There are more than just bananas in there...

Month: January 2024

Spirited Oaxacan Hot Chocolate

It’s a snow day in middle Tennessee. One of those rare, single digits, howling wind, bundle up because the snow is deeper than your boots days. We don’t get a lot of those, so I try to appreciate them when they come. When I wore a younger mans clothes, this usually meant putting the plastic bags from loaves of bread over my socks before putting my boots on to go sledding, usually being pulled behind the tractor by my grandfather. What can I say, the hills on our farm are more of the gentle, rolling variety than the exciting toboggan run style. We would usually follow that up with “skating” on one of the ponds before breaking the ice so the cattle could get a drink and making sure all the stock had plenty of hay. Somehow, he would hide the work in the fun in the same way that he would hide life lessons in that work. As cold as it would be out there, we knew that when we got back to the house grandma would have hot chocolate waiting for us on the stove and that still tastes like home to me. So, peel off those wet shoes, being careful to not tear your bread bag liners, as we stand in mostly dry socks and make a mug of Spirited Oaxacan Hot Chocolate.

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Chef’s Kiss

After a rainy night with winds rushing through the leafless trees, we have settled into one of those trademark muddy, grey January days. Secretly, I always sort of enjoy this kind of weather, perfect for cuddling up in your cardigan with a good book, while something savory simmers on the stove. Getting lost in a story while the flavors slowly melt together and the scent of comfort floats on the air, full of the promise of a taste of home coming when the grey finally shifts to black. That’s a good way to spend any day, taking the time to do things right. So, if you enjoy that sort of thing, won’t you join me in the kitchen as we stand and make the Chef’s Kiss.

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Rheinberg Sour

The turning of the calendar always seems to be about new beginnings, a fresh start and a chance to start over and get it right this time. That never quite sits right with me. In spite of the ingrained self-loathing that is the birthright of my generation, I am actually reasonably happy with myself. Sure, there is room for improvement on almost all levels, but that basic structure is pretty good, so I don’t really want a new start. Who am I kidding? At my age I am happy to be able to keep on keeping on without too many accommodations to the “changing” eyesight, that lifestyle induced arthritis and the increased distinguishedness of my locks. So rather than a restart, I like to focus on making small adjustments, looking for improvement over perfection. So, if you are into a little experimentation, to trying something new in hopes of a better tomorrow, won’t you join me now as we stand and make, the Rheinberg Sour.

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