Savor Sister Linda with two question for you this first weekend of November 2017.
The first is, how is it November already? The second is, have you ever had the experience of coming across something unexpected and beautiful that gives you a kind of Reset? Maybe even a reset that you didn’t even know you needed?
I was in the garden at the ranch last week, admiring the pumpkins/squash, when I came across two grasshoppers. My eye almost missed them. But when I spotted them, their color, their form, their activity … made me smile. A wide open smile.
Can you find the two grasshoppers in this photo Hint: follow the pumpkin vine up to a smaller vine ….
Male grasshoppers court females, by flying about and snapping their wings. Males are smaller. They have two testes, each of which is connected to a sperm duct. After mating, the female uses four protrusions “ovipositors” with which she digs holes to deposit her eggs, and through which she deposits them. She lays them in winter, which is why we are seeing so much grasshopper “love” this time of year.
Sometimes our food come with “pests” – and this can be a good sign. The worm we find in our lettuce or apple from the garden or farmers market means that it is appealing, likely nontoxic, and it offers nutrition.
While out of check they can and do destroy fields of crops, causing much damage, in balance they are wonderful. The puppies and cats at the ranch practice their hunting skills as hunting them. And they enjoy eating them. Many types of birds including flycatchers, blue birds, chickens, even hawks (so I’ve read) eat them. (And most of you Foodies know that their has been a growing movement to accept and incorporate grasshoppers and other insects more broadly into human diets. It has been a traditional practice in certain cultures, but has not been part of the mainstream here).
I am enraptured by little things… and in insects and their exoskeletons. Grasshoppers molt when they undergo Simple Metamorphosis (which I am sure is never simple – but is more simple than Complete Metamorphosis). Are you curious about how long this life form had been on the planet? Hint: way before dinosaurs. (There are a lot of scholarly and farm related articles on grasshoppers that you can find; here is one that may not be as scientific, but it has some fascinating facts about them: click here. )
Surprisingly Simple Grasshopper – Revisioned.
(Grasshopper Love Adult Beverage; for two)
With a color palate that includes the browns, greens, and yellows of the two love-hoppers above, and ingredients that allow us to experience the “properties” of heat of the chiltepin, and cooling of the mint, that directly impact our tongue and mouth. I took a few liberties with revisioning this “In Lieu of Dessert” Drink.
Revisioned: I vetoed that roll your eyes into the back of your head green colored creme de menthe, in favor of a clear version. Then skipped the white creme de cocoa in favor of the darker chocolate color. (And this recipe totally skips the ice cream you see in so many Grasshopper drink recipes). I included two ingredients – chiltepin and mint and just as nature created them. I did this so that they could speak to you with your first sip of this drink.
I love how the cool of the mint and the HEAT of the chiltepin play off each other. I really love it.
In a cocktail shaker:
1.5 oz of Creme de Menthe clear not green. Remember there are no Grasshopper police so you can go with green if you want to.
1.5 oz Creme fe Cocoa (dark – like the grasshopper in the photo. I wanted her as my springboard color palate.
1.5 oz cream of your choice! If you are a delighter in dairy, by all means us heavy cream.
If you prefer something non dairy, use what ever milk you like most. I found a toasted coconut-almond blend at the health food store that I had never even noticed it before. It just happened to be creamy, sensual, and exactly right for me.
1 Chiltepin per glass – crushed. (it was interesting, that the milk I used had fat/oil and the chiltepin seeds moved the oil to the sides of the glass right on front of my eyes. Chemistry in a glass.
1 sprig of fresh mint or spearmint.
The last two ingredients embody the energies of Nature itself.
I like to chew on things that are real. Truthfully, chewing on Nature transports me inside myself. At the same time as it reconnects me to ecosystems outside myself. I like the feel of this inner and outer alchemy.
I let the drink itself inspire me and enjoyed the last mint and chiltepin as I finished writing.
I found these two Grasshopper Love glasses at Bon here in Tucson AZ and want to thank Bonnie and Crystal for their bright smiles and aesthetic contribution to The Old Pueblo.
Thanks also to Alan who helped me pick out the Creme de Menthe and Creme de Cocoa – and of course to Mark, as PLAZA Liquors. There is nothing like a local liquor store where folks know you, and are willing to take the time to help you think through your creative ideas!
I love living in a town that has such rich resources as these!