Sunday, July 26, 2009

heathers move the hot hot sun

making progress in the dining room...

Saturday, July 25, 2009

cocktail hour!!

vessel manhattan

irenes wedding

my prosecco is perlagtastic with red currents and fresh raspberries

art museum wedding reception

sparkly cars at the SAM

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Cooking class tonight... will post recipes later.

Authentic MEXICAN Cooking
Join guest chef Cameo Roberts who trained & worked with Chef Rick Bayless at his famous Chicago Mexican Restaurants: Frontera Grill & Topolobampo (it's the Obama's favorite) where she learned traditional & authentic Mexican cooking techniques that she will share with us here! A great opportunity to make authentic regional Mexican food.
Seafood Seviche Yucatan-style,
Hibiscus Sangria,
fragrant pork Chile Colorado,
homemade flour tortillas
creamy Mexican rice pudding.
Details: A HANDS-ON Class.
Limit: 14 students
Who: Guest Chef Cameo Roberts
When: Thursday July 23, 6:30-9:30pm
How Much: $60.00
How: Call us at 206-528-8192 or email us here to sign-up.

Should be a good time had by all... we'll be making flour tortillas since I just visited Chihuahua Mx, where they eat predominantly flour. Farther south its all corn, my personal favorite, but fresh corn tortillas are a treat as well... and oh ya we will be making them with Lard... there is a huge flavor difference!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

yummy roast pig!

foodportunity...yummy pig

Friday, July 17, 2009

i love summer

hello dinner!

Bounce Bounce ... a little patience tastes mighty fine.

I first heard of bounce from my partner in shenanigans, Amie Sell. One summer she brought home a flat of cherries from Stanleys produce market , and started gathering up mason jars and bottles of whiskey. It wasn't till i saw the whiskey did my pavlovian response give me cause to pay closer attention.
Her family'd been making it for years, pick the cherries, bottle it up with booze and sugar and wait till thanksgiving. Four months of waiting? Many thanks to Mexican beer and Pinot Gris, or I might never have made it through that hot Chicago summer.

The following year after moving back to the North West I thought I'd keep the tradition going by making my own Cherry Bounce. I got it all put up, hid it away in the back of my cupboard and waited till Thankgiving... When the time came I was so excited, I'd been talking about it for months... and when the unveiling came we all tasted, and well, my professionally trained big cheffy cheffy ass forgot one of the THREE ingredients! Sugar! But hey, it's still whiskey, so no harm no foul!
Then, after my most recent visit to New Orleans I saw Cherry Bounce on quite a few menu's. Cherry bounce is alive and well and puttin up it's heels in the South. Their penchant for sweet cocktails and sugary treats make New Orleans it a right fit. I decided I should educate myself a bit before I go running my mouth about my freinds family that invented this drink called Cherry Bounce.
Turns out Cherry Bounce is about as American as apple pie and wearing white socks with sandles. It was sited as being an integral component in the North Carolina Constitutional convention's consideration in establishing Raleigh as the State Capitol. George Washington carried a few bottles in his saddle bags. And, Capt Jon Ross while looking for the Northwest passage kept his little toes warm by drinking Cherry Bounce and not sharing with his crew. It's rumored that they attempted a mutiny over a bottle, but I'm sure they were pissed off about a few things. Even Miss Abigail Adams comented on Martha Washington's 'fine cherry bounce' served at the white house during a holiday affair.
And why you might ask should you care?

Given our most recent obbsession with heirloom tomatoes, heritage meats, and pre-prohibition cocktails it seems apro pos to reintroduce an American Icon steeped in history and very sustainable.


from 'Dishes and Beverages of the Old South'


rinse a clean empty whiskey barrel with cold water, fill with very ripe Morello cherries mixed with black wild cherries
one gallon wild to five gallon Morellos is about right.
strew throught the cherries, blade mace, whole cloves, allspice, very little bruised ginger and grated nutmeg.
add to the full barrell 20# of sugar, or half a pund to a gallon of fruit.

cover the fruit an inch deep with good corn whiskey, the older the milder the better
leave out the bung but cover the opening with lawn . (this is where bunghole comes from!! :))
let stand 6 months undisturbed in a dry airy place, rather warm
rack off into a clean barrel and let stand 6 months longer ( I think it means strain...)
then bottle or put in demijohns.
Improves greatly with age to the fifth year, after that the change is unappriciable.

This one one is geared for this century.

1# firm ripe cherries
2 cups sugar
1 fifth bourbon, or vodka

Start with a clean glass container with a tightfitting lid. You can sterilize by boiling or simply run them through the hot rinse cycle on your dishmachine with no soap.
stem the cherries but don't peel or pit (awesome!!)
drop them in the jug and cover with sugar, add the booze and seal er up.
turn the bottles daily to help sugar dissolve and keep in a cool dark place for up to 6 months.
When its reay it will be a little syrupy and super delicioous.
You can strain off the cherries and bottle it up or keep them in the cordial for sprinkling on ice cream.

Cherry Bounce is great as an addition to cocktails, drizzled over desserts drank as a cordial, and one of my favorites is a littl stir in my lipton tea on a cold winter night..

Here is my augmented recipes, one for Cherry and the other I used Japanese plums from the tree outside my house.

Plum 'Brandy"

1 qt plums (dont pit breal skins, it helps the sugar and the booze get in there)
1/2 cup yuzu marmelade
2 c sugar
3 qt citrus vodka (doesn't have to be citrus I just had some I wasn't drinking)
2 c sake
Same method as above.

The Lovely Miss Amie's Bounce

1 # cherries
2 1/2 cups turbino sugar (unprocessed)
1 inch piece vanilla bean
6 cardamom pods whole (broke open)
1 Tbsp whole coffe beans (broke up)
3 qt bourbon

same method as above.

Bounce on...

The jury is still out on what kinds of booze is best, some recipeis call for cheap bourbon which I gues is a great way to fortify cheap bourbon, other call out the good stuff which can get expensive. My advise is buy the best that is affordable for you. If yer broke grab a bottle of the cheap stuff, if your not get something that wont make you feel blasphemous for adding fruit and sugar to. And with vodka, I go for the good stuff, it's a neutral spirit. Experiment.Really you could use any berry or stonefruit adjusting the sugar to accomidate for the tartness of the fruit.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

A sobering tale...

After three days of alcohol induced mayhem there is an obvious distinction between those that are working and those that are 'chasing tale' so to speak. The bevvy of bloodshot eyes and the onset of rosatia brought on by dehydration is comical. Ladies and gents that started their week dressed in professional bar fashion, which is somewhere between zoot suit an Tommy Bahama, have now down staged to flip flops, cut off cargo shorts and have pulled down their fedoras to shade themselves from the hot hot NOLA heat.
The conference sight is a little less crowded and smells of citrus that's been rode hard and put away wet, and the elevators are like fly traps.
We've been pacing ourselves well and downright avoiding some of the temptation to run our selves ragged and while I look on this a little envy on my way to bed at the crowds gathering at midnight for a secret party where the liquor flows free and easy, I am grateful that I can keep down food and don't have to apologize for how I smell when seating myself down for the bar innovations seminar.
Besides the free samples and the exorbitant name dropping, the bartender penis wagging and the 'who can name the most obscure bartender', there really is a lot to learn. This morning we had a great seminar called Cocktail Photography. The presenters ranged from stylists, professional photographer with thousands of dollars in equipment to Anita Crotty who laid down some great info on making quality food and cocktail photos for blogs without looking like an amateur, and disrupting the rest of the diners in the bar or restaurant while your at it. ( an invaluable lesson to food and cocktail enthusiasts...). The next seminar was Cocktail Innovations a fast paced crash course in 'molecular' cocktailing... or as they would have you put it, incorporating techniques from outside the tradition of our craft. "Johnny and Dave" took us through molecular spherification, distillation, dehydration, pressure cooking, and nitrogen cooling glassware in an hour and a half. Part Billy May's and all snake oils sales man the two of them broke down otherwise daunting scientific techniques with the use of 'assload', 'crap', and 'gets air the hell away from the molecules', making the presentation educational, and easier to grasp. They concentrated on techniques that are practical and easily integrated into a bar. Pretty crazy stuff but even I walked away with some great food ideas.

There is a great flicker group about cocktail photos at

Friday, July 10, 2009

rain in no

think these folks are from seattle

Thursday, July 9, 2009

gw fins this is a test

#toct09 test

spirit dinner at gw fins... so far bubbly gin blood orange bitters and st germaine

a lovely start

Fear and loathing and tales of the cocktail...

I'm a stranger here. My nametag says MEDIA but and from what I gather that could mean anything from New York Times to some random blog that no one really reads... (oh that's me)!
As a result this badge of variable honor inspires random bartenders or liquor with happily dictate their resume and peddle their wares in my general direction. My feaned admiration of their works is only percieved as genuine knowlage of said esstablishments because everyone is drunk.
Out side the seminars boozers swarm to free samples like ants on a glob of jelly. Every stage of imbiber can be identified easily by the twinkle in their eye the ruddyness of there nose or the slur in their speech. One gentleman in a hazed stupor offered to let us partake his own handmade samples if we followed him to the restroom. You could hear the crickets. A very well endowed mistress from texas lectured me on the finer points of 'pacing' yourself , all the while getting a little truthy a jobless boyfriend who was a no good SOB, and now that she has kicked him to the curb she can drive her newly aquired mustang to Ensenada, home of the original margarita, and learn to make 'real' Mexican margaritas. Pilgrimaging to Ensenada to learn the finer nuances of the margarita is much like going to Tiquana and asking if Ceasar himself might teach you to make his signature salad.
While I mock, it does demonstrate a passion for your craft that is rarely seen in the service industry. But running amock umungst bar geeks here at tales.
With no escape I glanced down and said " I am soo sorry my boss is calling, I have to take this, you know how it is..." she was pleased as punch to have met me but failed to notice I had answered my camera.
I later on she was looking a little green, spinning the same yarn to a stranger that looked liked a trapped mouse digesting the idea that he may swallowed up by her cleavage and never make it to the history of gin class I am sure he was all too excited to attend.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Off to tales....

In the morning, earlier than I am used to, I am off to New Orleans. I don't know if I am quite cool enough to call it 'the big easy' or if that makes me too Scott Joplin.
Do people in New York call it the 'big apple'?
And, N'arlens? That's like over pronoucing taco bel grande at Taco Bell. I am not from said climate so I think I'll stick with "New Orlins" not quite as annoying as 'NEW Oarleeeeens'.
Now that nomenclature is out of the way... Katrina? I do have pre-Katrina memoroes of New Orleans, I spent a couple enibriant weeks there many years ago. In the thick of the media shots from rooftops I remember thinking to myself, it was so old and wet before how will it ever imerge from such a vile soaking? Alas it did, there seems to be an exhuberence, a born again feeling. I am not, mind you, speaking of politics or enequalility amongst rich or poor black or white, I am mearly making observation of the physical structures I saw drenched in brown river. I am not so ignorant to believe that anyone has taken a hard look at improving the standard of equality amongst men there in the swampy heat. That will take time, and things that take time need veneers, a certain " excuse our mess' 'business are still open during reconstruction' sign. The feeling is not as if nothing ever happened but that it did, and the same forces that made New Orleans great throughout its pre- Katrina history are in full effect to create a Post Katrina history as lively and alluring as ever.

We will be at Tales of the Cocktail all week, I plan on keeping track of bites and sips and hopefully making out with some cute bartenders...

Bitters Project

Early this year we submitted three bitters recipies to the "barmade bitters challenge" sponsored by TRU Organic vodka . We have three finalist in the contest and will be in New Orleans for 'Tales of the Cocktail all this weel (July 8th through the 12th). So wish us luck.

Here's a site I found with a little bitters history and a pretty easy recipe for making bitters at home. The crazier ingredients can be found at most exotic herb stores. We got ours at Dandelion Botanical Co. in Ballard Try it at home.