I had such wonderful plans for this post. I was going to showcase caramel in two different ways. One – a miso infused light toffee, poured into a delicate casing of dark chocolate. Topped with an orange infused disc of the same. The other – dulche de leche, baked in the oven from a tin of condensed milk. The latter burnt – while I was sitting on a sofa not 10 feet away. The former was runny and oozed out of its chocolate container.
“Epic fail Suzie”, as the Nans would say. In my defence – the miso recipe was followed to a T, and my ongoing sinusitis has wiped out my ability to smell anything anymore. But it’s more than that – I am having a bad cooking run. Nothing is coming out as planned. Even my tried and tested recipes. I made a potato bake on Saturday that used up scraps – perfect. I made it last night – using the same items, but fresh – and the creme fraiche separated and looked like fungal infection. Everyone ate it politely – but it wasn’t fabulous.
The thing is – I know when I am at a biorhythmic low in the kitchen. There’s no frisson when I open the fridge. I’m not concocting ideas in the bath. The ingredients don’t speak to me and starting the cook feel ‘meh’ rather than ‘yeah’. The fact that I can’t smell a damn thing doesn’t help either.
Everything is connected to everything. So I am sure there is some lesson in this. I am not sure what it is right now, but it will surface at some point. Anyhow – as I was staring in dismay at the ruined caramel, as I moved the chocolate pastry shells back into the fridge, as I scrubbed the rust from the bain marie I thought – “I would love a Campari and orange right now”.
So I made one. And a took a photo of it. And I offer that to you today as the best I could do under the circumstances. Try it – this is the most perfectly balanced combination of sweet and sour: and it looks like the dawn of a new day.
Be sure to fill the glass with ice before you start. Just regular ice – doesn’t have to be made with evian. Quickly squeeze three lovely fresh oranges or minneolas, if you have them. Pour the juice over the ice. Now take your Campari and drizzle it slowly over the orange and ice. Pour in about one measure – you don’t want the mix to get too bitter.
Now let it slide down to the bottom of the glass. Then pick up the glass and give it a swish to the left and a swish to the right.
Walk your drink from the kitchen to the lounge. Sit on the sofa and take a long draw of your Campari Sunrise. And know – you’ll get your mojo back. Eventually.