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Homegrown cocktails

Learn to make pineappleinfused vodka and many more infused spirts, mixers and syrups

quality spirit that is smooth and clean. That doesn’t mean you have to fork out the bucks for a Grey Goose. For an infusion, Smirnoff works just fi ne. Just make sure it is 100 proof. To save my pineapple blunder, she suggested adding a tiny bit of simple syrup, about one ounce per quart. Or I could use my pineapple vodka as a cocktail ingredient instead of serving it straight up as a martini. She says I might like pineapple infused with rum or tequila better, too. “Shake, Stir, Pour” goes into detail about making infusions, but once I looked through the book it became clear that pineapple vodka is just the beginning to what can be created. Katie has recipes for

By SYLVIA ANDERSON St. Joseph News-Press

It was at a restaurant in Minneapolis where I fi rst tried a “skoli doli” or pineapple-infused vodka martini. I was intrigued by these after seeing a large glass jar on the bar that was fi lled to the top with vodka and pineapple slices. My friends assured me that it would not taste at all like vodka, and surprisingly it didn’t. The martini was light, fragrant and all pineapple. I knew immediately I must learn to make this fantastic concoction at home. I followed some instructions from the Internet, but instead of skoli doli, it was more like skuzzy duzzy. What went wrong? I turned to Katie Loeb, a renowned mixologist in the beverage industry and author of the new book, SUBMITTED PHOTO/ “Shake, Stir, Pour: Fresh Blueberry syrup you make yourself turns lemonade into something speHomegrown Cocktails.” cial. The book has 50 original Katie says cheap vodka recipes for syrups, mixers, you’re after. You’re not infused spirits and bitters trying to chemically alter could be the culprit, too. You need to use a decentusing farm-fresh ingre- it.” dients, and, I discovered after the fact, a recipe for pineapple vodka. She surmised my pineapples were not ripe enough. “I look for overripe-$1-a piece-because-they-areSnap in dentures d ntures solve de sollve many going-to-be-rotten-tomorproblems associated with dentures. row pineapples,” she tells me. “You could put in 10 • Improved comfort, chewing & speech underripe pineapples to a • No more creams or adhesives bottle and it’s just not go• Improved visual appearance ing to taste that good, but • Stop bone loss associated if you put in two superripe perfect gooey ones, it with wearing dentures will work faster and you’ll • And, YES - Eat Steak! get more flavor.” Just leaving the pineapple in the vodka indefinitely to obtain more flavor won’t work either, she explains, because it will 417 Northland Dr. • Cameron, MO 64429 start to ferment. “It will become more Toll Free: 866-843-6201 • 816-632-6700 of a carbonated pineapwww.dentistryanddentures.com ple wine,” she says. “It’s This practice is one of general dentistry. This provider is not a specialist in prosthodontics. a straight-up infusion

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making your own grenadine using no red food coloring, mint syrup for mint juleps, blueberry syrup for blueberry lemonade, blackberry shrubs made from fruit-infused vinegars, passion fruit syrup for Hurricanes, your own Bloody Mary mix and the list goes on and on. You’ll discover that just as with any kind of cooking, fresh ingredients taste best. “That is the whole point of making this stuff,” Katie says. “Take the classic gimlet with Rose’s lime juice. There’s a bottle of Rose’s in every bar on the planet. It’s great for what it does, but it smells like lime Pledge furniture polish.” You can make your own lime syrup using fresh Please see Page 3

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012 thing with them to college wall plug-ins can mask that they feel represents who musty odors. Decorative they are and what they like, door stops allow residents not only to help others get to to meet their neighbors durknow them, but also as com- ing the day by propping open By BROOKE VANCLEAVE forting reminders of home,� their doors and creating an Clothing, sheets, towels, toi- put out by retail stores is to St. Joseph News-Press says senior Ashley Slawson, inviting atmosphere. letries and office supplies get people to spend money. a community coordinator at It might seem like a lot to are a must. Large and small Among the “essentials� on Truman State University. remember, but packing for Bedding: check. School storage containers for food one major retailer’s list are Posters, framed pictures college doesn’t have to be supplies: check. Clothes: and personal items are a a cherry bookcase, a Magic from home, indoor holi- stressful. Keep it simple, cocheck. Hello Kitty toaster convenient way to make up Bullet blender and a 16-piece Optional Some items aren’t neces- day string lights, bulletin ordinate with your future for lost drawer space and are cookware set. Although and microwave set: huh? A student’s freshman year easily stashed away under these things seem nice to sarily a must-have, but can boards and other wall and roommate and be prepared of college is a year full of the bed. Extension cords and have, they are expensive and do wonders in transform- window decorations help to make extra trips to stores firsts — first time living in power strips are necessary hard to store. These would ing a stark dorm room into soften a dorm’s rough edges. after moving in. And rea new city, first roommate, to keep up with the number be better suited for apart- something that reflects a Although open flames and member that having a great student’s own personal style. warming plates aren’t al- college experience comes first crack at personal re- of electronics being used in ment living. “College freshman should lowed, flameless LED wax from what you do there, not Some items gracing unisponsibility and first taste the room, like computers versity-sponsored checklists be encouraged to bring any- candles, oil diffusers and what you own. of independence from mom and lamps. Abbey Riley, coordinator are outdated or unnecesand dad. Magazine covers and teen movies try to ro- of first-year residential ex- sary. Most schools still offer manticize the idea of living perience at Northwest Mis- students the option of havw w w. r r t s t j o e . o r g ‡ 8 1 6 - 2 3 2 - 1 7 7 8 ‡ w w w. j o m o t i c k e t s . c o m in a dorm room, but college souri State University, says ing a telephone landline in residential life is a tricky students should bring just their room and encourage road to master. One of the the staples when they first them to pack a phone. This first obstacles a new student arrive to campus. Anything comes with an additional fee, must conquer is deciding they forget then can be pur- though, and in the age of cell chased or retrieved when phones, most students opt what to bring to college. out. Items like desks, rolling University websites share they visit home again. “I have seen students desk chairs and sets of drawpacking tips and suggestions, but the lists often are come with a furniture truck ers are unnecessary because incomplete and leave out from Nebraska Furniture dorm rooms already provide important items students Mart and others come with that furniture. Buildings on campus also provide ameniand parents might not think one bag,� Ms. Riley says. The most important thing ties like printers that stuabout on their own. On the other hand, retail stores tout to remember is that a stu- dents won’t necessarily need packing checklists full of dent will almost never have in their room. Other unneeded items dorm room “essentials� that a dorm room to themselves. are sometimes not so essen- When sharing an already include plants, bean bag tial after all. New students small space with another chairs, irons and ironing also must realize that many person, especially if that per- boards. When a student items that seem normal in a son is a stranger, students wakes up late and has less regular household might not must learn to plan ahead. No than 10 minutes to get to be allowed in campus hous- dorm room needs two refrig- class, wrinkly clothes are ing. Here are some basic tips erators or shower curtains. the last thing on their mind. Keep in mind that many to keep in mind when pre- Contact future roommates and make a packing plan dorm facilities prohibit comparing to leave for college. before school starts to deter- mon household items. StuVKRZRQO\WLFNHWV‡GLQQHU VKRZWLFNHWV Must-haves mine who will bring large dents and parents should JURXSUDWHVDYDLODEOH‡ODQGLQJVHULHV‡UHVHUYDWLRQVUHTXLUHG Many of these items are a items that can be shared. check their school’s website E\-DVWRQ:LOOLDPV-RH6HDUVDQG(G+RZDUG no-brainer. Students need to to determine what isn’t albring any items they can’t Leave at home lowed. A few of these items SURGXFHGWKURXJKVSHFLDODUUDQJHPHQWZLWK6DPXHO)UHQFK,QF Unsurprisingly, the main might include hot plates and live without for long weeks or months away from home. goal of packing checklists hot pots, candles, halogen

College packing essentials

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lamps and other things that could pose a fire hazard. “Many students show up with toasters, which aren’t allowed,� Ms. Riley says. “If you are second guessing something, ask if it glows red; if so, we wouldn’t want it in a residence hall.�

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012 CONTINUED FROM page 1

color — it’s gorgeous.” To make the Love in limes. When mixed with Bloom, you put a whole the food preservative powflower in the bottom of a der people use in canning, champagne flute, then top it can be stored in the rewith some hibiscus syrup frigerator indefinitely for and champagne. the best-tasting gimlet “You top with chamanywhere. pagne and then there’s Katie also gives recipes this flower blossoming at for drinks you won’t find the bottom of the glass,” everywhere, such as “Love Katie says. “It’s very roin Bloom.” It’s made using mantic looking for an ana syrup made from dried niversary or Valentine’s hibiscus flowers. You can Day.” find the flowers in most The most important Mexican grocery stores. (I thing to remember with found some at the Kansas all of the recipes is to keep City Farmers Market.) things clean. You can re“It’s in many cultures,” purpose wine bottles to she says, “and it turns evstore your infusions in, erything a bright fuchsia

but make sure to dip in boiling water first. Store infused syrups and spirits in the refrigerator, unless they are made with ingredients such as herbs that won’t spoil without refrigeration. Finally, don’t be afraid to try something different. You can always try again or make adjustments. After taking Katie’s advice, my skuzzy duzzy wasn’t skuzzy any more. Sylvia Anderson can be reached at sylvia.anderson @newspressnow.com. Follow her on Twitter: @SJNPAnderson.

Make your drinks at home sparkle PINEAPPLE VODKA

solved. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Puree in 2 large pineapples blender, add lemon zest 1 bottle (1.75-liter) vodka and allow to cool to room Remove the top leaves temperature. Strain into a from the pineapples. Peel bowl through a fine-mesh the pineapples and quarter strainer, chinoise or a them lengthwise. Slice off double layer of cheesecloth the tough inner core from to remove berry skins, each pineapple quarter. lemon zest and any stems Slice quarters into 1/4 inch or leaves. Funnel into clean thick slices. Stack slices glass jars and refrigerate. alternating like bricks This syrup keeps for up to around the perimeter of three weeks. the inside of your infuYield: Approximately sion jar, leaving the center 1 quart space open. When the jar is filled with all the slices, pour the vodka gently into BLUEBERRY the center space, filling up LEMONADE the jar and spaces between 1 1/2 cups Blueberry Syrup the fruit slices. IMPORTANT: Cover all 1 1/2 cups fresh lemon of the fruit completely with juice vodka and do not leave 3 cups water any fruit exposed to air at Garnish: Lemon wheel or the top of the jar as a way skewered blueberries to discourage any mold Combine Blueberry growth. Syrup, lemon juice and For maximum flavor, water in a large pitcher infuse pineapples in the or container. Stir well to vodka for 10 days out of combine. Serve over ice direct sunlight. Strain off and garnish with a lemon the vodka, and funnel it wheel or skewered blueberinto clean bottles for stor- ries. If you’d like to make age. Keep it refrigerated. this into an “adults-only” The fruit can be eaten, but lemonade, add a couple of a lot of the flavor will have ounces of citrus, raspleached into the vodka. berry or vanilla vodka or a citrus-forward gin like BLUEBERRY SYRUP Bluecoat to your glass. Yield: 1 1/2 quarts 3 cups water 3 cups blueberries, rinsed HIBISCUS SYRUP clean and any visible stems removed 6 cups water 2 cups sugar 3 cups loosely packed, dried 1 teaspoon grated or micro- hibiscus flowers 5 cups sugar planed lemon zest 1 tablespoon pure vanilla Bring water to a boil extract (optional) in a medium saucepan. Add blueberries and lower 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie heat to a simmer. Simmer spice (also optional, but berries for 10 minutes until works well in several of the they begin to soften. Add cocktail recipes) sugar and stir until disBring water to boiling

in a large pot and remove from heat. Stir dried hibiscus flowers into the water gently, cover and allow to cool for several hours or overnight. Strain out the hibiscus flowers. Bring hibiscus water back to a simmer and add sugar, whisking until dissolved, and remove from heat. Add vanilla extract and spice if desired, stirring to be certain all ingredients are fully incorporated. Store in refrigerator for up to one month, or freeze up to six months. You can save the whole rehydrated hibiscus flowers in Hibiscus Syrup to cover for the following cocktail, as a drink garnish or just to enjoy their tart raspberry-like flavor. They are completely edible and quite delicious. Yield: Approximately 2 quarts

LOVE IN BLOOM 1 rehydrated hibiscus flower 1/2 to 3/4 ounces Hibiscus Syrup to taste 4 ounces Brut champagne or dry sparkling wine of your choice Place hibiscus flower at the bottom of champagne flute. Top with Hibiscus Syrup. Gently pour sparkling wine down the side of the flute until almost filled. The bubbles in the wine should help the flower “bloom” at the bottom of the flute, and the wine should have turned a lovely shade of pink in the glass. Yield: One drink SUBMITTED PHOTO/ — Shake, Stir, Pour: Fresh Hibiscus flowers turn champagne into ‘Love in Bloom,’ one of 50 recipes to be found in ‘Shake, Stir, Pour: Homegrown Cocktails” by Fresh Homegrown Cocktails’ by Katie Loeb. Katie M. Loeb

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Wednesday, August 8, 2012

There’s more to paracord bracelets than good looks

By JENNIFER FORKER

enough to make, according to Melissa Duke of Pleasant View, Tenn., who has gone into the paracord jewelrymaking business full-time. Duke, 38, made her first bracelet at her son’s request last August, then another for her husband. One year and about 1,000 bracelets later, she has quit her medical office job and sells bracelets and key chains online at her Etsy shop, Knot Creations, and elsewhere. Team sports bracelets sell the best, she says. “I didn’t hear about them before last year,” Duke says. “You see people with them a lot now.” For outdoorsman Greg Ticknor, 22, of Helena, Mont., the bracelets provide a convenience. Ticknor used to carry a wad of parachute cord in his pocket “just to have in case I needed it” while hunting or fishing. He saw the bracelets and learned how to make them. Now Ticknor and his brother, Eli, can carry 12 feet of paracord — around their wrists. “Whenever we’re out in the woods we always have them,” says Eli Ticknor, 18. “We’re tying stuff to backpacks, making shelters. A friend used his to pull dead trees he’d cut down.”

Associated Press

It’s not every crafting project that can save a life. The paracord bracelet is 10 to 14 feet of tightly woven, military-quality, nylon parachute cord that can be unraveled to assist the wearer out of a jam. It’s popular now as a craft, especially among men and boys. Kurt Walchle, who says he invented the bracelets, can click off a dozen stories about how they have helped their wearers, from repairing a broken shoe to providing a life-saving tourniquet. It began more than seven years ago with a broken

watchband, which Walchle fixed using paracord. The woven band got him some attention in his hometown of Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., so he started making watchbands, then bracelets, and selling them on eBay. What began as a twoperson operation using the

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CLUES ACROSS 1. Disco light 7. London radio station 10. Aerospace Co. Morton ___ 11. Capital of Puglia, Italy 12. A phantom or apparition 13. Packed wine 14. The ocean below 6000 meters 15. 1st dynasty: AKA Xia 16. Every 17. Six (Spanish) 18. His ark 20. Segment or a circle 21. Pres. Johnson or Obama 26. 12th Greek letter 27. The First Lady 32. A blood group 33. Takes to task 35. Prints money (abbr.) 36. Airbus manufacturer 37. A instance of selling 38. 12th month (abbr.) 39. Baseball’s Ruth 40. 1959 Nobel biochemist Severo 43. Weights deducted to obtain net 44. To lie scattered over 47. 6th Jewish month 48. Physical maltreators 49. Founder Franklin 50. Published

7. The principal foundation of 8. La ___ Tar Pits 9. Spanish hero soldier 10. Brains egg-shaped grey matter 11. Fundamental 12. Bast 13. Small angels 16. Not or 17. S Pacific island group 19. Ad ___: impromptu 22. Gen. ___ DeGaulle 23. Hasidic spiritual leader 24. Aluminum 25. Considerate and solicitous care 28. Popular Canadian phrase 29. Consumed food 30. Hayfields 31. About Andes 34. Secondary School Certificate 35. Pen maker Castell 37. Brand of clear wrap 39. Past tense of bid 40. Resort city on Lake Biwa 41. Big Bear was chief 42. A group of cattle 43. The bill in a restaurant 44. People of the Dali region of Yunnan 45. One point S of due E 46. Pig genus

CLUES DOWN 1. Fish of the genus Alosa 2. Rock singer Turner 3. Muslim weight from 1 to 5 pounds 4. Turkish unit of weight 5. Bovine genus 6. Popular shade tree

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they’re fashionable. Yet the stories that customers post to the Survival Straps website provide testimony to their utility. Walchle’s favorite story is that of a U.S. soldier in Iraq named “James” who says he staunched a bleeding leg wound with his bracelet. “He credited us — our product — for bringing him home from war,” says Walchle. “That blew me away. Now (this business is) serious. It helped save a soldier’s life.” Walchle, 42, donates 10 percent of proceeds to the Wounded Warrior Project, which helps injured service members transition to civilian life. Under a licensing agreement, he also provided Survival Straps and gear tags to the U.S. Olympic athletes participating in the Summer Games in London. The bracelets are easy

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only two available paracord colors — black and olive drab — has grown into Survival Straps, a company selling the bracelets in hundreds of color combinations online and in stores such as Bass Pro Shops. “We were able to get a company to start dying it in different colors for us,” Walchle explains. There also are a lot of knock-off bracelets, and instructions for making them— and necklaces and key chains — on sites such as YouTube.com. Some come in sports-team and college colors. Pink bracelets promote breast cancer awareness. “I originally envisioned this whole thing as a great outdoor product that’s stylish and can help you out in an emergency,” says Walchle, adding that most customers now seem to be buying the bracelets because

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