Cuisine. Black Bananas can be delicious. 07-20-14

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Well, last night, I went downtown with a friend of mine to a little French Bistro (Bearnaise) after a drink on the deck discussing where to go for dinner. Roasted marrow bones (sounds disgusting, tastes fantastic), Duck Confit, and Frites. Charming and delicious and the service was good. Bartender needs to listen more closely to the waiter when they say Ginger Beer, and make sure he doesn’t tell the wait staff he is out of Orange Bitters in a bar known for its cocktails. Send a runner out to buy more and don’t disappoint your customers. 

The drink was a Gravelly Frenchman (which is how you sound next morning after a few of these) – Serves 2

3 shots from the big end of the shot measure of a good balanced bourbon. Taylor, Bulleit, or Basil Hayden are pretty good. Slice a fresh orange in half and take two thin slices across the wheel for your garnish.  Put some ice in your shaker, put in two droppers full of a good orange bitters. (I like Bittercube), the bourbon, squeeze in both of the leftover halves of orange and a good squirt of blue agave nectar. Shake it until the shaker cools down and starts to hurt you hand a little bit. Strain into two glasses. Open two Reeds Extra Ginger Beers and pour them in. Float the orange wheel on top, and add a couple more drops of orange bitters on top of each of the orange wheels. Sip. Pour in some more ginger beer. Sip. continue until the ginger beer and your drink are gone.

These are good for around 5 O’clock while you are having an animated discussion about where to go to dinner.

Now, on Saturday nights in Washington, the Hipsters go out to the watering holes and stand around in the fashions their maxxed out credit cards have purchased for them, and nurse the same fucking drink for a few hours while chattering and taking up valuable bar and table space. Let’s just say I’m not happy with The Partisan right now. Its a new eatery with connections to Red Apron, a local charcuterie/bolangerie downtown in one of the Tony-ier sections of DC.  My baggy shorts and CK polo shirt likely didn’t get me close enough to bankruptcy to impress the hostess, so NO TABLE FOR YOU OR YOUR FRIEND. BAH. 

What many restaurants don’t realize about catering to the young, hip, and broke-ass crowd, is the regular customers actually support your restaurant, or we would if we could ever get a chance to taste the food, are displaced by the younger broke-ass set who aren’t making you money. You probably want to get tables to those buying the expensive drinks and desserts that increase your margins. Consider that next time, and maybe give a wait time and turn your tables faster to get more paying trade in. This is said by two tired looking folks who buy food from your Union Station location, but may shift all of their business up the row to Harvey’s because of a bad experience on a Saturday night, mmmmkay?

That said, next morning, I opened my mouth, and Bourbon Voice came out. It sounds scratchy, and a little French (hence the improvised name for the above referenced cocktail). I was considering laying in bed all day, affecting some French-ness, and considering taking up the nasty habit of smoking Gauloises, when a friend stopped in for coffee and to take away some propane tanklets that were purchased for a camp stove that turned out to be completely wrong for the stove in question.

I had Assam, two kinds of mint, chamomile, and local honey. He had coffee, local milk, sugar, and a nice float of Kentucky Bourbon vanilla extract. I stepped away from my impulse to play Billie Holiday, as she is capable of inducing a deep blue sulk on my part, dialed up Django Reinhardt on Spotify, and went to work on the Sunday Afternoon Experiment.

Today’s experiment (finally. God, would he get on with it, self important bastard) :)  was using some bits and pieces from the cupboard and fridge. I bought some hulled flaxseed a while ago and it sat in my cupboard taunting me with its lovely packaging and ability to get caught in every hard to reach tooth in my mouth. In the fridge were those last three bananas. They went past yellow to black and started to make the fruit flies happy and me extremely unhappy. An egg and an egg yolk, and a cup of whole wheat flour, a little corn starch, and 3-4 teaspoons of sugar, and I had what looks like muffin batter. No muffins. Meh.  So I got out the whisk, added a pinch of salt  and whole milk until the batter looked thin and promising. 

Crepes.  No influence from last night’s dinner or the guitar jangling in the other room. No?

So I heated up the crepe pan, dropped in some peanut oil and threw out the first one (as you almost always have to)  and made some nice but very dark crepes.

Back into the fridge, there’s a roasted chicken (there’s always a roasted chicken in my fridge), so off comes one half of a breast to be shredded between two forks, while a pat of butter and some finely diced shallots work in a little skillet. The shallots brown, the butter bubbles.  In goes a little cream. Stand back. The butter could get excited and try to make you into one of those strange people who draws on their eyebrows each day. Reduce the heat and let the sauce reduce, then toss in that chicken and maybe some fresh herb chiffonade (sp?), (that’s a bunch of fresh herbs balled up tight and run through a bunch of times with a wickedly sharp knife).

I had some leftover tomato salad. I also had an avocado crema (fresh avocado, Crema Salvadorena, a little agave syrup, some key lime juice, and a little greek yogurt, whipped until it looks like one of those facials women buy for $50).  There was the remains of a bottle of champagne, so I had that topped off with triple sec, and a raspberry reduction that was also in the fridge.

I ate, and took obnoxious photos, and bragged on Facebook. You know, like we do. 

And wished there was someone to share it with for about five minutes until I realized that would mean less food for me, and said, “FUCK. ALL. OF. THAT.” and finished my brunch. 

You know us Gays love the Brunch. Yes we do.

Up top are a couple of the obnoxious pictures. 

I’m going for a nap now. :)

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Art. Nudio at Dry Creek. 07-19-2014. James

Little change of pace today.

Decided to have my model (and muse, I guess) in to the the studio today, but rather than working on figurative drawings, I’m practicing on my portraiture.

These were all roughly 30 minute sittings:

I think I did OK, but I need more practice before I pick up brush and easel.

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Art. Vitruvian Drawing Group. Model: Justin. 07-17-14

Tonight’s drawing:

The model pictured is competing in a Runner’s World cover model search. 

A link will be sent later so you can vote for him and show a little support.

Update:  The link to vote for Justin is below:

http://covercontest.runnersworld.com/entry/1285/1pgaaqvgo9sa4asesl2aag2886#

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Politics. Yeah. I know you like Hillary, but… 07-17-14

This will likely piss off a few Hillary fans, but maybe you should read it anyway?

http://www.politico.com/story/2014/07/dem-base-fine-with-hillary-clinton-pining-for-warren-109081.html?cmpid=sf

We’re not a monarchy. Hillary was First Lady, then was handed the position of Secretary of State to shut her fans up so Obama could try to get things done before the GOP sikked their dogs on him. Hillary may not be responsible for the deaths in Benghazi, but indirectly she was. That was her department, and the security budget was too low and the guy running the office was ignoring protocols and mingling with people in the streets when chatter was increasingly pointing towards hostile elements in his area.

Ms. Clinton’s responses when asked about something under her purview were somewhat flippant and defensive, and minimizing of the problem. If Congress cuts your funding and your people are in danger, we’d best hear you screaming about it across the DMV (DC, Maryland and Virginia) until they do something about it, instead of using the deaths of 7 people as a stick with which to beat the idiots who cut your funding, after your people been ambushed on your watch, Ms. Clinton. Being proactive is a leadership quality. Snarkiness and I-told-you-so-ness isn’t.

Warren on the other hand ran for Senate because Wall Street resisted putting the most qualified person for the job in the chair of the agency that provides oversight to banks and protects consumers against Bank and Credit Card company over-reach – Elizabeth Warren wrote the draft for how the agency should be run, and had the experience in government to be able to execute it – but Timothy “No-Brows” Geithner and Larry (what me? Grandiose?) Summers said no-frickin’ way. (Where did Geithner’s brows go, anyway?) And now that Warren has a seat at the table for us, she’s been trying to get legislation through that will lower the interest rates for Student Loan borrowers so your kids won’t be in debt up to their eyelashes and might actually have a chance at moving out of your house before they turn 30. Wall Street and the Banks are TERRIFIED of this woman. For that reason alone, she should be President of the United States. If not, have you considered her for the next Secretary of the Treasury? Hmmm? 

I expect to be beaten to a pulp by the Fans of Hillary for this post, and if you can come up with a reason that she should be President without ad-hominem attacks, accusations of sexism, Red-Herrings, etc, and give me a few Facts, I’d love to hear them. 

…Oh, and I have approval power on all comments posted to my blog. God don’t like ugly, and on this blog, I. Am. God. 

Was that clear?

Thanks.

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Sex. Art. Naked Drawing Group. July 15, 2014. John

We tried something new tonight, hence two drawings. One drawing was done at various time intervals of 10-15 minutes. The other was done as John posted for 90 seconds, changed position, and repeated for a total of 10 poses @ 90 seconds each.

Here are tonight’s drawings:

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Art. The DryCreek Project. When the neighbors start to slip… 07-13-14

So I was outside, doing the usual cutting of the grass and pulling the chicory out of the green strip between the sidewalk and the road, and I look over at this plot of land next door to the house. 

Backstory: A few months ago, the Pentecostal Latino Church next door likely took a look at my little patch of grass and decided it was time to do a landscaping project. They put up a little fence to keep the dog poo from the locals who don’t pick up after their dogs, down to a minimum, planted a few accent plants and some very nice juniper bushes. 

At first, it was mowed, and then less, and less, and the bushes browned. And greyed. And the weeds got higher.

In my mind, I criticize them and watch as the ugly grows.

And I justified it with “They always park up all the spots across the street and they are CONSTANTLY in Church. You would think, walking past it 3-4 times a week, SOMEONE would fix the problem? If they spent a little less time working on hopes of Heaven, and a little more trying to make a little Heaven right here, it could be beautiful.”

And I felt “good” and “right” and “justified” in my criticism.

And then I thought, “OK. But its still ugly, and its still right next to your house. How does your internal dialog help to make the world more beautiful? Tending your own garden is one of your tenets, but what happens when the gardner next door clearly needs help?”

This weekend, I think they are off at a retreat or a mission or somewhere getting their Jezis on. So I put my garden gloves and my big hat back on, and got out my shovel, and took out the dead bushes and pulled the worst of the weeds.

Its not beautiful. Not even close to “Heaven,” but its a start.

Might be interesting if more people in the world didn’t walk past a problem, criticizing it in their head, put on their garden gloves, and did a little work, hmmmm?

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Art. Sex. Vitruvian Drawing Group. Kent. 7-10-14

 

 

 

Tonight’s drawing:
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