Dot . . . Dot . . . Dot . . .

Let’s pause for a moment to recognize a moment. Dad’s Hat Distillery canceled my tour for Saturday due to the extreme heat expectation. I did not become emotional. I just removed it from the calendar and continued on . . . Things are changing. Usually, as I come across things as I re-build this blog I become excited and then start thinking I should do that stuff again. When I come to Toastmasters posts, all of a sudden I want to do Toastmasters again. Homebrewing was the same. And geocaching has been too. But I’ve taken a break from the blog and from geocaching. I just came across some caches that I am posting. I noted that I have absolutely no passion for returning. Who knows what will happen, but my caching days may be over (save what flowers22 drags me to) . . . Carnitas! Now that’s some good stuff . . . One of the benefits of the no single-use bags mandate in New Jersey is that beneath my sink is neater. I have finally run out of single-use bags and am now working on the single-use bags I had to purchase. No savings here. Instead of recycling bags, I now actually purchase single-use bags. The system is flawed . . . Locks on doors. Broken handles, No way to live . . . We all want to be heroes, but reality says otherwise. We’re just humans doing human things. It’s not heroic, it’s life . . .

Fresh Jersey White Peaches Added to the Rumtopf

22-07-31 Fresh Jersey White Peaches Added to the Rumtopf

This project has taught me some things. I began the rumtopf with strawberries. I think of strawberry season the very beginning of June. Strawberries were ending that week. Likewise, I think of peaches as August, yet I have been seeing peaches everywhere. The other day I stopped at Ingraldi’s as I needed some items. They had peaches. I asked if they were Jersey peaches. Indeed! Then I heard how everything came in early this year. They’ve had peaches all month.

Well then!

Picked up three quarts ($5 per). That was 15 peaches. I opted for white for no reason.

Here’s the thing. I like peaches, but much like with oranges, I don’t eat them. They are too much work. It’s been since childhood that I cut open a fresh peach on my own. Today was interesting.

I knew peeling peaches wasn’t done with a vegetable peeler as the flesh gets cuts up. I looked at some videos. It seemed easy enough. First I scored an X in the bottom of the peaches’ skin. Then I boiled some water, tossed in six peaches at a time for 30 seconds. Took them out to an ice bath, and repeated.

Peeling the peaches at this point could not have been easier. The skins came right off.

Then I set to slicing the peaches. Ugh.

These things are slippery than eels without skins on them. And pitting them was a chore on a few of the peaches. Oh, everything was ripe, it’s just that I was trying to preserve the flesh and well things got messy.

All of a sudden I was concerned that the peaches would turn brown, so I opened the rumtopf and just placed the slices right into the pot. Filled it all the way.

I had planned on stopping with peaches. It’s a good thing for there is no more room in the two-gallon pot. Now it’s time for the alcohol to do it’s thing.

Where There Is a Will . . .

Last week Comcast/Xfinity raised my rates. I was not happy. I attempted to negotiate. Nothing doing. I canceled service. I figured I would tether off of my cell service.

While that worked, it did not work well.

A few days ago I attempted to sign up again with Comcast. I think their software couldn’t handle me trying to sign up for new service with an old account. It kept crapping out.

This morning I gave it another shot. I just had Xfinity create a new account for me. Booyah! I have what they did not give me originally: two years at their introductory rate. Yup, I am paying $39.99 per month once again. Thankfully.

I will say we have come a long way in signing up for service. I needed to register my modem on the network. In previous lifetimes, that could be hours long processes with phone calls and waiting. Yeah, no. Immediate. Nice.

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had an Old Fashioned. I grew up in the era of muddled fruit, so this is different than what I was accustomed to. In the end, it is watered-down bourbon. That’s all. Take bourbon, add sugar and water to it, add ice, and stir. That is watered-down bourbon.

Even so, I made it. Okay. Any drink with sugar (Mint Julep) gets consumed so quickly that I think it is lost upon me. Here too.

The second I preferred as I used rye. I have no issue with bourbon, but i thought rye worked better. The third one, hey, I am all about experimenting, I added simple syrup instead of water. Yeah, I can see why folks would like something like that. It was indeed sweet.

I would certainly drink this out, but probably only if the crowd were having these. Otherwise, I think I would opt for something different.

Old Fashioned

Old Fashioned

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 45 ml Bourbon or Rye Whiskey

  • 1 Sugar Cube

  • Few Dashes Angostura Bitters

  • Few Dashes Plain Water

Directions

  • Place sugar cube in old fashioned glass and saturate with bitter, add few dashes of plain water. Muddle until dissolved. Fill the glass with ice cubes and add whiskey. Stir gently.
  • Garnish with an orange slice or zest, and a cocktail cherry.

The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

The Adventures of Huckleberry FinnThe Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I read this a long time ago. I believe I was a teenager. Maybe even younger. For some reason I keep envisioning Mrs. Ridgeway, the old lady who lived next door to us when I was a boy. I think, perhaps, I read it when I was younger.

I do recall a graphic novel in fifth grade that we read of this. I believe my mother was mortified that there was such a thing. Even I recall pausing that we had a “comic” to read; I knew we were better than that.

Anyhow, I love this book. Twain was a master and this was him at his best. I recall enjoying Huck’s adventures along the Mississippi. A free spirit. Something I have never been.
****

In a couple of days I will be sailing on a paddle boat down the Mississippi River much as ol’ Huck did. Time for a re-read. And yeah, much I did not remember. I have a distinct image in my head from when I read this when I was younger. I suspect I had a different image in my head than this read provided.

Huckleberry Finn is a tortured soul who attempts to do right. Tom Sawyer is a boy who messes things up. I think before this read I had the images backwards.

Huck is cared for by the widow. She attempts to make Huck live a straight life. Sensing his father is near, Huck signs his $6,000 over to Judge Thatcher.


Indeed, Huck’s dad does show up drunk, obnoxious, and determined to get his hands on his boy’s money. He takes Huck away from the widow and basically locks him in a cabin in the woods. Huck, being resourceful breaks out and sets it up as though Hick was either murdered or kidnapped. The hunt is on.

On the same night, Jim, the widow’s save runs away. He and Huck hook up on the Mississippi and the adventures begin. One can tell Huck and Jim care for each other. Yes, the language is crass. But the emotions are real.

I didn’t quite get how Huck left Jim to live with Buck and his family for so long. It seems to me he just kind of left Jim. Likewise, I didn’t understand why they took on the Duke and the King as they did. I think they should have broken free of them much earlier. Also, why did they continue south into slave territory? I thought the plan was to turn at Cairo, MO. That was not explained for me to understand.

And then Tom shows up, 1.100 miles from home. Most improbably, methinks, for that age. Tom really bolloxes things up with his overly complicate plans. Huck had the clean, easy plan to break Jim free.

Yes, it all works out in the end (save for the widow). The ending was a bit lazy, I thought.

Fun read and gets me motivated for my cruise.

View all my reviews

Negroni

Negroni

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

So, I’ve returned to the Negroni. This is a classic. My first go-around with this was . . . bitter. Well, of course, as it was my first encounter with Campari.

I made it the same way: one ounce each of gin (Beefeater), Campari, and sweet vermouth (Carpana Antica). I think my palate has expanded to accept Campari. It is indeed bitter, but I am enjoying this far more this time. I garnish with an orange zest instead of a slice. I can see this being something I have on occasion.

Negroni

Negroni

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 30 ml Gin

  • 30 ml Bitter Campari

  • 30 ml Sweet Red Vermouth

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients directly into a chilled old fashioned glass filled with ice, Stir gently.
  • Garnish with a half orange slice.

Monkey Gland

Monkey Gland

This series highlights the International Bartenders Association (IBA) The Unforgettables cocktails. I have decided to work my way through this series of cocktails to investigate the classics as I teach myself mixology and build out my home bar.

Certainly an oddly named cocktail. This is my first experience, I believe, with absinthe. Easy enough to make. Just looking at the recipe makes me think the proportions are off given a tablespoon of absinthe. From what I’ve seen, absinthe is usually used to rinse the glass, not as a liquid ingredient in the cocktail.

One absolutely tastes the absinthe. It’s not bad, but it does dominate. Looking elsewhere I see others just rinse as I said above. It seems like most have two ounces of gin and less orange juice. I’ll play around with this.

Overall, it’s not bad, but I don’t see me jumping up and down ordering this out and about.

Monkey Gland

Monkey Gland

Recipe by Robert OwensCourse: Cocktails, The Unforgettables
Servings

1

servings
Prep time

3

minutes
Cooking timeminutes
Calorieskcal

IBA recipe

Ingredients

  • 45 ml Dry Gin

  • 45 ml Fresh Orange Juice

  • 1 Table Spoon Absinthe

  • 1 Table Spoon Grenadine Syrup

Directions

  • Pour all ingredients into a cocktail shaker, shake well with ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass.
  • No garinsih

Glue Gun

Glue Gun

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

In my classroom I discovered I had two glue guns. One, the one I left in there, I distinctly recall purchasing. This one I don’t really know where it came from. I have a feeling that I purchased this for the house once for a project when I couldn’t locate the other and then took it to the classroom because I didn’t need it at the house. But I am not certain.

Regardless, I brought this home last year for projects not needing two in the classroom.

Craft Box

22-07-28 Craft Box

This is a post in the My Things series on this blog. In it I chronicle items I own. I seek to describe why I own the item, whence it came, and what value it provides . . . and any other tidbits of interest.

Last year in an effort to organize some things, I picked this up at Hobby Lobby. I was in the throes of Quest Scouts at the time. I have since left it again. What to do with all those crafting type things? I was going to take this to my classroom, but the reality is this is all repeated supplies of what I have there. Occasionally, I have a need to color, tape, etc. at home although it may be close to a year since I used the items in here.

When I looked at it thought, there are only two things (this box and the glue gun). The rest of the items are consumables. Interestingly, I had a little Dopamine rush when I inventoried these items. Maybe there is room again for Quest Scouts. I’ll monitor that once school begins.

Christmas Presents Wrapped

Christmas Presents Wrapped

While holidays are obligatory and I a m not much in favor of obligations, I recognize that others I care about do not ascribe to that mentality. That some people in my life are kind and generous is such that I enjoy providing a gift for them when I find something I think they’ll like. That it is forced on specific days doesn’t please me.

Nevertheless, I found a gift for two folks that I thought they would like. Same gift for two different people. Unfortunately, when the gifts arrived, the quality isn’t quite what I would have liked (damn government cuts corners everywhere), but it is the thought that counts, eh?

That I came up with a unique gift is what is celebrated. Some years I get it; some years it is forced.

Not only did I find something, it is wrapped and ready to go before July is over. Now we waited for the stated day rather than presenting now randomly. It’s okay. 🙂

my verse

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