Category Archives: Drinks

Disastrous Mojitos

“Nooo,” Emelie cried as her involuntary hand gesture knocked the glass over, spilling it’s precious and ridiculously expensive contents on the kitchen table.

“My mojitooo!” – Tina howled with the genuine pain and anger of an innocent girl done horribly wrong, her anguished cry echoing through the room and hitting me like a thousand icy spikes right through the heart and drawing some really uncomfortable flashbacks to much unhappier times.

Don’t,” I managed, steadying myself against the table as I tried to regain control of my involuntarily shaking legs.. “Don’t EVER do that again! Only once in the last two years have I heard such sadness and pain in your voice and back then you were trembling and crying uncontrollably in my arms.. Please, baby, it’s just a drink.”

“But..,” she looked at me with deep, sad, blue eyes, pointing at the mess that Emelie had made and was now in the process of cleaning up.. “It was my drink.. My mojito!” – “Yes, sweetie,” I countered, “and that’s my $100 rum being sucked up by kitchen towel, you’ll live and I’ll make you another mojito.” – She smiled at me gratefully, as I started shaking her another mojito and as Emelie finished, cleaning up the mess she’d left, I handed Tina another mojito and, shaking my head slightly, went back to cooking dinner.. “I should have just gone to the Entombed show downtown,” I though jokingly to myself. “It would have been easier than to spend Friday night cooking for these two crazy ladies.” It wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun, though, so despite the drama, the spilled drinks and the yelling, I was happy I had decided to spend the evening cooking for, and enjoying the company of, my lovely girls.

The drama above wasn’t part of the plan, but the mojitos were. For almost a week, we’d planned to spend Friday evening together, having a few drinks and some good food. Tina had, through her usual means of persuasion, made sure that the drinks of choice would be traditional Caribbean mojitos and daiquiris, and that the food to go along be traditional Mexican dishes, namely quesadillas and carne asada burritos. Both lovely ladies claimed that said dishes and said drinks traditionally go together and since their main arguments came in the shape of sweet smiles and batting eyelashes, I thought it futile to argue.. At any rate, I aim to please.

So yeah, anyways, Friday evening, I’d dragged myself all the way down to Emelie’s pad with all the ingredients to make some killer home-made quesadillas and burritos along with some nacho chips, a six-pack of Coronas, a bottle of French white wine and all the ingredients for the mojitos and daiquiris that were as of now apparently an integral part of traditional Mexican cooking tradition. In other words, I’d brought enough food to make the girls content, full and happy.. And enough booze to get them beautifully liquored up. The latter, at least, I seemed to be succeeding in judging by the fact that glasses were flying around the kitchen even before dinner was served.

Which about brings us back to where we were. Having regained some sort of control over the situation and having made sure everybody once again had something to drink, I set about finishing dinner while I had the girls set the table. Well, that is, I tried to have the girls set the table but made the mistake of asking the giddy, chatty girls if they’d mind setting the table once they were done with their little talk about nothing in particular.. Which, in their defense, they did, I just hugely underestimated the amount of time girls can spend chatting about nothing in particular.. So by the time we had time to sit down and eat, the quesadillas were pretty well done and I’d learned an important Zen lesson.

Starving as I was, though, the quesadilla appetizers were amazing if I dare say so myself and they went down really, really well with a cold Corona, a bit of home-made salsa and the guacamole which Tina had struggled to help me make, this time not only by mashing up the avocados for the mix, but by actually running (yes, running) out and getting new, ripe avocados as those I’d brought turned out impossibly unripe.. Thank you, baby, you saved the evening!

The appetizer was followed by more chatting, some clearing of the table and a short break while I messed up the main dish. Errm.. Which is to say that I didn’t so much mess it up as I made some involuntary fusion cooking. The beef was great, the refried beans as well, the Spanish rice and the compliments. But, as it turns out, if you leave flour tortillas in the oven for too long, they toughen up and lose a lot in the whole being pliable department, and as such they’re kinda hard to roll and manipulate into a burrito-like shape. And so, the Carne Asada taco was invented! If you can’t manage a roll, you can at least manage a semi-circle.

The resulting dish looked downright comical, but tasted pretty authentic, and hey, the girls were happy and that’s all that matters.. Hell, I was happy, too, by the time I got around to my second Corona. And so, we feasted, ate, drank and were merry until a state of food coma was reached by all.. Well, all but Tina who sneered at me as I tried to remove her plate a little too early, then had another bite and declared defeat. As the girls sat back, I quietly sneaked into the kitchen and, knowing that my cooking ways don’t usually harmonize too well with a woman’s idea of tidiness of the kitchen area, tried to clean things off a bit after myself.

I managed to keep at this dodgy plan for all of ten minutes before Emelie cried out “Joohaaaaan?” in her usual semi-concerned/semi-disapproving manner. “Be right there,” I countered, after which the girls came charging into the kitchen and gave me a right trashing for trying to tidy things up. I stood my ground pretty firmly for a while before Tina resorted to her mean, girlish ways, huggled me, snuck an arm around my waist and dragged me back into the living room without too much protest on my behalf. Damn women and their disarming tricks!

After having successfully failed in trying to clean up after myself, I thought fuck it and just plopped down with the girls on the couch where they were now snuggling under their own respective blankets. Not being much of a blanket man myself, I decided to keep warm by grabbing a bottle of wine instead and pouring a glass for Tina and myself while Emelie stuck to snoozing over the remainder of her Corona.. We then set out to watch a movie, namely “Tenacious D in The Pick of Destiny”, a movie Tina claimed to never have seen despite me showing it to her a few years back.. Which she would have to admit upon seeing the first scene of the movie.. Regardless, though, it was still a fun movie and watching it with Emelie just proved all the more fun..

See, Emelie (bless her) have a way of making funny movies even more fun because the poor girl can simply not handle embarrassing situations, not even on film. Which means that she reacts to comical embarrassment in the way that most girls would usually react to horror movies, by shying away from the screen, turning her head, perhaps even hiding under the blanket if things get really bad. It’s a strange kind of behavior, if you ask me, but Emelie being Emelie, it’s also a strangely cute kinda behavior.. And having watched this particular movie about a dozen times myself, I’d say it made for some great variation now and then. And I use the term now and then because I could have been perfectly happy just watching Emelie for most of the film, but she, in turn decided to spend half of the movie sound asleep.. It had been a long day after all.

After a great movie, a few power naps, some good laughs and some even better glasses of wine, we sat and chatted for a while, watching VH1 and laughing at music videos from our younger years. Ahh, good times. Fast times, though, as most of us were pretty well spent after a long day at work, and Emelie in particular was nodding off. So, we decided to call it a day, Tina asked Jeppe to come pick her up, I started gathering my stuff, Tina got picked up, I helped Emelie clear out the rest of the mess I’d created and then I, too, headed home, carrying the last two glasses of wine with me in the bottle to share with a good friend once I made it home, i.e. myself..

And I’m happy to report that I did just that once I got home over some good music and an even better book. I’ve really taken to reading again and am quite enjoying it. After a long busy Friday it was just plain awesome to be able to kick my feet up at home, dig into my newly purchased Johnny Cash auto-biography, pour myself a glass of really good wine and disappear into American VI.. What a great day!

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Finding culinary inspiration.. At the bottom of a bottle?

Being the foodie that I am, I get a lot of questions relating to cooking in general and a few relating to my cooking in particular.

One question that I often get is one that goes something along the lines of “Gee, Johan, how the f’ do you come up with those weird culinary ideas of yours?” As much as I would like to say that all my dishes are based on careful though, proper planning, and careful timing and execution.. The (sad?) truth is that a fair number of them are based on guess work and sheer fucking luck, and come about in a state of mild to heavy intoxication.. Such is also the case of one of my most recent innovations: Slow roasted leg of wild boar with three-whisky gravy and mashed potatoes.

The main problem with a creative environment fueled by alcohol and silliness is, of course, that details get a little sketchy and pics a bit blurry as no one really thought to bring a proper camera in wild anticipation of the innovation about to take place. I hope, however, that you will still enjoy this tale of how stupidly simple the process behind my cooking can be:

The date was January.. err.. somethingth.. I’d recently woken slightly dazed and confused on Dunkel’s couch after a night of binge drinking and other silliness. We were in the midst of a rather strange morning ritual involving listening to the recently deceased Gerry Rafferty’s “Baker Street” while sipping a snifter of quality Scotch whisky..

In the middle of this ritual, Dunkel suddenly exclaims “Oh, I’ve got a project for the day!,” then retreats to the kitchen and comes back with an entire fucking leg of a wild boar and an absolutely dazed and insane look on his face, stating that “we should do something with this!”

“Okay,” I venture, recovering from my initial surprise, “I suggest slow roasting, lots of aromatic vegetables and eventually a gravy based on the roasting juices.” – “I agree,” Dunkel states, looking at my one liter bottle of MacAllan Elegancia 12 year old Whisky.. “And I think we need to add Whisky to the gravy!” – “Deal,” I mumble, draining my glass and following Dunkel and the “serves 10-12 people” cut of wild boar into the kitchen where we then set about clearning up most of the mess from last night in order to start the project.

Things were cleared up pretty quickly and sporadically, the oven was set to around 65 degrees centigrade (which is as high as you should cook pork no matter what your grandma or various scaredypants tell you!) and the hunt was on to find a suitable vessel to cook the leg’o’boar in.. Which proved a little more difficult than expected

After a lot of searching around and an equal amount of swearing, we eventually located a non-stick roasting dish which (almost) had room for the roast and, toasting enthusiastically, we set about the very complex task of seasoning the roast and adding aromatic vegetables. We solved this complex problem by pretty much pulling everything that could be qualified as “aromatic vegetables” out of the fridge and throwing them into the pan without much more than a wash and maybe a snap or two. We then chucked the roast on top, seasoned it well with salt and pepper and whatever else we found reasonable in our intoxicated minds which amounted to thyme, rosemary, tarragon, parsley and a generous coating of Dijon mustard to make it all stick.. Coz, well, yeah.

For liquid we added a bit of water, a bit of stock and a generous splash of MacAllan Elegancia Whisky, a generous splash of Tullamore Dew Whisky.. And some Bushmills Whisky as well, simply because we had the option of using three kinds of Whisky and it somehow seemed reasonable at the time.. After everyone and the

dog had approved of the result,

we chucked the damn thing in the oven and forgot about it for a good five hours.

Well, that is we TRIED to forget about it for a good five hours.. But the damn thing smelled so nice that it was kinda hard to ignore.. Which was probably a good thing because it inspired us to check on the thing often and, eventually, realize that we had completely forgotten to add bacon to the mix.. Which was just a plain silly rookie mistake as we had a pack of bacon just sitting around in the fridge waiting to get wrapped around the roast. So after some five hours, we retrieved the roast, added bacon and popped it all back.

We then waited patiently for another good three hours or so. We then evacuated the roast once more, had a good peek at it, drained the juices into a sauce pan where we let it rest for a good half hour or more while we made the sauce and a bit of mash to go along.

The mash was made in the usual way using boiled potatoes, salt, pepper, nutmeg, a heart-clogging amount of butter and a bit of skim milk to taste.. Careful on the milk, mind you, you don’t want too many calories in there!

Ages ago, I made a pledge never to try my hands with mash, so while Dunkel took care of that, I did what I do best.. Or better than mash anyways.. Which was to take care of the gravy: it started with a bit of roux (flour and butter) which was browned nicely in a sauce pan, the roasting juices from the meat were then added along with a splash of Whisky (for good measure), some cream and a splash of caramel coloring.. It was then left to reduce slightly and grow all thick and nice-like.. Simple as could be.. And tasty as could be!

“D’you realize,” I said to Dunkel as we were putting the finishing touches on everything, “that a lot of people would be terrified to attempt what we just did.. And here we are, getting wasted, cocking about and just guesstimating our way through this.. Isn’t that funny?” – “Well, we’re more awesome than the average chef,” Dunkel simply declared, raising his glass to me.. And with that in mind, we were ready to carve the roast, plate it up and feast.

And feast we did.. Because, well, despite all the weirdness, the guessing and considerable blood alcohol levels, I’d have to declare awesomeness on the result. Wild boar really is one of my favorite eats, probably because it’s gamey yet not too gamey and still distinctively pork-like in a less fat than domesticated pork kind of way. The herbs and the vegetables went really well with the gamey flavors of the meat and (along with the obscene amounts of expensive Whisky) added a nice touch to the gravy which was out of this world in a “I’d like to just eat this with a spoon” kinda way.. A feat which may or may not have been attempted.

With Dunkel, myself and his girlfriend, Marianne, we ended up a total of three diners and while we did not entirely devour the “serves 10-12 people” hunk of meat, we did our damn best and got pretty shockingly long on our quest to finish it up.. Suffice to say, we didn’t quite make it.. But if you’re interested in seeing how a couple of strapping young lads look after trying to finish a meal fit for ten, look no further than here:

Yeah, not too pretty, is it? But what did you expect? Honestly, it was a rather silly attempt, a rather silly idea altogether, but it just had to be done.. If for no other reason then to prove that it doesn’t take a clear-headed genius to achieve culinary innovation. I’m sorry if that causes disillusionment to anyone 😉

The New Year’s Eve Saga 2010, Part 3: The Party

When I last left this story, some two weeks ago, I think I stated that immediately after dinner the table was cleared and a party was had.. Which may be a bit of a half-truth because as we all know, boys will be boys and on New Year’s eve boys get to play with fireworks.. And in a perfect world they get to put firework to use for purposes for which they were not quite intended.. As was exactly the case for Jeppe and I and our Grand New Year’s Salute.. Which was really nothing but a large bunch of over-sized whistling fireworks which we had spend a borderline stupid amount of time taping together as to make them go off in a chain reaction and create as much noise, smoke, fire and uproar as possible..

Granted, it was a pretty ridiculous project, but we were proud of our ridiculous project, damnit, and we couldn’t wait to set it off.. So while others thought we should clear the table, Jeppe and I thought we should don our jackets, safety goggles and what have you and go outside and set off our little salute to the neighbors.. Some claimed it was a stupid idea, others that we were silly. We, on the other hand, thought we were pretty smart and funny.. That is until we got the thing lit and set off a little more than we had bargained for. The plan was to make a bit of noise for the neighborhood and add a bit of a smoke screen as a mild nuisance.. What really happened is that we unleashed a minute-long cacophony of hellfire and 120DB shrill whistling echoing between neighboring houses  while thick black smoke billowed into the night air effectively blocking any view of the display fireworks going into the air from other neighbors.. In essence, we had no clue of the terror we’d unleashed on the neighborhood, so we just stood there staring while it went on and on, dogs started barking, kids fled screaming and crying, parents pointed and scowled and our eyes started watering all while I ears rang with the echo of the noise being created.. As it all finally came to an end, we just sorta looked at one another, cried “AWESOME!”, did a high five and fled inside before any upset neighbors could get a hold of us.

As we got in, we discovered, somewhat happily, that the table had very conveniently nearly cleared itself during our absence. So, exhausted from our efforts of terrorizing the neighborhood, we sat down for a few glasses of wine.. And a few shots that had somehow, despite my protests, made it to the table.

And so there we sat for a while, having drinks, getting liquored up and silly, playing the age old game of cleavage target practice which is something my two blonde sidekicks Tina and Zascha (bless them) always tend to instigate after a couple of hours (and a couple of glasses of wine) in each others company.. But, y’know, who are we to complain? Actually, I think it might make a great spectator sport at some point.. Ahem, I digress..

After a while of everybody getting liquored up and silly, someone got the great idea – as it usually happens at around this time – that it would be fun to play a game or two of Sing Star. I should have objected, as I usually do, but y’know, even if I can’t sing to save my life, who am I to argue against cute girls AND alcohol? So, after a few quick singing lessons from Zascha, who is actually a trained AND skilled singer and apparently continued her trend of trying to teach me one new thing every New Year’s Eve, I decided I was none the wiser, grabbed Zascha by one hand and a wine glass full of menthol liquor (her idea, I SWEAR!) in the other and jumped into the process of getting my ass kicked in every song ranging from Alice Cooper’s “Poison” over Twisted Sister’s “We’re Not Gonna Take It” to some indie rock crap I just plain refused to have any part of.. Which is not to say I didn’t have any fun, it just went to show that I sucked at it! But oh well, so did most everybody else (except Zascha who had a bit of a natural advantage what with being a singer and all), so we all had fun on pretty much equal grounds and no one cared that most everybody sounded like shit. Actually, I was somewhat surprised that the Sing Star episode turned out to one of the best experiences of the evening, but be that as it may, the damn thing’s funny after a few drinks.. And there’s something both strangely awesome and strangely sentimental about getting to sing songs with special meanings with people you care about and a drunken chorus in the background such as when Tina and I did “Kryptonite” by 3 Doors Down which is pretty much our song and when Zascha and I did a duet of “Losing My Religion” by R.E.M. which is sorta kinda our song as well.. Well, one of our songs.. Out of lack of the very obvious “Tiny Dancer” by Elton John, “Always” by Bon Jovi, “Teenage Dirtbag” by.. And, well, let’s just stop it there.. Anyways, good times, happy times!

Such happy times, actually, that most of the crowd grew a little surprised when someone exclaimed “holy crud, it’s almost Midnight! Get the Champagne! Put on ‘Dinner for One’!” (there’s a strange Danish New Year’s tradition for ya!).. Frantic scrambling ensued and within minutes everybody were assembled in front of the TV, eagerly awaiting the chime of the bells signaling the birth of the new year.. A fact which made it all the more surprising that everybody seemed to miss the big moment. “Not to interrupt, startle or alarm anyone,” I finally bellowed in my ever so diplomatic manner, “but it’s 2011 now, so fucking CHEERS!” – “OH!,” went the rest of the crowd, “CHEERS!” – and then chaos ensued, everybody scattered and poured outside, wanting a look of the fireworks, I on the other hand ran around in a daze, picking up everything that the girls had forgotten in their hurry and pouring Champagne for those who had forgotten, then eventually made it outside to catch the very last of the fireworks.. But such is the life and ways of a gentleman, and I did get big hugs from the girls and a huff off a cigar from the guys.

We staggered around outside talking, looking at fireworks and drinking Champagne for as long as we could possibly keep up with the cold and the dark, then eventually poured back inside where we enjoyed more drinks, more shots, a quick snack, some wine and – quite possibly – a beer or two.. I really shan’t say, things were getting a little blurry at the time.. Which is why the next few hours for me contained pretty much merely scattered images of talking to various people, drinking various things, making playlists with Zascha, playing air guitar to Top Gun Anthem with the boys and then going to the toilet only find out when I get back that Tina and Jeppe had gotten tired and decided to turn in for the night.. So I’m just gonna go ahead and say that those were the only things that happened between 0:30 AM and 2:30 AM, at least that’s how I remember it.

And from then on I just remember things getting crazier.. There was more loud music, more drinking (though both Zascha and I slowed down considerably), more singing, and dancing.. A lot of dancing – even on my part! Again, who am I to say no to cute girls AND alcohol.. And it was all good times in a really weird, draining kinda way. Such good times, actually, that we managed to keep the party going till nearly 5 AM.. When everybody just sorta literally collapsed in a pile.. Which is an odd way of putting it, but it really sorta is what happened..

I should clarify.. See, sleeping arrangements turned out a little weird that evening. Zascha and Emelie had originally brought an inflatable mattress to sleep on, but come 4:30 AM, the thing just would inflate. Ronnie and I on the other hand, had decided to split the couch for the night seeing as it was large enough for things not to get awkward or borderline gay. What happened then was that with the mattress part being out of the equation, all four of us ended up sleeping on the couch with Ronnie in one corner, Emelie in the other and Zascha and I sorta huddled up together at Emelie’s feet, taking up a shockingly small amount of space for two normally sized individuals. Oh it was a strange night indeed, and would probably have been an awkward one, too, at that, had Zascha, Emelie and I not been such great friends because more than once did people get kicked here or there and more than once did people wake up from getting an ass in their head. Every now and then someone would go up and go to the bathroom and everybody else get a bit of a chance to readjust and be comfortable for the odd half hour or so and possibly catch a bit of shut eye.. In other words, it was the most comfortable of sleeps, but certainly one of the more memorable.. And probably the only time in my life I’ve been told off because “Johan, your head is on my ass!” .. So, really, that’s how I started my 2011, huddled up on what was actually a reasonably sized couch, until four people tried to sleep on it at once..

I secretly wish someone would have gotten up in the middle of the night to take pictures because while I’m sure it wasn’t pretty, it would have been memorable.

Where’s the rum gone?

In case you’re wondering, preparing for a rum tasting and a dinner with a raging hangover is neither the easiest nor the most fun thing in the world. But apparently a raging hangover is what you get for helping Dunkel wait for the train, as detailed in my last post. As a result, most preparations for Saturday’s big Caribbean dinner/rum tasting event was done in the short period between around 4 PM when I started to feel well enough to move about to 6 PM when Tina had scheduled her arrival. It went rather slowly, and I’m not gonna lie to you, there was some groaning, but it all got done in time.

When Tina arrived, shortly after 6 PM, it quickly became clear that she too, may well have been hell-bent for trouble on the night before. For starters, she was swaying slightly from side to side the minute she got in the door.. Secondly, she wore what I’ve come to describe as her hangover hoodie, a large over-sized purple specimen we’d picked out at a mens’ store once while shopping for me. When we hugged, we didn’t so much hug as we just grabbed hold of one another, leaned into one another and both tried to apply enough force and guidance as to not topple over. “I don’t feel so good,” she said – “Me neither, babe,” I replied, “there was trains and Dunkel and waiting and brandy..” – “What?,” she demanded, after which I tried to explain, causing her to laugh, cough and nearly fall over again.. Indeed, we were a pretty miserable bunch as we kicked off the evening.. Which is why I decided to kick things off with a drink!

The concept of the evening was pretty simple: Tina had asked me to introduce her to rum. I figured we’d start with some classic rum drinks, have dinner, then have a go at tasting some sipping rums and see what happened. For the first drink of the evening I’d chosen the most classic and simplest of all rum drinks, the original Daiquiri.. And I don’t mean that girlish pink shit with berries, fruit and whatever the fuck have you. I mean just classic white, semi-aged Cuban rum, fresh squeezed lime juice and simple syrup.. Simple, fresh, tasty and a perfect cure for the hangover.. And a perfect way to win over Tina because, well, the girl loves her some Havana Club 3 year old and is absolutely obsessed with lime juice..

So the hangover was quickly forgotten and we were quickly chatting about the night before, a peaceful activity which lasted for all of five minutes or so before the fighting broke out. It started innocently with Tina telling me about this hot little outfit she’d been wearing the night before and it ended rather horribly when I remarked that she never wore anything nice for me anymore but rather showed up hung over in her work clothes or an old, oversized hoodie with tales of how fucking nice she’d looked the day before. Tina responded with a slur of profanities, pointing out that I myself was in a five year old band shirt and, in case I hadn’t noticed, was hung over myself.. It all sorta escalated from there until I decided to bring the argument to a halt with more alcohol.. Consequently a pair of Cuba Libres were had, as well as two different Mai Tais, all in miniature versions as to not have people off their feet before dinner.

Speaking of dinner, it was a complete success. In keeping with the Caribbean theme of the evening, I’d made Jamaican jerk chicken, served with rice and beans cooked with coconut milk, garlic and spring onions

The whole thing was served up with Jamaican Red Stripe beer

and consumed in a very laid back manner

Which got even more relaxed once dinner had been consumed and poor Tina got completely knocked out by the weight of the food and just sorta collapsed over a row of chairs.. The good friend in me wanted to pick her up and carry her to the couch to rest a bit, however, the fucking idiot friend in me was busy taking pictures and poking her in the stomach until she started looking at me with big, sad, puppy dog eyes and quivery lips and going “Please.. Don’t..”

at which point I let her retreat to the couch and cleared the table, only to return to her with the only thing I know am certain to ALWAYS make her feel better.. Mojitos!

Once again in miniature versions and this time around made with my pricy Havana Club Cuban Barrel Proof rum.. Not only did that wake her up, it made her absolutely. positively ecstatic and giddy. “Y’know,” she beamed, “I think we’ve found our new go-to Mojito rum!” – “Honestly,” I said, turning to look at her with a serious face.. Which was instantly met with Tina’s usual offense of soft smiles, ever-widening deep blue eyes and batting eyelashes.. “Oh c’mon,” I muttered, “fine, whatever, but then you’re paying the extra DKK 300 a bottle out of your own little pockets!” … And with that, Tina’s face froze for a little. “Fine,” she smiled softly, “the 3 year old might do the trick for now.”

In the end, though, it proved nearly impossible to get the poor girl to abandon the thought of the Barrel Proof.. Or even to get her to part with the bottle for that matter, and since I’m a sucker for pretty blondes, I eventually suggested that we make it our very special occasion Mojito rum, a suggestion which was met with more big smiles.

Having thusly survived both dinner and a small onslaught of rum drinks – or drink tapas as I came to call them due to the smaller servings, we moved up to the big boys, the sipping rums. We kicked things off with one of my personal favorites, English Harbor 5 year old which is stupidly good for such a relatively young and inexpensive rum as it is. We then moved up through the 8, 12 and 15 year olds until we eventually ended with two of the best, if not THE best rums in the world. The Santa Teresa 1796 15 year old and the Ron Zacapa 23 year old. Both absolutely marvelous rums! Tina has had the Zacapa 23 once before and to this day swears it’s the best spirit she’s ever tasted. Me, I’m not too sure, I want to say the Zacapa 23 because it’s just so damn smooth and friendly, yet the Santa Teresa is clearly better balanced and more versatile.. Gah, I can’t say. Parts of me wanted to try both rums over again to maybe be able to make up my mind, but parts of me knew that was a pretty silly idea. For one thing because it’d end up a fucking expensive rum tasting and for another because after some 12 rums in an evening, details get a little blurred, even when only sampling very small portions..

So instead of doing that, I did the second stupidest thing I could do which was to mix up more Mojitos.. This time simply to see what would happen if we used a 15 year old Cuban styled rum as the mixer.. Which turned out to be nothing good, really. The more subdued softness of the aged rum made it drown completely in the mix, creating a slightly expensive yet utterly characterless Mojito.. Oh well, that was that plan tried. We washed down the failed Mojito with a more standard one and then, not wanting to face another day of hangovers, decided to call it a night.. By the time you’re mixing 15 year old rums, it’s probably about time to call it a night anyways.. But what a good night it was.

“You know,” Tina told me in the end before her knight in shiny.. fashionable clothes came to carry her away on.. in.. his white.. Toyota Aygo, “I feel almost bad that despite all the awesome rums you tried on me, my favorite is still the Zacapa 23 and your standard Mojito.. – “Don’t, sweetie,” I told her, “at least you have good taste and at least your favorite thing in the world is still something I make.. That’s not too bad, really.”

How jerk chicken nearly landed me in Munich

It was supposed to have been just another quite Friday evening on my own like so many others I’ve had lately. I’d treated myself to a Dry Martini of the luxurious variety, I’d made some good dinner which I’d consumed with a good glass of wine.. And the plan was to then just sorta kick back, enjoy life, rest up and get ready for Saturday night’s dinner and rum tasting with Tina.. I had it all pretty much laid out.

Tina had asked me to give her a crash course in rum so I had an entire evening laid out of classic rum drinks, a Jamaican styled dinner and then a whole bunch of different sipping rums.. I had it all planned out pretty well, the only thing that was left was for me to spend parts of my Friday evening throwing together some marinade for some Jamaican jerk chicken I was planning to make the next day – and to soak some kidney beans for a bean and rice side dish.. It seemed like a pretty straight forward and cosy little Friday evening project.

And then Dunkel showed up and fucked everything up big time.. Or well, he didn’t so much show up as he sent me a text message saying something along the lines of “I’m in town for about an hour and a half, waiting for a connecting train, I’m bored, I have beer, come keep me company!” – Well, I live about a ten minute walk from the train station, so keeping my old friend company was the least I could do. So I throw on a jacket, walk outside, realize it’s fucking cold, go back inside for a bottle of brandy to bring along just in case we need something to keep us extra warm during the hour-long wait (y’know, as you do!) .. and set off.

I arrived at the station some ten minutes later,having only received a few weird looks along the way. I bumped heads with Dunkel who immediately handed me a tall boy of Carlsberg lager, then grabbed my bottle of brandy and swigged away. We then went “Oh yeah, HI by the way!”, I sat down and we fell into conversation about everything from the good old days over music to music production and crazy plans for the future.. All while pounding beers and hitting the bottle pretty hard. Within about half an hour we were pretty far out of it and actually nearly on our way to spontaneously boarding a night train to Munich for the simple reason that none of us had ever been to Oktoberfest and it seemed a pretty fun adventure. As we realized that the only thing holding us back is the fact that I wasn’t carrying my VISA card and that I had a dinner planned with Tina the next day, we came to the conclusion that we’d probably hit the bottle a little to hard and that we should probably slow down a little.

Of course, by that time it was already too late. We’d been hitting it like it was the good old days without realizing that none of us had really partied much in the last odd year or so and as such, our tolerance wasn’t quite what it was back in the day. It was around this time, too, that the family with kids sitting next to us were starting to shoot us some pretty weird looks, so in the end it felt like a bit of a relief when Dunkel’s train arrived and he staggered onto it while I staggered home, locked myself in through the front door, put the bottle of brandy in the kitchen, threw Metallica’s “Kill ‘Em All” album on the stereo and started abusing the hell out of my speakers.. It was all pretty good times until I suddenly found myself thinking “Wasn’t I supposed to be doing something right now? Oooh.. Right.. The jerk marinade for tomorrow night! Fuck me, I’m hammered!”

So, I did what any person in my situation shouldn’t do, I went to the kitchen broke out a couple of chef knives, a blender, large amounts of some very hot chili peppers and a bunch of other ingredients.. To try something I’d never done before which was to make Jamaican jerk marinade from scratch, for the first time ever, without a recipe.. Now, I’d love to detail the process for you, my dear readers, but honestly, I’ll be damned if I remember the details. I do remember being generous with the rum in the marinade, though, and using only one Habanero pepper per person rather than the two I had planned.. Which eventually led me to tasting the finished mix and concluding that it was nowhere near hot enough, the concluding that my taste buds were probably pretty zapped and that maybe I should sleep on it – and thank God for that because when I tasted it the next morning (with a raging hangover) I concluded that it was probably well hot enough for someone like Tina. I also included that in my late night drunken cooking adventure, I’d forgot to add vinegar to the marinade but that it wasn’t really missing in the mix.

Last but not least I concluded that I make a mean Jamaican Jerk marinate.. Especially for a first try.. By someone who was, well, shitfaced at the time of the crime.. I couldn’t wait to show (and feed) Tina the result.. The only real problem was.. I’ll have absolutely no way of ever replicating the process because I forgot like half the steps and all I have to go by is this picture I snapped of some of the ingredients, possibly in an effort to help myself..

Oh and this one I snapped of the rum… Apparently think that I might forget which cheap Jamaican rum I used tor the marinade.. As if this wasn’t the only cheap Jamaican rum I own.

900th rant: Liquid Barbies, tractor pulling and mas Tequila, por favor!

“GARGH!,” I yelled from the back of the car.. “This tastes exactly like I’d imagine drinking Barbie does: cloyingly sweet, artificial, pink and disgusting!” – this not so favorable review was produced in response to my drinking a can of Red Bull which I wholeheartedly believe to be one of the most disgusting drinks ever created and yet it was finding its way down my throat for one reason and one reason only.. I needed the energy and I was entirely too physically exhausted to stomach a cup of coffee, let alone the thought itself.. So Red Bull it was..

If you’re wondering what I was doing in a state of physical exhaustion in the back of Tina’s car, yelling out my frustration about Austria’s national drink, it’s all pretty simple really.. I was going to a major Danish indoors tractor pulling event, and I was doing it on a Saturday morning going on just over an hour of sleep along with my sidekick, Tina, and her boyfriend, Jeppe! Simple as that!

Okay, not quite as simple as that.. But the thing is, Tina’s little brother is quite a skilled mechanic and he’s doing quite a bit of work on a tractor which competes on the circuit, so it only seemed reasonable that we showed up and lend whatever support we had to offer on this Saturday where they were doing their first competition of the season. What didn’t seem too reasonable from my perspective was that we did so at 9:30 AM on a Saturday morning after a long work night. But these are the sacrifices I make working nights. The prospects weren’t made much better by the fact that I’d promised to supply a Mexican theme dinner for Tina and Jeppe later that night and as such was running behind with preparations.. Meaning that once I got home from work at 2 AM Saturday morning, I had about two hours of cooking to do before calling it a night at around 4 AM, pouring myself a drink and sitting down watching some TV, waiting to be able to fall asleep.. Sleep finally set in at some time after 6:30 AM which left me more than a little wobbly when I rolled/fell out of bed again at 8 AM.. But again, these are the sacrifices I make.. And this is why I, about an hour later, found myself in the back of Tina’s car, cussing and yelling at a can of Red Bull which had done nothing wrong other than trying to knock some life into me.

In case you’re wondering, the attempt was pretty futile and served nothing more than to thoroughly entertain Tina and Jeppe who were in the front of the car, trying to navigate us to our destination in the middle of nowhere. An attempt that proved a little more successful than mine as we did eventually arrive at our destination, bought our surprisingly expensive tickets and were guided into a field which doubled as a mud hole and parking area. I bolted from the car and prepared myself for my first real life encounter with the motor sport known as tractor pulling..

A rather surprising encounter to be honest.. As I hadn’t really expected such an event to be much of anything, yet was surprised to see hundreds, well, thousands of people flocking towards the arena, including tourist busses from as far away as Northern Jutland and Germany.. A fact that led me to conclude that I’d better keep my big mouth shut for the next few hours and not make more sarcastic and snide remarks about the sport, the countryside and people attending such events as I was clearly outnumbered and probably well on my way to getting my ass kicked if at any time during the day somebody didn’t appreciate the humor of my overly tired statements.

After some walking about, gazing at tractors, shaking of hands with Tina’s brother and staring at people in general, we made our way to the main arena and the pulling track where I was more than excited to find a beer tent and staggered right over to order my first beer of the Saturday, completely oblivious to the fact that the clock had barely crawled by 9:30 AM. Tina, not to be outdone, got in line right behind me whereas Jeppe decided to just sorta stand there, looking at us and shaking his head in wonder as we had the first toast of the day.. Oh, I also got myself some earplugs as I’d been smart enough to forget mine at home.. They turned out to be all nicely overpriced, colorful and disposable and nowhere near as pretty as Tina’s..

The next few hours were spent chatting a little with the members of Tina’s family that had shown up, watching a lot of big machines make a lot of noise and smoke, drink a few beers and, quite frankly freezing our asses off. We stuck it out long enough to see Tina’s brother’s team have their first very successful pull of the season then collectively (Tina, Jeppe and I) gave in and accepted Tina’s dad’s invitation to join him and his lovely wife for lunch.. Beers, schnapps and all included. We naturally felt very bad about leaving brother Kim behind on this big day, but we were all really hungry, quite tired and very, very cold.. So we piled into Tina’s car and after spending quite some time trying to find a way out of the field cum mud hole cum parking space that we’d parked on, we drove on over to Tina’s parents and joined them for a nice, cozy little lunch, a cup of coffee and a chat.. During which Tina’s dear mother again, and more than once, tried to convince me to start growing my hair again.. Which was pretty heartwarming, but I’m terribly sorry, mum Annette, but it’s even shorter now. While we were having coffee, we got news from Kim that their team had won their class which of course made us both happy and a little sad that we hadn’t had time to go back and watch the finals.. Oh well, turn up the heat a bit next time and we’ll be there.. Promise!

After coffee and some playing with Tina’s parent’s adorable little doggie Frida and some watching of pictures of Tina from when she was even tinier than she is now, we thanked the parental units for their time and headed on our way back towards Kolding. On the way, Jeppe, who is apparently still very young and apparently still has a lot of steam to blow, expressed a very heartfelt desire to stop in the hills surrounding our fair town and run around for a while. At this time I was crashing pretty hard from lack of sleep and the shit-ton of sugar in the Red Bull, thinking the fresh air might at least serve to wake me up again.. Which it didn’t, it pretty much only served to make me cold to the bones and generally upset with the situation.. For which I apologize.. I really was beyond tired at the time. Thankfully, though, my lovely sidekick sensed the situation as always, walked over and put a compassionate arm around me and gently rubbed my back at little till even this tired old hound couldn’t help but smile a little at her boyfriend chasing around and scooting down hills on patches of ice.. Still, I was quite happy to make it back to the warmth of the car.

Having watched Jeppe blow off most of his steam, we headed homebound, swung by my apartment to pick up the prepared dinner for the evening as well as a few good bottles of spirits for drinks later and some beers that I was determined to try to force into Jeppe who is most definitely not a beer drinker. Having thusly filled about four bags with supplies, we piled back into the car and finally made it back down to Tina’s where I stocked everything, produced a sigh of relief and opened a beer while Tina put on some music and got ready to help me with the final preparations for dinner. Now, I’m still not very good at letting people help me with my cooking, but I am getting better, at least at letting trusted kitchen personnel help me.. And the only thing that rivals my fascination with cooking is Tina’s fascination with guacamole.. So it seemed kinda wrong not to let her help me prepare the final side dish which just happened to be guacamole.. Lots of it!

So I put her to work mashing up six ripe avocados while I chucked in the rest of the ingredients and got some other preparations done. The end result was a bowl of guacamole so large that even Tina had to admit that we probably had enough to last us the evening.. Not to be outdone, I had in the meantime produced a mountain of grated cheese large enough to please even Jeppe who is apparently one of the most dedicated cheese munchers in the world.. And as such, we were about ready to get started with dinner.

For starters, I mixed up a bunch of Margaritas I’d made which Reposado Tequila, which is Tequila that has been slightly aged to remove some of what I consider the generally very uncomfortable qualities of Blanco Tequila, mixed with Cointreau, lime juice, sugar and a bit of Jalapeño chili. These I served in glasses rimmed with a mixture I’d made by blending kosher salt with more Jalapeño chili and a bit of lime zest. To go with these I surprised the socks off Tina by serving popcorn.. A favorite snack of hers that I can’t really stand.. But it’s apparently a central American thing, so popcorn it was.. Shaken with melted butter, lime zest, salt, Jalapeño chili, ground cumin, chili flakes and black pepper to at least invite some flavor to the party.

Following this snack, which I had to be wise enough to forcefully remove from Tina because I knew she’d eat her fill if I didn’t, I served my classic starter of Nachos with piles of molten cheese, homemade salsa and guacamole. I forgot to add sour cream to lessen the burn of the salsa, but it didn’t seem like anyone really missed it in the battle for the community platter.. Which happens to be my favorite way of serving Nachos because it forces everybody to kinda forget about their manners and just dig in, a nice way of breaking the ice at any dinner party.

After the Nachos, I went to prepare some simple quesadillas stuffed simply with cheese and salsa while Tina went through one of her now customary costume changes (which I by the way have now come to expect whenever I serve you more than three dishes, baby). This time not in order to get even more prettied up, but rather to slip out of her jeans and into something a little more err.. stretchable.. A behavior which I, by the way, wholeheartedly approved of because while I’m as big of a fan of tight jeans as the next man, I’m also a huge fan of girls who are not afraid to show their appreciation for good food, by actually eating a solid portion, something I’d imagine is inherently easier in a pair of stretchable leggings than in snugly fit jeans.. So good show there! She emerged minutes later in the kitchen to show me that she now had room for more of  my good food and I sent her off with a smile, an affectionate pat on the hair and three Coronas which I’d picked to go with the main courses. Then followed her back into the living room with a stash of quesadillas in hand.

Admittedly, serving beers to someone who doesn’t like the stuff is a bit of a gamble. But.. Mexican food more than anything in the world screams for beer rather than wine as a companion. That or Margaritas.. But we’d have been drunk off our asses if we were to drink Margaritas through all five courses of the evening.. So beer it was, and I figured that Jeppe would just have to try to suck it up.. That or leave more beers for Tina and I to enjoy. Amazingly enough, though, he seemed to enjoy the Coronas almost as much as he did the quesadillas which Tina and I attributed partially to my ability to pick the right beer for the right person and partially to the fact that Corona is a bit of a girly beer.. Yes, poor Jeppe took a lot of heat that evening, but we mean well, I assure you, and we gotta teach him to fight back one way or the other 😛

While the quesadillas were enjoyed by all, my two dining companions requested a bit of a break before the main course on account of not sporting quite as healthy an appetite as myself. I probably should have seen this coming as I might have been a little too hungry before we started having dinner and thus served some quite heavy dishes in pretty quick succession, so I wound it down a little, had a talk with my guests,  who weren’t technically my guests as we were at Tina’s place, but it was my dinner so there, sipped some beer, cleaned up a little of the mess that I per tradition had created in Tina’s kitchen, joked around a little, and then ever so slowly got started on the main course of the evening which consisted of Carne Asada Burritos which is basically thinly sliced, marinated flank steak served in tortillas along with salsa and guacamole. To this I served a bit of Spanish rice and some refried beans. Most of this I had already prepared but the flank steak needed cooking, so I took out the largest skillet I could find, got it steaming hot and seared the hunk of meat for a few minutes, cut it into strips and put it into a dish along with the juices. Then, borrowing a trick from the traditional French kitchen, I deglaced the pan used for the cooking with whatever flavorful liquid I happened to have standing around – in this case more Reposado Tequila. Having thusly wowed the kids, I decided to fully live up to my image as the rock n roll chef and deglaced my own insides with a healthy swig off the tequila bottle.

This kinda behavior apparently partially mortified poor Jeppe who apparently isn’t really quite used to my, at times, somewhat elaborate lifestyle.. Things weren’t made much better when the gorgeous, little blonde standing between us gave me a right scolding for not offering her a taste while I was at it, at which I simply handed her the bottle which she grabbed without hesitation, put to her lips, tilted her head back and took a healthy swig to match mine.. ROCK THE FUCK ON! \m/ We managed to talk Jeppe into taking a small sip as well, but he wasn’t really having any of it and we left him to wander off, shaking his head at us.

After some resting and a few phone calls made and received by various people, we were ready for the main course of the evening which was, of course, had with more beer to go along and went down easily.. After which we had another small break in dinner and Tina and I had some more Tequila.. I’m not exactly sure what happened and when exactly things started going downhill. All I know was that the two of us were in the kitchen getting ready for dessert and that someone started eyeing the bottle of Tequila.. One thing led to another and in true Johan and Tina style, we probably egged one another on a little too much.. At any rate, we ended up cutting a line into wedges and then passing the bottle between us, getting more and more giggly, less and less coherent and increasingly happy faced. “I can see why this drink is such a bitch,” Tina slurred, “with Tequila this good, you don’t wanna stop drinking it!” – “I agree,” I concurred, “and.. uhh.. I forget.. But if you’ll excuse me, sweetie, I’ll go pour some booze in the dessert!” – “Nonono,” countered the little one: “more Teuila!”

At this point I was honestly losing track of exactly who was trying to get who drunk and why. All I know is that I have a hard time arguing against this cute, blue eyed blonde to begin with and that arguing against her AND alcohol would be futile.. So more Tequila it was, the rest of the bottle to be exact.. And a couple of even more happy faced friends were the result.

Having thoroughly scared off Jeppe with our crazy behavior, we then set upon creating the desert which consisted of even more alcohol in the shape or rum marinated, grilled pineapple with Pernod custard, accompanied by a couple of healthy Mojitos. Creating this dish was pretty simple because at this point in the game I was pretty much just doing all the dosing by eye rather than by measurements – including the alcohol for the custard and the Mojitos. This radical behavior did not seem to affect the outcome of the dish, though, or the drinks.. Not in any way detectable to my slightly hammered tastes buds anyways, or to those of Tina and Jeppe. From what I hear, Tina actually did have a taste of the dessert the next day and deemed it to be still “excellent”, so I guess I must’ve gotten things somewhat right even in my intoxicated state.

With the dessert out of the way and the Mojitos as well, Tina and Jeppe decided that it was time for a game of Besserwisser, one of our new favorite board games in the Trivial Pursuit like genre. I, on the other hand, foolishly decided it was time for more Mojitos, so we sat down for a game and a drink. A game I somehow ended up winning which provoked someone into demanding a rematch. Long story short, we spent a good few hours playing board games and getting pretty hammered drinking first Mojitos, then the emergency bottle of wine I always keep at Tina’s in case of.. Well, emergencies.. By about 2 AM, I realized that both Tina and Jeppe were starting to look a liiiiiittle tired and decided that I should probably leave them to it and get on my way home, so I got up, packed up parts of my belongings, put on my shoes and staggered home, feeling ever so slightly sorry along the way for those of us who had to get up at 10 AM the next morning.. While, strangely enough, not feeling at all tired myself for the first time that day..

Good show, guys, I thank you for a wonderful evening and look forward to the second Mexican themed dinner featuring the dishes that didn’t make it into this one.. And possibly slightly fewer Tequila shots off the bottle.

(By the way.. Should you not have noticed from the title, this is incidentally the 900th post here on Random Drunken Rants.. Wow!)

Global Recession Menu 2010, Part 3: The Aftermath

(Continued)

There are a number strangely liberating things about having dinner with Tina.. And hanging out with her in general for that matter.. Some of those being that, like me, she doesn’t take things too seriously and is still a playful kid at heart. Like me she understands that there’s a time to be serious about things and a time to be relaxed and have fun.. Which probably goes to explain why we’re the kinda people to get dressed up nicely for a six hour long gourmet dinner, only to jump out of our fancy clothes and into something a lot more comfortable before dashing outside and having the night end in a snowball fight of epic proportions..

Hmm.. Well, maybe I have to set the scene a little better.. See, Tina had texted me the day before, during a huge snowfall, that I was obligated to come build a snowman with her. Since I couldn’t, on account of having a lot of cooking to do for her, I for once stomached the strength to turn down a plea from her, stating that if anyone could coax me into going outside and playing in the snow (I hate the stuff, remember?), it would probably be her, and that I probably would do it but only if she asked nicely. Well, it didn’t take her long to hold me up to my promise and so the night after, at around 11 PM, after our gourmet dinner and quite a lot of wine and spirits, she applied her charms and.. Well.. In one way or another (probably owing to a lot of alcohol mixed with Tina’s powers of persuasion), I got around to thinking that going outside and building a snowman seemed the only reasonable thing to do at this particular point in time..

So, as I said, we changed, I borrowed some extra warm clothes and we then dashed outside, like a couple of giddy and, albeit, pretty hammered little kids. We dove into the snow and tried our very best to form balls or in one way or another build something even remotely resembling a snowman.. Yet, sadly, it was too damn cold for the snow to be formed into anything at all.. Boo!

Not wanting our entire trip outside to be in vain, and remembering that several months ago, I’d jokingly threatened to bury Tina in snow if she didn’t stop being so damn giddy about the whole thing, I decided that it was time for a bit of a snow fight. At the same time not being terribly interested in giving Tina a chance to defend herself, I didn’t inform her of her of my decision, and so while she was still busying herself trying to make a snowman, I dove at her from her blind side, picked her up, swooped her off her feet and dumped her in a pile of snow before starting to pile more snow on her. Tina, being outmatched at least in terms of physical strength took to kicking, screaming and squealing and shoveling snow back in my face until I let go and she staggered to her feet.. After which a huge chase ensued all along the parking lot in front of her apartment building.

I really hope that not too many people were awake or looking out their windows at the time or they’d be treated to the rather spectacular sight of two supposedly adult, mature people in their late twenties chasing each other around and hurling snowballs before again collapsing in a pile, rolling around, both struggling to gain the upper hand before the male eventually emerged on top, only to disappear again in a blinding cloud of snow as he realized that while using his weight to keep her down was a pretty smart move, securing her hands as well would have been an even smarter move.. Because for someone with very tiny hands, she sure was capable of shoveling a surprisingly large amount of snow up in my face in a surprisingly short split second.

As the cloud of smoke cleared and we staggered to our feet, it became pretty unclear who was actually the winner of the showdown. Tina, for sure, didn’t seem at all happy with the situation..

Until she got a better look at me..

Who admittedly didn’t look much like a winner either..

I’m not too sure if we ended up declaring a winner or not, but I am reasonably sure that we decided that there was no reason to hang around outside and get all wet and sickies, so we ventured back inside to the warmth of Tina’s apartment where we had a final glass of Champagne and sat down to play a few board games.. And have a few of the most expensive late night snacks we’ve ever had, consisting of bite size mini blinis with salmon and fromage blanc, beef tenderloin, and – just because we could – another round of blinis with creme fraiche, quail eggs and those delicious, little, horribly expensive fish eggs.. With a side of Russian vodka, of course! Which, in another totally unprecedented move, managed to render Tina absolutely speechless as I somehow stupidly managed to reveal to her the true cost of the dish she was eating.. Which left her just staring blankly at me for a few minutes, then repeating the mantra “Wait? WHAT?” over and over before giving me the most heart-felt hug ever and muttering a soft thank you.. Which, by the way, made the $50 per serving price tag well worth it. It really was one of the most memorable dishes ever, though, if I were Tina, I wouldn’t count on it being served again any time soon, it was just one of those things that had to be tried.

I have to be honest and admit that three bottles of really good wine, a couple of vodka shots, a Mojito and the shot of rum that Tina requested in order to sample what was in the food and drink was starting to take quite a toll on me at this point, and things really started getting a little blurry.. There were more board games and sipping of fine wine, there were laughs and conversation as well, but I can’t for the life of me remember what was said or done. All I do remember is that both of us suddenly got really tired really fast and that while Tina sunk down on her couch under the weight of all the good food and drink, I packed up my stuff and after checking that Tina was indeed okay, decided to let myself out and walk on home.. This plan actually went pretty well, for about two seconds until I, in my tipsy state of mind, staggered into a wall and cried out “Ouch!” – which, of course, had the till then pretty unresponsive (but obviously very caring) Tina on her feet in no time and into the hallway to check on me.. So much for that plan then.. But thanks all the same 🙂 I took the chance to thank her for caring and for a wonderful evening, before telling her to get her ass to bed and then trotting out the door, down the stairs and into the night for a long walk home and some four hours of sleep before getting up in the morning to visit with family..

I could have wished for a little more sleep that night, but I probably couldn’t have wished for a better evening..