Tag Archives: recipes

Scrabble and the inaugural cocktail.

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Now that my seemingly endless supply of liquor bottles were strategically arranged on the custom made shelves…. it was time to get down to business.

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Cocktail business.

We have a favorite restaurant in Kennebunk that we haven’t visited for over a year. *insert audible sigh here* (The bartender is an old client of my husband’s and he’s been known to have a liberal pouring hand. I like that in a man.) My very favorite drink is made there and seeing that it’s won awards, I’m clearly not the only one who loves it.

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Calling it the nectar of the gods doesn’t begin to describe it’s mood elevating goodness, but trust me… it’s close.

So when our barn bar was being planned, built and outfitted? This divine concoction was never far from my mind.

Having never made one, I searched the web for a recipe but only came up with an ingredient list. Being out of Triple Sec I substituted Grand Marnier… and not knowing their homemade sour ingredients, I had to settle for bottled.

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The results were satisfying… if nowhere near the ambrosia level of the original.

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Bad Martha grudgingly approved, but said it still needed a little tweeking.

* side note – my iPhone’s spellcheck changed tweeking to twerking three times… to which Bad Martha thoroughly approves. *

Cocktail in hand, it was time to whip the husband.

At Scrabble! My name is not Martha.

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Game number one gave me a series of disastrous letters…. but I prevailed.

And the beginning of game number two?

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Didn’t begin much better.

( To answer your inevitable question… yes, I drew a ‘c’ Yes, I used that word. And yes, the husband added an ‘ed’ because in the end? He knew he was. )

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A little out of my league.

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While I adore the Drinking With Chickens blog and Facebook page…

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And was thrilled that the author published a cocktail recipe book…

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Loaded with fabulous birds…

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And beautifully crafted drinks…

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I have to admit her concoctions are a little out of my bartending comfort zone.

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And as much as I’d love to dazzle our friends ( if we ever see them again post plague) with these truly gorgeous creations..

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I fear the barn bar, which will be fully stocked with assorted liquors and accompaniments, will more than likely be devoid of fresh persimmons and kumquat thyme syrup.

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Calendula blossoms and cardamom pods? That might be a bridge too far, even for me.

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One tequila, two tequila….

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Because if you need a cocktail recipe book?

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It might as well have a literary slant and begin with one of my favorite quotes.

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Ole Dorothy knew her stuff.

But seriously, this is a great little addition to any bar with easy to make classic cocktails.

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The play on titles and snippets of fun facts will amuse even your drunkest friends.

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You can’t go wrong with Gin Eyre, trust me.

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Cheers!

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Hey bartender….

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Sorry, I couldn’t help myself.

While the husband was teleworking yesterday, I laid claim….

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And started bringing glasses and accessories out to the barn bar. Wine, whiskey, mule, margarita, pint and martini glasses… check! Shot glasses, strainer, muddler, shakers… check! Two more shelves need to be installed on the left, but I made a dent.

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And noticed the husband had beat me to the rubber mat and Marine Corps coasters placement.

No matter, I stashed my cheat sheets…

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And my favorite cocktail recipe books.

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And then I found a prominent spot for what I’ve been dying to add to the barn bar ever since my husband began sputtering about building one.

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No bar should be without one.

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Word of the day – adaptation.

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Adapt or die, you’ve all heard the phrase. And never has it been more crucial for small businesses to do just that.

Bars and restaurants have been especially hard hit by the pandemic and though take out food helps them stay afloat, it’s in the bar that establishments realize their largest profit.

Enter The Great Lost Bear.

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A veritable institution of alcohol and beer consumption in Portland, Maine for the past 40 years. With 80 rotating taps…

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And a large creative menu, it’s worth the hassle of trying to finding a parking spot on the always crowded Forest Avenue.

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(If you’re a fan of John Connelly’s books? This is the bar Charlie Parker uses as a makeshift office.)

Sadly, we haven’t visited this paragon of drunkenness for quite some time but I was pleased to see they’re adapting.

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With outdoor drinking during good weather…

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And cocktails to go when Mother Nature says no.

Brilliant!

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Some of them sound quite tasty.

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And now that we have our own bar, I might have to mix a few.

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Pie in a glass?

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Who doesn’t love that?

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Timing is everything.

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And it’s always bad at Casa River.

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Yesterday morning I saw that rat bastard red squirrel.

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She was running all over our roof and gutter probably looking for a way back into the house.

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I chased her off with the broom, but 10 minutes later she was back. She hung around for another half hour or so and for once….

I wish she’d stayed a little longer.

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Well, hello there.

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 Your timing was awful, but please come back another day.

I have multiple squirrel recipes to share.

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I have questions.

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My first question is why I even bother going to Wal Mart in the first place? For a store that claims to have everything, they rarely… if ever… have what I need.

Bird seed?

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Nope.

Is there a new Covid 19 shopping panic I don’t know about? Are preppers stocking their bunkers with sunflower seed and suet now? I mean really… every single time I go Wal Mart… specifically for bird seed… the shelves are bare. It’s beyond annoying.

While I was there this time I also looked for individual au gratin baking dishes, because ya know… River needs to bake some fancy fish.

Nope. Couldn’t find any.

The rude gum smacking purple haired helpful sales associate I finally tracked down and asked told me there was no such thing… but I could find the potatoes on aisle 12.

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Sheets?

Our niece wanted some flowered ones for her dorm room… but Wal Mart said no can do.

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Flowers?

Forget about it. Plain grey, beige and navy. It was the same blah color scheme of that furniture store I visited a while back. And hey, I understand trends as much as the next girl… but what happened to something for everyone?

Feeling totally discouraged, I searched for one more thing.

A simple thing. A thing surely every Wal Mart in America carries.

A sweatshirt for the husband…

But did I find one?

I think you know the answer to that.

There was one lone sweatshirt in the men’s department. A size small… in bright red.

* note to Wal Mart stockers – get with the program! It’s Maine. We need bird seed, sweatshirts and fancy fish bakers. *

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I have to admit this one got me thinking…

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What is it they say…?

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Revenge is a dish best served cold.

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Hmm. I’d have no problem with supply, momma red squirrel reproduces like a rabbit.

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Now I love me some biscuits and gravy… but no.

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And though I’ve been known to make a mean gumbo…. again, no.

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Squirrel ravioli? Can’t quite wrap my mind around that.

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While I admit they annoy me to no end, that image is a trifle disturbing.

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Fried squirrel heart on crackers with cheese? You don’t see that on many appetizer trays.

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Squirrel lard cookies.

Is it me…. or do they look like little nut topped turds?

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Blue Monday.

 

We’re extremely blue at Casa River.

 

 

And loving every minute of it.

 

 

Our bushes are full of ripe fruit and we can’t pick fast enough.

 

 

The neighbors get a bowl.

The postman gets a bowl.

If y’all lived closer, you’d get a bowl as well.

 

 

After picking, it was time to dig out my favorite blueberry recipes.

 

 

The coffee cake was wonderful.

 

 

Bursting with fat juicy fruit.

 

 

Unfortunately, the cobbler didn’t cobble.

 

 

The berries were so big the batter didn’t squeeze up through, but sat at the bottom and made cake instead.

Of course, now that I think about it….

 

 

There’s nothing wrong with upside down cobbler.

It still tastes fabulous.

So if you care to share your favorite recipe…. I’m all ears.

And blue fingers.

 

For Boo, as requested.

 

 

What is it with men and old westerns?

 

They say there’s a little boy in every man….. and if that’s true?

Mine is playing cowboys and Indians.

Left to his own devices, my husband could easily watch the western channel 24 hours a day.  I know…. because True Grit, Fort Apache and Rio Bravo have been the background soundtrack to my life for the past 36 years.

He likes westerns, ergo he likes John Wayne.

Not as a real person, he neither knows nor cares who that was….. but rather as an idealized portrait of what a real man is supposed to be. At least on screen.

So when we went to Lowes the other day and were standing on the check out line? You know he had to grab this:

 

 

“Manly meals”.

I’m sure you can hear my eyes rolling from there.

 

 

Who knew my husband wanted to be a cookout legend?

The man who has never read a recipe in his life, but had to buy this book. And may I just say?

I was not impressed.

 

 

 

That is the saddest excuse for steak I’ve ever seen. And with pesto made from cilantro as an accompaniment? The Duke and his horse should be run out of town with their heads hanging down in shame.

 

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Now correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t Texas do everything up big?

If so, these are misnamed…. because those are the skimpiest, most pathetic tacos to ever grace a shell.

And I’m from Maine.

We fill our tacos with haddock and lobster… what do we know?

I’ll spare you the Gun Smokey Barbecue Chicken and the Ringo Kid’s Skirt Steak, but suffice it to say I doubt any of Wayne’s dishes will ever make it to our table.

And now, because this is my blog and you know I can’t help myself…. here’s one final picture of the quintessential manly man.

You can thank me later.

 

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