I used to be fearless when it came to flying. On a 9 hour flight to Paris with my family, even before the plane took off I was out like a light, snuggled next to my mother’s arm and woke up landing in Charles De Gualle airport.
But now, a couple bumpy flights, and what I still refer to as near-death experiences later, I’ve become a bit more anxiety stricken over the slight bumps of turbulence that can range from minor to feeling a piece of clothing being tossed around in a dryer.
I am that traveler that goes to the bar 30 minute before (sometimes sooner) and orders a glass of wine to ease the calm before a flight. And by no means do I pass judgment on the person that runs up to the bar and orders a shot of whiskey and closes the tab all at the same time, then downs the shot and runs to their respective gate. I get it.
Interestingly enough I type this as I am flying high above you all in a unfortunately small plane (the life of an east coast flyer). And while there have been bouts here and there of turbulence – and literally as I type the word bumps are coming, oh vay – I can happily report the flight has been rather pleasant.
The sun shining into my window seat encouraged me to actually peer outside, and for the first time in a while, I actually was appreciated having this ability to be so high above and see everything below. The sun shining on the clouds creates this mystical light that is both calming and breathtaking all at the same time.
I spent the past weekend home with the family in Connecticut, celebrating father’s day with the master chef himself and helping showering a beautiful soon to be bride, who happens to be my best friend’s future sister-in-law.
On Saturday evening, my father grilled up a feast of tuna steaks, simply prepared thick sliced heirloom tomatoes with fresh herbs and olive oil, and garlic toast. Dessert was by far my favorite, a store bought rich yet airy angel food cake, with grand marnier and mint marinated strawberries, and a dollop of vanilla icecream from the farm down the street I used to work summers.
Because of my father, anytime I now serve sliced strawberries over anything – whether it be pound cake or ice cream- it requires some sort of sweet alcohol component. It gives it that extra kick and flavor profile to liven up the simplest of desserts.
It was a quick trip home, but as usual it reminded me how much I love my mother’s garden, my father’s cooking, and the quite moments outside with our dog Coco.
Grand Marnier and Mint Marinated Strawberries
One pint strawberries, washed, stems removed and sliced in half
A tablespoon powdered sugar
A couple tablespoons of grand marnier (honestly this is a judgement call)
Freshly chopped mint, about a tablespoon
Chocolate Angel Food Cake (obviously feel free to make from scratch, but I was short on time and opted for buying one from Whole Foods that was quite tasty)
Vanilla ice cream
In a medium bowl, combine the strawberries, powdered sugar, grand marnier, and mint. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit in the fridge for about 30 minutes.
Once the strawberries are ready, place a slice of chocolate angel food cake in a bowl. Top with a generous scoop of the strawberries, making sure to also get some of the liquid from the strawberries and grand marnier. Add a scoop, or however much you prefer, of vanilla ice cream and enjoy.