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lesliec

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About lesliec

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    Wellington, New Zealand

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  1. I find it difficult to believe nobody's bought any booze since October! Mezcals are rare here - at least, good ones - so I was happy to find these in one of my haunts yesterday: I've had the reposado version of the Gracias a Dios before (sold out, alas) and highly recommend it. The Derrumbes is a new one to me but smells promising.
  2. Shaking your mai tai without adding the top of the shaker would be worse.
  3. Well, a bombe is a spherical dessert, so I think the serving instructions need to include a big ice sphere. Continuing the dessert theme, how about something like a Baked Alaska - gin/yellow Chartreuse/orange bitters, with an egg white foam on top (blasted briefly with a blowtorch, if you really want to have fun)?
  4. Uncivilised backwaters of the South Pacific do have their charms!
  5. At the risk of looking like I only do things like this in January (which is not the case), I've been making gin again. If you peer at the label you might see that this one's a bit special: Yes, this is Batch 10. I've been making gin for personal use (and a few special people) for somewhere around 4 1/2 years now and for much of that time I've had a recipe I'm very happy with, but for batch 10 I felt something special was called for. I normally use 10 or so botanicals; this one's got 17 (which could be considered excessive, but what the heck - I'm on holiday). I've added black pepper, rosemary, thyme, bay and lavender to my usual mix, plus both dried and fresh kawakawa and some mango peel I don't always have. Plus I double-distilled the base vodka. Was it all worth it? Well, I only turned the still off three or so hours ago and mysterious processes happen in the bottle for a few weeks, but I did taste it and yes, I think I might have something rather nice. Gin isn't usually a sipping spirit - you generally mix it with other things - but this one seems to stand up happily on its own.
  6. Here we go again - this year's haul: Perfection in walnutliness: We got a little carried away this year and picked some 5kg of the things. I knew that would never fit in my favourite infusing vessel, so I divided it in half. That didn't work either - even without the sugar, which I was compos mentis enough to add last, it was still brimming so I did an approximate two thirds/one third split across two vessels. Here's the big one (this is as pretty as this stuff ever gets): Even if my mathematics is as poor as it usually is I'm hopeful it will all work itself out in a month or so when I strain out the lumps and combine the rest. Based on experience with the last batch I expect it to be entirely undrinkable at that stage, but it will improve remarkably over the following few months. And no, I still don't bother with gloves. It starts yellow, like a heavy smoker, and gets blacker over the next few hours. But it will fade:
  7. Sous Vide for Soft-Boiled Eggs

    I've been playing with the 75 degrees/15 minutes technique this weekend. Yesterday's 15 minute eggs still had the tiniest bit of slop to their whites, although the yolks were great, so this morning I went with 16 minutes. Well, sort of 16 minutes - I forgot to immediately set the timer, then dawdled a little over taking them out at the end. But it wouldn't have been much over 16, honest! Eggs in. I find the seive very useful to stop them wandering around the pot: And eggs out. A quick rinse under the cold tap helps make it possible to break the shells without burned fingers: Both whites and yolks were pretty close to perfect. An observation, for what it's worth: I've always liked my poached or fried eggs to be nice and runny, so as to soak into my underlying toast. Wifey, on the other hand, has always liked hers solid. This method makes both of us happy! As has been pointed out above, don't think of these as poached or soft boiled. They're sous vide, and proud of it.
  8. Amari

    @EvergreenDan, I have a glass of the La Sirena Clandestina house amaro one at my elbow as we speak. Highly recommended. Now, speaking hypothetically, should one desire to post the recipe to a highly-regarded cocktail site, what would one call it ... ?
  9. Amari

    OK, we have a result - all strained, sweetended, bottled and labelled (after I took the photo) this afternoon: I'm surprised how much green has remained, although I have no doubt it will fade further. There's certainly none left in the foliage: The taste is great at this early stage. There's nothing I can identify (except possibly some star anise that isn't in there. So much for my palate ...). Experience with other infusions tells me this will continue to develop in the bottle, but I'm happy with my first attempt at an original recipe.
  10. You could try hello@blacktailnyc.com. They may not answer. But they might ...
  11. Hi, BCL. Assuming you've added one or more products to your shopping cart, up on the top right of the screen you'll see your cart now has a number against it. Click the cart icon and you'll be given a 'go to shopping cart' button: Click that and once you're there there's a 'checkout' link: Hope this helps.
  12. Thanks, Jo. Yeah, that's what the recipe says - it just differed from the other explanation I read.
  13. Well, that was quite entertaining. My usual bread is essentially the master recipe from Artisan Bread in 5 Minutes a Day with a few tweaks, and I've finally got it in the last month or so exactly where I want it. The French Lean involves a lot more time but not really much more work; although my results weren't as pretty as some here the end product tastes great and I'll do it again. Here are some progress shots. First, the obligatory shaggy mass: This is actually the second attempt, after I realised after 10 minutes or so I hadn't put the yeast/water mix in originally. Some reading I did (not in MB) suggested autolysis is done just with flour and water - no yeast, certainly no salt. Can somebody with the books comment on this vs. the instruction in this recipe to include the yeast? Or did I misread something? Here's the dough just before the final fold. Looking good, I thought: Slashed and ready for the oven. Note to self: please remember cast iron lids remain VERY hot for a while after being removed from a 250°C oven (thanks, I'm fine): And straight from the oven. The one on the left was just done on an oven tray with hot water below; the other was in a large cast-iron casserole. I think the casserole one has a better colour, but next time I need to work out a better way to get the boule into the casserole - this one folded a bit: And cut. I'd like more rise and a more open crumb, but the crust is good and it tastes great: Overall I'm happy, apart from the scorched finger, but there's room for improvement.
  14. I'm a late starter, but having returned from a weekend away and with a spare day before I have to go and do more of that 'work' stuff, here we go. Poolish started: More tomorrow.
  15. But it gives the drink such a lovely bouffant texture!! Yes, the increase in volume surprised me. My ice is common-or-garden stuff from the freezer but I didn't think it was too bad. Oh no - does this mean I have to make another drink under scientifically controlled conditions?
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