Posted by Joke at 8:22 PM
A minor frustration
It is driving me mental.
As you may know from watching the news, there is worrisome stuff going on. That's life, it happens, there will be stuff like this until the world ends.
What is driving me up the proverbial wall is running up against people who are, to use the rather quaint Catholic phrase, "invincibly ignorant." The areas where the frustration mounts are:
1- Things are not as simple as the invincibly ignorant person may suppose (The financial whatits that Bank X defaulted on affect the stock market in Lower Elbonia, which in turn...)
2- That some things are not, as previously supposed, facts but rather matters of opinion. (No, if you withdraw liquidity -- tax increases, "oil shock" or a failure of some financial sub-market -- from a cash-starved economy you will go from recession to depression.)
3- The information you get in the non-financial media is "all you need to understand"
That is all.
P.S. Keep chanting, praying, sacrificing marmots, thinking pure and kind thoughts, sending me "white energy" (whatever THAT is...although it sounds like a drug-related euphemism) and all that; things at my end seem to be getting microscopically better. Not out of the woods by any means, but at least we have moved past a tree or two.
Posted by Joke at 8:54 AM
Monday, October 06, 2008
Peer into the future with me, won't you?
Posted by Joke at 12:29 PM
Sunday, October 05, 2008
More survival tips.
Some of you gasped in disbelief that I would publicly posit a notion so contrary to tradition -- what with me being hidebound and reactionary and all -- as a frozen margarita. So, in the interest of fairness, justice, equal time and balance, here is my "straight-up" margarita.
Incidentally, there are many fanciful tales about how/when the margarita originated. Most of them are utter, frightful bilge. The rest are merely wrong. "Margarita" is simply the Spanish word for "daisy" and there was (still, is, FWIW) a drink called the "Daisy" and it was gin, grenadine and lemon juice served in a sugar-rimmed glass. Replacing these ingredients with tequila and those with which is usually associated (lime and salt) and triple sec in lieu of grenadine to take the edge off and voilá: Margarita.
The main difference, ingredient-wise, between my frozen and straight-up versions is in the proportion of Cointreau to tequila. (Keep in mind that most recipes call merely for "triple sec" and that is a lower proof than Cointreau.) In a version that doesn't have the analgesic coldness of a slushy frozen concoction, the same amount of Cointreau would give too much alcohol-hotness in one that is merely shaken with ice. This is also why you want a more flavorsome tequila. Any "100% agave" white tequila will do. (Any that is labeled "gold tequila" is merely white tequila tinted with caramel trying to mimic "añejo" or "reposado" tequila. Which aren't really suitable* for margaritization. So never mind.)
Here is my straight-up margarita.
Gather your implements. This is a Boston shaker (steel tumbler, slightly smaller glass tumbler -- I like those with cool gradations and recipes printed along its surface -- and a "Hawthorn(e) strainer.)
The ingredients: 100% agave tequila (Patrón Silver) and triple-sec (Cointreau) and limes.
For the lovely and gracious Suse; a close-up of the limes.
You'll also need coarse salt, for the rim of the glass.
One jigger of tequila, one half-jigger of triple-sec.
Juice the limes in question. (One lime per person.) Note the absence of any sugar in the straight-up margarita; these are supposed to be unarguably dry.
Pour the tequila and triple-sec into your glass tumbler.
Fill the steel tumbler with cracked ice.
Put the glass tumbler into the steel tumbler, squeezing the latter slightly to create a vacuum seal between the two. You'll note the condensation on the steel tumbler.
After some pretty ærobic shaking, you'll note the condensation has gone a bit frosty, and is higher up along the steel tumbler.
The contents. Bubbles mean there has been adequate æration of contents, i.e., everything is properly mixed and diluted the correct amount.
Everything goes into the glass tumbler.
Slip the Hawthorn(e) strainer (OXO makes the best one, but any that fits your glass vessel will do) over the glass tumbler.Strain out the revivifying fluid into the chilled glass that has had its rim frosted with salt.
(You know you have done it right when you can see a layer of ice one trillionth of a millimeter thick.) Serve and drink.
*You may also be tempted to really go for Grand Marnier over Cointreau. Don't. The brandy base of the GM really doesn't play nicely with the more assertive flavor profiles of lime, salt and tequila. It sounds very chi-chi to say you make your margaritas with gigabuck aged ("reposado" or "añejo") tequila -- like Cuervo's "Reserva de la Familia" which is sadistically expensive -- and Grand Marnier and Key Limes, but it tastes pretty awful. AMHIK.
Posted by Joke at 5:05 PM
Saturday, October 04, 2008
My plan for surviving whatever may be ahead.
So, perhaps, in these trying times -- and they may get trying-er -- a palliative might suit the national mood. I hereby proffer my version of the frozen margarita. (You'll doubtlessly not be the least surprised to know I have a version for the "rocks" and the "straight-up" margarita as well. Those will follow should demand warrant.)
We start with a couple of limes (one per person), Cointreau and Cuervo white tequila; in some markets it's called Cuervo Clásico and in others Cuervo Blanco or Cuervo Silver...same diff. (If this were a straight-up margarita, I'd use a 100% blue agave tequila -- I like Patrón Silver -- but we're not doing that this go-around.)
Key to a proper frozen drink is getting the ice shaved properly. The average blender can't get all of the ice shaved down, so it's best to handle that function separately, ahead of time. I picked up that Oster ice shaver for PEANUTS on eBay. (A toy snow-cone machine also works marvels, if you can stand the shame of having a Snoopy as part of your batterie.)
Cut the limes.
Juice said limes.
Put juice in the blender. (You may want to add a few tablespoons of superfine sugar if you like your margaritas not as dry, or as much as a 1/8 of cup per person if you really like 'em on the sweet side. In the frozen version I like them just off-dry, thanks for asking.)
One ounce of Cointreau, one jigger of plain ol' white/blanco/silver Cuervo tequila per person (Seriously, any tequila more posh than this would be wasted, as the subtle nuances would get lost amid all that ice and coldness.)
Shave the ice. (If you are planning to shave a LOT of ice, you may want to do so into a colander over a bowl, to prevent any undue dilution.)
Put all in the blender. Blend (2 second pulse-another 2 second pulse-run at max. speed for 10 seconds-2 second pulse-2 second pulse).
After blending take out a margarita glass from the freezer.
Serve. You are now in good shape to brave the TV news, newspapers, and other aggravations.
Repeat as needed.
Posted by Joke at 3:48 PM
Friday, October 03, 2008
I think I'll be a Post-Revisionist
This is the new Bette* Davis stamp, issued by the US Post Office.
You will kindly note some things, courtesy of our current revisionist frenzy:
1- Her ever-present cigarette is absent, and
2-The non-fur coat also seems quite interesting, unless there is some scarlet mammal of which I was not previously aware.
3- Is it just me, or does she have that whole David Bowie-eyes thing going on?
It goes without saying I'm not a fan of this revisionism -- sure, we don't want to encourage all of those young children who are avid fans of Ms. Davis' ouvre to take up Mme. Nicotine, as they certainly would otherwise -- but I think this has given me a new purpose in life. I shall found and lead a new movement in arts and letters: Post-Revisionism.
To be safe I will contact my attorneys, that such stellar intellectual property be fully protected.
This movement will be called Post-Revisionism®.
* Rhymes with "jetty" not with "jet." Please get it together.
Posted by Joke at 11:01 AM
Thursday, October 02, 2008
I don't even know how...
...to comment on this.
Posted by Joke at 4:38 PM
Here's MY latest
The client project I mentioned previously MIGHT* come to some sort of positive fruition unexpectedly -- but welcomedly -- soon (i.e., at some point in the few days, in fact) and as such you are all exhorted, requested, begged, implored, asked and/or cajoled to pray for this success however** your theological proclivities suggest. Please feel free to harass others to do likewise.
Me, I'm developing 2nd-degree Rosary burns.
* Maybe, possibly, perhaps, Deo volente, it could...you get the idea.
** Hopping and chanting, sacrificing rodents on a stone altar, dancing around an old elm tree, fixing your gaze somewhere in the Holy Land, whatever.
Posted by Joke at 2:09 PM