Friday, June 16, 2017

A Bottle of the Red Stuff

I am hunkered down working on the rewrite of the next Crochet Mystery, now called ON THE HOOK.

My computer is in a small room with a lot of stuff on the floor. There are things like a catalog for a criminal investigation products company, some dolls, stacks of papers, stacks of journals and a bottle of creme de noyaux.

Unless I am home alone, which seems like almost never, I am interrupted like every few minutes by my husband or my son or both of them together. The room is too small to close the door and besides I hate closed doors. The creme de noyaux is a bright bright red and hard to miss. It has become a source of amusement for them joke about the bottle of booze, implying that it is there for me to take a swig while I’m writing.

So why do I have a bottle of creme de noyaux next to me? It has to do with a pink squirrel. It’s a drink not an animal and plays in important role in the manuscript I’m working on. I’ve actually had the almost full bottle of creme de noyaux for a long time. It all started with a memory of a drink I had tasted when I was a kid. I was about seven or so and one of our neighbors let me taste her pink squirre at a restaurant. It tasted like a creamy almond flavored milkshake.

Years past and I always remembered that drink. I am not much a drinker, but we were at some event at a club in Las Vegas and I decided order a pink squirrel and see if it tasted as I remembered it. Only the bartender had never heard of the drink. How about he looked at me like I was nuts. I said something about being creamy and tasting like almond, so he concocted something with amaretto, which wasn’t the same.

Thanks to the Internet, I found the recipe for a pink squirrel. It was made with creme de noyaux , creme de cacao and cream. As I mentioned the creme de noyaux is bright red and when mixed with the cream became pink. The squirrel part seems to have come from the nut flavor and squirrels like nuts. I quickly found out that creme de noyaux is not your average liqueur and not readily available. By chance I was in a BevMo once and saw it on the shelf. I bought it and a bottle of creme de cacao, excited that I would make my own pink squirrel. I did make one tiny version of it, and it tasted every bit as delicious as I remembered.

It turns out that despite the almond flavor, creme de noyaux is made from apricot kernels and some times peach kernels, which apparently have an almond like flavor. Interesting note – and like almonds actually contain cyanide or something that metabolizes into cyanide in our bodies, though obviously not a deadly amount.

Like I said, I’m not much of a drinker, so once I had that one taste of my own concocted pink squirrel, I didn’t have any again. The bottle is here for a really silly reason. Spelling. Somehow I got it in my head that the name of the liqueur was cream de noisette, then once I got the name right, I kept spelling it wrong. The bottle is serving as my drink dictionary.

When I finish the manuscript, I will probably celebrate with a mini pink squirrel before I put the bottle of crème de noyaux away.

5 comments:

Miriam Lubet said...

I love your comment about the drink dictionary!

Anonymous said...

Better stash your bottle of "bright red stuff" before Jakey starts to get around==he might get hooked on it !

Betty Hechtman said...

Miriam, I'm glad you enjoyed the comment.

Betty Hechtman said...

Anonymous, the bottle will be put away when the manuscript is done, long before Jakey can find it.

Linda O. Johnston said...

What a fun reason to have the bottle hanging out around you! I have dogs and dog books hanging around my writing area for research reasons, though generally not for spelling.