Thursday, December 30, 2010
Ever wonder what a jar of Four Loko brined pickles look like under the pale, artificial glow of a refrigerator light? Well, wonder no more. With the addition of a little more red food coloring, the Four Lickles have been transferred back to their jar. Next weekend shall be the taste test. Gird your bellies brave friends of Mr. Dave.
As much as I love blogging about food, sometimes something comes along that I just feel the need to share. As I am way too lazy to start a separate "general interest" type blog, I am thinking of making these posts a semi regular occurrence (you will remember the Mr. Dave on Style post of the other week).
Anyhow, I was at Art on Lark (an annual summertime art festival in Albany, NY for you non-locals) a while back and found the above and below works of art. I had forgotten about these treasures for months and only just stumbled upon them while cleaning a closet.
If you are asking yourself the question, "Is that homoerotic Cpt. Kirk and Mr. Spock fan art?," then you would be very, very right. Needless to say, the phaser in the first picture was added by me to keep the ol' blog family friendly. This is vintage stuff too, the first example is signed "Pat, '85," the second is dated '90. Who knows how many more masterpieces were created during this 5 year span. I would definitely be interested in some Uhura stuff...
Anyways, just another example of the strange and wonderful nature of the occurrences to be had in our fair and humble city. Doesn't it just make you smile how lovingly Spock is looking at Kirk while stroking his hair?
Monday, December 27, 2010
I need not explain my love of Stewart's Shops to you (click here to browse some RFS posts on the subject), my loyal readers, as I have blathered on at length. Needless to say, I was somewhat excited when I found out that Stewart's now has its very own Pez Dispenser! It is featured prominently on the Stewart's website (scroll down a little) where the line, "Drive one away for only $1.99!" is proudly emblazoned.
I was at Stewart's picking up some "panic milk" for the wife during the late snow storm when I saw several of the Pez Dispensers strewn near the cash register. I found it necessary to shell out for two dispensers. One for the daughter to enjoy and another to be saved pristinely in its package (for posterity). I like the look of the Pez truck. It maintains the trademark, old timey style of Stewart's advertisements.
Like a kid on Christmas, I was genuinely excited for the Stewart's Pez. My mother has given me a Santa Pez every X-Mas since I was wee, which along with the innumerable comic book/star wars character examples I have hoarded away make up quite the collection. The Stewart's truck will make a worthy addition. Go get your own!
If you remember, last week I started the Four Loko Pickles project. I have decided to call them Four Lickles from now on in homage to the Koolickles that inspired me. The fickle internet has seemed to enjoy this nonsense as my humble driveling got linked by the Huffington Post food section, a couple members on Reddit, and many facebook homepages.
One of my concerns with the Four Lickles concoction was that I didn't think the relatively pale color of the Watermelon Four Loko which I used would give the pickles the vibrant hue of a good koolickle. As I was strolling around my local P-Chops the other day, I came across the following.
Here we have Betty Crocker's Neon Gel Food Colors. To my sensibilities a neon pink Four Lickle would be perfection. I had great expectations for this food coloring, but alas, I was left disappointed. The Betty Crocker product only slightly deepened the shade of the watermelon/pickle brine.
I knew I should have stuck with good ol' fashion food coloring. I am going to give the pickles a couple days and see what kind of color they absorb. If I am not satisfied with their artificial color level, then I just might add some normal red food coloring. We shall see.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
So I had a can of Four Loko (watermelon) hidden away in the cabinet. I had bought this can prior to the recent ban with ideas of keeping it around as a cultural artifact. But it turns out that Four Loko is coming right back out sans the caffeine. If I am just going to be able to buy a close facsimile, I didn't really feel the need to keep ahold of the tall boy for posterity. As I certainly wasn't going to drink the nasty shit, the rusty gears of my culinary mind (the mind that previously brought you Bacon Rice Krispies Treats and White Castle Casserole) started to slowly turn as I pondered what to do with the camo can of caffeinated swill.
Divine inspiration was quick in arriving. I recalled a NY Times article about the deep south specialty that is the Kool Aid Pickle (I link to Slashfood because the stupid Times makes you log in now). Kool Aid pickles are your normal kosher dills that have been steeped in sugary Kool Aid brine. Supposedly, the pickles come out with an addictive sweet/sour tang, and the added bonus of having absorbed the garish color of your chosen Kool Aid flavor. It seemed to me that the Four Loko might be a good analogue for the Kool Aid in this recipe, only with more alcohol and caffeine.
I cracked open the watermelon flavored malt beverage and poured a little in a cup to get a look at its hue. Although there was a pungent stink, the Four Loko was not as vibrantly colored as I had hoped for. I think I might have to supplement with a little red food coloring. We shall see.
For the pickle component I had read that Mt. Olive Kosher Dills where a popular choice.
I poured the pickle juice, the whole can of Four Loko, and about a cup of sugar into a sauce pan and brought it up to a simmer. Watermelon Four Loko mixed with pickle brine smells about as good as you may have imagined it would...
When the pickle brine/malt likker/shoogar mixture had cooled somewhat I dumped it over the reserved pickles in a larger container. I also threw in a good healthy squirt of vodka, just for good measure. I washed and saved the actual pickle jar for presentation sake when the Four Loko pickles are ready.
As you can see, the Four Loko brine doesn't appear to contain the requisite food dye to give the pickle that nice, freaky, artificial color that you are looking for in this genre of pickle. I think I am going to add a little red food dye tomorrow to add to the final visual effect of the pickles. They are supposed to swim in the brine, refrigerated, for about a week.
I shall warily state that I have my suspicions that the Four Loko pickles might come out OK. It just may be one of those bizarre combinations that works for no particular reason at all. However, I will say that the phrase "watermelon-y, salty, sour, caffeinated, boozy pickle" starts my stomach a-churnin' just a little bit.
All there is to do now is wait. I shall definitely issue updates on this project as necessary.
If you are looking for another of pickle innovations whilst you wait, have a looksy at Sriracha Pickles.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Sorry about the bad picture quality in this post. My Droid's camera has been on the fritz and is making everything all yellow. Anyhow, above we have a Bread Lobster from P-Chops. Around the holidays the 'Chops starts peddling these weird rye bread monstrosities. Don't ask me why, but these bread fellows take various unusual forms. I have seen bread bears, bread lobsters, bread snowmen, and also a big obscene looking lump that I took to be a bread mushroom.
If you will remember, I bought a Bread Friend last year. I don't know what the Price Chopper bread artist meant him to be, so I just dubbed him Bread Friend.
There is nothing special about the actual bread. It is actually a rather insipid, fake tasting, flaccid example of deli style rye. But as you all know, Mr. Dave is a fan of humor and whimsy. Bread Lobsters definitely count as humorously whimsical, so I have decided to make the purchase of an annual bread creature a Mr. Dave family holiday tradition. If Price Chopper keeps putting these guys out for the holidays, I will keep buying them.
I incorporated bread lobster into the refreshment I provided at the Lovely Mrs. Dave b-day celebration. Mrs. Dave is a great fan of creamy dips and spreads and I aimed to cater to her whims. I removed the lobsters cranial and tail areas and replaced them with dip.
Bread Crustacean lurked at the top of the the meat and cheese table and kept guard (click for my recent Meat Tray post). We also had a bunch of hot food, but I forgot to take a picture.
Afterwards, me and the Misses had a little local vacation at a certain downtown hotel. The view of our fair city of Albany in the misty morn was very moving. You can even see a little of the mighty Hudson.