Juneteenth – 151 Years.

Last year, I marked Juneteenth for the first time on MetaCookbook. I have no intention of letting the day slip by ever again. As a twitter friend said, it’s as American a holiday as exists.

But, as with last year, I mostly want to encourage everyone to read something more about it. This year a greatly educational read for me was What is Juneteenth?. A bit more history, and some good comments on what other days would be reasonable to celebrate the end of legalized slavery in this country. And why 19 June remains appealing.… Continue reading →

Easy Hot Cocoa Mixes

Last year or perhaps early this year, I whipped together a basic cocoa mix for cold Chicago nights in. It was just something I could quickly add to some milk to make a warm, seasonal drink. And, frankly, it used up some of the random ingredients I had made or bought for household experiments. And it quickly made a batch for 2 – 4 folks, depending on how much cocoa you gave each person.

A frothy mug of hot cocoa.

Hot Cocoa Version I


6 tbsp vanilla sugar1
4 tbsp cocoa powder
3 c milk

Heat milk to a near boil on the stove, then whisk in the cocoa and vanilla sugar. Once thoroughly combined, serve.

It was very simple, but quite good. And it made Nicky happy when they visited, which is also great.… Continue reading →

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part II – Science and Blather!

My last post was all about some gifts you could get for the beer and/or food geeks in your life. This list is my other passion, science, and then a bunch of other things that have made my life better over the past year in some way or another. Or, like the last post, a few things I might pick up in the future (holidays make it hard to buy for oneself).

In any case, these are usually things that have made me or someone I love happy, with an occasional thing I’m just dying to buy (for me or someone else).

Science:


First and foremost, let me reiterate “the single best suggestion/idea I can give you is to go shop for your entire list at your favorite local museum, aquarium, planetarium, or zoo.” (This is a direct quote from me from last year, it’s true.) Memberships are great and, yes, some of these places will be doing discounts (the Portland, OR aquarium is, for example) and their main shops are always full of cool and unusual stuff.… Continue reading →

Holiday Gift Guide 2015 Part I – Food and Beer

Last year I did my first ever “gift guide,” and was surprised at how much folks liked the post. I admit, I hadn’t been sure people would be interested in my suggestions, but I decided to put them out there in case it was useful. This year, knowing it was well-liked last year, I’ve been paying a bit more attention to possible suggestions.

It helped, frankly, that Bill and I moved across the country and had to decide both what to get rid of entirely and what to put into storage for the next nine months. The toaster oven made the moving cut, but not the storage cut, for example. The electric kettle in that post, however, remains a part of my day to day living.… Continue reading →

A Smokey Beer Fizz for the Fourth of July!

I had to publish the previous version of this cocktail fairly fast, because I only had a week for the entirety of devising, naming, testing, and tasting the cocktails (there were two) as well as suddenly having an idea for the story, writing it up, and so on.

Garnished Smokey Beer Fizz

So yummy. So refreshing.

The good news was that I’d been trying to figure out a cocktail that involved 8-Bit Pale Ale and sage for a couple of years before it finally all came together for me. So I had a bit of a head start.1 And the fact that only a select few people were really in love with the original made the story come together.

Sage leaves hanging off a bottle of mezcal joven. This is where the magic happens.

Where the magic happens.

But I couldn’t resist tinkering with it until I had something everyone can enjoy.… Continue reading →