Itâ€™s funny how cathartic the simplest things can be.
Cooking Red To Remember. At first â€œblushâ€ it seems like a beautifully simple way to honor and remember the many millions of people affected by AIDS/HIV. So when Angela at SpinachTiger (shyly) asked me if I would participate. It was easy to answer, â€œYes, of courseâ€. Itâ€™s a noble gesture and a great way to raise awareness about a disease that is still horrifying in global proportions.
But when I sat down to write the introduction to my first entry, Oysters with Red Mignonette, I was surprised by the emotions that came boiling to the surface.
You see what I remember about AIDS, especially during those early years was the public condemnation too many of the first victims had to face as an added burden to the bewildering and overwhelming process of dying.
This condemnation came in many forms: Medical personnel who did not understand what was going on; friends and family shocked into silence; a new type of fear within the gay community. A fear so deep it threatened to send many of us back into the closet after so many generations of progress. And of course, intolerance from the most self-righteous among us, a type of hatred so base it has colored my feelings about religion and morality forever. Even our government was blind to the horror for far too long. We had an affable President whose leadership on this matter could have made all the difference. Instead he kept completely silent, offering no comfort or prayers to the dying or those living in fear and bewilderment.
What I am trying to say is Cooking Red To Remember brought out all my old anger; anger that has become a part of who I am. Anger so familiar I did not even recognize it for what it was until Angela came along.
I donâ€™t expect to put aside my anger. In fact I am proud of it. But I am also pleased to let it loose a little bit so that (maybe) I can breath a little easier.
So here is a toast to Angela and SpinachTiger. I raise a glass to the memory of her brother and her cousin because it symbolically honors the multitudes that were, are and will continue to be affected by this disease.
Naturally it is a RED drink. Itâ€™s a Red Snapper Shooter.
Now when comes to alcoholic libations I am not much of a shooter kind of guy. I am much more of a sipper. I enjoy the whole process of a cocktail. But in this situation I felt a shooter was just the right choice. So pick up a shot, and pass one to your neighbor. This is not a drink for one lone man at a solitary table. Nope, I need friends around for this one. Because by joining me in this drink you can help me â€œswallowâ€ some of this anger and move forward.
Itâ€™s a delicious little shooter too! In fact it tastes a bit a like an almond, cranberry and creamy oak Tootsie-Pop! The cranberry and amaretto draw the oak flavors from the Canadian whiskey, giving it a very full mouth, almost chocolaty taste sensation. The smokiness lingers just a bit giving us time to reflect and remember.
This is my final entry in Cooking Red To Remember. There is still time to post something red. I hope you do.
- 3â„4 oz blended canadian whiskey
- 1 oz cranberry juice
- 1â„2 oz amaretto
Shake the ingredients vigourously over cracked ice. Strain into a chilled shot glass. Drink in one gulp.