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Jenny is in perpetual search for easy, weeknight recipes to attempt to feed her family. When they balk, she just eats more.
Today: Jenny is taking a little break -- but first, a cocktail.
Among the greatest pleasures of this short and complicated life we’ve all been given is the ability to tell others what to cook.
Those of us felled by bossiness can disguise this poor attribute as helpfulness -- look at this wonderful recipe I unearthed for you! In general terms, few can credibly criticize sharing, and recipe suggestions are nothing but good hints with the warmest intentions, even when one is making a suggestion that involves the procurement of mastic crystals.
Several years back, I suggested to Amanda that maybe she should permit me to run through Food52 and look for some weeknight recipes to enjoy and share. The gals were really a pajamas operation at that point, so she and Merrill let me talk about whatever while I kept my day job as a newspaper reporter. People, I was one of you. Only my stove was weird.
For roughly five years, I spent nearly every Monday exploring all manner of chicken breasts, quick breads, crock pot roasts, salmon dishes, and random cocktails with you all. The idea of this column, originally called "Jenny's in the Kitchen," was simple: find recipes I could easily cook for my family on a weeknight, and share them with fellow home cooks who were equally busy and also hungry.
We cooked together during a big cross country move, through hard winters and hot summers. I was here making boo-boos and finding gems. Through sharing them with you, I learned the proper temperature for baking fish (high!) and when I could skip garnishes (always). Oh, there were painful moments, such as when I had the temerity to feature a carbonara with green beans. We talked it out. Sometimes, like when I spent the weekend covering the shooting of Gabby Giffords, it was best to say very little. And still, we ate.
I made friends with so many of you through the comments section, and occasionally I was blessed enough to come together over meals with you in the real world.
You told me when recipes worked, and when they did not. You shared your stories of mothers and grandmothers long gone, of children and their birthday cakes, of husbands and wives and weddings and grills and zesters and house guests who refused to leave but whom you cooked for anyway.
I have met many people. There are no better ones than Food52ers. MrsWheelbarrow showed up at my new house in Washington with a tomato plant. Chef Gwen and mcs3000 came to book events, even though we had never met before. An entire DC metro crowd gets together to eat cheese and talk about our lives at least once a year. This is what community means: sharing our interests, our tastes, our joys, and sometimes our sorrows, through the one global manifestation that we all share, which is the need to fill our pie holes.
For now, I must rest, but not before sharing one last recipe with you all, a summer cocktail designed to please. The French 75 is a classic cocktail, which is my preferred category, but with a whimsical twist. The author here prefers Hendrick’s. I prefer Green Hat. Perhaps that is because I have gone native. Cointreau is your wild card. Prosecco keeps it old school, and lime makes it balanced. Friendship makes it shared. I love you all. Cheers.
2 shots gin
2 shots Cointreau
Big squeeze of lime
1 to 2 teaspoons sugar
Sparkling wine (Champagne or Prosecco), chilled
Photo by James Ransom