that sounds so… hot. But why are we looking at a playroom? I am mystified. 

“You want to play on your Xbox?” I ask. 

He laughs, loudly.

Hemingway this is not. Bad fan fiction? Yes. You can see why I thought the previous false quote was real.

Oh, god! Bad words! I bet his playroom has whips and leather straps! Tee-hee! The naughtiness of it all. I'm sorry, but if you want to tell someone you want to fuck them, then just say it.

Gag me. Actually, gag the author with the ball gag that's in the playroom. I'm done.

-This is the downfall of our humanity. For the love of God, go out and read some god damn Steinbeck!-

Navel Tattoos

Not the tats of anchors and pin-up girls you see on burly naval officers. I mean the sparkly suns around some guy or girl's navel. In the gay world this tattoo has very succinct meaning. What better way to not only tell the world that you’re a slut, but that you never use a condom? I mean, personally, a person’s navel doesn’t get me all hot and bothered, so why give it so much attention with tattoos and rhinestone piercings? Is there a fetish for this that I’m thankfully unaware of? And just as every tattoo generally has a deeper meaning, the only one I can ascribe to this one is "Mommy didn’t love me enough."

-Don't even get me started on what I think of a Frenum ladder.-

Bad Sangria 

Somehow this happens. I’m not sure how.

I was at a party about two years back and it was the middle of January. For some reason the host thought that in the first things guests would want after surviving the sleeted holocaust outside would be a nice chilled glass of sangria and not – say – hot mulled wine or an emergency thermal blanket. Still, it looked nice as it was filled with chunks of mashed pomegranate and apples, so I decided to get my drink on.

After a sip and a enthusiastic number of noises that were meant to communicate pleasure and approval the host left to, assumedly, poison another guest. I quickly tossed the chilled mess down the drain and grabbed a beer to wash the taste out.

You know how you hear those stories of how a cook’s attitude could somehow through whatever somatic or psychic means or whathaveyou affect the taste of the food? Say if the cook was angry and making salsa then those negative vibes would make the salsa hotter and more astringent, or if you were in love the cookies you just baked would actually taste sweeter. If this sort of empathetic cookery is true, then I can only assume that the host had a number of brutalized hookers in his basement, and that they were stuffed ass-tight with cocaine for their forced pack mule sojourn into Canada.

That sangria was foul. I think he had used an entire bottle of bitters or something because, son, that juice was rank. I’m pretty sure that the only people that drank it were the host, the sink drain, and a very unfortunate orchid that was dead the next morning.

Here's what... sangria is easy. Buy the cheap stuff. Get quality fruit. Add mint or basil for white, and cinnamon sticks and star anise for red. Ta-da. Easy peasy. Plus, it's exactly what you want on a crazy hot day. Admit it.

Now go make sangria and get yourself a bit boozed. You need it.

White Sangria
2 bottles cheap Pinot Grigio
1/2 cup Triple Sec
1 peach
1 plum or pluot
1 nectarine
1 bunch of mint
a few slices of lemon or lime

Place the wine and Triple Sec in a pitcher and stir. Cut the fruit into slices and discard the pits. Roughly chop the mint. Throw it all in the pitcher and stir. Allow to chill in the fridge for about 2-3 hours before serving with ice. It's even better the next day.


  1. I just want you to know that that's not a real 50 Shades of Grey quote, but someone on tumblr trolling. (See here: http://kaley.tumblr.com/post/24867153018/what-ive-learned-tonight-is-that-you-can-type and http://kaley.tumblr.com/post/24867267557/his-pointer-finger-circled-my-puckered-love-cave) I have no idea if 50 Shades is better-written than that, probably not, but that quote is 100% made up.

    1. Ack, thanks. Okay, I have a much better, actual quote from the copy on my kindle. Glad I didn't delete it yet. Thanks. I thought it had been from a later chapter I hadn't reached yet due to the constant eye rolling. ;)

  2. First of all, thank you for the early morning laugh. When you said he must have hookers buried in the basement I almost died. I talk about people burying hookers all the time. Some don't find it amusing. I told people I couldn't get the iPhone 4S because all I would do is immediately go, "Siri, where's the best place to bury the hookers?"

    As for trash tv, I watch Big Ang because I am absolutely fascinated by that woman. And of all the Mob Wives she was the only one who didn't talk much trash. She just would say, "I don't like that bitch either" and go about her day. She's like a silicone injected kindred spirit.

    Now I think I need to go buy some stuff to make good sangria, and try to think about unicorns and rainbows while I do so.

  3. Ummmm WAIT, is that a real quote from that book? I thought you were joking?!? That is seriously creepy.
    And does a navel tattoo really mean that?
    Consider my mind blown at 7:20am...

    1. Nope, it's not. A reader showed me otherwise. However, I found one from the copy I had on my kindle. I hadn't deleted it yet. My bad, but still, read the new one. Not much better.

  4. Hah! I love this!
    I, too, occasionally watch Real Housewives to feel better about my own life.
    And 'banshees' is the best verb ever!

    And Steinbeck should be required reading for everyone!

  5. For your recipe of white sangria , do you not put some club soda...I would tink this might be a little too strong...

    1. Nope. Never club soda. I suppose you could, though.

  6. This kind of makes me want to read 50 Shades of Grey, strictly for the laughs of course!

    I totally agree about reality cooking shows, with one exception: I always really liked Anne Burrell's "Worst Cooks in America" show. Despite the fact that a lot of it was probably staged, it was an amazing train wreck.

  7. check out 50shadesofsuck.tumblr.com - not my blog, but i laughed my ass off at every entry.

  8. Ooo...basil for the white? How much would I use if I decided to go that route (got peaches and basil from my CSA this week)?

    I downloaded the preview of 50 Shades of Gray and couldn't get through the first chapter. A librarian friend said to me "at least people are reading..." I don't know about that.

    1. I just eyeball it. A good handful should do.

  9. Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard, always love your posts! And I love that pitcher, we need to acquire one that size so we can make sangria and iced tea, mmm! We recently bought some mandarin vodka, wonder how that would be in place of the triple sec? :-)

  10. Whew. After reading the "excerpts" from 50 Shades of Grey, a cool sangria is necessary. I might need a whole pitcher of your very delightful looking white sangria.

  11. Your post was perfect for my somewhat surly morning! So good to get a little shot of sarcasm and dark humour every now and then, had a good chuckle the hookers joke, puckered love cave, and the unfortunate sangria poisoned orchid plant. Completely agree with cooking competition shows, and "50 Shades of Grey". Have some good wine leftover that needs consuming, thanks for the sangria inspiration :)

  12. Fun post and I'm going home to make that sangria tonight! 50 Shades just gets my crazy ass feminazi blood boiling-I hate weak and submissive female main characters.

  13. Bad guacamole. I didn't think that was possible, but oh boy it is.

  14. @Garrett - Holy cow!! I love this so much!! I have listened to my vanilla friends on facebook tout this novel as something to spice up their bedrooms for months on end now. So tired of it. There is a fifty sheds of gray out there on twitter or somewhere, it is a riot.

    My fave quote from fifty sheds "I told her what to do in my sternest voice and awaited her response. Finally it came, please hold the line. Your call is important to us." Really, my friends and I have sick senses of humor.

    Also, never knew that was what navel tattoos meant, good stuff to know. ;)


  15. I should clear something up. Navel tattoos don't actually mean you are super slutty. It's just that mostly super slutty people get navel tattoos.

  16. May I just say that "culinary cock tease" is my new favorite phrase?? *laughs*

    And that 50 Shades quote (both fake and sadly, real) reaffirms my staunch decision to stay far away from this published drek.

  17. Wow, this pretty much sums up my views on each of those subjects, especially the celebrity obsessions people have. Who cares about their personal lives? Really, who the heck cares? There are far better things to spend time on.

    I watch Jersey Shore once every few months to renew my lost hope for humanity and to remind myself that my life actually doesn't suck.

    I'm terrified of all the new book series that have come out recently. I have a rule where I don't feel like I have the right to form an opinion of something unless I've tried it, and it goes for everything books/food/whatever. I've never read anything in the Shades of Grey trilogy, and I really don't think I can. The random quotes I read are probably enough for me to consider that I've tried it because I'd rather stab myself than read it. I forced myself to read the entire first book in the Twilight series, and wished I had canned it after the title page. And I haven't been able to consider the Hunger Games trilogy for the same reason - I'm terrified of crap.

    In addition to naval tattoos, the aptly named tramp stamps scream "slutty" to me as well.

    1. Your judgements on Fifty Shades of Gray and the Hunger Games are completely justified, but don't let the utter shite that's been published and promoted lately keep you from trying the Hunger Games. It's very well written, the author's been published (and well-received) before this series, and never judge a book by it's movie. I can't guarantee you'll love it as much as I do, but do give it a go.

  18. My mother-in-law, bless her heart, tried to make sangria a few years back with really old, musty brandy. It was terrible. We pretended to like it, then when she left the room, poured our glasses down the sink. Thus I completely agree! Bad sangria is BAD.

  19. Hi Garrett, I read your blog every now and then and I am so glad I did recently! I made the white sangria for a girls night and it was delicious! We loved it and I would have never thought to put mint into it. Thanks for the great recipe!

  20. Oh! That's funny. But a white sangria is always great!


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