Bourbon

A short rant from my personal journal, December 31, 2017, edited to resemble English.

My brother gave me “The Whisky Enthusiast” sample box for Christmas. The box contains a bottle of Johnnie Walker Red scotch, Crown Royal Canadian whisky, and Bulleit bourbon. I poured myself a little drink before I started journaling today. I didn’t want to open the Crown, and my hands were too dry to get the scotch open, so, I went with the bourbon.

I read a couple of websites about Scotch and bourbon, mostly about how to drink it. To be honest, the most I’ve ever done with whisky is shots, and those went so fast, I never learned to appreciate the flavor. If there was any.  All I knew was the burn. So, bourbon it was.

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I knew “neat” meant straight, room temperature, and “on the rocks” meant over ice. On the rocks didn’t seem like a clever idea if I wanted to try to find the flavor, with all that ice melting. Then I read about adding a little water. Enthusiasts seem to like this preparation, at least on the 2 websites I read, so I decided to give it a try. From what I understand, the water helps reduce some unwanted flavors that can come with wood aged liquors and enhances wanted flavors. Apparently, I’m an enthusiast, at least according to the box, so I put a little water in a rocks glass, and 2 fingers of the Bulleit bourbon.

I like the idea fingers, plenty of opportunities for humor with the finger concept. Of course, it depends on the audience. If a dude asks for 2 fingers, I can just flip him a double bird. Lots of laughs. “I’m telling you, Jerry, it’s the best Jerry, the best!” Have I mentioned ever mentioned I like Seinfeld?

So far, I’ve only had a few sips. My tongue and belly have a nice warmth going on. I probably still have half of the to drink to go. Where was I?  Ah, yes.

Fingers. Some good comedy potential if other dudes are involved, but comedy goes out the window in the ladies are involved, although there is still a lot of potential. ” May offer you 2 fingers?” and hold the bottle up for her to see. I’m no expert, but, I think you’ll know right away if the conversation is worth pursuing after that move. Of course, you could get slapped. At least you tried.

It’s the 21st century — no reason the woman can’t be the pursuer. “You gotta couple of fingers for thirst girl?” Give her a quick once over, and you either grab the bottle, or flip her a bird. At least she doesn’t have to worry about being slapped. Yeah, that’s wrong. Chances are you’ll be grabbing a bottle. No flipping or slapping, unless you’re a douche. And if you are a douche, chances are people know it already, and you don’t have to worry about making decisions about buying a girl a drink or flipping her off.

I think I just found some of the attitude and general outlook on life for one of my characters.

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The Best Cat Ever: Nuggy the Christmas Kitty, Part 2

Nuggy: Sept 1998 – June 16, 2017

Nuggy enjoyed Christmas Time.

I know, I mentioned that before, but it’s a good opening. Having already talked about cats at the first Christmas, I’m reusing the opening to talk about our first Christmas with Nuggy.

It was 1999, and my wife and I had just bought our first house that August.  Nuggy moved in during September. Before getting too far into the holiday season, we found out we were going to have our first child.

Then the real fun began.

We told my mom and Christine’s parents we were expecting. Then the rest of the relatives. My brother and his wife just told us the week before they were expecting, also.

One day I came home from work, and Christine told me we had to get rid of Nuggy. Continue reading

The Best Cat Ever: Nuggy the Christmas Kitty, part 1

Nuggy: Sept. 1998 — June 16th, 2017

Nuggy enjoyed Christmas time. I’m not sure if he had any strong religious beliefs, but what do I know?  During the season, he would curl up by the nativity scene under the tree often enough, maybe he did.

A long winters nap, to dream of that first Christmas Eve. Most Nativity scenes don’t show them, but I’m willing to bet there were at least a couple of cats present that night. The innkeeper needed them to keep the mouse population under control.

The cats took a break from their nightly hunting duties to check out all the commotion. They rubbed against the legs of a little boy playing a drum, an action immortalized by the lyric “Purr” rum pum pum pum. Then, the cats and made their way to the manger, darting in a zig-zag pattern to avoid being stepped on by camels. Finally at the manger, the cats stretched two paws on the side for a peek at Baby Jesus. He smiled and cooed at them. The cats purred and entertained the lad with the hypnotizing movements of their tails. Then, with a twitch of their ears, they ran off to resume their hunting duties, having already lost interest in the child.

It could’ve happened. Egypt wasn’t that far away, and they worshiped cats.

The Best Cat Ever: The Beginning, A Good Place to Start

Nuggy: Sept., 1998 – June 16th, 2017

My wife and I moved into our first house in June of 1999. After a few months of settling in, the daughter of one of my wife’s friends got caught with a cat in her apartment, and had to get rid of him. A few days later, Nugs was living with us.

That was probably the last time we called him Nugs. We preferred Nuggy, and I think he did, too.

Nuggy had a lot of nicknames. Nugaboo, Nugglypuff, the Cat Man Do, Nuggyotto (I don’t know why, but Christine and I made sure never to miss Pokemon on Saturday mornings.) When the kids came along, they added to the list –  Kitty Boom Boom was a favorite, and I have no idea where it came from. Everybody had their own names for Nuggy. Nuggy was a pretty friendly cat, once he warmed up to you, which didn’t take long. Continue reading

The Turkey Breast that Time Forgot

I was so excited about my bologna post, I forgot I also smoked a turkey breast that day.

The night before the smoke, I preped the turkey breast by injecting it with ranch dressing. Nothing special, just ranch dressing straight out of the bottle. I put a few squirts in a glass so I could fill my injector without cross contaminating the entire bottle with raw turkey.

I get real obsessive compulsive when working with poultry. My hands get raw from washing so many times, because I don’t want to touch anything and leave some stray poultry gunk to fester. Better safe than sorry.

I had some ranch left in the glass, so, I slathered it all over the turkey to use as a binder for the barbecue rub.  I think the ranch helped the turkey brown real nice as well.

One nice thing about smoking just the breast is, during prep, you can just use a big bowl to hold the turkey breast. No wings or legs flopping about to get in the way. When I was done injecting and rubbing, I just covered the bowl with foil and stuck it in the fridge. Overnight, the ranch absorbed throughout the meat.

I smoked the turkey the next day along with the bologna from the previous post. I put a can of Budweiser in the water pan. The meat probe of the Mighty Masterbuilt went in the turkey breast, since the bologna didn’t need monitoring. I loaded up the hickory chips and waited for the breast to hit 165 degrees, which took about 6 hours at a temperature temperature of 225 degrees.

Hickory smoked turkey breast

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The breast browned real nice. It sliced well, also. The family thought it tasted good.

I like the combination of the barbecue rub with the ranch dressing and hickory smoke. The spice of the rub was a good counterpoint to the creamy-herby taste from the ranch.The hickory smoke drove it all home. I’ve used apple wood for smoking poultry. I like the fruity taste the applewood provides, but something always seemed to be missing. The hickory smoked let you know that, yes this was barbecued. After all the time and effort that’s part of what you want to taste.