Summer Reads & Dranks

brandy-slushHere’s how to make brandy slush, a frozen summer drank (no blender required):

Combine 7 cups of water with 2 cups of sugar. Boil until sugar dissolves. Let this cool.

Add 2 cups boiling water to 4 black tea bags and let it all steep until cool.

(This is the cooling portion of the recipe. Go read something online or watch Jeopardy.)

Once both of these items (the simple syrup and the tea) are cool, combine them in a container that you can also use to mix the rest of the ingredients and then put in the freezer. A plastic ice cream bucket, if you happen to eat enough ice cream that you purchased a bucket of it, works great.

1 12-oz. can of lemonade concentrate
1 12-oz. can of OJ concentrate
2 cups brandy

Stir it all up and then freeze until slushy – overnight is preferred.

To serve: fill a water glass 2/3 full with brandy slush and then top it off with ginger ale (you can also try 7Up or Sprite or a diet soda but I think ginger ale is the best, specifically Seagram’s because its not as sweet. There is going to be a lot of sugar in this drank!)

Best if served with a swizzle stick and a straw. Now sit around and talk smart… or read.

Which brings me to the books mentioned in episode 5’s segment “Beach Reads and Blanket Books.”

The Run of His Life: The People vs. OJ Simpson by Jeffrey Toobin (“The inspiration for the first season of American Crime Story on FX, starring Cuba Gooding, Jr., John Travolta, David Schwimmer, and Connie Britton”)

We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live: Collected Nonfiction by Joan Didion (this includes the books Slouching Towards Bethlehem and The White Album, both great reads on their own)

Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr by Stephen Michael Shearer

Out Came the Sun: Overcoming the Legacy of Mental Illness, Addiction and Suicide in My Family by Mariel Hemingway

Shirley, I Jest!: A Storied Life by Cindy Williams

Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life by William Finnegan

Sick In the Head: Conversations About Life & Comedy by Judd Apatow

Primates of Park Avenue: A Memoir by Wednesday Martin, Ph.D. (sorry I forgot to mention the Ph.D. on the show…)

The Wilderness of Ruin: A Tale of Madness, Fire and the Hunt for America’s Youngest Serial Killer by Roseanne Montillo (because what would a summer be without a book about America’s youngest serial killer?)

Re Jane: A Novel by Patricia Park (not sure why this title needs “A Novel” added to it but it must have something to do with the current craze for the colon. That’s the punctuation mark, not the body part)

In the Unlikely Event by Judy Blume

Not on our summer lists but some celeb/Old Hollywood memoirs and tell-alls we’ve read that are worth checking out:

Knock Wood by Candice Bergen
This ‘N That by Bette Davis
Natasha: The Biography of Natalie Wood by Suzanne Finstad
Not the Girl Next Door: Joan Crawford, A Personal Biography by Charlotte Chandler
Johnny Carson by Henry Bushkin
Mommie Dearest by Christina Crawford (come on, you haven’t read this yet?)