Sunday, January 17, 2010

Ramos Gin Fizz & Sazerac

Ramos Gin Fizz
Originally uploaded by DixiePistols.
Yesterday, in order to prepare for the Saints playoff game, I decided to try to make two classic New Orleans cocktails. They turned out pretty well!

The first was the Ramos Gin Fizz, pictured here. There are several different kinds of Gin Fizzes. The Ramos Gin Fizz is a milky, eggy contraption, said to be the favorite of Huey P. Long. I followed the recipe from this YouTube video on New Orleans cocktails. The funny thing here is really the combination of citrus (lemon & lime) and cream. As Brianne asked, YES, it did curdle when I first put them together. I guess that was a little off-putting, but once you shake the whole thing up, I guess it kind of beats the curdle into a more creamy mixture. Anyway, it doesn't matter matter, because it tasted pretty great. Creamy, sparkling and orange-y, thanks to the orange flower water, which I purchased at Salim's on Centre. Actually I think it was better than the only other one I've ever had, at the Carousel Bar in New Orleans, because that one had ice in it, which was kind of weird. Other changes: I used sugar instead of simple syrup, and light cream instead of heavy cream.

The next drink I made was a Sazerac. This again came from the New Orleans cocktails series on YouTube. The Sazerac is funny, because the drink itself is pretty simple, but the process is very complicated. I was smart enough to pick up some Peychaud's bitters last time I was in New Orleans, but I did not get Herbsaint, and I did not want to buy Absinthe, which is like $60 at the liquor store. Instead I used Pernod, and it was perfectly fine. My Sazerac was good, although not the best one I have had.

Oh yeah, and the Saints won, so I may have to continue this newly formed tradition next week. Feel free to play along at home.

Friday, January 15, 2010


Really sad about the situation in Haiti. Seriously. I made a small donation to the American Red Cross, and I would recommend you do the same. Watching the news today, I started thinking about all of people who donated their time to come to New Orleans after Katrina to rebuild. I was always extremely impressed by those people. Wonder if Americans are going to be going to Haiti to volunteer in the near future. I know that the military and some doctors are already there...

Monday, January 11, 2010

Cannibal Resource

The song Cannibal Resource from the Dirty Projectors is highly recommended. The rest of the album, unfortunately, did not jump out at me in the same way. 

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Book Review: Where Men Win Glory

Last night, I finished reading, Where Men Win Glory by Jon Krakauer. I highly recommend reading it. Where Men Win Glory is the story of Pat Tillman who left the NFL after his fourth season to join the Army Rangers, and who was later killed by friendly fire in Afghanistan. Pat, as it turns out, what an extremely interesting man. He was thoughtful, intelligent, curious and extremely loving. The book describes his life growing up in California, his struggles to make it to the NFL and then his decision to join the Army when, as he puts it, 9/11 makes his job as a football player seem kind of pointless. After he is killed in Afghanistan, his story is used by the Army and the government in a pretty disingenuous manner. From the numerous journal entries he wrote, we see that this clearly goes against his will, and it eventually takes a lot of prodding from his mother and family to uncover the true story.

Overall I liked this book for two reasons. First, it was a great recap for me of a number of details about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan that I had either forgotten or never knew in the first place. While other readers seemed to get bogged down in this earlier part of the book, I did not. I found the writing style to be engaging and the topic to be very interesting. Second, Tillman was clearly an amazing man. He had a very well-developed moral code. He was not rushing into a war to kill, or even in the assumption that the wars were justified. The excerpts from his journal were far and away the most interesting part for me. By the time we get to his death and the quasi cover-up, I really felt disappointed, like we had lost a unique man.

It's not a short book, but it's a pretty quick read, and I finished it over the course of about three days.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Sick Cafe

Originally uploaded by sick ridiculous.
Hey folks. I am alive!

After a much enjoyed, if not deserved, winter break in New Orleans and Pittsburgh, I am back to a somewhat normal life. This means I am coming in to school every day. Most people are here yet, though, so it's kind of boring.

Anywho, just before the New Year (actually New Year's Eve-Eve) Sick Ridiculous and the Sick Ridiculous played a show at Club Cafe, right here in Pittsburgh. If you've never been, Club Cafe is a great venue that hosts a number of smallish national acts, usually of the folk/singer-songwriter variety. I have seen a bunch of good bands there, and the sound is great. We had a awesome time opening for our friends in Slingshot Genius. We even busted out a soon-to-be-favorite, "Duckles Chuckles," which we wrote when our friends Stephen & Laura moved to Washington D.C.

Please enjoy some pictures by clicking though. Our friend Shafeeq also took some pro-style pictures. Thanks bro!

Also, peep this incredible poster that Tom made for the show.