Salvation Sisters turns one this weekend! So before we celebrate with Fragolino Martinis, I thought I would share the story of how our sisters' blog came to be.
Michelle and her daughter, Maddie, (plus one large and hairy poodle named Django) arrived at my house in Guerneville, California on the last day of July in 2009. Coming to my rescue, they pulled into my driveway in a white Toyota 4Runner that was nearly bursting at the seams with everything that they would need for their stay in California until their house sold in Arizona (the selling of which, my brother-in-law Jay, was overseeing back in Tucson).
It was our hope that the house would sell in a few months time, at most. At the conclusion of the sale, the plan was for all of us to relocate to the lovely city of Petaluma, which is about an hour south of here. If you read our blog regularly, you will already know that, like the proverbial "best laid plans", this did not happen.
|After a week or so, the strawberries release all flavor and color.
Michelle's plan upon arriving, was to sort through an enormous archive of e-mail that we sisters had been writing to one another for a decade, and to create a novel out of it. We believed, and still do, that there is a book just waiting to be created out of our correspondence, but as it so happens, our blog was born first.
Summer was pretty much over by the time Michelle and Maddie took up residence here in Sonoma County, and after after two months of rather mild fall weather, winter set in with a vengeance. On an early shopping trip right after their arrival, I had encouraged the purchase of rubber rain boots and down vests and jackets. Despite my assurances that they would get much use out of the items they were purchasing, I could still see that they both remained doubtful about the necessity of such gear.
|Maddie and Michelle in their cold weather gear.
|Rubber boots are a necessary footwear for living near the Russian River.
We sisters has also been interested in the idea of compiling a cookbook of all of our recipes accumulated from years of cooking for family and friends, as well as professionally. There have been many requests for our recipes, and yet, we rarely shared them, thinking we would save the material for our cookbook. So one day in early 2010, Michelle posed the idea to me of creating a blog. This thought hadn't occurred to me, and I don't recall being all that enthusiastic about the proposed project.
|Maddie in the loft, Michelle at her "desk" (sans scarf).
The house in Tucson did not sell, and it seemed the best option for Maddie and Michelle (and Django with his ear troubles) to all return to Arizona. With more than a few tears, I watched them drive off one year later, this time the 4Runner requiring a black canvas carrier strapped to the top of the truck for the trip back to Arizona enabling the tranportation of more things acquired during a year's stay in California.
We practically lived in our vests - day wear, evening wear.
I honestly didn't know if the blog would survive our separation. Just a few months old, maintaining the blog would require the need to collaborate remotely. Happily it has not only survived, but it and we, are thriving. Michelle, Juliette and I are now back to our original arrangement of spending lots of time on the phone with each other, and trading e-mails and photos back and forth to stay in our usual close communication. With the love and support of my sisters, family and friends, I feel stronger everyday, and I will forever be grateful to Michelle and Maddie for their year spent here with me. Sharing the burden of our collective grief has helped us all, especially me, to heal from our great loss.
Salvation Sisters, the blog, has become a part of our daily lives, and to our delight and amazement, our readership has grown steadily over the year. For our first birthday post we are sharing our recipe for Fragolino Martinis. Our post called A Trio of Fruit Liqueurs: Limoncello, Fragolino and Frambolino has been our most popular post to date, and a cocktail recipe seemed apropos for our birthday celebration.
|Fragolino, also known as Strawberry Liqueur, is on the right.
Michelle, Juliette and I would like thank you for your interest in our stories, and hope you continue to enjoy making our recipes and reading about the further adventures of the Salvation Sisters.
P.S. We love your comments and feedback, so please keep them coming! And remember, just click on any of our photos to enlarge them.
I completely understand being too busy to take on the onerous task of making homemade Limoncello. Limoncello is an endeavor not to be taken lightly, or to be attempted by the uncommitted, or when lemons are out of season. Fragolino, however, can be made with ease at any time of the year.
Simply purchase frozen organic strawberries and a nice quality vodka, and you are in business. This simple cocktail can be made from your own homemade Fragolino, or from Fragolino purchased at your favorite seller of spirits (but it won't taste nearly as good).
Bartender's tip: Make an extra serving of the cocktail ahead of time and freeze it. The frozen cocktail can be scooped by the spoonful into your freshly made cocktail to keep each serving nice and cold without any dilution of the cocktail.
Pyrex 1-cup liquid measuring cup
Fragolino, preferably homemade
Bols® Triple Sec
lime juice from 1 large fresh lime
fresh strawberries if desired for garnish
1. Juice one large lime.
2. Pour Fragolino into a Pyrex glass measuring cup to the 200 ml line. Then pour in the Triple Sec to the 250 ml line. Pour the Fragolino and Triple Sec into a cocktail shaker along with the lime juice. Add a good amount of ice to the cocktail shaker and shake vigorously. When thoroughly shaken, split between two martini glasses and garnish with fresh strawberries. Add a large spoonful of frozen Fragolino cocktail to each glass and serve immediately.