Monday, July 31, 2006

When Life Hands You Crusaders, Make Crusaderade

Arianna Huffington gets nasty:
But, apparently, Rice is not alone. In Rush Limbaugh's opinion, "Bush is sitting around the White House pretty happy with what's going on in the Middle East -- there's a new paradigm going on." This sunny-side-up judgment was borne out during Bush's get-away day joint press conference with Tony Blair. "This is a moment of intense conflict in the Middle East," said the president, "yet our aim is to turn it into a moment of opportunity." Ah, yes... when life hands you Lebanons, make lemonade.

In that spirit, may I present to you a recipe for sekanjabin, the original "Crusaderade," drunk in the Middle East during the Middle Ages and afterwards. It is a sweet, tart, minty drink syrup intended to be diluted with cold water, although it's quite tasty hot as well (not that anyone much is thinking about hot drinks here in the microclimate at the moment).

1 l/4 c. white sugar
500 ml/2 c. water
250 ml/1 c. vinegar (you can use wine vinegar, white vinegar, or a fruit-flavoured vinegar; balsamic vinegar might provide a very interesting flavour, as well)
125 ml/1/2 c. fresh mint, washed and bruised, but intact with stems (I prefer spearmint, but you can use any variety of mint you have on hand)
the juice of one lemon

Bring the water to a boil, then dissolve the sugar into it. When it boils again and all the sugar is dissolved, add the vinegar. Stir well and simmer for 30 minutes. Turn off the heat, transfer off the heat, and stir in the mint and lemon juice. You can either leave the mint in the syrup to store it, or you can fish it out. The syrup will keep almost indefinitely without refrigeration.

To use: Dilute the syrup to taste in cold or hot water. Enjoy.


This post is actually quite timely for me, since I'm just putting the finishing touches on a manuscript I started on the weekend, which I hope will be another pocket guide similar to the streetcar book. It's tentatively entitled How to Dress Like A Muslim: A Non-Muslim's Guide to Modern Islamic Clothing, and is basically a glossary of terms, with some how-to advice and other trivia sprinkled in for flavour. If you've ever wondered, "How did she get fabric to do that around her head?" or been annoyed by a misuse of "burqa" in a newspaper, this is for you...


Blogger spocko said...

Now THIS is going to be a best seller! Seriously. Do you want to make it one of those books that sits on the counter next to the check out as a gag book? Ironic yet really not? It would be the kind of book hip people would buy to send to their wing nut relatives. "Hey, Uncle Bubba, since you are so worried that the Iranians are going to attack your bait and tackle store here is how you can camouflage yourself to blend in until you can escape.
I would just DRIVE THEM NUTS!
How DARE anyone understand another culture! We must crush them ALL!

I don't know how big a market there is for a book like that, but remember the survival guide series? Big hit.

I envision people WRITING about this book or talking about it on radio. One of those books like "How to dress like a preppy"
books. It could get across lots of real information at the same time point out that there are real people under those clothes.

5:13 PM  
Blogger Interrobang said...

Yeah, I could do that with it. In fact, one of the things I thought of doing was a set of paper dolls, although I'd definitely want to run them by a liberal Islamic cleric or two to make sure they weren't offensive. (I think representation of specific people is a problem, so they'd probably have to be stylised and cartoonish.)

I think it'd be fun to do that, actually. I would probably enjoy doing a book tour and getting asked weird questions by wingnuts. *grin*

If I wanted to go that route, though, I'd have to re-write it to change the tone.

7:33 PM  
Blogger Anne Johnson said...

I'll bet if you twisted that fabric just a little bit differently, it would make a great druid robe.

3:34 PM  
Blogger olvlzl said...

Should I really try this drink? I wonder. I've got a huge patch of mint that needs cutting back.

4:44 PM  
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4:27 AM  

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