Pineapple Archive

Monday, February 28, 2011

piña colada cake

pina colada cake

You might want to start rolling your eyes right now, you know, to get a head start before you hear what I’m about to say next: You know that time I dashed off to Aruba for a lazy weekend? I couldn’t find a decent piña colada anywhere. I know! Can you imagine having to suffer like this while on vacation? I mean, life is hard enough when your resort has a water slide with no age limit that deposits one mere feet from the swim-up bar; where you can cat-nap under your cabana while reading a book — with pages — any time being awake is just too exhausting to bear and wake up to gaze at the turquoise water meeting the impossibly blue sky until all of your thoughts file neatly into order. Obviously a watered-down piña colada from a piña colada mix is taking things just one step too far.

good things start here

All joking aside, can we eversobriefly have a moment of silence for a once-great drink that’s been drained of all frolic and joy — waves of sharp pineapple juice, creamy coconut foam and a dark island rum undercurrent — by beachside hotel bars trying to increase their profit margins? That pour corn sweetened weakly flavored mixes from cartons and clear rum from a no-name brand with ice into a blender and think this is what one travels all the way from NYC in the dead of winter for? Once upon a time, a coworker taught me the secret to astoundingly delicious piña coladas, and it is not pineapple juice but crushed pineapple from a can in its juice. You run this through the blender with ice, cream of coconut and enough dark rum to make you arch your eyebrows and blink a few times after the first sip, but quickly return for your second, pour it into a glass, pop a pineapple wedge and a paper umbrella — yes, even if you’re snowbound in your living room in the Northeast, actually especially if so — near the rim and beam yourself anywhere you want to be.

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Monday, May 7, 2007

pineapple upside-down cake

pineapple upside-down cake

I gotta tell you–I get so boring in the summertime. As soon as that warm weather hits and a bright blue sky becomes de rigeur and not something worth stopping the presses over, any near-religious attraction I had to the shiny and the new goes into hibernation until the fall. Do I want to start a sourdough that will take seven days to make? Well, since you asked, not really. How about that baked pasta dish that been buzzing like a bee in my bonnet for weeks? Um, well, maybe. If it rains or something and there’s nothing else to do. Do I want to try some new, crazy variant on a classic cake with cardamom? No, no, no!

pineapple tire

Well, then what do I want to do? I want to go to the beach, and I want to go to barbeques. I’ve got goals, you see: I want to perfect the mint julep this summer and uncover a way to travel with all the trappings of a freshly squeezed Tom Collins. I want to bring buckets of just-made slaw, make more of my famous vegetable skewers that could fit on eight grills and I want to arrive with the kind of cake you don’t have to make a big deal out of; no frosting, no filling, no baubles, jimmies or piping and a minimal number of bowls. The kind of cake you’ve been eating your whole life yet a bite of it in the off-season will bring you back to a lazy spring weekend and a pinata filled with airline bottles of Petron.

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