From Lord Byron to Napoleon, history is dotted with the beautiful words of people in love. Throughout time, lovers have expressed their love, lust, admiration, and obsession for each other through written word. What could be a better keepsake of someone than a thick stack of letters from them? But as relationships and the structure of life have changed, we have forgotten the importance of words. Letters and poetry are now mass produced by machines and we have lost the intimacy that they used to represent.
For this Valentine’s Day, do something truly meaningful by writing your partner a letter or poem. Even if you aren’t a wordsmith, they will love you for the effort. I will also be making these gorgeous oysters on the half shell that I’m dressing with an easy mignonette sauce made very special with some Buddha’s hand zest. This weird alien looking citrus is used only for its peel and it gives off, in my opinion, the most pure lemon citrusy fragrance ever. To top is all off, infuse some good gin with the same rind and make a simple citron ginger mule with it. Oysters and ginger have both long been considered powerful aphrodisiacs…hint hint.
“I care not who knows this, what use is made of it—it is to you and to you only, yourself. I was, and am yours, freely and entirely, to obey, to honour, love and fly with you, when, where, and how, yourself might and may determine.”
~ Lord Byron’s words to Lady Caroline Lamb
This is the first in a series of collaborations around life’s celebrations that I am doing with my good friend, Chavelli. She is a super talented calligrapher and designer. The beautiful calligraphy you see in this piece are all hers. Check her out on her beautiful site and stay tuned for many more fun ideas!
O Y S T E R S W I T H B U D D H A ‘ S H A N D C I T R O N M I G N O N E T T E
1 dozen oysters on the half shell, mildly salty ones such as flap jacks or kusshi
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 1/2 tablespoon shallots, finely chopped
2 tablespoons Buddha’s hand zest, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
Combine all ingredients and chill. Serve with fresh oysters.
C I T R O N G I N G E R M U L E
for the infused gin
1 cup buddha’s hand zest, cleaned and cut into strips
1 cup gin
Combine the zest and gin in a clean glass jar or bottle. Allow to infuse for at least 2 days. Shake every so often. After 2 weeks, make sure to thoroughly strain out the solids.
for the cocktail
2 oz buddha’s hand infused gin
3 oz grapefruit juice
8 drops grapefruit bitters
buddha’s hand zest, thin strip for garnish
Combine the gin, grapefruit juice, and bitters in a shaker with ice. Shake vigorously until the shaker has frosted over. Strain into 2 coupe glasses and top with a generous splash of ginger beer. Garnish with a strip of buddha’s hand zest.
Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer’s lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimmed,
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance, or nature’s changing course untrimmed:
But thy eternal summer shall not fade,
Nor lose possession of that fair thou ow’st,
Nor shall death brag thou wander’st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou grow’st,
So long as men can breathe, or eyes can see,
So long lives this, and this gives life to thee.
~ Shakespeare, Sonnet 18