Not too long ago, my psychologist suggested I try channeling my anger to punch through my Great Wall of China sized writer’s block. All our other attempts had failed and since dealing with anger has never been a strength of mine, I thought, “Sure, why not?” I’ll take the challenge. So she pulled out a pad of paper and pen and we started a free flow of recipe ideas that could embody “anger”.
Now here is what I have learned about anger in the year since I started therapy: it’s a secondary emotion. Anger never exists alone. It is sparked by another emotion. After hearing this, I challenged my psychologist with, “Well, what about the dumb @$$ that nearly drives me into a concrete barrier on 95 that I give the finger to?” Hahaha, got you there! Wrong. “Ruth, why would you be angry at that person?” Uuummm, because he could have killed or hurt me and others? It was fear that sparked my anger. Darn it. Doc: 1. Ruth: 0.
So back to channeling my anger…
By the end of the session I had settled on using “spice” to represent anger since I had run out of new “red” ingredients. We also decided that the recipe would be for a cocktail. After all, it’s been ages since we’ve brought you all something fun for happy hour, right?
That evening I was sipping on some watermelon “soda” and craving more lime only to find out I had used the last of my stash. As I substitute, I reached for a lemon. Then, as I was squeezing the fresh lemon juice into my drink it hit me…lemon and lime…watermelon margarita!! A spicy watermelon margarita that is. I had a pint of jalapeños from the farmer’s market that would do the trick. I immediately texted Emilie my idea who sent me her virtual thumbs up.
My first try, in which I muddled the peppers, failed horribly to capture the spice of the jalapeño. Their watery flavor (think bell pepper) also turned the drink flat. Ok, anger, I thought, turn the heat up already! And I literally had to…I went for the simple syrup route. It was exactly what my margarita needed.
We all know that anger can be quite a destructive force. That’s why so many of us are afraid to confront it. The trick is to deal with it constructively and carefully so you don’t end up burned. It might sting a little, like this simple syrup, but at the end of the tunnel something good is waiting for you.
Don’t forget to stay tuned…the margarita is coming next week!
Jalapeño Simple Syrup
- 2 medium green jalapeño peppers
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- Slice jalapeños into rounds. For maximum heat, do not remove the seeds. To reduce heat remove half to all of the seeds.
- Over medium high heat, combine all the ingredients in a small sauce pan.
- Bring mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.
- Once syrup comes to a boil, remove from heat. Allow the jalapeños to steep for about 30 minutes.
- Strain syrup , discarding jalapeños. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.