How Fido and My Husband Saved Me One Day

Thanks to husband John Pitts, I now have a new favorite coffee house — Fido, in Nashville’s hip Hillsboro Village. A couple of weeks ago I spent several days lurking around a Music City hospital while my dad recovered from cardiac arrest and got a defibrillator. Did you know that hospital coffee is very very bad? (Although everything else about this hospital was very very good, including the care and skill my dad received.) Anyway, please never even try drinking hospital coffee. Do. Not. Even. Try. Learn from my mistake. So after hearing me complain for days and days, husband JP took great pity on me and squired me around town one day for some refreshing non-hospital air and some Real Coffee. He said we’d been in Fido before with friends, and I do sort of vaguely remember that. But now I’ll never forget this fun and funky cafe that’s part of the ever-growing local Bonjo Java coffee company. Bonjo Java roasts and wholesales its own beans and owns some of the town’s most popular cafes/coffeehouses/restaurants, of which Fido is one. It’s open all day every day and has a full menu, which we need to go back and check out because all I had was a restorative and perfect espresso macchiato. But when you’re dealing with perfection, one is good enough.

Valentine’s Day Gifts

christmas-with-the-gingers-016Sarah — my friend who’s a super cook, former caterer and an Episcopal priest — christmas-with-the-gingers-017gave bottles of cranberry homemade liqueur for Christmas presents this past holiay season. So lovely! I thought they’d make great Valentine Day’s gifts, too — the red is such a gorgeous deep color.  The recipe is from Cooking Light and needs to be started three weeks ahead of time, so this is the perfect weekend to gather supplies and get started. Since cherries and raspberries are the traditional red fruits associated with Valentine’s, I wonder if you could use those instead of cranberries. If anybody tries that, please pass the results along! Sarah put the liqueur in these very cool bottles and added the cocktail recipe — delicious! 

Ingredients

  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 1  cup  water
  • 1  12-ounce package fresh cranberries
  • 3  cups  vodka

Preparation

 Combine sugar and water in a medium saucepan; cook over medium heat 5 minutes or until sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, and cool completely. Place cranberries in a food processor; process 2 minutes or until finely chopped. Combine sugar mixture and cranberries in a large bowl; stir in vodka. Pour vodka mixture into clean jars; secure with lids. Let stand 3 weeks in a cool, dark place, shaking every other day. Strain cranberry mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve into a bowl and discard solids. Carefully pour liqueur into clean bottles. Note: Liqueur can be stored refrigerated or at room temperature for up to a year.