Some people seem to have all the ingredients of their lives set out on the counter, measured, tossed into the pan or bowl at various times, baked, brewed or grilled, somehow always to perfection. Their soufflés never fall. At least that is how it appears.
It’s a mirage. Everybody has stuff. That’s just the way life is. Yes, some people have more stuff than others, but nobody goes through this life without something. Our lives are complicated, and the ones we think have it all together, the ones whose lives we envy, those are often the most messed up. The intricacies of relationships, family, love, business, desire, well….those are the details that rarely follow the course of least resistance.
Most people who are really, really good cooks will not be able to direct you specifically to a carved in stone recipe, it’s more like the recipe is their guide and they deviate off the path as it comes to them. Life is a lot like that. There is only so much you can plan. And, there is certainly a whole bunch of tossing the ingredients in to the pot and seeing if it works out along the way.
My friend Ellie attended my first recipe for life club party. I asked everyone to bring a story and a recipe. She brought the ingredients for a chocolate turtle martini, a martini glass that reads, “I love nights that I can’t remember”, and an apron that says, “keep calm, carry on”.
She is my fun friend. She keeps me balanced. I can be overly introspective and she knows how to listen and support me, and she is the person I can laugh with as well. She lives life fully. She travels, goes to concerts, (she just saw the Rolling Stone concert 4 times…) opened a fashion boutique called Shenkin West, she loves colour. She is the fuchsia and chartreuse, to my white and beige. And when things work out she says, “the ingredients were right”. So here’s to mixing and concocting and creating our lives. Cheers!
Rob’s Chocolate Turtle Martini
Recipe courtesy Rob Harpest
Caramel sauce, in a squeeze bottle with a very small tip
2 ounces vanilla vodka (recommended: Stoli Vanilla)
2 ounces white creme de cacao
2 ounces Praline New Orleans Style Pecan Liqueur
Roasted pecan halves, for garnish
Roughly chopped chocolate squares, for garnish
First, sweeten the cocoa powder to your liking by mixing the cocoa and powdered sugar. Take a large martini glass and very carefully coat the rim in caramel sauce from the squeeze bottle, being careful not to let it drip too far down the sides.
Then, dip the entire rim of the glass into the sweetened cocoa powder, being sure to coat all of the caramel. The desired effect is a chocolate dusted caramel rim. If available, I also like to put just a drop of chocolate syrup at the bottom of the glass for color.
For the drink, shake the vodka, Creme de Cacao and praline liqueur in a martini shaker with ice to chill. Fill the martini glass nearly full with crushed or shaved ice, being careful not to touch the rim. Strain the drink into the martini glass.
Garnish atop the floating ice with a roasted pecan half and a small piece of chopped chocolate. Alternately, I have garnished it with a half of a Turtle candy by making an incision and hanging it on the rim of the glass. Whichever you prefer.