Travis McGee said, “Every day, no matter how you fight it, you learn a little more about yourself, and all most of it does is teach humility.” I remember the first time I read those words and thought to myself, “Yeah, right.” I still had the confident ignorance of youth going for me and I had no idea just how much I did not yet know. To be fair, I don’t know all that much now, but at least I am aware of just how much I have yet to learn. As Mark Twain once mused “Good judgment is the result of experience and experience is the result of bad judgement.” Well, I have a ton of experience, which has not necessarily translated into sound judgment. Call it a moral failing but there are some lessons I have not been able to learn, no matter how often life has tried to teach them to me. So in the hope that an old dog can still expand his repertoire of tricks, won’t you please join me as we stand and make the ever elusive, yet remarkably accessible, Bananakin Skywalker.
A dear friend of mine used to say that “If we all threw all our troubles in a pile, people would fight to get their own back.” She was right. As much as we all want to escape our headaches, when it comes down to it, they are our own. That familiarity and certainty often outweighs our fears of the unknown. Go with what you know, or so they say. That said, the world has troubles enough without you and I adding to them. I see a lot of folks today up in arms about things happening in another place, that they have no control over and that’s fine, good to be engaged and all that, but save some outrage and/or empathy for the things you can affect. Maybe instead of peeking over the fence at our neighbors, we should take a look to see how things are going in our own backyard. Rather than going on a rant, I figure I’ll just join in the oddly specific apathy and ignore the beam in my own eye. So, today I am just gonna make a drink and mind my own business, won’t you please join me know as we stand and make, the Dirty Banana.
I’d like to say we made it, but there are still a few hours of 2020 left and if I have learned nothing else this year, it is to take nothing for granted. So, I am not gonna make any assumptions, but do hope that we will all make it till midnight and to see the sun rise on a new day. I have had a lot of thoughts about how to end this year and begin the next. It makes sense to look back on what was and celebrate the wins, mourn the losses, but I am not sure I can even remember who we were when this interminable year began. I am just gonna make a drink and see where that takes us. So, won’t you please join me now as we stand and make an old Uncle Monkey original, the Dumpster Fire.
It’s been a bit of a day and I ended up with more to do in the evening than I had anticipated, so please excuse my brevity. To be fair, I am looking forward to a drink tonight, lord knows we all need one. For the folks who are just tired of all this, nearly 3,000 people have died, today, so far, in the US alone. Over 100,000 people in the hospital tonight. Over 100,000 families praying that they get to see and hold and talk to their loved ones again and that they don’t join the over 276,000 families who have lost someone to this disease. So yeah, wear the damned mask. You didn’t come here to get lectured though, you came for the dancing monkey to say something funny. So get up , stand up and join me as we make the Banana Calling.
I was going to take the evening off, not make a drink at all, not write about it, not even take any pictures of that drink I was not going to make. My wife and I are celebrating our 18th wedding anniversary, so I figured no one would mind if we took the night off. We enjoyed a lovely bottle of mead I picked up a couple of years ago that we never got around to opening. I was ready to curl up on the sofa with some soft music and a book to wait out the child falling asleep, but she had other plans. Soon I was back in the kitchen, using some new tools to fill some new glasses, cause that’s my job. So, please join me now, as we stand and make the Tiki Peat.
We are taking out all the stops today. Going hell-bent for leather and riding off into a cultural reference sunset. This drink has everything. Well, not everything, but it has got a lot of stuff and it is topical. People love topical things. So we are gonna work around National Coffee Day, biblical quotes, The Big Lebowski, the second most famous Thor and even the impending great debate. How are we going to fit that all in to one drink? Well, if you want to find out, won’t you please join me as we stand and make Donnie’s Element.
We are all chasing something. Maybe it’s the right house or job or partner. Maybe it’s that perfect lyric, the hook that makes the song. Maybe it is finally getting the smoke ring just right in your brisket. There are lots of things worth chasing. Honestly, most of us are chasing lots of things at the same time. While we are working at the next big thing on the career path, we are also seeking out that rare tiki mug or a Corgi Batmobile, while reading Kierkegaard to broaden our understanding of leaps of faith, as we strive to be better partners, parents and children in a world where the rules keep changing so quickly that may have given up on trying to understand and just cling to symbols as some sort of anchor in the storm. There is a lot going on out there and it drives me to distraction some days, that is one of my coping mechanisms, finding something to focus on that helps me close out the things that keep me awake at night. Daily chases and long term quests help with that. Today’s drink is another step on a long term quest, a puzzle that has been in the back of my mind for a couple of years now. If there are those among you who also yearn for knowledge, who feel the call to discern that which is hidden, I ask that you join with me now, as we stand and make, The Traveling Banana.
This week I purchased something I generally advise other folks not to. I bought a flavored whiskey. I am not against the category, in general, but it is so easy to infuse your own, that I see little point in buying pre-flavored stuff. Same goes with rum, just make your own infusions using the real ingredients. If you want pineapple rum, soak some pineapple in rum for a day and strain. If you want Maple Bourbon, then pick your favorite bourbon and get some high quality maple syrup and go to town. I guess the point is, when you make your own you get to choose the ingredients and oversee the process and that generally works out better than grabbing something mass produced off the shelf. Unless there is marketing involved, then all bets are off. Which is why we gather here today. Won’t you join me now as we stand and make the Banana Flip.
Last week Laura infused some amazing Banana Liqueur. I even made a label for her fancy bottle and everything, so it made perfect sense to make a banana based drink today. That was the plan. That’s not quite what happened and honestly, I only have myself to blame, but we will get into that after the jump. If you would please join me now as we stand and make the Banana Farmer.
You know how things are fun, how you look forward to them, but one day those same things just become daunting and you dread having to actually do them? No? Huh? Just me, then. Ok. Well, I am glad you aren’t afflicted with this crippling fear, but I hope you can expand your imagination enough to relate. You ever have one of those days where you start a conversation, you can’t even finish it? I mean, you’re talking a lot, but you’re not even saying anything. This is one of those days for me. I am tense and nervous and I can’t relax because it is my buddy Jenn’s birthday. That means I need to find a drink that encapsulates what she means to me and then write nice-ish things about her. I have done it for other folks, and it feels like a thing I do now. It just sort of happened organically the first couple times, but now that it is a thing, I get worried about it. Weird, huh? So, it is only natural, that I should extend this courtesy to Jenn, it is the polite thing to do and I hate people when they are not polite. So join me now, as we stand and make a drink that just screams Jenn, the Psycho Killer.