I am shy by nature. And when I say shy I don’t mean I pretend to be shy, or I come off as shy. I am. I don’t do well in crowds, I’m excessively silent, even around my own family. I tend to absorb the world around me and internalize a lot; my mind always on the move. I don’t miss a lot, but remain habitually silent until I’m comfortable.
Aside from my excessive shyness there’s my face, my demeanor. For some reason people are afraid to approach me. They take one look at me and say. “Oh, I can’t speak to her, She’s scary, unapproachable. Cold.” I’m actually used to this by now, used to hearing, ” I was really scared of you when we met”. The thing is, my face looks sort of angry in repose, and my voice comes off sort of strong and monotone. I understand their hesitance. I can look scary.
But I’m not scary. I’m kinda cool, sort of dorky, and other people think I’m funny. But they have to speak to me first. I have never been the type to introduce myself, or start a conversation. The very thought makes me want to break out in hives.
Now that I regularly attend events I thought it would be prudent to change my demeanor a bit, become more approachable. I’m still so shy, though… Many times I attend events where I don’t know one person and it scares me the crappies out of me. I have a strategy now. Does it make me less shy? No, but a chick does what she can.
When I attend an event I do one of 3 things:
1. I take something really yummy to either drink or eat. People tend to love you when you bring good food.
2. I wear a really nice outfit, or cool accessories to ensure someone will come up to me and comment on it.
3. Both… I wear a nice outfit and carry something yummy.
This breaks the ice, we have a conversation and I leave each event with a new contact, and possibly a brand spankin’ new friend.
Homemade grenadine syrup is a conversation starter. Not many people make this from scratch, instead opting to buy the sugar and red dye #something-or-other laden syrup that now passes for grenadine. Store bought grenadine sucks. Don’t buy it. Make your own! The flavor is far superior and your Shirley Temples take on a whole new dimension. Adding bourbon or rum isn’t a bad idea either. I add booze.
Sometimes my days are hard.
Grenadine is crazy easy to make – All you need are pomegranates seeds, sugar, and some pomegranate juice. The pomegranate seeds and a juice are added to a pot and allowed to reduce. Following the reduction the seeds are strained and sugar is added and mixed until combined. You place the newly strained juice back in the stove to reduce until thickened.
What you get is a thick syrup with the consistency and color of movie vampire blood. The flavor is pure concentrated pomegranate and can now be your new conversation starter.
How cool will YOU look starting a conversation with, “So I made my own grenadine last night”. Wear a wicked cool outfit and bring your grenadine; with some maraschino cherries and a bottle of bourbon people will be hanging on to your every word…
DIY – Grenadine Syrup
Tired of that bottled stuff made with additives and whatnot? Make your own… Spark a conversation!
- Pomegranates, seeded - 2
- Pomegranate juice (I used the POM brand) - 1 cup
- Water - 2 cups
- Sugar - 1 cup
- Vodka (optional, but will extend the shelf life of your grenadine) - 2 tablespoons (1 oz.)
In a medium saucepan over med/high heat, combine the pomegranate seeds, pomegranate juice and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and cook until the seeds have released their juice and the mixture is reduced by half, about 25-30 minutes.
Remove from heat and strain the mixture. Discard the pomegranate seeds. Add 1 cup of sugar, mix until combined and cook over medium/high heat until the mixture is reduced by half and has thickened slightly, about 12-15 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the vodka. Stir until completely combined and allow to cool completely.
Store the syrup in an airtight sealed container. Adding vodka will extend the life of your syrup to about 2 months in room temperature; without the added vodka the syrup will last about 3 weeks or so.
Makes about 1¼ cup of grenadine syrup.
Preparation time: 10 minute(s)
Cooking time: 40 minute(s)