Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Making A List, Then Making White Sangria.

I am a list-making kind of girl. (One thing on The List, BTW, is deciding how much longer I can refer to myself as a girl.)

I make grocery lists, packing lists, to-do lists, to-call lists, to-read lists, to-write lists and long-range planning lists.

Some lists are temporary, scribbled on Post-Its, cash register receipts, gas company envelopes, and 5" x 5" notes with my name printed across the top in a brown font peculiarly similar to my own handwriting.

Other lists are longer lasting -- team rosters, upcoming home repairs (ranked according to priority), and the kids' "Before You Even Ask" chore lists -- all of which I keep on the Mac. Every summer, we also maintain, on my iPhone, a list of the state license plates (including Canadian plates, because, well, you know ...) we come across. In alphabetical order, of course. Vanity plates don't count. When we're really road-weary, we track inappropriate bumper stickers, too.

The need to note appears to be genetic -- or at least contagious. I find bullet points scrawled on bits of notebook paper and old test papers on the bedside table of one of my beloved children. I won't say which one. I wouldn't want to embarrass him.

When I was married, I kept two other mental lists -- things I knew how to do, such as cooking, managing the family finances and getting the gutters cleaned, and things I didn't need to know how to do, such as taking out the trash, buying car tires and deciding how much to contribute to a 401K.

Now, of course, I do it all. And, as the mom of the house, I've got an entire lineup of things that only I know how to do. Just a few items on that capacious list include:

Load into the dishwasher dishes other than my own plate and utensils. Need I elaborate? "I didn't even use that spoon. That was his knife! Grody!"

Turn a blind eye -- for longer than 30 seconds -- to an incoming text message. Sorry. Was that your phone? Or mine?

Remember that wet towels hang on the rack, dirty clothes go in the hamper, and clean clothes should -- gratefully -- be put away. This is a toughie, but we're working on it. And have been for over 10 years.

Re-fill toilet paper and paper towel holders. Both kids know where to find the necessary paper products, but only seem able to perch said products on top of said holders. I know, right? Unwrap. Slide on. Tah. Dah.

Use the garbage disposal. This one's a mystery. The people who live here seem to understand the concept (putting uneaten scraps of food, i.e., garbage, into the sink), but somehow, there's a disconnect that prevents them from actually turning on the disposal, thus disposing of the remains. I really have nothing more to say about it. Nothing, that is, that doesn't involve me biting the inside of my lower lip. And sighing. And rolling my eyes.

Clean up -- or even cover up -- any sort of pet "accident." No need for a adjectives here, right?

Take a telephone message. If you've called me -- ever -- and I wasn't the one to answer the phone, I apologize. Sincerely. Rest assured. I didn't get the message.

On my Summer List is coming up with a recipe for White Sangria. It's no secret that I'm a big fan of my Red Sangria recipe, but summer cries out for something lighter. Or, at the very least, something else. And poor me, since summer offers such an abundance of flavors, I've got two versions in the works. Here's the first.

White Sangria #1

1/2 cup peach schnappes
1/2 cup white rum
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sliced strawberries (plus additional for garnish)
1 cup diced pineapple (plus additional for garnish)
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, sliced in thin ribbons.
5 peppercorns, lightly crushed

1 bottle sauvignon blanc, chilled (Note: If you choose a less "tart" wine, like a pinot grigio, you'll need to add 1/2 a sliced lemon and 1/2 a sliced lime to the fruit listed above.)
1 cup ginger ale, chilled

In a refrigerator container (with lid), mix rum, schnappes and sugar. Stir in fruit, mint and peppercorns. Chill in refrigerator several hours, or even better, up to three days.

When ready to serve, pour chilled wine and Sprite into a large pitcher. Stir in fruit and rum mixture.

Strain and serve over ice, garnishing with additional fresh fruit.

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