publications

November 8, 2009

magazines

I’m a lady with an amazing commute.

I live in New York City, but unlike most of my friends and coworkers, I travel from West to East when I go to work.  Traveling that way is so easy in many ways – even to folks who work in other states and cities.

Folks in New York, especially those who live in the outer-boroughs (The Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and Staten Island), usually have a subway/bus/ferry ride to work and back everyday.  Those rides allow us to read more books and news than folks outside.  People who live on Long Island or in Connnecticut or Jersey who take trains in also have an incredible number of hours to read or work on the train.

I have a 15-minute subway ride to and from work and I read a lot during that time.  Sometimes I bring parts of the Sunday NY Times that I didn’t get a chance to read over the weekend.  If not, I have the New Yorker or Bust or Bitch Magazine.  Lately I’ve been also getting OUT and The Advocate for free.   WIRED and SPIN and Rolling Stone show up at the apartment from time to time as well.

Needless to say, there is not a shortage of reading material for me to choose from when I’m leaving in the morning.  (Sometimes I forget to put my headphones on – new music that I must hear! But I’ll save that for another day.) Having the analytical mind that I have, I often feel compelled to prioritize these readings.  Clearly, it will be a daily, then a weeky, followed by a monthly publication.

The nature of my job also allows me to read quite a bit while I wait for court cases to be called, so whatever I’ve brought for the commute can be read then, too.  I can never count on what kind of waiting time I will have on a given day though.  It could be hours. It could be minutes. Or no time at all.

So, given my daily 15-minute commute and my uncertain waiting time, I read a lot, some, or very little of my many available reading material.  Since I have aforementioned analytical mind and a tendency to be anxious, I sometimes feel a bit pressured to get through it.

This leaves little time for short stories, novels, or the history books I crave.

Seeing as thing have become a bit tight financially lately, I suspended my NY Times subscription.  I figure I can read that shit on-line.  I did not re-subscribe to either Bust or Bitch recently, but I’m not sure when my subscriptions are up.  (I feel guilty about this because they are two publications that need support…) My New Yorker keeps coming – so I’m figuring I must have re-subscribed to that recently.  I have started to think about all the things I read and what I pay and what it means to not pay and whether I’ll miss it and whether I will feel like shit for not paying to get it…

With no Sunday Times on my conscience this week (though I did read quite a few articles online for free), I was able to finish a novel.  Not the best thing I’ve ever read, but reading it meant that I learned about Lebensborns.  If you know me, you know my interest in Jewish culture and my youthful pursuit of all writing I could find on the Holocaust/Jewish History and WWII.  And that lead to a lot of research online, which is my custom.

Really, I am truly a “Google Girl,” if that exisits.  If it doesn’t, I have just made it so.  I keep a list in my head (mostly) of things I need to research online.   Sometimes I wish I made an actual list – I forget things sometimes – but I don’t usually forget the things I need to look up.  Often, I am reminded of things by other folks and that will add incredible items to my list.

Look.  I am 33 years old and I know my place in this world.  I am old enough to appreciate and crave the feeling of pages in my hands, but young (and educated) enough to understand how easy it is to find anything and everything on the World Wide Web.  Yes kids, that is what WWW stands for.

In 1998, I graduated from a college that actually offered a major in American Studies. In 1998, nobody knew what that was and I imagine that most folks still have no idea what that means. But now, I live in New York City, where they even have a high school for that. If only I had grown up in New York City, I’d have been able to major in something more lucrative in college.  That course of study is possibly the root of (or reason for?) my insatiatble thirst for information.  It also created an awareness that I can’t deny.

I am a woman who supports the news and magazine community and I can’t help but feel good when I actually subscribe.  (Did you watch that season of The Wire?) The written word should not necessarily be free, but in some ways, I think the access to it should be.   That doesn’t make any sense, I know. Reconciliation can be made through advertisements, right?  Do I feel OK about that? Not really.

I am not a big fan of advertisements, so that’s why I will probably not stop subscribing to BITCH, at least. No complimentary copy there – no bullshit. I sent an old high school friend a subscription recently and damn, she’s enjoying it.

Outside of that, I doubt I will feel compelled to subscribe to other magazines.  The New Yorker keeps coming, as I said before – and I am not too proud to admit I like how that high-brow publication (weekly!) makes me think, pisses me off, and delights me all the time.  I stuff the damn thing into my work bag each week.

Sadly, I know there are tons of publications that deserve my loyalty.  I am thinking about HEEB and how if I were Jewish and not just fascinated by Jewish culture, I’d subscribe to that, too. Really though, if I were rich, I’d do it…goyim or not.

I’m stuck.


oh, daddy

October 1, 2009

At some point in 1996 or 1997, there was a giant snow storm in suburban Maryland and I was staying with my father in Odenton. My Plymouth Sundance had front-wheel drive, so my dad was driving. I still don’t remember exactly where we were going or why he was in the car with me.

I know we both had somewhere to go and my car had the best traction.

I do remember that a song came on the radio. Probably 98Rock or perhaps DC101. The car was practically inching ahead in the storm – overdrive or whatever – and he starts bobbing his head. He turns up the volume and turns to me with a knowing look…

“Fleetwood Mac or just Stevie Nicks?”

My father loves music and more than he knows, he loves to quiz people. He’s been asking that SAME question to me for years.  Yes, the exact question.  Usually he is putting a record on first though. (What? Your dad doesn’t do that?)

Sitting in the passenger seat of my own car, I remember being struck for a second.  Stevie was singing, but I could not determine the year by the song.  He of course, had decades on me (just 2 or so), so I was at a disadvantage.

I answered wrong. It was a song from Rumours.

Dreams

Thunder only happens when its raining
Players only love you when theyre playing
Say… women… they will come and they will go
When the rain washes you clean… youll know

Come on!  I was 20 years old!  It was 1996!

Actually, I talked to my dad for a long time tonight.  We talked about a lot of things and somehow, it came up that he used to ask me that goddamned question all the time.  He said, “You know, the answer was always Fleetwood Mac…”

Laughing, I took a sip of my beer and said, “Well, there’s always Edge of Seventeen, Dad.”

He said, “Well, yeah.  You can’t go wrong with that one.”

I kinda want to invite him to The Night of a Thousand Stevies, but he’d probably just stand there saying, “Fleetwood Mac! Fleetwood Mac!”


Banshee

September 13, 2009

My hair is getting entirely too long.  It’s at that point where if I’m lying around in bed, it gets caught in my armpit.  I have somehow decided that a woman over 30 should not have hair on her head that gets caught in her armpits.  

She just shouldn’t. 

There is always a caveat. I mean, unless she is a fucking amazing hippie woman who doesn’t give a shit, an actress or rockstar or banshee or what-have-you, cavewoman hair is not acceptable. But I am none of these things – urges to become “fucking amazing hippie woman” when I give birth squatting like a a native woman aside…

I need a goddman haircut. 

Given my tendancies to worry about things like face-shape and general laziness, I am tempted to just shave my whole head.  I’ve been told I’m pretty, so maybe it might creat a GI Jane sort of look – and at the very least, a draw for dykes looking for a pretty butch over 5’7″.  (Or dudes who like that sort of thing…you never know, right?)

In addition to my armpit rule, I also know that short hair is not so flattering to the thicker gal.  Over the last few years, I’ve put on a few more pounds than I like to admit.  It’s not all bad, I mean, I have bigger boobs and have mantained a smooth complexion.  I just wish I could chop all this fucking hair off and not take 15 minutes to dry it after every shower.  I can’t though – given my rules – and I know that cavewoman hair looks better than a bob on this “frame.”

Perhaps I’ll go with bangs.  Maybe it’ll give me a Bettie Page mystique.  She wasn’t a size 6 or anything, right?

Most likely though, I’ll just get a trim and act like it was wonderful and wait for it to grow out into the cavewoman/amazing hippie woman who doesn’t give a shit stage.

That’s just the kind of woman I want to be. A banshee, OK?


Hearty Vegan Stew and Beautiful Music

September 11, 2009

I got home from work early on this rainy day in Jackson Heights, Queens and after pouring myself a drink (1oz gin, tonic, splash of lemon, splash of simple syrup – over ice), I put on some recently discovered folk music by a beautiful woman with a beautiful voice.

We were lucky to happen upon her playing live at our friend Jeremiah’s music space at the end of August. If you get a chance, check out Sharon Van Etten.  This video is incredible – For You.

sharon van etten

Then!  I remembered that I offered to make some dinner for our good friend, David if he was feeling like making it out to our house.  I freaked out because we hadn’t done any grocery shopping since before the Labor Day weekend.  I had no chicken (his favorite) and there was no way in hell I was going back out in this rain to the grocery.

Knowing that my lovely boy loves beans as well, I did a quick internet search and realized I had all the ingredients to make a hearty soup already in my kitchen.  No grocery trip needed!  Well, except that I got the drummer to stop and get a baguette…

I will of course, need to step out in the rainy morning to get my ever-growing grocery list items tomorrow however. Yes, David, I will make you Purple Chicken soon enough! (You can watch us eating it for the second time here.)

David didn’t end up making it out to our house, but since I love him, I’ll probably try to keep a portion for him anyway.  

White Bean, Spinach & Barley Soup

White Bean, Spinach & Barley Soup

White Bean, Spinach & Barley Soup
(serves 6-8)

-2-3 TB olive oil
-1 large white onion, chopped
-6 cloves garlic, minced
-1 serrano chile (or other chile), minced (optional)
-1/2 cup white wine
-1 cup roughly chopped carrots
-1 cup pearl barley, rinsed
-5 cups broth
-2-3 TB dried thyme and/or rosemary (I grind it to a powder, but that’s optional.)
-1 tsp. coriander powder -1 can white beans, rinsed.
-1 28oz can chopped tomatoes -1-2 cups spinach (frozen OK) black pepper

1. In large dutch oven or pot (that has a cover), saute onion, garlic and chile in the olive oil over medium heat.

2. Add dried thyme or rosemary and coriander. Saute for 5-7 minutes and then add wine. Allow to cook for a few minutes, stirring.

3. Add carrots, sprinkle a tsp or so of black pepper and mix to combine.

4. Cook for a few minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.

5. Add barley, beans, tomatoes and broth. Stir to combine and bring to a boil.

6. When boiling, cover and set heat to very low.

7. Cook for at least 45 minutes, but up to an hour and 1/2 to really combine the flavors.  Stir from time to time to prevent sticking.

8. Add spinach, stir through, cover and cook for 10- 15 more minutes.

Serve with crusty bread, a glass of wine and enjoy with a talented poet/drummer.

(loosely based on this recipe:  http://bit.ly/sOaSk with more garlic and a much longer cooking time.)


Moussaka (Vegetarian and possibly Vegan)

August 28, 2009
Greek Moussaka from Best Moussaka Recipes

from Best Moussaka Recipes

 A few months ago, a Greek friend was feeling down, so we invited her and a few others over for a Sunday dinner.  Having never cooked anything remotely Greek, I had quite a lot to learn.  Luckily she had us over a year or so before and served a vegetarian Moussaka that was out of this world.

Up for the challenge, I spent the whole day creating my Greek feast.  I made a traditional meat version and a veggie version of Moussaka with a Horiatiki Salad  (with feta on the side) and Bakalava for dessert.  (Luckily, I have a Greek coworker who shared her mom’s delightful recipe.)

To make the Moussaka, I read a half dozen or so recipes before starting.  That is generally the way I cook – I approach it like a research project so I am aware of the variations that exist and can make adjustments based on the ingredients I have on hand (or don’t like.)

This is the vegetarian version.  I’ve made it vegan for my lactose-intolerant ladyfriend with great results.  I am a sucker for the grated Kefalotyri cheese on top, but the dish is still completely delicious without.  (Or with Romano or Parmesan if you can’t find Greek cheese.)

The best vegan recipe for Moussaka is, of course, the one that Isa Chandra Moskowitz has in her amazing cookbook called Veganomicon.   While always intrigued by the idea of making a “cream” sauce with pine nuts and tofu, I’ve never gotten around to it.  I also like the idea of a bechamel (white sauce) poured over the dish instead.   Since I don’t use the pine nut cream, that result had very little protein to make it solid.  So, in that amazing book, there is a recipe for Shepherdess Pie (vegan Shepherd’s Pie) that gave me the idea of using tempeh as a “meat” for the red sauce.   I also found this tempeh-based Moussaka recipe as well.  Finally, I also consulted a more traditional Moussaka recipe for guidance.

This serves about 6-8 and takes awhile to make – give yourself about 1.5-2 hours (including baking time).  Totally worth it.  Enjoy!

Moussaka (Vegetarian and possibly Vegan)

Vegetable Layer

1 lb eggplant
1 lb zucchini
1 lb potatoes (russett or baking)
olive oil for brushing
(Spray oil if you have it)

Red Sauce

2 8oz packages of Tempeh (Lightlife)
1/3 cup Tamari or Soy sauce
2 cups water
1 tsp black pepper

1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 cup red wine or veg broth
2 15 oz cans of crushed tomatoes w/juice
2 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 bay leaf
salt

Bechamel
2 Tbs butter (Earth Balance)
2 Tbs flour
1 Cup milk (regular or PLAIN soy)
1 pinch nutmeg
1 pinch salt
1 pinch pepper

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Optional
1 cup of grated Kefalotyri cheese or Romano

—————

Prepare Veggies

– Wash eggplant and zucchini and scrub and peel the potatoes.  Using a very sharp knife, slice all of them lengthwise into 1/4 inch slices.

– Spray or brush 3 cookie sheets with olive oil.  Place sliced vegetables on the sheets and brush/spray with olive oil.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Some overlap is OK.

– Roast veggies for 15 minutes in a 400 degree oven.  Potatoes may need 20.  Remove when lightly browned.  I sort of stack the baking sheets on one side of the stove while I cook other stuff.

Prepare Red Sauce

– Crumble tempeh into small pieces into a large saucepan.  Add tamari or soy, water and 1 tsp of oil.  Cover and let boil for about 10 minutes.

– Remove lid and allow to liquid to boil off for about 5 minutes.  Drain in a colander.

– Do not rinse pan, heat 1/4 cup olive oil over medium heat and saute garlic and onions for 4 minutes.  Add tempeh to pan.

– Add wine and simmer a few minutes.  Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, ground cinnamon and bay leaf.

– Simmer, partially covered over medium-low heat for 10-15 minutes.  Stir occasionally.  Remove bay leaf.

Make Bechamel

– Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. 

– Add flour and whisk to form a roux.  Whisk until it darkens, but just a light brown.

– Add milk slowly, whisking until there are no lumps.  Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. 

– Remove from heat when thickened. (Coats the back of the spoon.)

ASSEMBLE!

– Brush a 9×13 inch glass or metal pan (sometimes I use a larger one) with olive oil.  Spread some of the red sauce on the bottom.

– Add successive layers of eggplant, potatoes, sauce and half the breadcrumbs.  Put the zucchini on top of this. Continue to layer and end with bread crumbs.

– Pour Bechamel Sauce evenly over the top.

– Bake for 30 minutes in a 400 degree oven

– Sprinkle optional grated Kefalotyri cheese on the top and bake for 15 more minutes.

– Remove and allow to sit for at least 15 minutes before slicing to serve.

I have served this with a quickly sauteed spinach in garlic and oil on the side or on top.   Totally not necessary, but it looks nice.

Tastes great as leftovers, as the flavors meld and the texture firms up.


Bananafish & Aloo Chana for Nikkie

March 5, 2009

I was reading something Paul wrote and it made me go out to the livingroom searching for my books.  

I went out searching for my Salinger and realized we had no good way of organzing anything.  I had to remember – visually- what the books looked like.   Happily, Nine Stories looks like Catcher in the Rye and Franny and Zoey and everything I’ve ever bought that he wrote:  Thin white volumes, with rainbow detail.

I found them, but sadly, I haven’t looked at these books in  years.  Nine Stories deserves a re-read.  As do the rest.

——————————————————

I made some food last night and it was good.  To share:

ALOO CHANA (for Nikkie)

-2 cups cooked rice
-1/2 cup frozen peas

-1 large red onion chopped large
-3 cloves garlic minced
-1-2 serrano peppers chopped

-2TB curry powder
-1tsp allspice (*if you have it)
-1tsp black pepper
-2TB oil or ghee

-3-4 red potatoes, peeled and chopped into inch-size pieces
-1 can chickpeas, drained
-1 LARGE can chopped tomatoes

-1/2 cup chopped cilantro

1. In a large sauce pan, heat the 2TB of ghee or oil over medium-high heat.  Add the spices and mix until pastey.

2. Add onion and pepper and after a few minutes, add garlic and reduce to medium heat.  Sautee for a  minute or two.

3. Add potatoes and sautee for 5 minutes.

4. Add chickpeas and sautee for 5 minutes.  Add a bit of water if dry.

5. Add canned tomatoes and all the juice. Stir and lower heat.  If not covered, add a cup of water.

6. Cover and let cook for 30-35 minutes.  Stir occasionally. (check after 10 minutes…etc.)

7. Put peas in the microwave for 3 minutes – covered in water.  Drain.  Add to rice.

8. Check the potatoes/chickepeas and make sure they are cooked through – nice and soft.  If not – cook for 5-10 minutes longer.

9. Dish out rice/peas and enough potatoes/chickpeas/sauce.  Sprinkle chopped cilantro on top.

Serves 4-6.


Living on 500K

February 12, 2009

7-train

I was sitting in Family Court waiting for a case to be called (one of my seven for the day).  I forgot to bring reading material and sought out the NY Times on my Treo.  I do this often and check immediately for the “most emailed” articles to amuse me while I’m waiting to see the judge on behalf of my child clients.

Today, I read the Most Ludicrous Article Ever:

You Try to Live on 500K in This Town .  Apparently written in response to President Obama’s decree that banks shouldn’t pay folks more than $500,000 per year, this article seeks to demonstrate how “difficult” this will be for those folks in New York City.

A few under-75K /year women were sitting with me in court and I showed them the article.  They chuckled when I scrolled down to this quote:

“Few are playing sad cellos over the fate of such folk, especially since the collapse of the institutions they run has yielded untold financial pain.”

We agreed that we were not playing any string instruments for these folks.  Not lamenting about their losses and no sadness, but most of us nodded – we get it.  PEOPLE MAKE SO MUCH FUCKING MONEY IN NEW YORK!

“Sure, the solution may seem simple: move to Brooklyn or Hoboken, put the children in public schools and buy a MetroCard.”

Sadly, the writer followed up with a weak explanation about how the majority of  financial executives who have to deal with this limitation are men “whose identities are entwined with living a certain way in a certain neighborhood west of Third Avenue: a life of private schools, summer houses and charity galas that only a seven-figure income can stretch to cover. ” 

Really?  Repeat

“… move to Brooklyn [or QUEENS] or Hoboken, put the children in public schools and buy a MetroCard.”

It’s not the end of the world.


i tried

January 9, 2009

She likes to tell me I’m a good cook. 

iy0308_chicken-fricassee_lg1

 

 

 

 

 

Or at least, that she likes what I cook for her.  I try, I do.  But yes, I AM cooking for her…

(I mean really, who’d not want a woman cooking for her who has a variety of curry powders, fresh veggies, and ghee at her her fingertips?  Let’s not forget the willingness to make her Special Beef Stew…)

On New Year’s, I was determined to make this recipe and I did.  I had David to cook for – and Nikkie does like her chickens… I found it because I was home and was watching the Food Network – not my usual practice, but…

But I was sure not to make it as bland as it was shown. 

From what I know, Fricassee refers to how the chicken is cut – not how it is prepared.  Every other recipe I found for this was either bland or spicy, but nothing told me how to make it for David and Nikkie.

So, this is what I did.

Ingredients

  • 4  chicken breasts, cut into large pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5 cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 large white onion, coarsely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 serrano chili peppers (or one jalapeno) chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground madras curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 (11.5 ounce) jar white asparagus in water
  • 1/3 cup capers, drained and rinsed
  • thinly chopped scallions, for garnish

Directions

Season the chicken all over with salt and pepper. Place the chicken pieces in a large pot with the broth, onion, garlic, chili peppers, Worcestershire sauce, lemon zest, cumin, curry powder, and oregano.

Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, until the chicken is cooked through, about 15  minutes. Strain and transfer the chicken to a plate or bowl -reserve liquid.

Add  liquid to the pot and simmer over medium heat. Add the flour, whisking to avoid getting lumps. Bring the sauce to a simmer stirring constantly so it doesn’t stick or burn, until it has thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.

Remove the asparagus from the jar, reserving the liquid, and cut the stalks into thirds. Whisk the asparagus water into the thickened broth. Add capers, stirring to combine.

Add the chicken and asparagus to the sauce and stir to coat. Cook a couple of minutes to heat through and bring the flavors together. Transfer the chicken fricassee to a decorative platter or bowl and garnish with chopped scallions.

Serve  over amazing rice/lentils.

 Kiss your girl.


Chana Dal with Mustard Greens

November 4, 2008

 

 

 

 

 

 

 (Should look something like this – Thanks, Vitalita)

Chana Dal with Mustard Greens (or Collards or Kale or Spinach)

1.5 cups split chana dal (dry)
5 cups water
1 TB turmeric
1 TB salt
* Peeled Ginger Slices

2 TB peanut or vegetable oil (or ghee)
1 TB mustard seeds
1 head of garlic, minced (or like 6 TB of pre-minced garlic)
1 TB garam masala
1 TB madras curry powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp red chili powder

1 small onion – chopped or sliced

2 TB ghee or butter

8-10 oz or so of frozen Mustard Greens (or Collards or Kale or Spinach

1/2-1 cup washed, chopped Cilantro (Coriander Leaves)

—————————————————–

Rinse the dal and drain – wiping out any debris in the pot.  Put dal, water, ginger slices (as many or as few as you like – most recipes call for 2-4), and turmeric into the pot and bring to a boil.  Skim the pot if necessary.  Simmer at a low boil, covered for about an hour.

(If your greens are frozen, I put them in some water in a bowl and let them defrost while the dal cooks down.)

After an hour, remove lid and continue boiling and stirring to prevent any sticking.

In a small skillet, heat 1 TB of oil and fry mustard seeds.  It is best to use medium heat and cover – when you hear the seeds pop, remove from heat. Empty seeds into small bowl.

Stir dal.  Heat the other 1TB of oil in the skillet and fry the garlic, garam masala, curry powder, ginger powder and chil powder until fragrant.

Add mustard seeds, and garlic mixture to large pot and stir through.  Add onions and Greens.  Stir to combine.  Add ghee or butter.

Stir in Cilantro (Coriander Leaves), chopped or whole.

Serve with hot naan or other indian bread and/or rice.


Spice Infused Sangria

October 31, 2008

  

I make this every year for my birthday/Halloween party.  Other whole spices work just as well in the syrup if you don’t have all of them.  I highly recommend that you make it the night before or at least in the morning to let the flavors combine.

SUGAR SYRUP

  1. 2 cups water
  2. 1 cup sugar
  3. 4-6 star anise pods
  4. 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  5. 1 teaspoon whole cloves
  6. Two 3-inch cinnamon sticks
  7. 1-inch slice of fresh ginger
  8. 1 tsp of cardamom

SANGRIA

  1. One – 1 1/2 750-ml bottles dry red wine, such as Grenache, Syrah or Cabernet Sauvignon
  2. 1/2 cup fresh orange juice
  3. 1/2 cup light rum
  4. 1/4 cup brandy
  5. 1/4 cup Cointreau or Triple Sec
  6. 1 1/2 cups club soda
  7. 2 navel oranges—peeled, halved, seeded and cut into large dice
  8. 1 lime—peeled, seeded and sliced thin 
  9. 1 Granny Smith apple—halved, cored and cut into large dice
  10. 1 Bartlett pear—halved, cored and cut into large dice

Directions

  1. MAKE THE SUGAR SYRUP: In a small saucepan, combine the water, sugar, star anise, peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon sticks and ginger. Bring to a simmer over moderately high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Boil until reduced by one third and slightly syrupy, about 15 minutes. Let the spice syrup cool, then strain into a glass jar.
  2. MAKE THE SANGRIA: Pour the red wine into a 3-quart pitcher. Stir in the orange juice, rum, brandy, Cointreau, club soda and 1/4 cup of the spice syrup; add more syrup if you prefer a sweeter sangria. Add the diced oranges, lime, apple and pear and refrigerate overnight. Serve the sangria in tall glasses over ice. Garnish with a tablespoon of the diced fruit.

Make Ahead

    The sangria can be refrigerated for up to 4 days. The spice syrup can be refrigerated for up to 2 weeks.

http://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/spice-infused-sangria