Friday, June 4, 2010

Shout-outs, awards and a wee bit of tipple

I was pleased to see a little mention of Off Book on A.J. Somerset's blog earlier this week. A.J. says he read the novel while on a flight to Edmonton and it made him reminisce about Halifax. This is wholly apt, I'd say, considering the story is about someone who abandons Halifax for a soulless (unnamed) city in Western Canada. Not that I would ever slag Edmonton, but Mordacai Richler did refer to it as "Canada's boiler room" once. Ouch.

Of course, I also want to add my voice to the chorus of congratulations to Karen Solie, who won the Griffin Poetry Prize last night here in Toronto. I have not yet read Pigeon, but I did read her earlier collection Short Haul Engine and was impressed by many of the poems therein.

Finally: with it being the noon hour on a Friday, I find my mind turning to thoughts of booze and boozing, and perhaps you do as well. If so, allow me to recommend this fun article on gin from I'm a big proponent of G&Ts this time of year (with preferance to Gordon's on a Friday afternoon; Bombay Sapphire is more a breakfast gin) and the article has several great summations of books on the glories of gin. I was a bit surprised, however, that there was no mention of The Distilled Kingsley Amis, a book which I reviewed earlier this year. The Kingster and I share the same philosophy towards G&Ts - i.e. served with lemon, not lime, and a whole whack of it at that. In fact, in closing let me leave you with my recipe for the perfect gin and tonic:

Mark Sampson's recipe for the perfect gin and tonic (adapted from The Distilled Kingsley Amis):
  • Put three ice cubes in the bottom of a tumbler.
  • Pour in one shot of Gordon's gin.
  • Pour in tonic until there is about a half-inch left before the rim of the glass. The tonic should be cold from the refrigerator and fresh. If your tonic has gone flat, throw it out.
  • Cut a lemon in half. Take one of the halves and slice out a healthy wedge and drop it into the glass. Then take the rest of the half lemon and squeeze it directly into the drink. (Yes, you read correctly, greenhorns. Squeeze an entire half lemon into the drink. It should very nearly fill up the remaining half inch left in the glass.)
  • Stir the entire concoction with the blunt end of the knife you used to cut the lemon. (Women and metrosexuals may fetch a clean spoon from the drawer if they prefer.)
  • Serve.

1 comment:

  1. An unnamed city with a suburb named "St. Albert." Hmmmmm.....