Thursday, December 31, 2009
It's the last post of the year, so I figured I'd blow it out with some cartoons and a showcase of my incredibly sub-par musical skills. Been thinking about doing more of this. If you want more, please oink. If not, hiss like a garden snake.
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Not just an immortal line from Digital Underground's "Humpty Dance", but an intimidating call to action for someone who was reared in the South by a Midwestern family, devoid of the knowledge guarded by the Secret Society of Southern Grandmothers, Grammas, Memaws, and Nanas. How much fatback to put in the green beans. How to fry absolutely every vegetable that is put on the plate with the fried meats and not suffer terrible and unyielding gastrointestinal discomfort. How to make a perfect biscuit. Trade information that I do not have.
So- biscuits. Simple, but not easy. I thought I'd give them a crack on Christmas morning, surrounding the perfection that is a fried pork chop.
Monday, December 28, 2009
Sunday, December 27, 2009
...for a borderline-frightening orgy of drink and food. I really hope LDL and triglycerides take vacation like the rest of us at the end of December. I capped off a week of Nero's Rome-like decadence this morning with some homemade hashbrowns smothered in sauteed onions, Rotel tomatoes, and melted Velveeta. Please don't tell my doc. He doesn't own stock in Velveeta.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
It's 6:41 in the morning. I'm on a plane to Philadelphia, with the ability to access my portable electronic devices. That means we're at least 10,000 feet up. That means we've been taxi-ing (taxying?), boarding, herding through security, walking miles from crappy parking spaces, and driving across the universally-expanding urban sprawl that is metro Atlanta. When your home city has one airport, and it's consistently the world's busiest, you have to wake up early. In order to be in the air, writing to you at 6:41 (now 6:45) in the AM, I had to roll out of my cozy, amniotic sac of a bed at 3:30 AM. I'm off to work, and I'm pretty sure Lindsay Lohan is just settling into her first line of coke for the evening.
Oh, and thanks a lot, smelly old lady in front of me for smacking me in the head when you slammed your seat into recline (before the allowable altitude, no doubt). Aren't you supposed to be up at this hour anyway, complaining about the price of coffee at the local Burger King?
I suppose if it's not evident from the tone of this post, I'm not an eternally cheerful morning person. Worse, I'm trying to force my square DNA into a round hole and become one. That's why I requested the 6 AM flight for my business meeting today. What the hell was I thinking?!
Alas, all is not exasperating. My final destination is not Philadelphia. I'm connecting there and heading to Binghamton, NY, a little town an hour or so south of Syracuse, made famous by IBM, Endicott Johnson, carousel horses, and extremely disgruntled Vietnamese ex-pats. Not a bad place, but no Las Vegas. To it's credit, Binghamton sits just southeast of the Finger Lakes, which is one of the most notable wine regions in the States. However, unless you live in New York or are a bit of a wine nerd, the American Viticultural Areas of the Empire State are often of little notoriety.
I see wine progression in novices occur this way (at least it's how things happened for me): I became familiar with the wines of California, then Oregon (because it's a hot-bed of Pinot Noir, the grape thrust into the limelight by 2004's Sideways). Then Washington State, covering the west coast, aka (incorrectly), the "only places to get good U.S. wine". What many may not realize is that New York bests Oregon in overall wine production. In fact, New York sometimes beats out Washington as the #2 producer in the nation.
photo courtesy of newyorkwines.org
Granted, the climates and micro-climates of Nueva York (I'm running out of aliases) are vastly different from the west coast, so you don't see incredible success with grapes like Syrah or Sauvignon Blanc. What is creeping up the trellises is Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, noteworthy Riesling, Gewurztraminer, and Pinot Noir in the Finger Lakes region, near Lake Erie, in the Hudson River Valley, and on Long Island. Also, lots of vitis labrusca- namely Concord, American hybrids like Catawba and Niagara, and French-American hybrids like Seyval and Vidal Blanc- abound.
From what I've gathered, the wines of the Finger Lakes region are among the finest of New York. Sadly, distribution, well, sucks in my hometown (and we're not talking about a one-horse town here). Even at the largest and most well-stocked wine shops, I often only see one or two bottles hidden away in the dusty corners of the stores, cavorting with other un-marketable bottles like Carolina muscadine and the wines of Ed Hardy.
So, optimism abounds. Maybe, just maybe, I'll get to finagle a few tastes of the local. It would be another opportunity to expand my palate, and hopefully- provided the juice is worthy- to start a little grassroots movement to get more access to these wines.
At the very least, the experience would soften the blow of the early morning, the airport hassle, the drink lady's lack of juice or anything with caffeine AND sugar in it, the smelly old lady who has me crammed in this seat like Rush Limbaugh in hot pants, and the guy next to me who's suddenly decided to play footsie with me in his sleep. Raise your glass to air travel...or your middle finger.
Friday, December 11, 2009
...for not-so-much heart-warming Christmas and holiday carols, but more the kind that might- well- be a little "off". Remember when David Bowie and Bing Crosby got together for "Little Drummer Boy"? I posted it a year ago. Notoriously abusive father teams up with cross-dressing prog rock icon, bringing you the warmth of the season. Doesn't quite work, but maybe that's why it's so awesome.
Frankly, I appreciate it. How many times- really- can you hear Nat King Cole sing "Oh Holy Night"? For this year's submission, I think we need something a little more saucy. And when you think "saucy", surely there's only one thing that comes to mind...George Michael.
Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, Kool Kwanzaa, Decadent Diwali, Wonderful Winter Solstice, Rad-ass Ramadan, and Bountiful Boxing Day!
Tuesday, December 8, 2009
I guess I need to get to a point here. Writing on this blog, whether folks read or not, is an outlet, and it is especially rewarding when I do get some comments or encouragement from the great folks I've always known or met over the past year. While we want to write about legendary wines and incredibly sumptuous foods all the time, "real life" makes it difficult- nay, impossible- to do so...simply not enough exposure to "livin' high-on-the-hog" for regular content. However, rather than bemoan this inconvenience, I hope it makes us take a step back and realize how truly fortunate we are if we're able to partake in any of it. Most in the world aren't, so being thankful is so critical, even more so in today's economic climate...
Saturday, December 5, 2009
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
It doesn't happen often, but the weather's actually pretty cold outside on these December (already?) nights in Atlanta. Okay, Minnesota, cold's a relative term, but it's chilly enough for crackling fires, hearty stews, and hefty wines.