a moscow mule and finally fall

I have been looking forward to this first official weekend of fall.

Though it will still be close to 90 degrees outside – with humidity to match – I’m going to pretend that we’re having autumn here in north Florida. I plan to sit in my rocking chair on my front porch, listening to the wind chimes, even if I have to turn on the porch ceiling fans to make some cool breezes. I might decorate the front steps with some pumpkins, although they’ll soon begin to decay in the heat and will have to be replaced in a week or so. There might be chili or a hearty stew on the stove at some point. I’ll send my kids on a colored-leaf hunt, and they’ll manage to find one or two leaves that have turned the faintest shade of orange.  I think I’ll bake something. Maybe another pie – pumpkin, maybe? – or perhaps a cheesecake.

I’m planning to enjoy this weekend, no matter what life throws my way.

I might even celebrate with a cocktail. A Moscow Mule would hit the spot perfectly. It’s not a classic fall drink, but it’s certainly refreshing and suitable for our warm weather.

I associate this drink with Gail – for no other reason than she’s the one who clued me into this cocktail. It’s very simple to make and doesn’t require many ingredients, two requirements for an easy and low-key cocktail hour. For me, the hardest part of putting this drink together was finally figuring out that ginger beer is not actually beer flavored with ginger.

Don’t make this with beer flavored with ginger. Trust me on this.

Yield: 1 drink

Moscow Mule


1 1/4 ounce vodka
1 teaspoon simple syrup
1/2 lime
4 ounces ginger beer


In a tall, chilled glass, add vodka and simple syrup. Fill glass with ice, then squeeze the lime over the ice. Drop the lime half into the glass and top with ginger beer. Stir well with a stirrer. Enjoy.

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11 Responses to “spring break and a recipe: slow-cooker sweet-and-sour pork”

  1. Macaroni Mama — April 7, 2012 @ 2:54 pm

    I love your photos in this blog, plus a perfect meal.

  2. Paula — April 8, 2012 @ 9:14 am

    It’s funny isn’t it, how when we are in our own environment we actually think that we have some kind of control over what will occur and when we are away from it we have those irrational fears about *what if this or that happens* while we’re gone. I’m glad that you enjoyed your cruise and that all went well (both at home and away). The photographs are great and the kids certainly looked like they were enjoying themselves.
    Best wishes for a wonderful Easter for you and your family. The slow cooker pork looks great.

  3. Brian @ A Thought For Food — April 8, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    What a fabulous spring break you had! And this sweet and sour pork looks to-die-for! Yum!

  4. Noble Pig - Cathy — April 11, 2012 @ 6:14 pm

    What a wonderful trip…we are headed to the keys in a few weeks and I can not wait!

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  8. Aristophanes — July 31, 2013 @ 12:00 pm

    I just got back from San Diego, so I know what you mean about needing a break. My whole problem was I did NOT want to come back – and I live in Florida! This sweet and sour pork looks and sounds yummy. Will be trying it soon.

  9. JudyD — July 1, 2014 @ 8:36 pm

    Just made for supper and it was delicious!! Will definitely save this recipe and make again.. It was the perfect blend of sweet and sour. I didn’t have low sodium soy sauce, so only used 1/2 tsp salt and it was perfect. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Merry-Jennifer

      Merry-Jennifer replied: — July 2nd, 2014 @ 6:06 pm

      I’m so glad you liked it! And thank you so much for sharing your modifications. I’m certain that will help someone else who’s in the same position.

  10. MoKyFellow — October 3, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

    Merry-Jennifer, is it a requirement tha I take a Disney Cruise before I am allowed to try this yummy sounding dish? LOL

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