Saturday, September 25, 2010

I'm too stiff.

It has been said that the younger you are the more you delight in puns. That only the littlest of little kids laugh at them. Oh well. (HA!)
The Mock Turtle went on. `We had the best of educations--in fact, we went to school every day--'
`I'VE been to a day-school, too,' said Alice; `you needn't be so proud as all that.'
`With extras?' asked the Mock Turtle a little anxiously.
`Yes,' said Alice, `we learned French and music.'
`And washing?' said the Mock Turtle.
`Certainly not!' said Alice indignantly.
`Ah! then yours wasn't a really good school,' said the Mock Turtle in a tone of great relief. `Now at OURS they had at the end of the bill, "French, music, AND WASHING--extra."'
`You couldn't have wanted it much,' said Alice; `living at the bottom of the sea.'
`I couldn't afford to learn it.' said the Mock Turtle with a sigh. `I only took the regular course.'
`What was that?' inquired Alice.
`Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with,' the Mock Turtle replied; `and then the different branches of Arithmetic-- Ambition, Distraction, Uglification, and Derision.'
`I never heard of "Uglification,"' Alice ventured to say. `What is it?'
The Gryphon lifted up both its paws in surprise. `What! Never heard of uglifying!' it exclaimed. `You know what to beautify is, I suppose?'
`Yes,' said Alice doubtfully: `it means--to--make--anything-- prettier.'
`Well, then,' the Gryphon went on, `if you don't know what to uglify is, you ARE a simpleton.'
Alice did not feel encouraged to ask any more questions about it, so she turned to the Mock Turtle, and said `What else had you to learn?'
`Well, there was Mystery,' the Mock Turtle replied, counting off the subjects on his flappers, `--Mystery, ancient and modern, with Seaography: then Drawling--the Drawling-master was an old conger-eel, that used to come once a week: HE taught us Drawling, Stretching, and Fainting in Coils.'
`What was THAT like?' said Alice.
`Well, I can't show it you myself,' the Mock Turtle said: `I'm too stiff. And the Gryphon never learnt it.'
`Hadn't time,' said the Gryphon: `I went to the Classics master, though. He was an old crab, HE was.'
`I never went to him,' the Mock Turtle said with a sigh: `he taught Laughing and Grief, they used to say.'
`So he did, so he did,' said the Gryphon, sighing in his turn; and both creatures hid their faces in their paws.
☛ from Our Own Illustrated Alice, Lewis Carrolls' Alice's Adventures in Wonderland as illustrated by the 4th graders at the Dalton School in 1998 and 1999 as a class project. Chapter 9 is The Mock Turtle's Story and is illustrated by Elena and Gordy. The top illustration is from their pages 53 and 54. The second is one of Sir John Tenniel's original illustrations from Carroll's Chapter 9.

Jalapeño Mojito Syrup
Add a few spoonfuls of this little gem of a syrup to each of your mojitos for a lovely extra kick.

* 2 cups fresh mint leaves, washed
* 2 cups granulated sugar
* 2 cups water
* the zest and juice of 1 whole lime
* 1 jalapeño, washed, stemmed and halved with seeds removed

Add all ingredients to a non-reactive saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for three minutes, turn off the heat and put a tight fitting lid on the pan. Leave the syrup to steep with the lid on for fifteen minutes. While syrup steeps, place a fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth) in a funnel in a jar or bottle that has a tight fitting lid. When time is up, remove pan lid and pour syrup through the strainer. Store, lidded, in the refrigerator for up to a month.  (From Foodie With Family)
VARIATION: Leave out the mint and leave in a few (more) of the jalapeño seeds and you have a snappy syrup that can be used in margaritas as well as mojitos.

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