Friday Fives – resident alien edition

Ice cream Mandala" Art Board Print by artbyrhirhi | Redbubble

What’s your favorite “go-to” comfort food?

Pizza and mint chocolate chip ice cream

*** ed note:  He didn’t say ‘your mother’ or ‘your sister’… so this is sensitivity progress, fatties.

What is your favorite “go-to” comfort cocktail?

Bourbon and Coke.  Especially prefer that when traveling and only drink that when  flying.  Isn’t that odd?  I don’t much drink that at home.  Home?  Mostly beer.  Plus, I can’t keep coke around the house.  Wifey drinks it all, straight.  Isn’t that gross?  Seriously, I don’t drink Coke straight, to sugary.  If there were no whiskey, and no wifey, a 6 pack of Coke could sit in my fridge for weeks years.

Wanna know a small and uninteresting story about a whiskey coke?  I was traveling in Utah long ago, about 20 years.  Went to a wedding in Provo.  Holy shit that is a beautiful city.  I have written about my secret love for the natural beauty of Utah.  Anyhow, I had heard urban legends of Utah and their drinking rules. It’s all true.  And weirder.  I was at a restaurant and asked for a whiskey Coke.  The nice waitress, clearly Mormon by the dress, didn’t know what that was.  Not that they didn’t have it (they didn’t)… but she didn’t know what that was.  I described it and she was both puzzled and disgusted.

Back then, and maybe today, you couldn’t even just go into a bar.  You went to a bar, and the bouncer explained you could only come in if you were a 1) member, and 2) had a sponsor.  Being a ‘member’ seemed mostly to be what they called a cover charge.  Maybe it was $2.  But a sponsor?  I had to have a current ‘member’ ‘sponsor’ us (the wife and I).  So, he yells back into the bar, “do we have a sponsor?” and some guy yells ‘I got it’.  Then we were let in.  Maybe we looked like narcs?  Then… their beer is only 3.2%, I think it still is.   And they had hard liquor, but with a caveat.  To deal with this much cultiness,   I ordered a double (whiskey coke).  They could not make it.  They could make a single, and sell me a separate shot.  I had to be the one who added the second shot.

In order to get the Olympics, though, they had to loosen most of their laws.  Not sure if that stuck.  Ok… what were we talking about again?

Is there a cocktail that in no way will every be crafted/consumed?

Weird question.  I have no answer.  Wait… how about a cement mixer?  That is a shot that is meant to be disgusting.  It’s a prank you pull on friends… if you are an asshole.  I don’t remember the details, but something like it is poured carefully in the shot glass.  It then only gets mixed in your mouth… and then it goes terribly wrong.   Here, let them explain –cement-mixer

You drink the Bailey’s and hold the shot in your mouth, then take the shot of lime juice and swirl the mixture around. The lime’s acidity causes the Bailey’s to rapidly curdle, so much so that you have to chew down the congealed mass


What would be the worst name for Ben & Jerry’s ice cream flavor?

Hairy Garcia®

Earth is visited by curious aliens.  What is the first food that should be introduced to and would represent the Earth?

It would be a sammich.  There is a single sammich that embodies everything good.  Ingredients, love, portability… the gryo sandwich.  It has to be done perfect, and it never is.  So much so I often don’t even order one if I see it.  Mostly, they have WAY too much bread.  Ok, before we look at sammich porn… and we will… know how to say it.  yee-row.

This one down there?  Look good?  Too much bread.  Like… way too much.   Even been anywhere where they served a 6 foot sub?  Notice how its one tiny millimeter of meat… and five inches wide of bread.  That is how this looks to me.  Anyone who serves you this, me included, is now your enemy.  It is still a good sammich, but not ‘change your life’ sammich.

Arby's Adds Traditional Greek Gyro for Limited Time | QSR magazine

Now look at this below.  Did you say ‘same sandwich’?  Its ok, you are learning.  That sandwich is up there?  It is really good.  It’s not transcendent, though.  Below?  We are getting closer.   I can tell you I don’t know of a single place in all of metro Denver that makes them the way I like them.

Traditional Gyro Sandwich | Mammas Kitchen VA

that is the correct width of bread.  those onions are wrong, should be red.  The tomatoes should be chopped.  and I swear to your god that better not be ranch.  You want tatziki sauce.  The meat looks perfect, though.  It is charred, and you can tell it came from one of those meat spits.  What the hell is the deal with those things?  Meat certainly doesn’t come that way in nature.  Still, though, that is what you want need to see at a Greek place.  The best part about the pic above is a very thin bread.

How Traditional Greek Gyro Is Made

really, how did they get in on there?  Is it a single big ass piece of meat with a spike through it?  I don’t think it is, because a proper gyro is a mix of beer and lamb.   Yeah, we could google it.  But let’s just wonder for a minute.  Remember wondering about the stuff?  Before google.   Tell you what, I ain’t gonna ‘splain it.  Ain’t even gonna look it up myself.   Let’s just wonder together.


Friday Fives – the 5 bestest-est of everything edition

If you could only listen to 5 musicians for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Bob Dylan, James Taylor, Grateful Dead, Pearl Jam, Guns & Roses

 If you could only read 5 books for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Alice in Wonderland.  Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas, Tropic of Cancer, anything by Hemingway, and Desolation Angels.  Google them.  Buy them.  Love them.

If you could only have 5 childhood memories to recall for the rest of your life, who would they be?

I had nothing but an amazing childhood and the world’s greatest parents.  There isn’t a single regret in the amazing way our parents loved and took care of us.  To pick only 5 moments would denigrate the decades they invested in us.  I am lucky enough to still have my mom around, and she is my favorite person in the whole world.  Don’t tell my wife I said that.

 If you could only eat 5 things for the rest of your life, who would they be?

Pad Thai, Carne Asada, Gyro sammich, sesame chicken, and coffee

If you could only have five words to describe the world what would they be?

Beautiful, selfish, magical, self-destructive

friday fives >>> unrise… unset®

*update – I had to pull this after briefly publishing it.  It was a mess, and written under the duress of no sleep. It’s mostly the same, but I punched it up a bit.

puppy and i - Dec 2014

1. Other than normal salt and pepper, what is your go to spice to make food better?

onions.  on everything.  if it is being heated in a pan for any reason, it’s getting onions.  If not fresh, I’ll do dehydrated onions.  Either chunk or powder.  If I had a child his name would be onions.

salt and pepper really go a long way, though.  That is assuming you are using good quality stuff.  For pepper, you MUST be cracking fresh pepper with a pepper mill.  It tastes SO much better.  Plus, it looks cool and adds some theater.  It’s not expensive, and truly makes all the difference.  Same with salt.  Yes, fresh cracked salt.  Btw, if this is what you pull out to put on a steak, just stop reading now.  We have broken up.  Don’t even bother going to the store.  Sell your pots and pans and just cook with a microwave.  You sicken me. **** (see below)

If you don’t have a pepper mill, set down your Henckels and your Calphalon pots and go buy one.  See, that is a joke.  If you don’t have a pepper mill, you don’t even know what a Henckel or a Calphalon is.

2. What is your favorite sandwich

The gyro.  A great gyro is ‘proof god loves us and wants us to be happy‘.  Problem with that is, it appears I am super particular about gyros.  I am very rarely pleased with the results. other than that, you can’t much go wrong with a roast beef sammich.

3. What is a food thing you buy in bulk?

spices.  Not because we go through so much, but you pay about 1/20th the cost if you just buy the spices in powder form in a little ziplock.  They are probably fresher, too.  That being said, ‘bulk’ spices might mean a quarter cup, at most.  The savings, though, will sicken you.

How much to buy?  How long to keep?  Well, a few months ago on the Alton Brown podcast.  He had the wonderful and interesting proprietors of the ‘Spice House‘ on.  They said one year.  Does that mean you should take everything in your cabinet that is over a year old and throw it out?  Well, yeah.  Or, more practically, find what you do use,
and keep a fresh stash of that.  Look at this;  fenugreek?  What the fuck is that?  I cook nightly, and I have no idea.  This little container could literally be from a college spice set I bought.  Yeah, that was 20 years ago.

I mean, it could be a great and useful spice.  I have no idea, that is my concern.

4. What food is supposed to be easy to cook but you can never get it right?

ok, listen; this is a great talk we are having and all.  However, I have to shut us down.  I have a couple problems.  One is, I need to be in bed right now.  I recently got a job, which is awesome.

However, I have been unemployed since I was laid off this summer.  Before that, I was the night shift guy for years.  Point being, I have NO idea how to go to bed at a reasonable time.  Also, getting up at 6 am is just ugly.  I haven’t used my alarm in years.
PLUS… we have a puppy only a few months old.  Pic above is him and I.  So, wifey and I have to wake up every few hours to let him go pee.

Apologies, but I can’t finish.  It’s not even late, at least to me.  It’s 10:25 pm Thursday evening as I write this.  At this point, I feel (and look) like Courtney Love after a two week vacation with Charlie Sheen.

5. What is your best Thrift Store/Flea Market/Yard Sale kitchen device you have found?

sorry, man.  Gotta get to bed pronto.  Am too tired to think.  Plus, we just got a new laptop, which I type this on as we speak.  I don’t know its quirks yet.  It’s got a DVD thingy, though, which is nice.  So, my screen is split between you and this concert.  not only is this a great show, I was there!  Seriously, I was.  It was 1989-ish… it was my very first Dead show.

I am so tired I have began to hallucinate in the mornings.  Early, early in the mornings there is this phenomenon.  It’s like the sunset, but in reverse.  It’s spectacular.  I am calling it an ‘Unset®‘.  Isn’t that clever?  I mean, it’s not exactly worth getting up at the crack of 10:00 am, but if you find your self up at that time, check it out!

*** this is NOT meant to be an indictment against Schilling pepper.  half of my spices are Schilling.  That isn’t the point.  The concern is if you are buying this stuff you aren’t getting all the yummy and fighty oils a fresh cracked pepper corn delivers.  You know how you are all careful to keep your coffee super fresh, and not let it touch air, and you grind it only right before you are brewing?  I mean… you DO do these things, right?  Well, I am the same with my pepper.

As for Salt… I LOVE this stuff.  Don’t think any salt will do.  Half your diet is salt, treat yourself, man.  have some pride.  This is the only salt I use.  You can find it at weird places, like our ranch supply store in Parker.