Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Gag Me With A Weed

It is with a heavy heart that I introduce you to My New Worst Enemy.
I had only eaten any kind of "seaweed snack" once before, and it was so traumatic, I remember it well! It was almost 15 years ago. I put the seaweed snack in my mouth, the promptly began gagging, and had to spit it out. I was disgusted! Now, over the past 15 years, I've been no stranger to eating all kinds of vegan maki, all of which are wrapped in seaweed, of course. I truly love maki. In fact, one of my Top Five Favorite Dishes I Have Ever Eaten is the Avocado Tempura Roll at Cha-Ya in the Bay Area. I couldn't imagine that I would STILL have an issue eating seaweed! After all of the hundreds of Kappa Maki I have thrown down my gullet over the years? Impossible! So, imagine my surprise when yesterday, I took a bite from one of these seaweed snacks, and I promptly began gagging!

My only possible explanation is that, for some reason, the texture of dried seaweed, along with the smell of it (when it is not masked by wasabi and soy sauce), somehow triggers a survival instinct in my brain with a signal of That Isn't Food! And while I was extremely unhappy, I was able to get the whole "snack" down this time, but it felt so wrong... like I was eating something inedible. Like I was trying to devour tissue paper or cellophane. I admit, I was a college-aged adult before I knew that millions of people actually eat seaweed, and I was stunned and disgusted by that fact. I didn't even believe it at first! You can't eat seaweed! It's Not Food!

Anyway, I suppose I'll keep at it with the seaweed snacks, but I can promise you, this one is going to be harder than beer and cranberry juice combined! As unpleasurable as those both are, at least they don't literally gag me! So, I'll lower the bar for myself.... if I can manage to get a seaweed snack down without gagging, I'll consider that a victory!
This is what I will look like if I ever eat a seaweed snack without gagging! 

And if this wasn't enough gagging for you in one post, I've got some more!

A friend, who is quite knowledgeable about cocktails, has been giving me tips on how to deal with grapefruit juice. He mentioned that he had seen a bar which was offering up a gin / grapefruit juice / almond syrup cocktail. This sounded like a good option. After all, I still had to "use up" a bottle of gin.... and, I have an open bottle of Disaronno that needs to be "used up" as well. I looked all over, trying to find a cocktail recipe that used these 3 ingredients, and I failed. Most of the Gin / Grapefruit cocktails seemed to want to include Maraschino cherries in some form, so I took that into consideration as well. And I decided to just go ahead and Invent My Own Cocktail. I present to you The Gag Reflex! (G.A.G. = Grapefruit, Amaretto, Gin. Hubby gets the credit for that one!)

* 2 Parts Gin
* 1 Part Grapefruit Juice
* 1/2 Part Amaretto

Pour over ice, stir. Strain into a cocktail glass. Garnish with 3 Maraschino cherries.
(FTR, you're never supposed to shake any cocktail with gin it in, only stir. Shaking bruises the gin, or so they tell me.)

I am proud to report that The Gag Reflex did NOT inspire it's own name in me! This was the first cocktail I ever "invented" and I have to say, it really wasn't bad. Obviously, it's not exactly my preference, but as far as grapefruit cocktails go, I liked it better than I liked Salty Dog. I'm planning on trying a Greyhound later this week, so we'll get see how my concoction holds up to a Classic Cocktail.

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