Strange Bedfellows: Come out of Your Shel

Brooke Newberry
(Photo: )

Poetry is provocative. Simple words put to paper that can elicit everything from true love to pure hatred. It has been written by everyone from the bard himself, William Shakespeare, to Lilith Fair crooner Jewel and tenth grade guys trying to get laid. It also says a lot about what we eat and drink. In our new weekly feature, The Savory Food Editor Brooke Newberry and Cocktail Editor Pete Capella will give their inspired recommendations based on three works by the same artist. We also have special guest, Savory Editor-In-Chief and wine expert Leah Hennessey, adding her wine thoughts as well. This week, we found three of our favorite pieces by Shel Silverstein to enkindle food and drink recs for each work of art.

Brooke’s Food Rec: This poem is a satire about ethereally meaningless work: polishing stars. If you appreciate its charm, then I’d suggest trying a Baked Alaska, which is a hot and cold dessert made of ice cream wrapped in sponge cake, meringued, and then set on fire. The entire thing is placed in an oven for a brief amount of time, where the meringue hardens and acts as an insulator.  Alaska is then scorched (usually table side) and served.   

Pete’s Drink Rec: The idea of polishing a star is fantastical and whimsical. To me, it conjures up the idea that old can be new again. So bring Old-World drinking to your table by properly imbibing absinthe. What you’ll need is a bottle of absinthe, a glass, an absinthe spoon, a sugar cube and fresh cold water. Pour the desire amount of absinthe into your glass. Place the spoon on the top of the glass and put your sugar cube on top of the spoon. Slowly pour (or use a proper absinthe water fountain) your cold water over the sugar cube. Continue to let the water run into the glass until the cube is fully dissolved. You can find absinthe and proper vintage equipment at Barkeeper

Leah’s Wine Rec: There is a beautiful story about a blind monk working in the wine cellars of his abbey hundreds of years ago in France. During this time, there were large temperature shifts in the cellars which affected the wines that he was responsible for. The yeasts in the finished wines would react and a second fermentation began in the bottle. When the blind monk opened one of these bottles and tasted the wine, despite never seeing the night sky he was said to exclaim, “I am drinking the stars!” The monk’s name was Dom Perignon and he had just discovered champagne. Regardless of the accuracy of this story, save those pennies because a bottle of Dom Perignon is certainly in order.


Brooke’s Food Rec: What is it? What is it? HA HA – pants!  If this was your favorite childhood belly laugh, then attempt a crustless pizza. Yes, a pizza missing its crust.  Why would you do that? Because you can. And it tastes awesome. Read about how cauliflower is the ultimate culinary chameleon, then try your hand at this recipe.

Pete’s Drink Rec: Listen, Shel, I’ve been there and prom was embarrassing. I truly love the character’s excitement about the dance. He’s so amped to get dressed up and cut the rug that he forgets his pantaloons. The idea of forgetting something isn’t always a bad thing. So what if you wanted a screwdriver but you forgot the OJ? May I recommend my Albino Screwdriver


2 oz Vodka

2 dashes Orange Flower Water

3 dashes Orange Bitters

Orange Twist for garnish

Put all ingredients in an iced rocks glass, stir once and enjoy.

Leah’s Wine Rec: I have loved this silly poem for longer than I care to admit (a really long time, guys). When finding a wine recommendation, I love the concept of the boy going to a really fancy dance, with really fancy clothing… and forgetting a pretty key element. If you love this poem like I did, take a walk on the wild side, forget the bottle, and go for some Bandit Pinot Grigio or another wine in a tetra pak. Tetra paks are essentially cartons for liquid and are much better for the environment than glass bottles – they’re made from renewable resources, have smaller C02 footprints, and are recyclable. Give ’em a shot. You might just find that you won’t even notice what’s missing.

Brooke’s Food Rec: We’re all familiar with inner turmoil and those vacillating conversations that we have with ourselves (I mean, at least I do).  “My blood ran cold,” signifies feelings of fear. If you can relate, maybe you’d welcome the balance of hot and cold in Iron Chef Morimoto’s Wasabi Pop. Let the freshly grated wasabi and Japanese citrus clear your sinuses and your mind.

Pete’s Drink Rec: A battle between the selfishness of man and the fear of the irrational. We all travel roads that eventually split, and even easy choices become hard when we let our imaginations run wild and fear the unknown. It’s a battle of light and dark, just like your cocktail rec- The Dark and Stormy. The crispness of the ginger beer counters the dark rum to make a pirate’s dream.

Leah’s Wine Rec: If a hunt for buried treasure sounds like a dream come true, it’s time to look to the Jura area of France for a bottle of the unique and exotic vin jaune. Literally meaning “yellow wine,” this golden-hued liquid may not deliver the type of nectar one would think. It is made from extremely ripe Savagnin grapes, which are fermented and then aged for at least six years in Burgundy barrels. During those years the wine slowly evaporates, which in turn oxidizes the remaining liquid. This results in a golden, VERY intense, almost sherry-like wine. Looking at this wine in its special clavelin wine bottle, which makes it look like something out of an alchemist’s cabinet, spawns the question: now that you’ve found the gold…do you dare to open it?

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