I just finished Gabrielle Hamilton's Blood, Bones, and Butter. I can't quit the food memoirs. I enjoyed most of it very much, and she's one of the increasing few who have the material for an engaging memoir. A lot of the book, before she opens her restaurant, is about the crazy world of high-end catering. It's another reminder that there are so many kinds of intelligence in the world, and the kind that's delivering lunches for 800 doesn't get recognized very often. What I liked most about the book was that I could feel myself with her in whatever kitchen she was in--lifting giant pots of boiling water, making long lists, tipping beans, being bone-tired at the end of the night. 

And she mentions negronis so many times that I had to make them. When Yancey and I were in Italy--that pre-children, sweetest of trips that we still bring up weekly--we grew to love the bitter liqueur Campari and would order Americanos (Campari with sweet vermouth).  Add a good jigger of floral gin (Hendricks is my choice), a squeeze of lemon or lemon twist, and you've got the perfect cocktail for memoir-reading, narcissistic blogging, or sitting in the spring sun doing nothing.

There is so much change in our family's life right now--our house is pending after only 2 days on the market (miraculous!), we're furiously looking for a place to live in less than 30 days, the kids are leaving their schools, we're having a giant goodbye party next weekend, and I just got a bunch more work that I hadn't planned on for the month. At the moment, I am ignoring all of that, sitting at my sunny kitchen table, drinking a negroni, and happily imagining what you might be doing. Happy Memorial Day.

Makes one. Certainly you could use another kind of gin, but I'd suggest springing for Hendricks. And you can top with a splash of soda if you like, too. The classic recipe calls for equal measure of all three liquors, but I like mine heavy on the gin. No surprise to some of you.

1.5 oz Hendricks gin
1 oz. Campari
3/4 oz. sweet vermouth
lemon wedge

Put 3 or 4 ice cubes into a highball glass. Pour gin, Campari, and sweet vermouth in, and stir to combine. Squeeze a wedge of lemon or drop a lemon twist in.