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Everything posted by Ktepi

  1. I buy Campari the most often, by a significant margin. I go through Aperol and Punt e Mes about as quickly, but because I have to order them by mail, I don't buy them as often. The same will probably prove true for genever, but it's newer to me.
  2. Wow, thank you for posting this. This is terrific. I already loved that eau de vie -- but I never would have thought of combining it with grapefruit.
  3. I don't know how widely available it is (my bottle was a sample from the company), so this might not be at all workable/real-world, but Mozart Dry is very good, and because it's unsweetened, it gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of your chocolateyness/sweetness balance. I had a "chocolate Manhattan" last night subbing Mozart Dry for half of the rye, for instance -- I don't think it'd be sweet enough to convert someone used to chocolate martinis, but it was a great drink with a prominent chocolate flavor. Using something like Canton, Chambord, or the various orange liqueurs makes a pretty respectable sweet drink too.
  4. Calamondin juice and Aperol -- not sure of the exact proportions, I just juiced the calamondins into the glass and added Aperol until it tasted balanced. Man, this is good.
  5. Katie - I don't know if they have Trader Joe's in Philly, or if TJ's still carries these (since they are so weird about their inventory), but I've bought "dried sweetened hibiscus" there before. They're primarily whole flowers (a few of them were broken), lightly sweetened, texture sort of similar to fruit leather. I don't know why I never thought of using them as a substitute for those Wild Hibiscus flowers in syrup -- which I keep eyeing, and never buy because of the price.
  6. I've been playing around with variations on Giuseppe Gonzalez's Trinidad Sour -- 1 oz Angostura, 1 oz syrup, 3/4 oz sour, 1/2 oz spirit -- and I'm hard-pressed to find a version I DON'T like. Tonight's is my favorite, and I don't know how much of that is due to using 1/2 oz of Fee's whiskey barrel aged in place of the Angostura, which I abruptly ran out of while shaking them into the measure: 1/2 oz Angostura + 1/2 oz Fee's wba 1 oz Rose's Kola Tonic 3/4 oz lime juice 1/2 oz rum (Prichard's) Really great. The Kola kind of disappears next to the bitters, so it's not as rum-and-Coke-like as I thought it might be, but that's just fine. I need to pick up more Angostura, I don't want to use up the Fee's on these. But I want to try cachaca and tequila variations.
  7. This isn't candy, but -- in a lot of places (here included, I discovered last year), Boo Berry and Franken Berry cereals are only carried in October. Charleston Chew makes little boxes of Charleston Chew "bites" that I haven't seen except in bags of Halloween candy, though maybe they make them for movie theaters or something too. And those "Reese's pumpkins" always seem much better than regular Reese's peanut butter cups -- I don't know if it's the chocolate-to-peanut-butter ratio, or if they're fresher, or if it's just my imagination (I resist the third possibility, of course).
  8. I haven't had onion blossoms since the 90s. I'm not saying they aren't out there, and maybe they're bigger sellers now than ten years ago, but it feels like calling the Feelies reissues the best albums of 2009 -- technically correct, but sort of missing the point of a "best of ____" list.
  9. Do they carry Polar in Boston? Their birch beer isn't as easy to find here in southern NH as it used to be, but it's pretty good. I can actually find Boylans more easily than Polar, but it tastes less like the birch beer I grew up with. I not only miss local ice cream stands -- more of them here are year-round places, which isn't the same to me, and the ice cream's not always made on-site -- but black raspberries themselves. My local farmstand no longer carries them, and with all the new housing developments, I no longer know anyone who has them growing on their property. As for the ongoing butcher shop discussion, that was one of the first things I asked about when I moved back to New Hampshire from Indiana. All the "favorite must-see 'butcher shops'" here are places selling chicken breasts and steak tips in ten kinds of marinade, with a couple aisles of gourmet pickles and Kettle Chips. The marinade is the selling point, not the meat. At one place, I asked if they had skirt steak, and they offered to pound a strip steak out for me. I also miss Cajun Spice Ruffles, darn it.
  10. This thread is a good example of why eGullet is such a useful resource for me. St Germain is finally carried in NH -- it apparently arrived with no fanfare, because I keep a pretty close eye on the new arrivals list and never saw it, but there it was on the shelf today next to the lemoncello. Despite having heard so much about it, I was still pretty blown away by the flavor. My first thought was that I wished it'd been available during the brief strawberry season -- second, that it would have been nice in the stone fruit sangria I made last month. I'm going to get to the farmstand sometime before the weekend and see what fresh summer fruit is out there that would go well with this. Drinking Chris's Quatroni now (no oranges in the house, so no flamed orange twist), and it's terrific. I'm still new to Punt e Mes (not carried here), so there's a double novelty there, but even apart from that it's just plain good.
  11. Yeah, that's the problem I have with the New York Corn Whiskey. I paid a little over $20 for 750ml of Old Gristmill. The New York Corn Whiskey is $30-something for half as much, and the difference in proof certainly isn't enough to justify that. I don't know if I paid a clearance sale price on the Old Gristmill, since I bought it *just* before the NYCorn came out. Could be. But I can't talk myself into paying twice as much for it. I don't regret the purchase of the Baby Bourbon, and I bought it at the same time as the Old Gristmill so I could try them side by side, but I don't expect it to be a repeat purchase at that price.
  12. Tuthilltown Spirits' Old Gristmill corn whiskey is very cool stuff with a sort of cachaca-like funk. They've discontinued it in favor of a slightly higher-proof (92 vs 80) and pricier New York Corn Whiskey, which I haven't tried, but I'm definitely awake to the possibilities of unaged corn whiskey now.
  13. Given my success rate with Zirbenz Stone Pine Liqueur, it's not going to take many more failed experiments to use up the bottle. Last night's offering to the sink involved wheat whiskey, lemon juice, Zirbenz, and pimento dram.
  14. 5.39/lb in Nashua NH for softshells under 1.5 lbs; 7-something for softshells over that, 9-something for hardshells. I picked up two softshells for $12, made stock to add to a clam red sauce, and although I planned to add the claw and tail meat to some okra and tomatoes (we're finally getting produce after a long delay), I keep grabbing bites of cold lobster dipped in homemade Catalina dressing, and at this rate there isn't going to be any left.
  15. Ktepi


    I picked up my first bottle of Cynar recently, when I discovered drinkupny.com ships to NH (which has state-run liquor stores, and to which few vendors have a permit to ship). I've mostly been mixing it with Plymouth gin -- anywhere from 1:2 to 2:1 -- and adding a cube or two of frozen fruit juice. This was originally an accident, when I realized I didn't have any actual ice because I'd forgotten I'd filled the ice cube tray with Santa Claus melon juice the day before, but it goes really well with either melon or huckleberry... enough that I'm debating ordering more huckleberries just for the sake of filling more ice cube trays.
  16. Ktepi

    Here come the tomatoes

    Tomato pie, the non-pizza sort. Although it's cooked, it really requires good fresh tomatoes. I use Paula Deen's recipe, but leave out the basil and the green onions, and generally use only cheddar, no mozzarella. Sometimes I use homemade pimento cheese, sometimes I add some ramps from the freezer, but I like the focus to be on the tomatoes.
  17. I used this thread to guide my own purchase, so to bump/offer my two cents: I ordered peaches from Dickey Farms last week, and Frog Hollow this week. With shipping to NH (2nd day air), the per-peach cost was about $3.50 from Dickey and about $5 from Frog Hollow. The Dickey Farms peaches took two days to soften to where I wanted them to be, while the Frog Hollow peaches arrived exactly at that point, ready to be eaten immediately. In other respects they're very comparable: excellent, excellent peaches, juicy and fragrant and flavorful, the kind you keep thinking you'll make a pie out of, only the next thing you know you've eaten them all. Platonic peaches, what you think of when you think of a peach. When you have these peaches in the house, you make sure to eat small portions of everything else so you have room left for peaches. That's the kind of peach I wanted, and it's what I got. I'd order from either of them again, but Dickey is more likely simply because of the price.
  18. I have some mystery ingredients from Battambang, a Southeast Asian supermarket in Lowell, Mass. ImageGullet is being unresponsive for me right now so I'm just going to link to Flickr. The photos aren't all great -- my lighting is horrible for taking photographs and I tried to make the most of the late afternoon light on an overcast day. Chi pra har Sleek patieis Kadat Cha loong leaf Tang or I'm spelling things the way they're spelled on the price tags, and there may be errors; what's labeled as cha orm, for instance, I'm pretty sure is cha om (rice paddy herb). ETA: Oh! And in the meat section I got a package of something labeled "mount/chain" that looks like tendon. ... is it?
  19. Definitely plan to spend some time. When I lived in Indiana, we would occasionally visit friends in Cincinnati and bring a cooler, hitting Jungle Jim's the last or second to last day there -- bringing back pig heads or pork belly (I never got around to buying the rattlesnake, too expensive), Meyer lemons and Buddha's hand back when I never saw those things in regular supermarkets, and so on and so forth. Even the wine and beer selection is pretty decent, though I think the liquor selection was just standard. Even if you don't buy much, the window shopping can be fascinating, especially if everyone with you understands that it's going to take longer than just going to the store back home for the weekly groceries.
  20. I'd eat corbezzolo honey every day if I could afford it. Any time I have any in the house, I find I make biscuits a lot more often, just for the sake of having them together.
  21. Ktepi

    Dinner! 2009

    Pizza with ramps and meatballs, about a minute overcooked, but there's only a couple bites where you could tell. Though whole ramps look nice on pizza, I think it's actually better to chop them up. But this one looked nicer than the pizza with chopped ramps.
  22. Ktepi

    Ramps: The Topic

    They are in the South (I mail-ordered mine, I doubt I'd find them here in New Hampshire), I don't know about elsewhere. I just had a deviled egg with ramps and white truffle salt. Man oh man. Perfect.
  23. Ktepi

    Ramps: The Topic

    Bump for the 2009 season. My ramps to-do list: Ramp and meatball pizza (I made the meatballs and sauce today, the same day the first ramps arrived in the mail) Pickled ramp bulbs -- I'm simply going to put the bulbs in the same jar of vinegar last year's were in; these are a must in my pimento cheese, so the last thing I want is to come up short next January, when it's time for pimento cheese and country ham sandwiches Ramp macaroni and cheese Ramp bacon burger (that's probably dinner tonight; I'll cook the bacon while the burger is cooking, then saute the ramps in the bacon fat while the burger is resting) Ramp deviled eggs (if I had only one ramp, I would make deviled eggs with the green and pimento cheese with the bulb) Smoked ramps in olive oil Ramp omelet Ramps and potatoes and bacon After pickling some and freezing some, we'll see how many that leaves me with, but those are the musts for me, a solid week of ... rampiness. The smoked ramps will be new, since I've picked up a stovetop smoker since last year.
  24. Tangerine sections macerated for a couple hours in Bulleit bourbon, grade-B maple syrup, and bitters, and then carbonated overnight.
  25. I don't think I've posted about making country ham in my bedroom. Note: I do not guarantee anything about doing as I've done. I knew how country ham was made and the basics of what goes on during curing, and I'd done simple things like bacon and city ham for years. The selection of pork is not very good where I live, but for a month or two at the beginning of the year, I can find whole fresh hams. Last year I decided that the combination of factors -- the availability of that ham, living alone, and having a loft -- indicated that NOT curing a country ham would be a wasted opportunity. The ham was covered in salt -- kosher salt, curing salt, and some sugar -- and plunked into the fridge for 5-6 weeks, with the resulting liquid poured off during the first week. After that, I turned the temperature up on the fridge to 40something degrees and let the ham equalize for another 4 weeks -- this is when the level of salinity in the ham balances out, giving the salt more time to reach the center, from what I understand. After that, time to hang the ham. My condo is too big for me; I don't use the loft for anything, because it's too hot in the summer and I can't hear the doorbell, so my home office is downstairs. But the loft is there, overlooking my bedroom, a perfectly convenient place for me to check on the progress of the ham... I let the ham hang for roughly eight months. It could have hung longer, but I wanted to start the New Year with home-cured ham and home-grown black-eyed peas. I soaked it for a day and a half or so, simmered it in a lobster pot, let it cool, and sliced: Excellent stuff. I use it instead of tasso in jambalaya.
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