There are many, many, resolutions for 2015, I’ll combine two into one post.
We have a lot of unread books in the house, so one resolution is to read more, especially books that I would not normally consider reading. Seems like it would be a good idea to mix things up and read something unusual this year, some books and authors I have not heard of. A good source of books I would not normally read would be Ms. J’s pile of unread books. While we have a lot in common, we don’t normally read a lot of the same things. Looking through her selection of unread books, I picked out ‘Bright Day’ by J. B. Priestley, which was first published in 1946. I picked it out based mostly on the fact that I had not heard of the author, and it looked like a nice edition, a hardcover from 1966. ‘Bright Day’ is a novel about a screenwriter who travels to Cornwall to finish work on a screenplay. While there he meets two people from his past, the memory of their prior relationship causes him to recall a number of details from his youth.
One of the other resolutions is food related. Not only do we have a lot of books, we also have a lot of cookbooks, many of which we do not seem to actually ever use. So the other resolution is to use those cookbooks more often and come up with more interesting meals. That could mean one new thing a week, or one new thing a month, I haven’t figured that out yet. I’ll try for one new thing a week and see what happens.
The main character of ‘Bright Day’, Greg Dawson, starts off his visit to Cornwall by ordering a ‘Pink Gin’ at the hotel bar. Here is where there is a connection between the two resolutions; I will allow for new cocktails as being part of the resolution, especially as a toast to start off the new year. I looked up what a ‘Pink Gin’ is and it turns out to be Plymouth Gin with a dash or two of Angostura bitters. (I always wonder if a writer is implying something when he has a character order a certain drink, or eat a certain food. Dawson was in Cornwall since he was having trouble finishing his screenplay in his usual worksite of Hollywood. I’m guessing he was having trouble finishing his work since he was drinking too much. Just a guess, I haven’t finished the book yet.) When ordering a Pink Gin at a bar, the bitters are shaken into the glass and then if the bartender is well versed in his craft he will ask ‘In or out’. This means that the bitters can be shaken into the glass and then swirled around the glass to coat it, what remains can be left in the glass, or they can be discarded.
While I did have Plymouth gin, I did not have Angostura bitters. I did have Orange bitters though, and it turns out that Plymouth gin and Orange bitters, with the addition of tonic water is an actual drink; a ‘Gin Orange Tonic’. The addition of the bitters adds a strong taste of orange to the well known gin and tonic. I tried it both ‘in and out’ and it really does make for a stronger orange flavor if the bitters are left in.
So far these resolutions are starting off well.
2015 starts off with my new favorite drink, thanks to J.B. Priestley, Fee Brothers Orange Bitters, and Plymouth Gin.