Before I tell you all about this new blog, I think you should fix yourself a nice hot toddy. I’ll give you my precise recipe, honed over countless scientifically conducted iterations, in my laboratory/test kitchen. Ready?
Let’s try it like this:
Jonathan’s Hot Toddy
Boil some water. While the water cooks, add together in a mug (say, 8 oz. mug, or Irish coffee glass if you've got one):
1 oz. lemon juice. Or, the juice from half a lemon. Or whatever sized lemon chunk you’ve got. Note: a full ounce of lemon juice is relatively strong, as toddies go.
Whole lemons are nice because they contain enough juice for two drinks, whether toddy or otherwise. Very romantic, if you're partnered up, or just plain convenenient if you're not and tend to drink a lot as a result. Such remarkable qualities of the natural world sometimes make it difficult to disbelieve in intelligent design!
1 oz. booze. For argument’s sake, let’s say whiskey. Or, you could do brandy, or cognac, or maybe rum, or even gin. Calvados might be great; I’ll have to try that. Probably, vodka wouldn’t be very good, but you never know. I’ve been using bourbon, lately. Which is the same as whiskey. Scotch is actually the most traditional choice, but I'm a bit protective about mixing my single malts, rather than drinking the little dears straight, as is my wont. The hot toddy originated in Scotland, though, so we should all force ourselves to try this.
If you don’t want to remember exact measurements, the rule of thumb is to use about equal amounts of lemon juice and booze. At least, that’s what many recipes suggest. Note that other recipes tend to be a lot weaker than mine, in flavor. My toddy can beat up their toddy.
I guess it’s possible you could even leave out the booze, if you wanted to—say, to make a children’s version, like a hot lemonade. Try it, and tell me if anyone thinks it’s any good.
1 spoonful honey. You choose the spoon size. I generally use a teaspoon, but the honey is piled way high in the spoon, so it’s not that scientific. Honey sticks to spoons, and you'll likely want to lick off some of the residue, so how much honey actually makes it into the mug is anyone’s guess. Likely, professional toddy makers measure honey by weight. If they don’t, they should.
It’s getting to be late in the year for backyard beekeepers to have their wares still available, so rush to stock up, if you haven’t already. Good honey makes a big difference here, as it does everywhere. If you’ve never forked over the extra dough to buy honey from someone who doesn’t pasteurize or overly filter it, you’re missing a treat—dramatically more delicious than what's available at the supermarket. If you find an occasional bee leg floating in your honey, you'll know you’ve got the real deal.
So, dump these ingredients (except the bee leg) together in your mug. Add boiling water. Mix. Snuggle up in a warm blanket somewhere, and drink. Unless you’re at work. In that case, you might do better with coffee instead of a hot toddy.
If your toddy is too strong, screw up your courage and try another sip. If it’s still too strong, add more water. If it’s too weak, add everything else.
Now, about this blog. It’s going to be laser-focused on my hobbies and interests. That means food, drink, creating music, gardening (particularly heirloom gardens and fruit trees), chickens/ducks, generally making and fixing things, historical preservation, Shaker topics, photography, world exploration, Harvard, woodworking, yadda yadda yadda, maybe dogs/children, and hopefully not too much about politics or current events, besides seasonal topics related to my above-specified activities, like maybe something about fixing a snowblower or a rant against ticks. And I might veer off topic at any time. I hope you post comments.
Just so we understand each other.
I have two other active blogs, which are more focused and well behaved. Fantasy Monologue is about my activities as a songwriter, mostly in support of my recent CD of the same name. Writing about Music is a technical blog from my perspective as an editor of books about music.
This blog is about everything else.