Wednesday, November 27, 2013

In Which Suffering Is Touted As Pancea to Modern Ills

I often hear a lot of horseshit from people about being a misanthrope. I think they just misunderstand the dreamy glint in my eye when Deathpanels are mentioned. Also, I am frequently quoted to have said that I can't stand music which "features the sound of the human voice". Fine. While I'm not, as far as I know, in the running for next Ghandi, I'm not an inveterate hater of man. I think that people, deep at their core, probably have some worth of some kind or another. If pressed I'd say that were you to gather a group of fifty people at random, at least a handful of them leave the world in a maybe not better but perhaps not dramatically worse position for not being dead.

I am constantly radiating such magnanimity about the fundamental goodness of the human spirit, so I feel it's slightly unfair to label me a misanthrope. I AM, however, a strong advocate for Suffering. It seems obvious to me that one cannot achieve any meaningful measure of happiness without also experiencing a bracing dose of suffering to provide a frame of reference. How can you enjoy the warmth of the hearth without the chill of the elements? Or appreciate a finely made Negroni if you've never had one made with everclear and lingonberry syrup?

But how to make people embrace suffering? I've found the best way is to trick them into suffering against their will.
People Person
10 oz Carl Jeppson's Malort Liqueur (chilled)
12 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
2 oz Yuzu Simple Syrup*
2 packets Knox's Unflavored Gelatin
3-4 Grapefruits

Begin by taking a moment to consider how much of your morning you are willing to waste on a dumb gag that no one will really think is funny. In a rousing show of spirit, decide that you will spend all goddamn day if that is what it takes.

Put Malort in freezer. Halve the grapefruits. There was definitely a good way and a bad way to halve them, but I forget which was which. Scrape out the pulp, strain the juice out, and remove as much pith without piercing the outer peel. Heat up the juice and simple syrup, add the gelatin and stir to dissolve it. Remove from heat, add the malort and pour into the grapefruit halves. Put in the fridge for a long time, then cut up. Whammo!Feel good knowing that you will help people appreciate their next jello shot a lot more.

*There are two basic approaches to make Yuzu Simple Syrup -
1. Cut 3 or 4 Yuzu into sections, removing the pulp and seeds. Press the peel sections flat and using a very sharp knife, slice off as much of the white pith as possible. Mix 500 ml water with 500 gram sugar and heat in a sauce pan til melted. Add the trimmed yuzu peels and simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Strain out peels and put on wax paper, allow to dry over night and you'll have candied yuzu peels for a fancy garnish. Allow syrup to cool before sealing, and keep perfumed syrup in fridge. This makes approx 750 ml syrup, but it's useful in Gin drinks which I know you like.
2. Don't bother, just make regular simple syrup with equal parts sugar and water. These are Malort Jello shots you're making, your not the next Jerry Thomas and no body cares if you used fancy sugar water...
If you aren't familiar with Jeppson's Malort, it is a wormwood flavored spirit that only exists in Chicago. It tastes like a grapefruit that a car peeled out on top of. It's sort of famous. Just google it so I don't have to insult your intelligence by rehashing things thousands of people have already written about.

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