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Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Proper Gin and Tonic for A Plus One Birthday



From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I was not a particularly fearful child, but I clearly remember worrying that I would never grow tall enough or old enough to enjoy the wonders of the big kid world. I just couldn't fathom how it all happened, much less judge the length of time it took to get from there to here. The days of the very young are long and the passage of a year can seem a fearsomely long time. It helped to segment the time between birthdays and for that reason the "....and- a- half year" tally was born. The day following your 5th birthday, you became five-and-a-half years old, and only heaven could protect those questioning that math from swift and certain retribution. If you wanted to run with the big kids you needed the "and-a-half year" advantage. I can't remember when that was put aside, but I know it was decades before I again felt the need to play with my age. I guess the sheer number of years started to weigh on me and for a period of time I used hexadecimal equivalents to mark my birthdays. Using my handy dandy conversion tables I became 32 on my 50th birthday. I thought it was hilarious, others, like the folks at customs and immigration, as dour a bunch as ever could be found, failed to see the humor in it. Once I retired and left IT, another scheme seemed in order and I developed my "plus one" tally for birthdays. That means only birthdays ending in zero are identified. All others become "plus ones". I was 70 years old last year. This year I am a "plus one" and will remain so until, God willing I reach my 80th birthday.

I won't be cooking today and the Silver Fox is in charge of all provisions. He has promised there will be proper gin and tonics for toasts to mark the day. I know the drink has fallen from grace in recent years, but when made with good gin and one of the better tonic waters, it is a delightful summer sipper. The Dutch and the British share credit for the drink. The Dutch invented the gin that makes it possible, but the British and their formula for carbonating water perfected it. The drink has an interesting past. It was first used in the tropics to counteract the bitter taste of the quinine powder needed to treat malaria. A bit of sugar was mixed with the powder and dissolved in a glass of carbonated water to make it more palpable. The gin came later, but it is what's credited with making the drink enjoyable. That it probably destroyed the livers of the British Foreign Service is a story for another day. We have been promised lovely weather for the weekend. I plan to enjoy it and I hope you will too. Here's the formula for a perfect gin and tonic. Cheers!

A Proper Gin and Tonic...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite

Ingredients:
Ice cubes
2 ounces gin
5 ounces tonic water
Lime wedge or mint

Directions:
Fill a tall narrow glass with ice cubes. Pour in gin, then tonic water. Stir. Garnish with lime or mint. Yield: 1 serving.







One Year Ago Today: White Wonder Cake














Two Years Ago Today: Fee Fi Pho Bo








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Fresh Strawberry Mojito - The Culinary Chronicles
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93 comments:

Lizzy said...

Happy, happy birthday, Mary! Celebrate your +1...I'm happy to know you and your lovely blog. xo

Linda Starr said...

Happy Birthday to you, hope you have a delightful relaxing time. That mint looks so refreshing it was hot as hades today and we had a yard sale, mine is on the 5th and I am a plus one this year myself, last year I was 60.

Kath said...

Happy birthday, Mary! I guess I'm "plus 1", too, since had my 60th birthday in December 2009. I like that system! I'll think of you when I have my gin and tonic in a few minutes. I enjoyed your interesting history about the drink.

Pegasuslegend said...

What a wonderful way to celebrate... my mom loved gin and tonic with lime.... I hope this year will be the best ever and every one after that better than the next.. blogging is therapy, its a gift you give us all, thank you for that.. may your night be filled with love and joy Happy Birthday!

Gloria said...

Happy, happy birthday dear Mary, psst" you are always a girl! I knw and I love you and your blog, hope you have a lot of more happy years!! Blessings, gloria

Joy said...

All the best birthday wishes and enjoy that perfect gin and tonic!

What's next said...

I hope you have a wonderful birthday! I mother was a fan of the gin and tonic, I have never had one as an adult but can still remember how they smelled...maybe I need to try one on my next plus 1

Julie said...

Happy Birthday!! Enjoy that gin and tonic and have a wonderful birthday celebration!

Big Dude said...

Happy birthday Mary and, in favor or not, I love gin (Beefeaters) and tonic.

Lindalou said...

Oh, it sounds lovely. Happy Birthday. You sound so young...I would have never guessed.

Enjoy.

From the Kitchen said...

I very happy birthday to you! My magic birthday was at age nine. I figured by that time, my feet would touch the floor when I sat in a chair, a pew or on a bus. How ever often you celebrate, it should be a long and happy celebration. I shall be back, for sure, to wish you a happy 80th!

Best,
Bonnie

hobby baker said...

♪♫ Happy Happy Birthday! ♪♫ I adore a good gin and tonic thanks to my dad. And after many years finally found a gin (Hendrick's) that I really love too thanks to a friend's well stocked bar. :)

Mickey said...

Happy Birthday Mary! I hope your day is as wonderful as that Gin and Tonic looks :)
mickey

LDH said...

Sending wishes for a very Happy Birthday! :)

Guvi said...

Happy Birthday, Mary! May you have a healthy, nice and long history of "+1", enjoy your grandchildren and definitely continue to give the rest of us your wonderful recipes! I'd like to toast for you with a gin and tonic just like the one you photographed...

~~louise~~ said...

Can you hear me? I'm singing:) Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday dear Mary, Happy Birthday to YOU!!! (Keep in mind I have a Betty Boop type voice:)

I have an entirely different method, Mary. I just don't keep track of my age. Seriously, when people dare ask me how old I am, I stop and try to remember how old my son is. I was 20 when he was born and I go from there. (I'm also terrible with math:) There's a story behind my method but it just would fill up too much space. If you want to know the story, email me at acalenda [at] gmail.

Enjoy that Gin and Tonic. In the 70's Gin and Tonic was my choice drink on summer evenings. A custom I may just need to revive.

Happy Birthday!!!

Annesphamily said...

Happy Birthday dear Mary! I wish you many many more! That gin an tonic looks cool and refreshing! Enjoy the weekend! Anne

Ginny said...

Happy birthday, Mary!!! I hope you will be going out somewhere nice to eat, or maybe the Silver Fox will be cooking. I'd love to see your birthday meal. An very amusing and lovely birthday post!! You are charming as ever!

Swathi said...

Happy birthday, Marry. Many more happy returns of the day. Gin and tonic looks awesome.

Mo 'Betta said...

Happy Birthday!

Jersey Girl Cooks said...

Hope you have a wonderful birthday Mary! You are a great cook and your blog has such wonderful interesting stories. Cheers to you!

♥LOVE2COOK♥ said...

Happy Birthday dear Mary! Keep young and healthy dear ;)

yummychunklet said...

Cheers to your birthday! And that cake from a year ago looks perfect!

mia xara said...

Enjoy a very happy "plus one" birthday,Mary!I wish you many many more,with lots of health and happiness and more great recipes!!XO

A Bitchin' Kitchen said...

Happy birthday, Mary! I hope you have a wonderful day!

- Maggie

Anonymous said...

Happy plus one to you, Mary! That's such a great idea!! :)

You know what's odd...I've never had gin in my life, and I'm 47...and a half...LOL...or rather a plus 7. :)

Why have I never tried gin? Guess I need to branch out some. :)

Anyway, have a wonderful birthday! :)

Pondside said...

Happy Birthday Mary! I hope you have a lovely day, with those perfect G&Ts and a grand meal!
I am so very happy to have 'met' you and to have the privilege of enjoying your blog.

That Girl said...

Happy Birthday! I might try your new calculation next week!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

I've always like gin and tonic so it never fell out of grace with me! Happy Birthday Mary. You will always be young at heart no matter what the calendar says.

shooting star said...

happy birthday...
aah gin and tonic, never had this one, my favorites are mojito, sex on the beach, pina colada and screwdriver...but you make it sound gin & tonic to be very simple to make...maybe ill try it out next time when im pubbing..and then if i like the taste..ill try to make it at home!!!

Treat and Trick said...

Happy birthday Mary! Have fun and keep well...

Chiara said...

A very very happy birthday dear Mary!I hope you have a lovely day full of love and joy!

Foodness Gracious said...

Happy birthday dude!!! have a great day..

JasmyneTea said...

Happiest of Birthdays to you! Hope your day is filled with love, joy, and people doing things for you ;)

Elin said...

Mary...HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY to you ! Hahaha I like the + 1 every year :) I am happy to know you and I love every one of your recipes :) Yea, I pray for you too that you get to +1 till 90 so that I will have a continuous list of recipes to delight in :)

Have a wonderful birthday with your family..hugs and muax :)
love,
Elin

Lora said...

Wonderful post. Many happy returns.

Raquel.Erecipe said...

Happy Happy Birthday you deserve to have a break on your birthday =) cheers

KathyB. said...

Happy birthday to you! I had my very first gin & tonic this past January and I think it was wonderful! I had 2 more on the plane ride home , they helped me cope with my fear during extreme turbulence and if I ever fly again gin & tonics will be a must.

It is such a refreshing drink, now that we are finally getting some summer temps I think it is the perfect drink for summer evenings on the porch with my husband.

I like the way you count your years, I just might follow suit.~

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

Happy B-Day Mary! I'll raise my glass towards the west and enjoy a drink with you! Have fun:@)

Sam @ My Carolina Kitchen said...

Happy birthday Mary. I like how you count.

Nothing beats a good gin and tonic and the Silver Fox did it proud.
Sam

Maris (In Good Taste) said...

Happy Healthy Birthday and many many many more!!!!

Lucia from Madison said...

Happy Birthday! Love this post!

Alessandra said...

Happy Happy Happy Birthday to you!

I love a good G&T, cheers to you!

Ciao
Alessandra

StephenC said...

Happy birthday, sweetheart.

bellini said...

Have a wonderful day my friend. Mwke it all about you and enjoy every minute!

Clint said...

Happy PLUS 1, Mary! Yes, I agree that a good gin and tonic is just about the best thing there is. Have a wonderful day---and blow all the candles out!

Gosia said...

Happy Birthday to you! Very interesting blog!

Hornsfan said...

Happy Birthday! I love your plus one philosophy and giggled reading about 'and a half' because you're absolutely right. I can remember proudly touting the 'half' part of my age as well and then as suddenly as I thought I came up with that phrase I dropped it in favor of just being a 'twenty-something' -- much easier than saying, ok nearly 30.

Karen Harris said...

Happy birthday Mary! I hope you have a great birthday. I'm pleased to tell you that the G & T is alive and very well in the UK. I prefer to substitute the gin for vodka making my favorite summer drink.

June said...

Happy Birthday Mary. I'll quaff a G & T in your honor. Hope you have a fabulous sunny day.

Tasha said...

I'm a wine kind of girl, but when I do drink a cocktail, gin and tonics are one of my favorites! It's been quite a while since I've had one though. Perhaps I'll have to fix that this weekend. Hope yours is wonderful. Happy Birthday.

Catherine said...

Dear Mary, I wish you the happiest of birthday's! I like the way you calculate! I will be using it too. Age is attitude. Again a very blessed and happy day. Catherine xo

EliFla said...

MAry...HAPPY HAPPY AND SUPER HAPPY BIRTHDAY..... so, my granny used to calculate years for each leg, you are 35 and a half "for leg" years old! ;) ... blessings and hugs, Flavia

Lauren Hairston said...

Happy Birthday! I can't think of a better way to celebrate than with a gin and tonic!

Melynda said...

Happy Plus One! With many new "plus one" celebrations to come! I personally love a good gin and tonic, so thanks for that recipe!

Jennifurla said...

hapy plus 1, I hope this day is fab!

Cheryl said...

Happy Birthday, enjoy your cocktail! I am staying 45 until I turn 50 then I will age to 46!

Janie said...

I am 65 this July, (guess that makes me 60 Plus One, but some how I am stuck on feeling 30 Plus One..haha!).

Cooking since I was 7 (interested since 5) and like you, I am still looking for that "One Perfect Bite"..I Love your blog. Keep going...

Diana said...

I used to enjoy a cold gin and tonic, but for reasons I cannot recall, gravitated to vodka and tonic; perhaps it was the cheap gin I was served. :) Happy Birthday, Mary, and we'll toast to your next many plus ones. Hope you enjoy this wonderful weekend. I'm headed out to the garden.

Anna said...

happiest of birthdays to you! and a hearty YES to you celebrating with good gin... it can't be beat :D

paula MARIANA said...

I dear Mary, happy birthday to you!!!

Kisses and blessings!!

Joanne said...

Happy birthday lovely! I hope you're celebrating with family and love and good food! And quite a few gin and tonics.

Kate@Diethood said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Cheers to many many more!

mia maria said...

Happy Birthday! I hope you enjoyed the day!

Rita said...

Wishing you all the best for a Spectaculare year full of great recipes.
Enjoy
Rita

A Seasonal Cook in Turkey said...

Hello Mary! Being British, I am all too familiar with the joys of a good G&T - of course it is the best drink to have to celebrate a good birthday! Cheers!

Paula @ Dishing the Divine said...

Happy birthday! It's always fun to share a birthday blog. :)

Cooking Creation said...

Happy (belated) birthday to you! I'm 29, so does that mean I'm "minus one"? lol I hope you are having a wonderful birthday weekend :)

Blue Fruit said...

Somebody must have forgotten to tell me that this wonderful drink has fallen from grace in recent years, because it is a year round favourite! Oops that I am so out of fashion, but everybody else's loss for not savoring this most delicious of cocktails.

I agree though, it has to be the best gin one can afford (preferably 10 or Bombay Sapphire), and also the best tonic water - for me this is Schweppes.

The epitome of style!

And I love your idea for birthday counting. It is all such an arbitrary thing anyway. We should count experiences, and what one actually packs into a year, rather than the number of days.

Happy Birthday to you! And I hope you enjoyed your lovely G & Ts.

Virginia x

Nami @ Just One Cookbook said...

Happy Happy Birthday Mary! I hope you are having a great birthday weekend with beautiful Gin and Tonic!

Coleen said...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARY!!!!!!!!!!! May you enjoy many more.

Spoon and Chopsticks said...

Happy Birthday Mary! Hope you had a great day!!

http://spoon-and-chopsticks.blogspot.com/

Au and Target said...

Happy Birthday! And many gins more :-)

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

Cheers to you, dear Mary!! Happy, Happy + One Birthday! You are an amazing person who I have so enjoyed *meeting* in this blog world. I am sure the Silver Fox will do us proud in helping you to celebrate! blessings and best wishes for a perfect +1 year! tanna

Miriam said...

Oh, what a beautiful post! Happy birthday Mary!!! May you have many more happy "plus ones," to go!! Miriam@Meatless Meals For Meat Eaters

Food Glorious Food! said...

That's so cute! 1+.... All the best woth lots of love :)

T.W. Barritt at Culinary Types said...

Happy Birthday, Mary! I hope you are drinking mhy favorite Aviation Gin from Portland, and I am also glad to know that 16 and a half years younger than I originally thought! All the best!

thecompletecookbook said...

Wishing you a very special and Happy Birthday Mary. Have a wonderful love filled year ahead.
My daily drink is a Gin and Tonic with lots of lemon. I will enjoy one for your this evening.
:-) Mandy

Foodycat said...

Happy Birthday! I am still 18, out of deference to an aunt. Until she turns 29 I can't turn 19! (with thanks to Saki for that one!

I have been attending Juniper Society, a monthly gin tasting group - so much more variety and finesse than I would have imagined! You should try a G&T with a slice of crisp green apple in it, instead of lime, for a change. Magic!

Suman Singh said...

Belated birthday wishes to you..I hope you enjoyed ur day..

James B said...

Happy Birthday !!!!! Hope you had a great day.

I love a good gin and tonic. Tried it the other day with a splash of elderflower cordial in it for a twist - lovely!

Sweet And Crumby said...

Love this post. You had me at "plus one". I am 40 plus one. LOVE IT. Thanks for sharing a child's view of getting older and having birthdays. It brings me back. Your gin and tonic looks perfect. Cheers!

Candy (Dulce) said...

Happy (belated) birthday. You stopped by my blog, and wrote some kind words - I couldn't wait to visit you. Now I see that you have wonderful taste in refreshing beverages too!

Hope "Hal" gets better soon!

GLENDA CHILDERS said...

Blessings on your birthday, Mary.

Fondly,
glenda

Young Adventures... said...

Happy Birthday Mary!! I hope your day was beautiful.
Gin and Tonic is my husband's favorite drink.

My Little Space said...

Oh, Happy Belated Birthday to you...Mary! ((hugs)) Wishing you all the best and may many more happy returns. I'm looking forward to your 80th birthday. I'm a gemini too and so is my daughter! Mine has another 2 weeks to go & my girl is 1 week after mine. :o)
Hope you're having a fabulous time with your family.
Blessings,
Kristy ((hugs)) & kisses
p/s I'm on vacation!

Wendy Irene said...

A very happy plus one birthday to you!! Many blessings, much love, and many more birthdays <3

Mari @ Once Upon a Plate said...

Beautifully written ~ Happy Birthday Mary! May you have many happy returns of the day. Cheers!

Jenn said...

Happy belated birthday Mary!! Hope your day was amazing!

Lucie said...

Hope you had a wonderful birthday, Mary! Gin & tonic is my favorite Summer cocktail--I hope (and I'm sure) you had a great celebration to accompany it!

Rosemary said...

I'm late to the birthday party . . . I'm sure you made it a good one with a proper gin and tonic. (A perfect Manhattan will be mine.) Thank you for stopping by my blog and for your thoughtful comments. Much appreciated!

LoveIsBrightAndYourMySunShine said...

Happy birthday Mary :)

Kate @ Demi-glazed said...

I love your birthday-tally method!

Happy birthday, and I shall raise my own glass (filled with a "three halves" G&T - half gin, half tonic, half a lime) in your honour! Here's to many, many more happy years!

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