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Friday, January 15, 2010

5:00 Fridays

I grappled with posting today. I mean, I feel kinda lousy throwing back a cool cocktail while millions of people are struggling for a simple glass of water in Port Au Prince, Haiti. It is hard to belt out a guffaw and embrace glee while I know so many people are hurting in the throes of despair. There's not enough hyperbole to go around to adequately explain the situation down there. A mere 90 miles from our shores.

I'm one of those people glued to CNN as soon as Bird and Deal go to bed. We make it a point to tune into not much more than the weather when they are in the room. No way do those boys need to imprint such horror in their little heads. While Bird and Deal know there was an earthquake on an island in the Caribbean, they don't know much else. I've made it a point not to talk about it around them, lest I sob. I've always been a sobber, but motherhood has exacerbated my sob reflex. Dude, this commercial makes me bawl.

Today I'd like to use 5:00 Fridays to give a nod to Haiti's culture. With this drink, you'd better make a couple batches and invite over the neighbors. Better yet, invite the neighbors and collect a cover charge at the door. Donate the cash to the people of Haiti. I'll even donate a buck to UNICEF for every comment on this post.

This drink is like a delectable milkshake without the hassle of a blender. What I love is that the Haitians like to serve this rich concoction with pastries or cakes. I'm all about indulging my inner sweet tooth (and outer love handles).


Cremas

2 (12 oz) cans of evaporated milk
4 (12 oz) cans of sweetened condensed milk
1 (15 oz) can cream of coconut (NOT to be confused with coconut milk)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 anise star
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp grated nutmeg
1 lime (zest and juice)
1/5 80 proof rum (You read that right. A fifth. The whole bottle)

Mix all ingredients together in a large pot and pour into tall glasses filled with crushed ice. Sprinkle with a bit of nutmeg to fancy it up.

And if you can't be bothered to whip this up, you can order a premade bottle called Cremas Dorobe. I have a hunch this might be a staple in my bar.

I raise a glass to the people of Haiti and all those reaching out and flying in to help them. Peace.
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50 comments:

Erin said...

that sounds good. maybe i'll bring these ingredients to my knitting circle instead of the pina colada goods. for haiti. strength, for haiti.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for giving from your heart as well as giving us a cocktail to take the edge off all the worrying. Miss you bunches my dear friend.

KBO said...

You're right. Hard to raise a glass when other struggle for anything.

Norman said...

Great move, Ilena. And I'll not even take advantage of your heart by posting 500 comments!

Camden Watts said...

Couldn't agree with you more, my dear. I am typically glued to the TV when disaster a natural disaster strikes, finding any reason and means to get there to help (even though sending $ is better). My heart goes out to them as well. What a great post you've written.

victoria said...

Thanks for such great posts, tweets and the opportunity to generate more $ for Haiti!

Andrea (@shutterbitch) said...

This sounds really good.

You know, I don't really know what to say. I want to comment, but like you, I'm hesitant to discuss frivolity at all with what's going on in Haiti. But I can't stay away from the stories, especially the Bresma Orphanage story on the That's Church blog. Blogging has moved mountains to get 150 orphans (many of whom already have adoptive parents in the US waiting for the paperwork to go through) emergency refugee status to get them into the U.S. and to their adoptive parents. What normally takes months was accomplished in 48 hours. Now all they need is a plane to get all 150 of them out at a time (only 2 caretakers, can't separate the caretakers from the kids). I am in awe.

TracyMar said...

i know how you feel about watching horrible news round the kids. My kids have been hearing about it on NPR, but haven't really seen any visuals. Here's some tips from Mr. Rogers about dealing with scary news and your kids. http://www.fci.org/viewnews.asp?ID=68
My favorite is to point out the helpers to them, and show them how there are always people helping them.

Deb said...

Thanks for this. I listened to NPR a lot yesterday, and the ever brilliant and compassionate Madison Smart Bell as well as other arts leaders were indeed talking about the importance of Haitian culture, and the need to celebrate and support all that needs to be protected and all that will need regeneration. The preciousness of people includes all of their heritage, and every way that we can focus on them brings Haiti closer to our hearts. To Haiti!

Maria said...

Thank you for doing this. I am also donating on my blog to Doctors Without Borders. I would love it you would stop by and say hello.

Lisa said...

This is fabulous that you are donating. Am writing a big post now about how people can donate. Am planning to mention your blog on the list.

Jaelithe said...

It is very hard to figure out how to write about this.

Port au Prince has (Had? How terrible to have to contemplate saying had) a population about the same size as metro St. Louis, where I live. So every time they say "2-3 million people immediately affected," I don't have to try hard to come up with an idea of what that might be like. I just immediately imagine my own entire city destroyed, and that image terrifies me.

Especially since we had a VERY MINOR earthquake here in 2008. It woke me in the middle of the night and knocked some pictures off my walls. It was, in other words, no big deal, but it reminded me of a fact that we Midwesterners like to forget: that bigger earthquakes can in fact happen here.

So I keep imagining what I would feel like if it happened to me. And yet I know my imagination is not sufficient to encompass what has actually happened in Haiti.

I just hope as much help as possible gets to the people in need there as soon as possible. I feel like all I can do is donate what I can to good charities that work there, and hope. And that doesn't feel like enough.

Magpie said...

I love the idea of a house party. It feels like DOING something.

Shannon said...

I love your kind and generous heart, my friend. Kudos to you!

ginavon said...

I love how you honored this situation with true feelings and insight into their drinking culture with a donation incentive. you got me!

Headless Mom said...

Cheers for a better day in Haiti.

Julie said...

Did you know that you can "Donate $10 to the Red Cross to be charged to your cell phone bill by texting "HAITI" to "90999." DO IT!

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

I hear you on this. I'm finding myself damn thankful for tap water to drink right now.

Kim Tracy Prince said...

Hell yeah. Great idea Ilina. You're a small woman with a big big heart. I adore you.

Becky said...

I finally watched some coverage late last night. Sometimes I don't miss the newsroom. Cheers to you and MacD, Ilina!

Corina said...

You are a light. I am proud to call you friend.

That commercial and the one with the husband holding his wife after a disaster and then the mom soldier comes home..... a river pours down my face. A river.

Jennifer Iglio said...

No matter how hard things may seem at times, we are so very fortunate to live in a free country with access to so much. My sincerest prayers go to all in Haiti! We're off to do our small part to give back to those less fortunate...

Jennifer said...

I always look forward to your 5:00 Fridays, but today's post is very special. Thanks for writing this generous, heartfelt anI always look forward to your 5:00 Fridays, but today's post is very special. Thanks for writing this generous, heartfelt and educational post.
d educational post.

kim said...

Great to see you today! Thanks for your generosity, and for the info about donating tomorrow at North Hills!

Laura said...

Great post, kudos to you for creative fundraising. I like the combination of compassion for the suffering and creative fun to get the word out. Good stuff.

Liv said...

you rock. you do. thanks for classing up the place with your fun and mindful ideas.

Julia Janzen said...

Whoa that is one sweet drink! YUM

As for Haiti... what words could I add that would make any difference? I'm just so incredibly sad for all those people.

Nicole Hardy said...

You are such a giving person Ilina. Your ode to Haiti today is so thoughtful. I like the idea of making this and having a house party. Sounds like good times!

Lisa Sullivan said...

Your heart is so beautiful and I absolutely love the idea of having a cocktail party & charging a cover at the door w/ all proceeds going to the people of Haiti. God Bless ya, Girl! God Bless ya. :-)

Cindy Fey said...

Cheers to you and the people of Haiti. Thanks for the recipe and the donation!

Elizabeth said...

Thanks for the post. I know it was difficult to write, but you did great with a difficult situation.

grupbeav said...

I too suffer from Mom-induced sobbing. Shed more than one tear last night watching Nightline while up with a sick little one.

The Mother said...

I can't help but wonder what the calorie count is on that cocktail...

Ashley said...

and this is wh we all love you!!

Lisa said...

Here is to your $34th dollar donated. Thank you for all you do, Ilina. Its been a joy to re-connect, albeit, rather one-sided. But I enjoy my 5 minutes with you every day whether you know it or not. Give my love to Mac Daddy. We miss you in Minne.

NorieNC said...

Ilena, thanks for your thoughtfulness. Diane Sawyer reported news from Haiti tonight. A doctor talked with a number of kids, and one young girl asked specifically, "can you help me?"

The best he could offer is that he could tell her story, and maybe more help would come.

There was mention that there's no one coordinating all the assistance. How does one set up coordination when disasters spring up unpredicted with different locations and peoples involved?

Jen L. said...

Here's to Haiti. My heart just breaks thinking about it. I have a dear friend whose grandparents live in Port au Prince and have not been located. Sending all the prayers and positive energy I can muster their way.

Kati said...

I found out last night that a former co-worker lost his brother in the earthquake. I think we're going to be hearing these kinds of stories for days to come.

Kudos for figuring out a good fundraiser, both for yourself to do and for the rest of us to emulate.

Amy@UWM said...

Comments = donations. Great idea! I'm on a health kick right now, otherwise I'd have tried your cocktail recipe.

Lea R said...

Great post, Ilina. Like you, I haven't been able to talk much with the kids about Haiti. Ava knows the very basics, but that's all. She has a fear of earthquakes (?) and I don't want to exacerbate it.

And, yes, it strikes me that I can protect her that easily--simply by not talking about it. In quieter moments I can't stop thinking about the parents who are trying so hard to protect (hell, find) their children.

It breaks my heart.

mmbles said...

My heart breaks for families, loved ones, friends. The folks I work with are struck with crises near and far all the time. Thinking and hoping and praying for the kindness that I know exists in all of us.

David B. Thomas said...

A wonderful and genuine gesture. Well done.

Jeanette said...

What a wonderful thing to do!! And a very nice sounding drink

Mary said...

great post and cause!

Rebecca Wheeler said...

This drink sounds great. Thank you for your donation!

Mary Michele Little said...

Yum! Sounds delish - and thanks for making this a charitable post. Hope you are well!

Drewdogg said...

Thanks for your kindness! Great idea!

down30 said...

Ilina,

This is a great post. I am so glad you are doing what you are doing!

Suzanne Woodstock said...

(Hopefully I'm not too late for the $1 deal.) This recipe sounds tasty - guess I'll have to find some peeps to drink it with me! Will it save in the fridge for a day or two?

Suzanne Woodstock said...

(Hopefully I'm not too late for the $1 donation.) Sounds pretty tasty! Guess I'll have to find some peeps to drink it with me though. Will it save in the fridge for a day or two?