It's that time of year when New Yorkers can't help but dream of far-away places. The cold feels like it will never end, the wind whipping off the rivers is relentless. We are tired of being cooped up in our tiny apartments but the weather is too rough for a stroll around the neighborhood or a trip to the park.
There are a few ways to deal with this restlessness. One of the cheapest is to whip up some dishes from the locale you'd prefer to escape to. The fact that citrus fruits are in season right now on the west coast helps to conjure thoughts of warm, beach-side trips. I used a batch of particularly gorgeous oranges to make Vin D'Orange: a light, citrusy aperitif that hails from France. I used gin instead of vodka in my version to add some more floral notes. Unfortunately I won't get to try the result for a few more weeks. Luckily this does give me something to look forward to through the cold weeks to come.
Another way to deal with the winter blues? Plan an actual trip to get out of town. Joe and I have decided it has been far too long since we have taken a true vacation and therefore are off to Paris come spring. So I would love any suggestions you can offer up: places to see, things to do, and most importantly: things/places to eat! We are planning on spending most of the time in Paris but may spend a couple of days in a smaller town--perhaps in the Loire? Any advice here would be great, too. Thanks for any guidance you can give me!
recipe adapted from Gourmantine's Blog
3 large oranges
7/8 c. sugar
3/4 c. gin
1/2 vanilla bean
1 bottle white or rose wine
Make sure the oranges are very clean and then slice and place into a large pitcher. Sprinkle with the sugar and then pour over the gin. Split the vanilla bean in half and add it to the pitcher along with the bottle of wine. Stir the whole mixture together and then cover and refrigerate. Allow to macerate for about 40 days, stirring every few days or so.
After the mixture has soaked for weeks, you want to strain it through a coffee filter or 3 layers of cheese cloth and re-bottle. Allow this to age for another few weeks before serving.