Happy New Year!! I hope everyone was able to ring in the new year in a special way. For my part, I was invited to a “Fattening” party, a potluck with fun people and delicious food, and watched the Badgers try unsuccessfully to bring home a Rose Bowl win. I’ll admit that the football game, though fun to watch, was a bit disappointing. The Fattening party on the other hand, was a huge success. Not only did I get to eat a lot of tasty food and enjoy tons of good laughs, I won Bananagrams at the gift exchange! Clearly, my year is off to an excellent start.
My contribution to the New Year’s Fattening was twofold. I brought a version of this squash and lentil salad as my contribution toward health, and Aunt Pat’s Grasshoppers as my contribution toward gluttony. This is the same Aunt Pat of Brandy Slush fame, so I knew it would be a hit. That and this was perhaps one of the best parts about the holiday season while growing up, so I saw no reason why it wouldn’t be a wonderful way to ring in the new year with some new friends.
But the best part about these Grasshoppers is that you don’t really need a holiday as an excuse to enjoy them. I recommend mixing up a batch today to enjoy throughout the new year!!
Aunt Pat’s Grasshoppers
1 pail vanilla ice cream
1/2 c. creme de cacao
1/4 c brandy
3/4 c creme de menthe
Allow ice cream to soften. Mix in liquors and freeze. Enjoy!!
This last weekend I went camping with my friend and her aunt in Wisconsin at Wildcat Mountain State Park near the Kickapoo River, where we did some canoeing and biking on the Elroy-Sparta trail. If you’ve never been canoeing in the Kickapoo, I highly recommend making the trip to Drifty’s to rent a canoe. The drive alone would make it worth your time, but jumping out of the canoe and floating down the river to cool off will guarantee it.
Growing up, my family didn’t do a ton of camping but there were a few times that we went up north to visit Aunt Pat, Uncle Bob and cousins to hang out at their RV campsite. Those weekends were always a lot of fun. I seem to remember my brothers doing a lot of fishing, and my parents and aunts and uncles doing a LOT of laughing. What could have induced all this laughter? Who knows for sure, but I’m sure that Aunt Pat had something to do with it.
This weekend, as I was devouring s’mores by the campfire, I thought a little bit about those trips up north, which got me thinking about Aunt Pat, and naturally got me thinking about ice-cream buckets full of fun (Aunt Pat could always be counted on for fun, in ice-cream buckets or otherwise). I’m not so sure we had brandy slush when we visited Aunt Pat and Uncle Bob on those trips up north, but I sure did have a glass last night when I got home from my weekend camping trip. And you know what? It was almost like Aunt Pat was right there with me, having lots of fun and lots of laughs.
7 c. water
2 c. sugar
4 green tea bags
2 c. brandy
1 12-oz can frozen orange juice concentrate
1 12-oz can frozen lemonade concentrate
Boil 5 c. water and 2 c. sugar. Let cool. Boil 4 tea bags in 2 c. water for 4 minutes. Cool. Add orange juice and lemonade concentrate to sugar water. Add tea. Add brandy. Put in freezer for at least 24 hours. Serve one scoop in a small glass and fill with 7-up, squirt, or ginger ale.