Post Covid Summer Solstice 2021


Well, some things happened.  My life situation was utterly rebooted.  There was a pandemic.  Two solstice parties went by in miniature.  There was no blogging.  That kind of thing.


But we remember how to get back on the horse!  Yes we do.  So get up there and ride.

Solstice Fire Summer 2021

One of the secret traditions of the summer solstice has always been the Lisa Messerhead inspired salmon feast (implemented by Aubrey).  Of course that happened.

The salmon spread


But that was soon a memory, and the party began into the green and cicadas.

Soon the tables were full of great food, the keg was tapped, people played in the Shenandoah, and the party found itself in full swing.

Just like old times.  Except everyone in attendance was vaccinated against Covid-19.  The few friends who were not vaccinated were not allowed to come (though we still love them).  At this point in the global pandemic if you’re in the United States and you’re not vaccinated you are a pox on the public.  Don’t be an asshole. We’ll hold off on the usual herd of kids until they are no longer vectors, etc.

Anyway, the food was super delicious. And there was lots of it.

Home made by Ale and Eli


People gonna eat up


The imposter dog!


Yes, we’re having fun

Just before the lighting, Jackie, Eli, and Ale read some poetry focused on black identity in honor of Juneteenth.

Jackie reads a poem or two

And then it was time!  The bonfire was lit!

2021 Summer Solstice Fire


Mr prepared guy serves as a fire mirror



Romey attends her first actual size solstice


The people

Of course there was music.  It went on all night and even when the rain started in slow around 11:30.  But then a DELUGE.

The progeny carried one of the tents over the music pod as we shifted inside.  The last embers of the party extinguished around 4:30.

Thanks to all who came.

Remember the before times, but carry on!

Amer Picon Experiment 3

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We’re there I think. Our third shot at homemade Amer Picon is in the jar. Next comes siphoning.

This time we adjusted the recipe only slightly with the addition of some bark infusion. Hopefully that will not kill us.

The key to all this is make sure the oranges are green and burn the heck out of the caramel.


Strain the infusions (three this time)

Mix in a big old jar.

Looking good. Once the material settles, we’ll extract our Picon. We need a centrifuge!

Thanks to Christa for the raw materials and the inspiration!

Marco. BOILO!


This is how a tradition is born. First a seemingly innocuous cocktail article. Then edition one. Then fun. And here we go down the slippery slope to BOILO.

Step 0. Gather ingredients.

The makings of BOILO

What is that fancy ass ginger beer doing in there? And mace from Grenada?! Yeesh.

Step 1. Combine and boil down for 30 minutes or so.

Boil the BOILO

Step 2. What are we missing?

No really, what are we missing??!

Step 3. Eureka.

Step 4. Let the BOILO steep overnight (or 5 hours, whichever is longer)

Final product steeps

Now we are ready for the solstice! Yes we are.

Burn, baby, burn. Solstice fire 2017.

Roast Beast and Yorkshire Pudding

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Rare roast beef with Yorkshire pudding is one of my very favorite meals of all time. Heck, we’ll even have it for no apparent reason! Happy today day! Here are a few tricks to making a delicious beast.

Yorkshire pudding though incredibly simple ingredients-wise takes a couple of tricks. Trick 1: Start with warm ingredients and beat them to frothy. Cold eggs and milk will not work properly. Once the batter is beaten, refrigerate for at least an hour covered. (This allows the flour to do its gluten thing with the egg.) Remove from the fridge just about when you put the beef in so that there is time for the batter to slowly warm. Trick 2: cook it under the beast.

On the beef front, start with a standing rib roast. Don’t get it tied, rolled, or cut from the bone. The ribs provide lots of flavor.

Season the beast simply with an entire head of garlic, peeled with cloves sometimes cut lengthwise then inserted into the beef with a paring knife and a finger. Liberally apply lots of pepper and some salt.

Pop it in an oven preheated to 550. Immediately turn it down to 350. Plan to cook the beast 17 minutes per pound and no more.

Beef roasting at 350 (about 90 minutes in)

Beef roasting at 350 (about 90 minutes in)

Before adding the Yorkshire batter, turn the oven up to 400 and beat the batter to froth one more time. Remove some of the drippings below the beef to make gravy with (put into cast iron skillet). Add half a stick of butter under the roast to compensate. Then pour the batter around the beef.

The batter will rise if all is well.

Yorkshire on the rise under the beef

Yorkshire on the rise under the beef

Remove the beef on time, and check the temperature. Let the beef rest for 15 minutes.

Finished cooking and now resting. Rest your beef before carving!

Finished cooking and now resting. Rest your beef before carving!

Yorkshire with beast removed.  The drippings are ultra delicious.

Yorkshire with beast removed. The drippings are ultra delicious.

Serve to family and friends with a nice Cab.


Et voilà.