Author Archives: mark

Down the drink

Down the drink

Posted by on March 31, 2014 in Drinks | 0 Comments

The first two weeks in April, we go thirsty. The missus will miss her coffee the most. I will miss it, too, but also the tea, the delicate Darjeeling, the black Scottish breakfast that I doctor with milk and sugar, the lapsang souchong that takes me back.

Mmm … that’s good coffee

Mmm … that’s good coffee

What we fathomed were tedious hours could not have been more than several minutes, with my mother and father and sometimes their friends doing their best to ignore our pleas while savoring the black depths of a hot cup of, what … Hills Brothers? Folgers? Maxwell House?

An inspired pudding

An inspired pudding

Black cap is a rice pudding, baked and topped with Earl Grey tea-steeped prunes and a couple tablespoons Armagnac. The “black cap” refers to the dark coloring—from the soaked prunes, in this instance—of the otherwise blonde pudding.

Kale, yeah

Kale, yeah

Lacinato kale differs in texture from the curly leaf kales, but still benefits from a long marinade if you’re going to eat it raw. I prefer it raw, in a salad, to cooked in a soup, as it doesn’t wilt and lose its tooth and mineral-rich flavor.

The oyster knows the drill

The oyster knows the drill

The oyster, never having anywhere to run, now has nowhere to hide. If the alternative is getting trapped, it’s better to keep moving. In travel, we dodge the drill that would eat our meat. We ingest the life that rides in the waves.

Hit ’em with your best Shot

Hit ’em with your best Shot

To perhaps understand how a guy can become so determined about single origins, consider Brian Franklin in one of his earlier roles, in an almost unimaginable time before coffee.

I see Red

I see Red

A Perci Red pourover on a Tuesday morning is a gift, in any season. In the spirit of a spring-like December, it’s manna from coffee heaven. Gone, for now, at least in this roast, is the Belgian chocolate chaser I got last week. In its place, a meaty, citrusy serenity, and a late suggestion of cinnamon toast.

My Mother Is a Chicken

My Mother Is a Chicken

The way my mother cooks fried chicken, it’s impossible, now, for me to determine where it begins and she ends. My mother and her chicken are inseparably one and the same, to the point I often and lovingly meld the two into one.

A bean to pick

A bean to pick

The beans are picked from Gesha plants (an Ethiopian variety) rooted in Panamanian soil. All of which must matter, and does.

Ian Frazier at the Hurley Library

Ian Frazier at the Hurley Library

The first thing I ever read by Ian Frazier was his piece in The Atlantic on Minneapolis’ Mall of America. It was in a care package my sister-in-law brought over when she came to France to visit in the spring of ’02. By then, Frazier had already written Great Plains and On the Rez, his two books on the Sioux and other tragic aspects American West.