Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Day, Movies and Virgin Mojitos

Memorial Day: Kate and I went for a run this morning.  Actually, we went for a RAWK -- run/walk/talk.  Sometimes Kate asks me if she can join me on my Saturday run, which is usually code for "Let's get out of our one bedroom apartment with four people living in it and go out into this city of millions of people so we can have a private conversation."  I've liked our rawks -- when Kate was younger, she would hold my hand as we went around the lower loop in central park.  No, it wasn't really aerobic, but it gave us time to relax and talk about all the things tween girls are interested in. (And to protect Kate's privacy, I won't go into details here!)  I am always happy when Kate wants to join me, and I looked forward to our relaxing mother/daughter rawk this morning.

On weekdays, I have my schedule pretty well mapped out. I know that if I get up at 5:45, I can be at my gym when the doors open at 6, then I have to be out of the gym by 6:45/in the shower at 6:50 in order to finish getting ready and out the door by 7:55 so I can drop my son at school on my way to an 8:30 am breakfast meeting with a client.  Since today was a holiday, I looked forward to a more leisurely pace.  I slept in until 7:30. (Actually, I woke up at 6:30 when my son got up, but I halfway stayed asleep until 7:30, when I couldn't really stay in bed any longer.) I got up and read the NY Times, then 20 pages of Ayn Rand's novel, Fountainhead, which I recently discovered and was surprised I'd never read before.  I folded 7 loads of laundry that I had washed the night before, looked up recipes online for virgin mojitos (more about that later), then I woke Kate up so she could go feed our neighbors cat before we went out on our run.  A nice leisurely way to start off Memorial Day and a day off from work!

Movies: Our whole family went to see Prince of Persia today.  It's the perfect swashbuckling, slightly romantic, summer action movie. 'Nuff said.

Virgin Mojitos: It's hard being a foodie who doesn't drink alcohol.  It's not that I want to drink a glass of wine with a fabulous meal, but that I feel like I'm missing out on part of the dining experience when the waiter fills my glass with tap water for the third time. (Note: I also feel guilty that I'm not ordering expensive drinks, and therefore adding to the bill and the tip, so I always overtip!)  But I've found recently that some restaurants are adding non-alcoholic drinks to their menu, and it's been fun and try some of them out.  I was in Las Vegas a few weeks ago and had an amazing ginger-like drink at Jean George Steakhouse, and I keep trying to recreate that experience elsewhere.  Aside from some of the ever-so-sweet-and-fruity drinks like Virgin Pina Coladas, or the kids favorite Shirley Temple drinks, I've found that I really like a good Virgin Mojito -- that combination of lime and mint is a really refreshing way to start a meal.  Today we decided to make our own Mojitos for our picnic in the park.

We are growing mint in our 6x7 foot garden plot at our local community garden (, but it's not quite ready to pick, so we had to buy some.  I found a recipe that uses sugar cane juice, but I couldn't find it this morning, so we made our own simple syrup with sugar cane.  Armed with cut limes, fresh mint sprigs, club soda and a thermos full of simple syrup, we set off for a picnic in Sheep Meadow.  We "muddled" our mint leaves in the bottom of our plastic cups, added the rest of the ingredients, and discovered how much we all loved this drink!

It's so easy, I'm adding the recipe:

3/4 lime
6 mint leaves -- "muddle" or mash five leaves in the bottom of a cup, keep one for a garnish
1/4 cup simple syrup -- we made ours with sugar cane
4 oz club soda
ice cubes


I'm off now to attach patches to my Cub Scout Den Leader shirt.  Tomorrow night I'm getting an award for "New Den Leader of the Year" so I need to actually look the part.  I'm looking forward to going back to work tomorrow to recuperate from my leisurely day off.



  1. Today was a perfect day for a rawk (love that expression and will have to steal it. Actually it would be even better if I would do it :)
    Great mojito recipe but this foody wants to know what you guys ate for lunch??? this is a food blog after all....hee hee.......oh an congrats on being crowned "New Dean Leader of the year".

  2. the idea of the large intimacy reminds of my favorite quote from one of my favorite books which my son just "had" to read for school....The Great Gatsby...per Jordan Baker, "I love large parties because they are so intimate at small parties there is no privacy!"

    congrats on the blog!..

  3. Leena, I promise to do an addendum! Marcia

  4. I ADORE virgin mojitos too - and I've never made them so thanks for the great recipe! I agree - things are more quiet at my office this morning than they were all weekend! First Mem Day in the city in I don't know how many years, and I did some real City things - Yankee game, Bronx Zoo (first time), rooftop bbq, and {country}clubbed it in Greenwich for dinner last night. I'm glad you have fun doing the normal things with your family too, as a picnic in Sheep's Meadow is about as perfect as a summer afternoon can get! Love you guys for writing this.

  5. Love the blog! Miss NYC food! There is no good seafood, pizza or cupcakes in southern CA. Good Mexican, but that's about it. I'll have to try your virgin mojito recipe. One day it would be awesome to have a daughter and get along as well as you two do!!

  6. Great blog!! Enjoy spending time with Kate. I miss you guys!

    PS.. when setting up the aim account, I mistakenly put a nickname for Kaycee in. This will be for Jared and Cindy anytime you see a message from Kaycee. I can't figure out how to edit it.

  7. Thanks for the recipe! Sounds like the perfect Memorial Day weekend! And congrats on the award!