Monday, April 13, 2009
Easter Debauchery In Review...
If it weren't for my family reminding me, and the liquor store being closed, I would have no idea when Easter was. It's a holiday that just kind of lost all importance to me once I had consumed my fill (at a young age) of Cadbury Cream Eggs.
My day started wildly hungover after getting 3 hours of sleep. Guests were coming over for breakfast. When I started to regain consciousness, about 25 minutes later, I found myself in the middle of making a coffee cake, which I've never done.
I bet the last thing you expected to find in a post with the word "Debauchery" in it would be a recipe for coffee cake. Well, now this is happening:
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
10 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened but still cool
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 cup buttermilk (kate's is making this now. It's great)
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (I used ceylon)
2 16oz. cans Pabst Blue Ribbon
a positive attitude
1. Take Advil
2. Open PBR
3. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. Generously grease the bottom and lightly grease the sides of a 10 inch springform pan.
4. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the butter in increments and whisk until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Remove one cup of the flour mixture and set aside.
5. After struggling through half of the PBR, realize that this would be alot easier if you add orange juice to it...
6. Add orange juice to your PBR.. Much better.
7. Whisk the baking powder and baking soda into the flour mixture remaining in the mixer. Add the buttermilk, egg, and vanilla. Whisk until batter is thick, smooth, fluffy, and frosting like. About 1.5 - 2 minutes. Doesn't that feel good? Let's add some of that positive attitude now..
8. Scrape mixture into the pan, smoothing out the top with a rubber spatula.
9. Add the blueberries, lightly mixing them in.
10. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved crumbs of flour, sugar, and butter; toss with a fork or your hand (wash it first). Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressing lightly so they adhere. Bake the cake until the center is firm and a cake tester (you DO have a cake tester, right?) comes out clean, about 50-55 minutes. Let it sit for about an hour to cool or the center will be like napalm.
11. Slow down on the beer, you've got all day and it's not a race. Ok?
12. Get a little misty, realizing that if you applied yourself to other aspects of your life the way you did to the coffee cake, things could have been different...
And.... Fast Forward to That Night.
I was invited over to a friend's house for Paella. Thank god for the West End Grocer actually being the only place open, otherwise I was going to have to show up with wines from Rite Aid. I also decided to bring a couple of bottles from my own collection. These followed the theme of "The future is uncertain," because they each needed about 10 more years in the bottle to come around. I don't have the patience to wait 10 years..
A good rule of thumb is if you're going to consume three bottles of wine yourself at a dinner party, then show up with at least 5.
Here's the rundown:
Unibroue Trois Pistoles Strong Dark Ale, Quebec (about 7.99 retail)
I think everyone's pretty familiar with this beer. A good way to get things started.
Bacon Wrapped Dates
The wines that followed were:
2005 Boutari Naoussa, Greece (about 17.99 retail)
Honestly, until Emilitsa came around I knew nothing about Greek wines with the excpetion of retsina. I noticed that everyone who went to Greece on vacation wouldn't shut the fuck up about the wines when they got back. Well, now I know why. This is a delicious Pinot Noir stlye wine, with great balanced acidity and lots of strawberries and cream on the palate. 100% xinomavro.
2007 Pittnauer Sankt Laurent, Burgenland, Austria (about 20.00 retail)
Nice, bright fruit. Another Pinot Noir style wine, made from the St. Laurent varietal. God I love Austrian wine..
At this point, Paella is served. It was delicous, even though it was loaded with peas, the only food I don't like. In an effort to not behave like a 3 year old, I ate every one and you know what? I still hate peas.
The wine, however, paired up brilliantly:
2004 Georg Breuer Berg Schlossberg Riesling, Rheingau, Germany (about 80.00 retail)
This was the first of the "future is uncertain" series. Honestly, this wine could have aged 30 more years. Still it was amazing, with brilliant acidity and peaches and lime peel in the finish.
2004 Marchesi di Barolo, Cannubi Vineyards, Piedmont, Italy (about 80.00 retail)
The second of the "future is uncertain" series. This actually drank way better than I expected it too. Though definitely still tight, alot of the fruit came through and the tannins were fairly soft. If you have a bottle, wait about 5 years.
2005 Vinos Los Maquis, Lien, Colchagua, Chile (about 17.99 retail)
Chile's answer to a Super Tuscan. One of the best values in wine out there, and I'm not just saying it because I used to sell it. A blend of Syrah, Carmenere, Petite Verdot, and Malbec. Fruit from the Syrah and Carmenere, and the Bordeaux varietals give it structure. Amazing.
2007 Boncap Winery "The Ruins Red", Robertson, South Africa (about 10.00 retail)
A blend of Cabernet, Syrah, and Viognier. Nice, big fruit and smoky notes. Great for the money.. Perfect when you've had this much wine.
2008 Tisdale Cabernet, Someplace Shitty, California (2 for 7.00 at Hannaford)
I'm not even going to put a picture up of this one. We were drunk, what can I say? I didn't bring it. I'm sure I would have other things to say about it if it were the first wine I drank that night..
At this point the Yacht Rock and incriminating photography are in full swing.
We head to Cumberland Farms and it's time for:
Harpoon IPA, Boston (about 8.00 a six pack retail)
"At Harpoon, we have always worked hard at two things: brewing great beer and welcoming our customers to our breweries. Our beer styles were created to provide you, our beer-drinking friends, with fresh, fun and interesting choices. We draw on numerous brewing traditions to make our beers, but we always add our own “interpretation” of how the styles can be best matched to our – and your - tastes."
Get the door.. Who is it? Papa Johns? Gross. Of course I'll have some... Somebody should peel Chris off the floor..