Hanging Tough. Right now coming through our speakers, NKOTB is supposed to somehow give us inspiration for next week’s post. If you don’t know NKOTB, whatever. This week we have a Fig & Rosemary-Black Peppercorn Bourbon Fizz to get you in the mood for the cooler nights to come. (Take advantage of the current fig season now, and make a fig shrub that will last you until the first part of October).
We hit rewind on a lot of cassette tapes in 80’s. Going back 27 years, the year 1989 involved some significant changes. Reagan was out, internet service was in, and Taylor Swift was born. The music scene that year categorically provided 80’s kids with years of enduring tunes. Bobby Brown took a lot of steps; REM took a stand; the B-52s covered shacks in glitter; Madonna expressed herself, and Milli Vanilli lied to us and blamed it on the rain. Just in case, I leave this right here.
While Tone Loc was busy doing the wild thing, my sister was born in September of 1989. Do you have a sibling? We do. Warren has a brother, and I have Stevie. Eight years my younger, Stevie has been my guinea pig, my partner in crime, and my skipper.
As my experiment, I would send her about the house to see if her commotion would wake mom and dad. Her unscathed return meant I could roam about the house doing whatever 11 year olds do when their parents are sleeping. Her braveness often made me wish she was older than me, so I could learn from her. Ironically, I now realize her brazen and valiant character shapes me to do this day.
In the wee hours of the night, tiny whispers could be heard coming through see-through phones. Travelling along a phone line snaked down the hallway, our midnight conversations built an immutable oath. More than just a nexus for the sounds of speech, that clear phone line laid the foundation for sisterhood.
24 years ago, my sister whacked me with a broom to confirm my punishment from mom and dad. Since that day, she has kept me in line, helped to guide my moral compass, and bestowed upon me her tough love in times of camouflaged need.
I asked Stevie for a few words about our childhood together, and here is what she said: “I remember us playing Super Mario Brothers 3. Well, I didn’t play because, I was horrible. You would play, and I would pretend it was me playing. I remember having to untangle the clear phone line we always strung through the hallway. As we got older, the thing that sticks out the most was just wanting you to want to be my friend. I wanted you and your friends to include me. I wanted to be cool like I thought you were (example: belting out Faith Hill songs to you and Ashley because you told me I was “so good”. I now realize you all were probably laughing at me.) I wanted all your stuff too. CDs, cassette tapes, Giga Pet, the white and black exclamation perfume you had. So, to me, it sounds like I just wanted to be like my big sis!”
To toast to her birthday, have a Fig & Rosemary-Black Peppercorn Bourbon Fizz! The simple syrup carries notes of rosemary and black pepper; the fig and balsamic shrub provides an opposing bite, and a bourbon with notes of vanilla and dried fruit finishes the drink with warmth.