Lest you get the impression that this is a one-man show, let me assure, it is not. This is a family affair, with Laura and the boy playing their parts most everyday. Sure, there are rare occasions when I go it alone, but most days, Laura works on garnish and the boy retrieves ingredients and forgotten implements of creation or helps with the shake. They both have to endure my dramatic readings, as I make a loose proofread before posting, sometimes tossing out whole passages and rewriting, while they wait for the next exciting chapter. What would happen, though, if the soul crushing ennui, got to me and I did not get up to make a drink? Well, let’s find out tonight as they stand and make Drunken Fruity Pebbles.
The boy and I did a little over 7 1/2 miles on Wade Mountain today, so we are properly tired and enjoying a few minutes with our feet up. The wife wanted to do something with Vanilla vodka and had run across this recipe a few weeks back. She was also making cupcakes, so I stayed clear, whining in my characteristic way about not feeling like making a drink anyway. The boy and I opted to play Chess, the game and the musical, so as not to trespass on her domain for a bit until she suddenly called out for me to come in the kitchen and take a picture. I assumed that she wanted one of my signature low angle food pics to promote her handmade cupcakes with vanilla icing, but I was met with a beautiful cocktail, suitable for framing. Since she had done the heavy lifting, I made the photo. Seemed fair.
This drink is another of those that haunts Pinterest boards waiting for unsuspecting mixologists to come along so it can pounce. It takes a bit of prep work, so grab a bowl and combine 2 cups of milk with 1/2 a cup of fruity pebbles and stir it well, so the pebbles will get soggy, exactly how you would not do it if you were going to eat the cereal. When mixed set it in the fridge to chill and go back to your cupcake making. When the amount of time it takes to watch an episode of The Flintstones (with commercials) has passed, pull your mixture from the fridge and strain to remove all of those fruity pebbles solids. Throw these away. Seriously, it is tempting, but do not eat them. They may look like soggy cereal but they are just little lumps of cardboard, totally devoid of all flavor. You didn’t listen, did you? Well, there you go, the sugary goodness is all in the milk now and all that is left are the sad bits. Don’t look at me, I warned you.
Ok, now that you have Fruity Pebble Milk reserve half to it to make a Fruity Pebble LattÃ© in the morning. Seriously, this is a way better use of this nectar of the Hanna-Barbera marketing gods than any cocktail you could dream of. I am not kidding, froth that milk, add an espresso and thank me later. For this drink, grab a mixing pitcher, toss in that cup of milk and add 1 1/2 ounces of Vanilla Vodka, she chose Corsair Vanilla Bean; 1/4 of an ounce of simple syrup, a splash of grenadine and some ice before stirring to the sounds of “Walk the Dinosaur” by Was Not Was. When the mixture is well chilled, grab a coupe and roll the edge through the vanilla icing you made for the cupcakes and some Fruity Pebbles, strain the drink in and top with some freshly whipped cream before garnishing with even more Fruity Pebbles.
This drink is good, not great. I don’t think it is the milk’s fault since it works really well with coffee. We have run into this before back during the 13 Drinks of Halloween when we made the Cereal Killer using Count Chocula. Cool concept, but milk and vodka just don’t do it for me. It is like the vodka kills any complexity of flavor that might be there. And honestly, there is not going to be much, its just vodka, grenadine and cereal milk. But, isn’t it lovely? Isn’t it wonderful? Isn’t it precious?
John Donne reminded us that “No man is an island entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main”. It goes along in that vein for a bit before flipping the metaphor and reminding us that since we are all part of humankind, we are diminished by any death. He then famously cautions us not to ask “for whom the bell tolls, it tolls for thee.” He was kind of a downer though, hardly ever got invited to parties and never got asked to sleepover for Fruity Pebbles in the morning. So, I am going to focus on that first part, how we are all connected. Sure, y’all knew that there was no way I was doing all this my own and I wouldn’t want to. Sharing the experience with the family is part of the fun and then sharing that journey with you, gentle readers, well that is the whole point, isn’t it?
I asked Laura if she wanted to write this one, just to get the full experience and she politely declined the opportunity for a guest post. I was a bit disappointed, she has things to say and it would have gotten me out of an evenings work. I guess the good news is, even when they make drinks far prettier than anything I make, they still need me to tell the stories. As she put it to the boy, with me sitting right there, “It’s good to keep a writer around. It makes things a lot easier when you need words.” I would counter that keeping a writer around when you do not have an immediate need for words is hardly worth the effort, but maybe I should just be grateful that they still have need of me and all these words. So many words. Stay safe, stay hydrated and stay sane, my friends.