First of all, happy birthday to all the Leap Year babies. When I was little I wished I was born on the Leap Year. Not sure why, but I wanted to. I’m still a little fascinated by this extra day that science and nature gives us every four years. Seeing as I received this gift of an extra day, I wanted to do something to mark it. What better way to celebrate than concocting a cocktail. I turns out Harry Craddock, famed bartender at the Savoy Hotel in London, had the same idea on February 29th, 1928. His cocktail is said to have been responsible for more proposals than any other cocktail. Remember the movie Leap Year?
The Leap Year
2 oz gin
1/2 oz sweet vermouth
1/2 oz Grand Marnier orange liqueur
1/4 oz lemon juice
lemon twist for garnish
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon twist.
We so needed something to soak up this delicious cocktail. Yesterday my friend Alicia gave me a still-warm loaf of bread. It is Ukrainian Easter Bread, also known as Paska. Alic adds raisins to hers and I detect some orange zest. It might be sacrilegious to do what I did, but it made some damn fine packaging for a grilled cheese sandwich. Here is what I did:
Grilled Cheese Paska
4 slices bread
2 tablespoons butter
Slices of cheddar and cave aged gruyere cheeses
Shredded parmesan cheese
Preheat a skillet over medium heat. Generously butter one side of the bread slices. Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese and press cheese into buttered bread. Place bread butter-side-down onto skillet bottom and add cheeses in layers. Place the other slice of bread butter-side-up on top. Grill until lightly browned and flip over; continue grilling until cheese is melted and golden.