Sunday, August 16, 2015

Reaching for a Good Book

It was recently “National Book Lover’s Day” (Aug 9), which surely deserves a mention.  Reading and sharing good books is a big part of what we love in the boxes and booze household.  Here’s a book which might keep you up at night, just trying to open it!  The Book Puzzle Box by American furniture and puzzle maker Bill Sheckels is the kind of dense, difficult to understand book which is truly hard to get into.  Forget about how it gets better once you get past the beginning – this one takes a lot of effort just to crack the cover.

The Book Puzzle Box by Bill Sheckels

The beautiful book puzzle has a binding made from walnut, front and back covers of cherry and pages of ash.  I love how the natural grain of the ash wood has the appearance of real paper, even if this book isn’t exactly a page turner.  Bill Sheckels beautiful furniture designs can be viewed on his website, listed below.  He also crafts puzzles of his own and of other’s designs under his Black Dog Puzzleworks label.

Pages made from Ash wood look real!

In addition to “Book Lover’s Day”, it happens to be “National Rum Day” as well (Aug 16).  Rum is, of course, the basis for a good classic daiquiri, one of my favorite tipples.  We’ve discussed the Havana Club daiquiri and the Old Cuban, two incredible drinks.  For Book Lover’s Day and the Book Puzzle Box, let’s appreciate the Boukman’s daiquiri.  This delicious variation adds a bit of cognac to the rum and uses cinnamon syrup rather than simple syrup.  

The Boukman's Daiquiri - a touch of cognac and sweet cinnamon

It is named after Boukman Dutty, who led the Haitian slave uprising in 1791 which catalyzed the Haitian revolution.  It is speculated that his name reflects the nickname he garnered, “book man”, possibly from his own self-taught reading and his attempts to teach his fellow slaves to read.   It may be that the addition of cognac, which reflects the French influence in Haiti, and the addition of cinnamon, a common Caribbean flavoring, can explain the ties this daiquiri has to Haiti.  The real reason, however, why mixologist Alex Day, who created this cocktail while at the Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. bar in Philadelphia, named it after Boukman, is speculated to be contained deep in the pages of the Book Puzzle Box by Bill Sheckels.  I couldn’t make that up.

Curl up with these good "books"

For more about Bill Sheckels:

For more on the Boukman's Daiquiri:

1 comment:

  1. I have a few of Bill's puzzles and they are certainly well made! The book looks particularly beautiful but I'm more interested in the booze after the weekend I have just had!