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Lets Make Eggnog

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Fresh eggnog is really good come solstice time.  I’ve made a number of batches over the years, but this recipe is my favorite.  This came from an article by Derek Brown of DC bartending fame.  Apparently it is called “Baltimore Eggnog.”

Testing the eggnog before the guests arrive

Ingredients
2 dozen fresh eggs from the girls, separated
1 750-mL bottle VSOP cognac
16 ounces Mt Gay Eclipse
1.5 pounds powdered sugar
3 quarts (96 ounces) whole milk, chilled
1 quart (32 ounces) heavy cream, chilled
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

  1. In a large bowl, beat the egg yolks until light and lemon-colored.While continuing to beat, add the cognac, rum, sugar, milk, heavy cream and salt.

24 fresh yolks from the girls in the palace (absolutely fresh eggs from free range hens make a very big difference)

 

All ingredients but the whites mixed with an electric mixer

2. In a separate bowl, beat the egg whites and nutmeg until they form stiff peaks.

3. Fold the whites into the yolk mixture.Serve in punch cups.

The final product in cyn’s punch bowl chilling in the fridge

Will keep, tightly sealed and refrigerated, for up to one month.

Take a sunset walk while the eggnog sets

Decorate the tree, and do some dancing.

Bare and the Paparazzi

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No food for this guy

Bergen has its first Michelin star restaurant, called Bare.  We finagled our way in and had an incredible 14 course meal.  Always go to fancy pants dinners with really fun friends.  We laughed as much as we ate.

Course 1 (this was a pre-dinner bar treat)

 

The paparazzi have arrived

 

Course 2 (also in the bar)

 

Course 3 came in a beautiful dish. Each was different.

 

Course 4 was lil tacos (still in the bar)

Finally, we moved into the dining room.  BTW, a hint about having a meal like this. say YES to all possibilities (like the caviar course and the wine pairing option).  Always YES.

Starting the meal

 

Cider and a fist

 

Course 5 (sea urchin) with the cider

 

Our first wine (blanc de blanc) with the caviar

 

The incredible caviar course (number 6). very creamy.

 

Were we happy?

 

Course 7 wine: sauvignon blanc

 

Course 7 was calamari (which I usually don’t eat)

 

More paparazzi

The bread arrives

 

Now the paparazzi are out of control!

 

Wine for the crab

 

Course 8: alaskan crab with barley

 

Wine from Santa Barbara 

 

Course 9: king crab and parsnip

 

wine

You will like the wine!

 

Wine

 

Course 10: lamb and mushroom

 

wine from Italy

 

Course 11: reindeer

 

sweet wine

 

Course 12 into the sweets (with blue cheese topping). Wow.

\

Course 13, a tart little number

 

wine (a “white amarone”)

 

Course 14 finished the evening

 

grappa in the bar (coffee for some)

 

the empties

 

 

 

Post Covid Summer Solstice 2021

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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

Yum

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.

BASE RECIPE HERE.

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!

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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.

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Et voilà.

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