Boozie Friday: The Need for Mead

3476583742_d01766414f_bThrough the long, complicated development of medicine we have made the occasional happy accident. Coke and Pepsi are two very good examples as they were originally meant to be digestive aids and were invented for that specific reason only to later become a sweet treat. But way before there were soft drinks and aspirin there was something a with a little more kick. Mead is wine made from fermenting water, honey, and various other ingredients. It can be made sweet like a dessert wine or be on the crisp side. Mead may include medicinal herbs and spices or fruit to add flavor and health benefits.

There are currently two different kinds of mead bubbling away on the counter in my house. The anticipation is killing me, but I know it will be worth the wait once finished. This is my first attempt at mead making so the process has been admittedly one of discovery. It has however been surprisingly easy to do and I suggest giving it a try sometime yourself. Mead can be made with very few ingredients and little equipment and will have you on the edge of your seat for quite some time.

Brewing mead is an adventure all on it’s own. If you are interested in brewing, you will need a few key items and ingredients to get started. These things can be collected a piece at a time over a few months so you don’t break the bank in the process. Over time you will build a respectable brew set up and be turning out batches of your favorite mead variations on a consistent basis. Find your groove with this process and you will hopefully get the satisfaction and therapy out of the process you are looking for.

Brew on!
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Foodie Friday: French Onion Soup

As a chef it is important to keep your skills honed and knives sharp.

I recently had the pleasure of stepping back into a high volume fine dining kitchen to cook a dinner service. Going into the evening I was a little nervous since the chef had told me that we had over two hundred diners on the books. I can tell you that working in a high-volume professional kitchen you will get burned and you will push yourself to the absolute limits of your physical and mental ability.

Most commercial kitchens or “lines” are broken down into “stations” each being responsible for certain items or dishes. Tonight I was working the middle, or the “wheel.” I was responsible for three complete dishes, the plate up and timing of the other two cooks on the hotline, sauté and broiler. I definitely had my work cut out for me. The tickets started pouring in. I call the first ten that printed out, grouping things together for each cook so they could focus on cooking. Also making sure I staggered the calls so the dishes would come up together. Eventually we got into a zone and I was able to steer the ship in the right direction. It went on and on for what seemed like forever relentlessly pushing us with larger and larger quantities of each menu item in each wave. I remember wondering if we would run out of anything since I had not been there to set things up. I also remember thinking “at least we don’t have French onion soup on the menu.”

You see although I love French onion soup I most certainly dread having to push out two hundred of them in a short amount of time. Balancing that screaming hot soup bowl back and fourth from the broiler to the line is quite nerve racking to say the least. I am glad I didn’t have French onion on the menu that night. That being said I really do love it! Gooey cheese pushing through the deep and complex flavors and textures below. Well that just makes me want to have some right now. So I present to you my take on French onion soup. Bon Appétit!
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