Kelsey Malie

Happy Hour: Negroni

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Negronis have been everywhere recently. Last year at Feast there was an entire negroni panel. The most recent issue of Bon Appetit lauds the drink. I've had a few at local wine bars, regular bars, and seen them featured on all new drink menus. My first was a bit of a shock: sweet and bitter and herbacious, blech! But by the time the glass was empty I was craving more of that taste. It's only escalated from there and now I'm facing a serious addiction. It's made even more problematic by the cost of the ingredients.

On our recent road trip, we stopped by a winery that had some sweet vermouth for sale from their parent winery in California. We tried it and were blown away. I wasn't very familiar with sweet vermouth but this actually was drinkable... on its own. We decided that it was time to delve into the world of negronis and manhattans in order to use up our new vermouth collection.

 You'll need:

1 oz gin
1 oz campari
1 oz sweet vermouth (we love Vya)
 1-2 drops of angostura bitters
Orange wedge for garnish

Fill a shaker with ice. Add in 1 oz of gin, 1 oz of campari, and 1 oz of sweet vermouth (be sure to measure these all very carefully and specifically). Add a drop of angostura bitters, just one will do the trick. Shake for at least 10 seconds. Fill a highball glass with ice and pour in your cocktail. Garnish with an orange wedge. Enjoy at least three of these and then wake up with a headache.

Fire Season

Monday, October 5, 2015

Cardigan: c/o Territory Ahead; Tank: Banana Republic (similar); Leggings: Gap (on sale!); Booties: Ross, old 

Oregon (and the rest of the western United States) was burning recently, and the smoke was settling in Portland and turning the moon bright red. I could smell wood burning hundreds of miles away from my apartment. It felt scary and severe - that that much smoke would travel so far must mean the fires were huge and overwhelming.

While the fires have since been contained and we're no longer trapped under unhealthy, smoky air, it feels like I've been in my own fire season. In some kind of controlled burn to remove the dead wood, and grass, and flimsy structures from my life in order to make room for bright, new, green growth. Nothing has been quite so dramatic as a blazing wildfire, but it has been a bit of a tough season in my life. So much of the old has burned down, that after the smoke cleared, I found myself sitting alone in an empty room wondering what I start to rebuild first. 

Ben's recent rotations - pediatrics (the first adjustment to third year), surgery (sprinkled with nights, 16 hour shifts, and a lot of agony) and rural (literally rural), have been trying. We've been working really hard to stay afloat with such huge stresses, exams, deadlines, and limited time together. Struggling through something that's so huge and yet so unique to our (and the rest of the medical community's) lives, means that a lot of people don't understand what we're going through, and it makes it hard to maintain friends to external to this experience. Friends that don't understand that every single test is an investment in the extended, many-years-from-now future. That every single win opens doors and every single "average" or, worse yet, fail, shuts one.That sort of pressure makes Ben's life extremely difficult and mine, as his partner and support system, anxiety-inducing. 

There are a lot of days when it's all we can do to get home, find 10 minutes to just look at each other, and then get back to work. As we focus so so hard on staying positive, appreciative of each other, and yet dedicated to a common, future goal, it's hard to maintain the rest outside of our world. The rest of our world (friends, relationships, hobbies, and activities) are on fire and we're just sitting in our  shelter hoping for rain.

I can see, beyond this fire season, a ton of promise, refreshing rain and new growth, and am so looking forward to rebuilding and starting fresh.

Crater Lake

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Jacket: Nike; Jeans: Gap; Shoes: Nike

 Isn't it strange how you can live in a state for many years and not see the majority of it? Growing up in Hawaii, I only saw 3 of the Hawaiian islands in 18 years. I still have quite a few to check off the list. Ben, a lifetime Oregon resident, had never seen Crater Lake, one of the most famous natural destinations in the state. For us, the prohibitive element in seeing what our state has to offer is the distance and sheer driving time to see many of our national parks and beautiful natural features. Crater Lake is about 4 hours southeast of  Portland. The Painted Hills, another wonder we've never seen, is about 4 hours to the east. We'd never seen the southern Oregon coast, about 5 hours southwest. And I have yet to see the entirety of Southeastern Oregon, a whopping 7 hour drive. 

Though at face value, 4-5 hours doesn't seem very long, a lot of these wonders exist far from hotels, or motels. And to do a there-and-back in one day is hard on the driver, leaves little time for exploring, and can be really rough on an older car, like we drive. The entire purpose of our road trip last weekend, and the reason we rented a car to do it, was to ride in a new, clean, comfortable, and not-ours car. We were able to drive 5+ hours a day, to never get uncomfortable in the seat, to use the AC and heat all we wanted, to gas it up hills and around slow moving traffic. In our current car, we like to keep the AC off and the windows down, to give it all the power it needs to get going (it's a Corolla that lacks oomph power on hills, especially with the AC going). We also get pretty uncomfortable in the seats - backaches galore!

We were so thrilled to finally make it Crater Lake (over many a mountain, forest, hill, and long stretch of highway) and see the giant lake that everyone talks about here in Oregon. Though we'd both seen photos, we were blown completely away by the gorgeous, massive lake perched below some snow-capped ridges and peaks. Pictures cannot capture even half of the beauty, the vivid blue, or the awe-inspiring feeling it left us with. 100% worth the drive.