alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)


I can haz mint julep now?

Watched 30 minutes or so of the Patrick Stewart/David Tennant Hamlet last night--one expects Patrick Stewart to be splendid, and of course he was, but I really liked what I saw of what Tennant brought to the role of Hamlet.  One barely thought of the Doctor at all ;-)  Anyway, I only stopped watching it because once it's available on DVD I'll want to watch the whole thing from the start.
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
I've already made progress towards one of my 2010 goals--I just made a drink up and it is darn tasty!  It consisted of, extremely approximately measured, 3/4 oz Calvados, 3/4 oz Barenjager, 1 1/2 oz Scotch and 1/2 oz of St. Elizabeth's Allspice Dram.  If I had more Calvados I would make another!
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Went to Arlington's Town Day festivities today, as I had to pass through them to go to the post office--I really like my crazy little Massachusetts liberal town, I really do.  Every social, school, political and special interest group in the town had a booth, from the Sons of Italy to the elementary school bake sales to everybody running for Ted Kennedy's empty seat to the people who are campaigning for an off-leash dog park.  Meanwhile a by-the-numbers blues bar rock band sang songs about saving the environment, and the library had a book sale, and people sold pottery, jewelry, etc that ran the gamut from blah to really quite nice.  I finally stopped by Porch & Wardrobe, a funky home furnishings/used-consignment clothing shop in Arlington Center and scored an H&M button down shirt for $9.  I will definitely make a point of stopping back there regularly.  I finally tried on a pair of the famous 7 jeans and I have to say, I was disappointed.  They were the right size and fit, but honestly the Old Navy jeans I happened to be wearing were far more flattering to my, er, assets, and cost less new than the 7 jeans did used.  Somehow that was very satisfying.  But anyway, neat store, and I recommend checking it out.  Women's clothing only.

Also went to the Fabric Corner for the first time since I was probably like 15 and was astonished by the gorgeous cotton prints and upholstry fabrics they have in stock.  I will absolutely go there for all my home decorating projects fro now on.  Maybe I'll start making my own sleeping bags for the ferrets, too.  They also have a very good selection of notions, best I've seen locally outside the Windsor Button Shop, and they are the only local place that I have seen the big 1-inch diameter snaps in both silver and black that are so useful in dance costuming.  All in all, a very good resource to know about.

Last night I made a variation on the variation on the Root of All Evil cocktail as posted at the Cocktail Slut blog--I'm experimenting with using St. Germain in any recipe that calls for orange liquors like Gran Marnier, Cointreau or even triple sec, on the theory that it is sweet with a little tangy-ness to it, plus I am not allergic to it as I am to oranges.  So far this continues to be a successful experiment, as the drink was quite good and one that I would make again. Hm.  It's 5 o'clock somewhere, right?
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I just made the best drink ever, at least this evening, starting with your basic gin gimlet with muddled basil, then topped up with Knudson cucumber essence spritzer.  It is, I say, summer in a glass.  Alongside my basil tomato mozzarella sandwich it is perfect.

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OMG

Jul. 27th, 2009 08:48 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Dogfish Head's Theobroma is seriously a piece of heaven in a glass.  Some of their archaeologically inspired beers are merely interesting, but this is astounding and I swear I could live on it.  I think I am going to have to go buy it all.
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
  • Sissy continues to do well.  Her belly was shaved for her ultrasound, and so we can literally see her tummy starting to fill out again.  Ianto is chugging along too.  Both of them were frisky and affectionate this morning, which makes it awfully hard to go to work ;-)
  • Why did I never before know how awesome foundation brushes are?  I bought one recently for my stage foundation, which is rather thick and wasn't going on well with the sort of sponge I usually use, but I will now use it for my every day foundation too.
  • I want to arrange my own belly dance intensive for myself by taking a week off and assigning myself a different batch of DVDs every day.  I've got all these wonderful DVDs that I never have the time to work with, and others that I'm interested in buying.  I think the only way to get to work with them is to make the time. 
  • On a side note it is increasingly frustrating not to have my own studio space in the apartment.  Some nights I get home from work and I feel inspired to work on dance all night, but I really can't, not without exiling M from the living room, which usually means he'll play guitar in the study, but even with the guitar on headphones, the strings still make enough noise that it's really distracting and the general circumstances are enough that it makes it harder to concentrate.  It's a no win situation.
  • I usually don't mention fiction books that I am reading here because I go through genre like junk food, but I came across an author recently who bears noting:  Mark Del Franco, who in his Connor Grey series writes about an alternate present in which the land of the Fae collided with the world as we know it in the 1900s and profoundly affected socio-political history ever since.  Best of all, the series takes place largely in Boston, so there's that thrill of recognizing familiar places.  There's one section about downtown in the middle of the night that is just perfect.  The Fort Point Channel area is a huge Fae ghetto in his books.  The hero is a Druid, so a Fae sort of human, who has fallen in some particular ways that I will not spoil and as a result earns his living consulting with a local cop on cases involving Fae.  It reminded me a bit of the Dresden File books, only much, much better written.  Totally recommended and I'm looking forward to reading more.
  • That Ron Moore pilot-without-a-show Velocity is airing tonight on Fox.  Oh Fox, why do you treat genre so badly when it has done so much for you?
  • Weeding last night in the garden revealed a hitherto unknown bumper crop of mint.  I see mint juleps in my future, say 8 or so hours from now!  I also found much parsley scattered all over the place, which is odd--it's never grown well for me, and now all of a sudden it's everywhere, even popping up between the cracks in the concrete front steps.  Tis not mine to wonder why, tis but mine to make chimichurri later this season!
  • I got nuthin on the recent celebrity deaths, except to say that I am of an age where of course I wanted to be a Charlie's Angel when I grew up, so that makes me a bit sad.
  • dark chocolate Reeces Peanut Butter Cups are evilly addictive.
  • June was a month of intense extremes of good and bad.  I won't be sorry to leave it behind.
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Just home from the beer festival--early, because the seriously overcrowded conditions were enough to drive me and miss_calculation away, which is saying something given that all-you-can-drink beer was at stake.  We have a plot hatching for next year involving sampler flights and a quality group of beer lovers at Redbones.  But that aside, here is what I managed to drink (brewery, name, description):

Blue Hills Brewery, Wamputuk Wheat, German Hefeweizen--really excellent example of the style, and a refreshing break from the never-ending flow of Belgian style wheat beers.  I would actively seek this one out again.

Brewery Ommegang, Biere de Mars, Amber w/ Brettanomyces yeast--really rather disappointing.  I am generally a big fan of Ommegang, their Rare Vos and Three Philosophers are regular purchases, but this did not compare to the quality of the rest of their line.

Cape Ann Brewing Co., Fisherman's Eclipse, Schwartzbier--as with many beers, served too cold.  Not particularly schwartz and not particularly memorable.

Clipper City Brewing, Red Sky At Night, Belgian-style Saison Ale--eminently drinkable.  Didn't fall in love with it but certainly wouldn't object to drinking it again.

Dogfish Head, Palo Santo Marron, malty Brown Ale aged on wood from the Palo Santo tree of Paraguay--very tasty and rich.  Would happily drink again.  Wooden flavor was notable but not overwhelming.  Line at Dogfish Head was fairly insane but it was worth the wait.

Harpoon Brewery, Leviathan Big Bohemian Pilsner--I tried this because I like the Leviathan Imperial IPA.  It was a good beer, but ultimately I am not a pilsner person.

John Harvard's Brew House Cambridge, Toasted Brown Ale, American Brown Ale--I made fun of this one before drinking it because it has a pretty meaningless name and style, but it ended up being quite tasty.  It did genuinely taste toasted, as opposed to roasted or smoked.

John Harvard's Brew House Framingham, Mobay Stout, Jamaican Sweet Stout--nothing objectionable about it, but nothing that memorable about it either.

Otter Creek Brewing, Otter Creek Copper Ale--this is a regular favorite of mine, I mostly stopped by the booth to see if they had any otter t-shirts as I saw somebody wearing one.  No t-shirts, but nice beer, and nice to have it on tap.

Pennichuck Brewing Company, Feuerwehrmann Cask, schwartzbier with bourbon and whole vanilla beans--mostly stopped by this booth as there wasn't much of a line, but wow!  this was one of my favorite beers of the afternoon.  Flavorful but not over the top.  I could have it for dessert.

Pretty Things Beer & Ale Project, Jack D'or, saison Americain--saison has become somewhat meaningless lately, I feel, but this beer typified what a saison should be.  Soemthing you could drink all night but would still maintain your palate's interest.  I really wanted to try more of their beers but they ran out about two hours before the afternoon's close!

Surly Brewing Company, CynicAle, Saison--drank this one really mostly for the name.  Nothing objectionable about it, nothing particularly special either.

Victory Brewing Company, Wild Devil, IPA with Brettanomyces--MY ABSOLUTELY FAVORITE BEER OF THE DAY.  I am a big fan of the flavor profile of brettanomyces, and while I wouldn't have expected it to go well with an IPA, this was an exquisitely well balanced beer.  I am looking forward to drinking much more of it!

That all sounds like  a lot of beer, but these were just 2 ounce pours, more or less.

As I said, we were driven away by the crowding.  The crowds outside were extremely well handled, but once inside, lines for the most popular breweries stretched clear to the other side of the hall, making it a) difficult to walk around and b) difficult to drink their beers.  Yet there was plenty of open space curtained off,  Better layout and some velvet ropes to make the lines bend and curve would have gone a long way towards relieving the crowded conditions.  Very disappointingly, some breweries showed up with nothing but bottled beers, no casks--I'm looking especially at you, Southern Tier!  I can buy your bottles for much less per ounce at the store, you need to make waiting in your lines worth my while!  Not sorry I went, not at all, but disappointed that these events appear to have become victims of their own success. :-/
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yum

Apr. 10th, 2009 09:13 pm
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Harpoon's 100 barrel series Rauchfetzen ale is good stuff.  Really good stuff.
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alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Sunday night we went to Craigie on Main, just outside of Central Square, and had the six course chef's whim.  I don't think I've ever been in a restaurant with so many waitstaff who were nevertheless so unobtrusive.  Your every need is anticipated.  A server accompanied us from the bar to our table just to carry my drink, and when M asked where the washrooms were, he was walked to them instead of having them pointed out.  We felt very country mouse in some ways but one does quickly become accustomed to that level of service.

Over the course of two hours, I ate:
  • smoked sablefish with caviar and fennel vinaigrette, with little I think radish sprouts
  • tempura cod cheeks with spicy mayonnaise.  Ordinarily I do not like mayonnaise at all but this bore little to no resemblance to the stuff that comes in jars
  • seared tuna with fennel sauce and some kind of greens that I am forgetting
  • macomber turnip puree/soup--this was to die for
  • Chilean sea bass with chinese broccoli and a carrot au jus.  The fish was of course delicious, even if Chilean sea bass is one of those fish one ought not to eat, iirc, but the carrot au jus was a revelation.  I like carrots well enough, but this was the Platonic ideal template of carrot against which all taste of carrot must be measured.
  • apple and pear crisp with prune cognac ice cream.  I make a pretty mean crisp myself so while the crisp was delicious, it did not blow me away.  The prune and cognac ice cream, otoh--wow.  If you had told me before Sunday that I would swoon over prune flavored anything I would have been highly skeptical, but I did indeed swoon over this!
I also had a cocktail called Northern Lights, which had St. Germain, scotch, grapefruit juice and Bitterman's tiki bitters.  It was a very well crafted drink but a little sweet for my palate--the bar menu mentioned douglas fir in the description of the drink so I was expecting something more assertive.  It was good though.  I had a pinot noir whose name I never caught with dinner; the waiter asked what wine I would like, to which I replied, well, since I'm getting chef's whim, I don't know what food I'm getting, so you pick.  It was a good choice, whatever it was.  I was too full for an after dinner drink, though I had some Fernet Branca at home later :-)  M had more or less the same food choices as I did, except that his turnip dish had squid stuffed with lobster and shrimp in it where mine had brussel sprouts (which I will take over lobster and shrimp any day), and he had a plate o' meat in place of my sea bass, hanger steak, marrow, tongue and maybe other stuff.  He liked it, but liked my sea bass better.  And then he had a sweet grits thing for dessert.  I liked it better than my crisp but not as much as my ice cream.

All in all, it was a highly memorable meal.  It is not the kind of splurge we can make at all often, but it was well worth the money for both the meal and the pampering.  Perhaps during the year we can go back for the bar menu and drinks...
 
On a side note, I'm inspired to try cooking with fennel now, as it appears I like it quite a bit.  Must look at recipes...
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I suppose it is a bad sign that it is not quite noon and I am already researching what sort of tasty cocktail beverage I might make for myself when I get home this evening...

Two doses of increased medication later, Ianto is like a new ferret again.  There's definitely a honeymoon period after an increase in pred so his current high energy and steady legs might not last, but it's nice to see while we've got it.  He gave me lots of kisses when I picked him up last night.  I didn't even mind his kibble breath at all.

At some point I plan to write a review of a fantastic book about Umm Kulthoum I just finished this week but I need more brain to do it with than I currently have.  It was a combination of biography and ethnomusicology and anthropology and 20th century history.  She led an amazing life, not just for her talent but for what she lived through and represented.  I have a much deeper understanding of why she is so important--and why more recent generations of Egyptians and other Arabs might be ambivalent about her.

Am currently reading Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, which I did purchase before it won the Newberry, honest.  I am totally loving it and think it's one of the best things he's ever written.  Silas is so totally Bagheera.

Wikipedia has a category for "fictional panthers."  There are four.  One of my favorite books when I was a kid was about a puma, but it is not listed among the fictional panthers.  I wish I could remember the name.  I can so clearly remember the cover...
 

 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
This interesting article about Dubonnet features words to live by, from the Queen Mum:

"I think that I will take two small bottles of Dubonnet and gin with me this morning, in case it is needed."

No wonder she always looked so serene and happy, and waved and smiled at everybody ever so nicely. 

Last night I took Advil PM because of an achey hip and jangling brain.  I'd never taken any before.  I slept like a log.  However, today I am awake like a log.  Ah well.  Perhaps I should have gone with Dubonnet and gin...  or perhaps I should have packed some this morning, as I believe Dubonnet contains some caffeine.
 

 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
Last night I toasted in the new year with absinthe* and today I went to a surrealist circus, and that pretty much sums up the spirit of my new year's resolutions, such as they are.  Be more adventurous, do more stuff.  Strive for balance but don't mistake balance for inertia.  Keep doing more of the things that make life good for myself and others, do my best to avoid the mistakes of the past.  Life is a process, not something you can pin concrete resolutions upon.

The surrealist circus was Aurélia's Oratorio at the American Repertory Theatre, and I would tell you local people to all go see it but I suspect the remaining few shows are sold out.  It was truly amazing.  Aurélia Thierrée is the granddaughter of Charlie and Oona Chaplin, and grew up doing exactly this kind of theatre.  It all felt so elegant and effortless.  It's hard to convey the constant sense of wonder we felt; the world surrealist is overused but it is not a word I personally use unless I mean it.  This was surrealist in the most classic sense.  It made Cirque du Soleil seem tawdry in its honest physicality and bare bones staging.  There were props used--most notably silks used in incredibly innovative ways) but the props never overshadowed the physical achievement of the performers.  There's a video trailer here that shows some small amount of what goes on.  All in all, a perfect way to begin a new year.

*it was amusing that this seems to be the mental image widely associated with absinthe among the group of us.  I'll drink to that!
 
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
I think I need a weekend to recover from my weekend.

Friday was the American Craft Beer Festival.  I had: list o'beers )

Saturday started with a much needed massage, and then a fun and heartwarming shower for my future nephew up in Lowell.  That will be one well dressed kid, I tell you!  Funny moment when somebody said they needed a knife; my dad, my uncle and I all said "I have one!"  Later somebody remarked that our whole family carries knives, which was pretty funny if you know my family, as it made us sound like some kind of crazy gang.

Today I went to the Dance Complex and sweat buckets while working on my piece for next Sunday.  Did not feel super awesome about what I accomplished but I'm still not 100 percent over being sick, and it was awfully hot.  The mirrors in the studio I used are angled slightly so that you look extra squat and stout in your reflection, which didn't help but at least I could keep sight of the fact that it was the mirrors, not me.  Glad I went, anyway, so that I could use a lot of floor space.

Now I am going to do carpentry on our futon frame to prevent weasels from sneaking in through the sides of the frame.  It's fine if they go under the bed, but we're afraid they'll get squished squeezing through the small holes between the slats and the futon.  Hopefully I am stronger than the drill right now...

Oh!  Saturday night we went to La Buona Vita in Arlington Center.  We'd never been there before.  Very good uncomplicated Italian cooking.  Not a long menu but a well-chosen one.  Definitely somewhere to go again.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (fruityoatytrio)
Today I would like to eat everything, thank you.

My foot is more sore than I would like it to be after my second shot on Tuesday.  I think I expected the same dramatic improvement with each shot.  Then again, I did stand for roughly 2.5 hours getting home on Tuesday night and then I carried heavy groceries home last night, so it hasn't had much chance to recover from the trauma of being poked with a big needle.  Sigh.  I don't know.

I like [livejournal.com profile] dirtyknees 's suggestion in the comments of my past post of making a sage infusion and then using that to mix with--I think that will be a more effective way of extracting the flavor from the sage leaves.  Plus it will be something I've never done before, so that will be fun.  If anybody wants any sage, btw, I have roughly a bushel or so to spare.  (and it's only May!)  Maybe I'll do a lavender infusion also.  Though I like to leave the lavender flowers on the plant for the bees, since it seems like bees need all the help they can get these days.

Shirley Manson (yes, that Shirley Manson) was just signed to the second season of The Sarah Connor Chronicles, which I think has solidified the show's position as program that became really cool in spite of itself.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
If you google sage cocktail, you get a bunch of results about people who think they are cocktail sages, sage colored cocktail napkins and sage colored cocktail dresses.  Plus a couple of recipes :-/

My not terribly interesting experiment tonight yielded the information that you need a lot of sage, and it requires more muddling than either mint or basil do.  I suppose the leaves are a bit tougher.  Making a sage-infused syrup might be a better way to go, although I don't know if I want to be locked into making sweet drinks--I really want to figure out something more hearty, more appetizer than dessert.  All I did tonight was muddle some sage with bourbon and top it off with some sparkling cider.  I like the sage in the bourbon but the cider is much too sweet.  But, it's a start, and I learned something about sage.
alonewiththemoon: Drumlin Farm Banding Station 2016 (Default)
After 24 hours of syringe feeding at regular intervals, Seti has gained about 15-20 grams.  Still not eating on his own, but at least I don't have to force feed him. 

To make up for missing the Extreme Beer Fest, I decided to dip into the stash of Dogfish Head Olde School that [livejournal.com profile] misscalculation  gave me a while back.  According to the website the release date is Nov. 2007, but she gave it to me at least a year ago so this must be an earlier batch.  It's a barleywine meant for aging; in fact the label suggests that you seal it in an airtight bag and bury it in the woods somewhere for a year.  It's a darn fine beverage and I'll savor it as I toast to good health and good lives to all the little critters that we bring into our hearts.

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