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This also makes a tasty spritzer—use club soda in place of water.
- 1 teaspoon Swedish digestive bitters
- Unsweetened cranberry juice
- Ginseng extract, preferably American
Thinly slice half of 1 lime into wheels and juice the other 3 halves. Muddle lime wheels and juice, mint, rosemary, tarragon, bitters, a splash of cranberry juice, 2 dropperfuls of elderberry extract, 1 dropperful of ginseng extract, and 1 dropperful of echinacea extract in a quart container. Stir in 4 cups water.
Nutritional ContentCalories (kcal) 60 Fat (g) .5 Carbohydrates (g) 15 Dietary Fiber (g) 0 Total Sugars (g) 11 Protein (g) 2 Sodium (mg) 5 Potassium (mg) 400mg Vit C (% DV) 90
BA Brad's Classic TonicReviews SectionI got sick with the cold going around lately, and one day after symptoms I started drinking this and it has been a life saver! A few hours after it I felt a lil better already and everyday and now I'm almost there. I never got as bad as some of my friends and I think this was a big part of it. I also feel like it's a perfect drink if you want to mess around with the flavors, add some honey, frozen strawberries, blood orange, who knows! Definitely worth it. Pretty bitter at first but I got use to that super quick.Written recipe is a bit off. It calls for 2 dropperfuls of elderberry syrup, but Brad pours about 1-2 tbsp of syrup.I agree with the previous reviewer, this tonic is SUPER bitter as written. However, we modified by adding the juice of one orange, some sliced ginger, and a 1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper. This totally transformed it for the better. Now it has some sweetness and bite and bitterness too.Incredibly bitter as written. Needed a serious glug of honey.AnonymousBolton, MA01/15/18
Something for the weekend
Celebrating the boards, the waves, the lifestyle, the music, the fashion and the stars, Surf's Up is the UK's first exhibition dedicated to the story of surfing.
See how boards first hit our shores and became the sport and lifestyle concept that's revived Cornwall's coastal towns today. It's a ride not to be missed.
Until 8 January 2006, National Maritime Museum Cornwall, 01326 313388, www.surfsupexhibition.co.uk
Want to sleep at Brad's? After the ugly excess of Wynn Las Vegas, news reaches us of a far more appealing hotel venture in Sin City.
The stars of Las Vegas heist movie Ocean's Eleven - Brad Pitt, Matt Damon and George Clooney - have teamed up with club owner Rande Gerber (husband of Cindy Crawford) and are to open their own 1,200-bedroom hotel and casino on the Strip in 2007. Ocean's Eleven was filmed in the garishly glitzy Bellagio hotel, but the Ocean's Four project won't be using it for inspiration.
'I'm really into architecture, structure and design. Give me anything and I'll design it. I'm a bit nutty with it,' said Pitt in an interview last year. 'I've got a few men I respect very much and one would be the architect Frank Gehry.' The other is Keith Hobbs of United Designers, the man behind Bono's Clarence Hotel in Dublin, Nobu and the Metropolitan. When he received a call from Pitt last week asking if he would design the interiors of the hotel, Hobbs initially thought it was a joke. 'I'm thrilled to be working on the project,' he said. And the design brief? 'They want classic-contemporary, with a twist.' Not unlike the hotel's attractive frontmen, then.
Ice cream, you scream
Best for sheer exuberance: Morelli's, Broadstairs Hogging the promenade of this genteel resort, Morelli's is so kitsch, it's cool. First opened in 1932, its décor is authentic Fifties America, with chewing-gum-pink leatherette banquettes, dainty white wicker chairs, jukebox and soda fountain and an extraordinary pin.
Sundaes are baroque affairs laden with wafers and fandangles, while cornets are available in more than 30 flavours, including banana, mango, coconut Bounty and tiramisu. There is also a Morelli's counter in Harrods for those who can't manage the schlep to Kent. What to order: the brilliantly over-the-top Banana Gondola (£5.10). 14 Victoria Parade, Broadstairs, Kent, 01843 862500.
Best for classics: Rossi, Westcliff Rossi's ice cream is an Essex institution. This sun-filled retro lounge with stripy canopy has great views across the Thames estuary and Southend's mighty pier. Choose from scoops in 12 flavours including caramel, tutti frutti, rum, mint and raspberry ripple, or pick a classic sundae. What to order: the 99 cones are delicious (£1.30). 12-14 Western Esplanade, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, 01702 348376
Best for style: Harbour Bar, Scarborough The Alonzi family's Harbour Bar (opened 1945) is a gleaming, glamorous time capsule from postwar America. Mirrored walls feature neon ice-cream cones and customers sit on red leather banquettes or on high stools at the half-moon, chrome-edged counter.
Ice creams are mainly traditional and made from natural ingredients, including Scottish seaweed instead of gelatine. What to order: a classic Knickerbocker Glory (£3.95). 1-2 Sandside, Scarborough, North Yorkshire, 01723 373662.
Mmmmh. fulfil your ice
cream dreams with our
pick of the best parlours
Best for innovative flavours: B. Jannetta, St Andrews
Liquorice, marzipan, Tia Maria, bubblegum and Turkish delight are some of the less conventional flavours of the 52 available from this legendary parlour, founded in 1908 and run by the fourth generation of the Jannetta family.
If you've had a big night out, try the Irn Bru sorbet - it's supposed to cure hangovers. What to order: the Tête-a-Tête (£12) - 12 scoops of dairy ice cream, raspberry sauce, minimarshmallows and honeycomb crunch. 31 South Street, St Andrews, Fife, 01334 473285.
Best for organic experience: Roskilly's Ice Cream Parlour, St Keverne This dairy-farm-turned-icecreamparlour serves some of the most flavoursome ice cream in the South-West, made using the rich organic milk and cream of the farm's Jersey herd.
The on-site parlour offers 24 artisan flavours, such as gooseberry, trifle, boysenberry, passionfruit and Cornish clotted cream. What to order: Strawberry Cream Dream (£4.25), with fresh strawberries, Cointreau, clotted-cream ice cream and white chocolate sprinkles. St Keverne, Cornwall, 01326 280479.
• If you can drag yourself out of bed early enough, free enlightenment is on offer in Hyde Park this summer, courtesy of the Mandarin Oriental. Every Tuesday at 7.15am, the hotel is hosting hour-long t'ai chi sessions for guests and locals, taught by Toni Ulatowski, the British t'ai chi champion. It beats the gym. www.mandarinoriental.com
• The most requested room service meal? Toast. But it's also one that gets the most complaints: too cold, burnt, soggy, pale and flimsy. London's Swissotel The Howard has come to the rescue, putting Dualit toasters in all of its rooms, so that guests can get it just right. More of this common sense please. www.london.swissotel.com
• King Fahd of Saudi Arabia had hoped to make a splash at 30,000ft - by fitting a swimming pol into his private jet. After spending several million pounds on protoypes that plan eventually failed to get off the ground when designers deemed the pool too heavy. Top marks for effort, though.
In bed with George
George Clooney and me. In bed. A beautiful concept. All right, so even my wildest imaginings can't conjure up an invitation to George's tasteful and elegant home on the shores of Lake Como (although I can't help noticing that Catherine Zeta-Jones managed to snag one).
But the Picasso Suite at the Hotel de Russie is different. George likes it there. He recommended it to Robert De Niro just the other day.
OK, so we wouldn't actually be in the bed at the same time but he stayed there for five weeks when making Ocean's Twelve.
Realistically, though, it's as close as I'm going to get to George. Ocean's Twelve premieres in the States in a few weeks.
Starring Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Andy Garcia, Julia Roberts and Catherine-Zeta-Jones, it is, you won't be surprised to hear, a sequel to the Las Vegas-based crime caper Ocean's Eleven.
This time, in a homage to the Sixties, when Hollywood showcased Europe in films such as Roman Holiday and Funny Face, the action takes place in Amsterdam, Sicily, the Italian Lakes and, above all, Rome, with key scenes filmed on the Piazza Navona and the Exedra, a trendy hotel on the Piazza Republica.
Rome has always had a certain amount going for it --ancient ruins, a Pope, great restaurants - and now it has George Clooney.
They might have filmed at the Exedra but, during the making of Ocean's Twelve, the cast was based at the Rocco Forte-owned Hotel de Russie, with Clooney laying claim to the Picasso suite.
The only problem is getting in. Demand for the suite has skyrocketed since George's residency, which is understandable and irritating at the same time.
'I don't know why it is so busy,' says the PR in a baffled sort of way. Brad Pitt's suite isn't doing nearly as well.'
I point out my (professional) need to be as close to George as possible. She promises to do her best and I feel moved to e-mail her the cast (or rather, their rooms) in order of priority, with George Clooney heading the list, followed by Brad Pitt. After that I rather lose interest.
Andy Garcia? Who cares? Matt Damon? Utterly lacking in charisma.
'What about Julia Roberts's room?' asks Jon, a friend who's coming with me. Floating the suggestion that the newly pregnant Miss Roberts might have had morning sickness does the trick.
I like to think that I left out Catherine Zeta-Jones on the basis that she wasn't in the first film, Ocean's Eleven.
A week of uncertainty follows before we set off. I then find myself having to ring the hotel from Gatwick to arrange a taxi from the airport since our flight has been delayed.
'Are you coming by private jet?' asks the receptionist. 'No, easyJet,' I reply. Dealing with film stars has clearly affected them. I decide to ask about the suite situation. The bad - very bad - news is that the Picasso has been nabbed by someone with more financial muscle than me. The good(ish) news is that we have been allotted the Vaselli suite which, a nice person in reservations tells me, after consulting with her colleague, was Brad Pitt's suite. I come to terms with the news during the flight. 'Don't you think that it's a bit sad to go to Rome just to stay in a film star's room?' asks Jon on the flight. I feel that I'm showing a lot more restraint than the woman who dressed up as a chambermaid in an attempt to get into the Hotel de Russie - and was, apparently, apprehended as she made her way to George's suite. And anyway, film-inspired travel is part of a growing trend. Travel to New Zealand has grown by 400 per cent since the Lord Of The Rings trilogy was filmed there, I point out. With Ocean's Twelve, I'm just ahead of the game. In New Zealand there's even a book devoted to the various locations used for Lord Of The Rings, complete with satellite navigation references so that fans can pinpoint the exact gullies and streams where Frodo Baggins and his friends cavort.
Londoner Alexandra Gammie, who went on the Lord Of The Rings trail, spending two weeks looking around the locations, told me: 'I did some by myself in a hire car but there are also loads of tours. And you get to recognise other people doing the same thing --often because you're driving down the same unmarked track but also because they do have that fanatical gleam in their eyes.' She was so smitten she even bought a ring from the New Zealand jeweller who had designed the rings for the film, although she's understandably a bit ashamed of that. 'Has anyone called you sad?' I ask. 'Well, yes,' she admits, 'a few people.' Still, now there's a growing legitimacy. Travel companies are taking our fascination with films one step further. Travelbag has a 16-day Land Of The Rings tour, starting in Auckland and taking in key location sites in North and South island. Reel Adventures also runs film-based trips. Its first, an Apocalypse Now homage, has just set off to Vietnam and Cambodia. 'It was filmed in the Philippines but we're concentrating on the places where the films were set,' says Johnny Bealby, who runs the trips. That means going down the real Mekong River, surfing on China Beach, helicopter rides and a dinner party on a rubber plantation (part of the director's cut). But it also brings up the slightly worrying thought of napalm in the morning and crazed military personnel. 'Definitely not,' says Johnny. 'In fact, we'll spend a day with a charity called the Mines Advisory Group, which is based in Cambodia.' For the ladies, there's a Thelma And Louise road trip (in a convertible naturally), from Santa Fe to Las Vegas, via the Grand Canyon. Other options include a From Russia With Love trip which travels, just like the film, from Istanbul to the Balkans, stopping in Sofia and Zagreb before ending up in Venice. Hanging around George Clooney's suite seems laid-back by comparison. Except, I'm having to settle for Brad, I reluctantly remember. 'This,' I'm told by the person who shows us to the suite when we eventually turn up, 'is our presidential suite.' And I'm sure Brad liked it a lot. On the fifth floor, it is delightfully big, with two balconies, a vast, mosaic-tiled bathroom and separate bedroom and sitting room. The Hotel de Russie, just off the Piazza di Popolo, is one of Rome's grandest hotels, located in the fashion-minded Tridente area. There are 129 rooms, all poised (in a pastel linen sort of way) between oldeworlde glamour and cuttingedge trendiness, dotted about with modern art. Yes, there's a spa, with a hydrotherapy pool (a very, very grand Jacuzzi) but the hotel's greatest joy is its tiered garden. It's stuffed with lemon and orange trees, fountains and the sort of guests who instinctively know how to pose - not that any paparazzi could get past the dense foliage protecting it. Clearly geared for celebrity guests, great sections of the hotel can be closed off and there are enough suites (31) to satisfy even the most status-conscious in Hollywood (which has the sort of hierarchies that make life in ancient Rome seem positively laissez-faire.) George, who got the title role playing Danny Ocean, naturally got the best suite as well, with Brad and Matt Damon coming below him in the pecking order, followed by Julia Roberts and Catherine Zeta- Jones (two bedroom suites) and then the director (whatever was left over). The writers probably shared a tent by the Coliseum. By shamelessly asking around, I manage to pick up quite a few heartwarming anecdotes how George regularly used the hotel's hydrotherapy room, how Julia Roberts checked out after only a couple of days, how Brad - standing on the sixth-floor terrace, where the cast had a private bar - and George - standing on his sixthfloor balcony - had competitions to see if they could hit each other with peanuts across the 20ft divide (the people sitting below must have been thrilled).
I am also told that an electronics company even fitted out the Picasso suite's sitting room with its latest television and DVD player which remained after George left. I spend a fair amount of time thinking (would obsessing be too strong a word?) about the Picasso suite, especially trying to pinpoint its location. Eventually, I decide that it's the room above mine. As I fiddle with Brad's remote control, I reason that at least it wasn't Matt Damon's. Or a writer's. At least Brad has some charisma, and a certain kudos. Quite soon, pleasing visions of Brad Pitt reclining in the bath and padding around the terrace in a white towelling robe begin to emerge.
I wonder (aloud) which side of the bed Brad slept on, dimly aware that Jennifer Aniston is being air-brushed out of the bed and the bathroom, and whether Brad used the padded satin hangers in the wardrobe, or the heavy wooden ones. I feel like Loyd Grossman in Through The Keyhole. 'If this is the presidential suite,' I say one evening to Jon, 'what would that make George's?' 'The deity suite?' he suggests, rather wearily. Whether from innate kindness or in desperation, on my final morning I'm given a tour of George's suite by Giuseppe, one of the managers. As I'd suspected, the Picasso suite is on the sixth floor, above mine. It's even bigger than mine and Brad's. And the bed looks very, very nice indeed. There's a stonking great television in the sitting room and I look in vain for the remote control. 'And I'm in Brad Pitt's suite?' I ask, just to make sure. Giuseppe shakes his head. 'No, Mr Pitt stayed in the Popolo suite. Matt Damon stayed in yours.'
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Santé Et Nutrition
Jun 10, 2007
My Son in Jordan
My son Clay is in Amman , Jordan right now, doing intense Arabic study all summer. In the fall he will fly to Cairo where he has an NSEP scholarship to study Arabic at the American University of Cairo . We won’t see him for a year, and I am sooooo grateful for email and telephones.
I know he won’t mind if I share parts of a letter with you. He writes:
Thursday night (our Friday night) Zach and I got on a bus to Irbid, the city where the University where Roger is studying is. On the bus I sat next to an Egyptian fellow and we talked the whole way. It was interesting, because when he said he was from Egypt I thought, "Oh great, I can speak Egyptian with him!" But, when I tried, I discovered that I had to struggle to remember the Egyptian phrases. The Levantine dialect was coming out in the mix. It was slightly frustrating, but comforting at the same time. I guess it shows that some things are sinking in.
I found out that he was getting ready to get engaged the next day to an Egyptian gal. I gave him my congratulations and asked him when he was going to be getting married. "In two years, maybe one." I know that may not be so uncommon in the states any more, but I knew for sure that he and his fiancé wouldn't be doing most of the things those American couples are doing during their engagement. It's an interesting aspect of this culture. Before a man can start looking for a wife, he should have himself in a position to provide for the wife. He needs a job, an apartment, furniture for the apartment, enough money for the dowry and all the wedding stuff. If he really wants be a prospect, he should have a car. A lot of guys save for years before they are ready to get out on the market. My roommate Hani is lucky his parents started early, and he already has an apartment above his parents’ that is ready to go for when he gets back, so he can start looking right away.
Zach and I hooked up with Roger, and before we began the activities for the night we got some dinner. Roger took us to this Yemeni restaurant that was amazing and so, so cheap. We sat on the carpet-covered floor and ate saucy lamb with bread and our hands. It was all so good and so filling. I think the meal cost us each $1.50. We were the only gringos there most other were Yemeni.
One of the reasons Zach and I were excited to go see Roger this weekend was that he had been invited to a wedding party up north of Irbid, out in the sticks. He checked to see if we could come with him and got the thumbs up. The fellow we went with was a coworker of the "Arees" or groom. When we arrived, there were lights strung up, loud music, and people dancing. The Arees came out and greeted us with lots of welcoming phrases. Chairs ringed a rather large oval-shaped area between two houses. Women sat on the porch of one house watching, and the rest of the area was covered in men, young and old. Right away, a young guy of about 22 came and greeted me. We had to yell our get-to-know-you’s in each other's ear because the music was so loud. His name is Gazi (sounds like jazzy), and he speaks English very well.
After Gazi left me, he joined the dance line, which is simply all the men holding hands and stepping to the right in a set rhythm. The dance is called the dibca, and I think it's mostly a Levantine dance, maybe even just Jordanian. The dance has two parts. The first is a kind of one-two, one-two three-four that repeats. On the three-four the left foot does a double step in front of the right. This is continued until the lead man gets ready and changes to the next phase which is a little livelier. It is a one-two-three, one-two-three, one-two where the one-two-threes involve a kind of dip-step with the right leg and the one-two is a kick out with the left leg.
When Gazi came around the first time, he called to me and motioned for me to join. I was hoping for an invite and jumped right in. With all my dancing experience I thought it would be no sweat, and it wasn't, for the first part. I had the steps down, and it was all good until the dance switched to the second part. It took me a good 15 minutes of the dance switching back and forth to figure out that the rhythm had to change. We all had a good laugh afterwards because we felt so lost and knew that we looked like a bunch of ridiculous Americans out there butchering their dance.
We were hoping to get speaking time in at the wedding, but the music they had was so loud there was no chance for it. The had a pre-recorded track that they played and added a guy on a kind of double flute thing that sounded like a hopped-up kazoo and another guy singing. It was crazy-fun and crazy-loud. Whenever the dibca circle passed by one of the four full-volume speakers, I thought I could feel the fluid in my ears vibrating. There was one point in the program that they turned the music off, and when they did, Roger, Zach, and I all felt like we were yelling at each other. We couldn't hear a thing.
The break was nice though, because I had a chance to sit down with my new friend Gazi and his friends. We got to talk for about 15 minutes and had a great time. We joked about things and got to know each other a little. One of the guys was wearing a cool black bracelet that said Jordan on it with a Jordanian flag on either side. I pointed to it and asked him where he got it. He said, "Do you like it?" I told him I did, at which point he took it off and shoved it into my hands saying, "It's yours take it." I of course refused and told him I couldn't, but if he told me where he got it, I would go get one. He would have nothing to do with it, and everyone else in our circle told me I had to take it. We fought back and forth, and he said, "You wear it for two hours here and then give it back." I agreed, and just as I did, Zach came over and said, "Clay, I think we're leaving." I tried to give it back, but he wouldn’t take it. So now I have a really cool bracelet and a good lesson to be careful of what I compliment people on. The guys I talked to were way cool. They invited me to come back and visit so they could show me around their area, which has great ruins in it. I'm going to see what I can do to take them up on it.
I had seen pictures of and heard about the presence of firearms at weddings, but had forgotten about it, I guess. Not long after we got there, as we were sitting or doing the dance, out of nowhere would come: Crack, Crack, Crack, Crack! Someone was celebrating with the 9mm. The funny/scary thing was that the gun must have been dirty and jamming, because they never got through a full clip. When it jammed, they would have the gun down, looking at it and pointing it in whichever direction was the most convenient for observing the problem. Whenever this happened we would raise our eyebrows and then remember that we were at a regular party and everyone was used to it. We asked if there were ever accidents, and they said that sometimes people die at weddings. There are stories of the bullets coming back down, and I was happy to see that the gun was always pointed at a non-perfectly-vertical angle.
Today was a great day. Eight of us took a trip to the Dead Sea and to a place called Wadi Mujib. Wadi Mujib is a creek/river that runs through a deep canyon much like Antelope canyon in Arizona , but much wider and deeper. The rock is beautiful--layered colors in very independent, crazy swirls, some of them looking like the eye on Jupiter. We hiked through rapid-type areas, and at one point there was a large cascading fall that ended in a very deep part of water. We started sliding down a rock that was so smooth we found we could slide on our bare stomachs without any problems. I was amazed at how smooth the rock was--especially when our skin was on it--but how well our sandals and shoes stuck to it. We got braver after a little bit and eventually were jumping and diving off of the top.
The hike was beautiful absolutely gorgeous. It may be the coolest thing that we will see. At one point in the hike there is a boulder that is about the size of a house that is lodged about 50 feet above us in the canyon. Very impressive.
After Wadi Mujib, we all went and floated in the Dead Sea , which was quite the experience. You really do float like crazy. If you can manage to stay vertical you stick out of the water from your lower chest. Trying to swim feels goofy because your legs stick out of the water. I did get a little of the water in my mouth as we were swimming, and I have to say that it may have been the most disgusting thing I have ever tasted.
That's the update. Wish I had time to tell all the stories and fill in all the details. I appreciate the prayers. I do need them. Pray for my motivation to knuckle down and learn the vocab. I struggle with it so much, or tell myself that I do, that I sometimes find it hard to justify putting in the time.
You can see how, though I worry about him being so far away, I wouldn't wish him anywhere else. I'm saving all his emails and putting them in a binder so that, in addition to his own journal, they will be a record of his time in Jordan and Egypt.