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Cornucopia

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South Africa’s Wine Country

Food & Wine, Travel, Vacation

southafrica_wine_35Back in May of 2013, I visited South Africa’s wine country an hour or so north of Cape Town for a couple days and loved it.  As you can see by the pictures below, I couldn’t get enough of the mist atop the mountains on morning 1. The views were breathtaking and the weather was perfect.

Pictures and such after the break!

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Wine Tasting in Mendoza

Food & Wine, Vacation

Back in April 2015 I flew down to Buenos Aires and then, with a little help from my good friend Silvana, drove cross-country to Mendoza (an 11-hour ordeal made longer by jet lag and police checkpoints), then had three beautiful days in an amazing wine region.  The pictures below barely do the place justice, but they’re a step. A mildly out-of-order step, at least, because there doesn’t seem to be any way to organize the photos in a gallery by simple file name (clearly, I’m missing something), but a step nonetheless.

wine_pressOver those beautiful days, I got to eat and drink some of the best fare the region had to offer, from cosmopolitan restaurants in Mendoza to food trucks by a famous apple tree. I didn’t get the full story on that one, unfortunately.  I did take pictures.

I fell in love with a town south of Mendoza proper called Tupungato – it was quaint, pretty, and perfectly situated in wine country.  Analogous, maybe, to Solvang as it relates to Santa Barbara, although thankfully without the absurd Danish influence.  I didn’t take enough pictures there, but I did have a couple of very nice meals and some good wine (one from a house called “Finca Flichman” that I found particularly fun).

More trip and winery details follow the break!

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How do people have so many opinions that come in lists?

Cornucopia

I’m noticing more and more that people certainly have a lot of opinions that they like to list in, well, lists.  I often want to refute or ask questions or just generally comment on these lists, be they standard “top ten” lists or bullet-style lists.  I mean, how does one rank things like “Hairstyles I’ve seen on Vegas trannies”?  How does one know where to stop when compiling a “list of ways to make flying better”?  Like, “no sweatpants” makes it on, but “the evening before your flight, eat a familiar meal without too much spice” didn’t?  I don’t know.

I’ve never been very good at/interested in ranking things, feeling that it puts too must trust in subjunctive things and momentary emotion rather than in quantifiable fact.  Some things you can put numbers to, of course (I weigh 190.7 right now), but others you can’t (today isn’t in the top ten most slovenly-feeling days I’ve ever had), and that’s fine, right? So why rank the latter group?

I love chocolate cake. Love it.  You probably already know this.  I couldn’t tell you what I consider to be the “best” chocolate cake on the planet, and I don’t care what the editor of Gourmet magazine thinks on the subject (although I’d probably try them all even if it was a list of the worst chocolate cakes on the planet…), no offense to the editor of that stalwart, maybe-real publication. I’m probably going to go get chocolate cake this evening now, actually, now that you mention it.  Chocolate cake and earthy Carneros pinot noir might just go together amazingly.

I’m not offended by lists, just baffled.   Probably about the same feeling you have as you finish this absurd screed.  Sorry about that.

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Wrangler Forum Introduction

Cornucopia

the Jeep on day oneOkay, where to start?

First of all, some caveats.  This is long. It’s boring. It’s probably profane. I should be embarrassed by much of it. But it all happened, and maybe writing it down will help me remember it.  And it feels right to start 2014 with a “State of the Wrangler” manifesto, so here goes.  You probably shouldn’t read this.

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servers, maintenance and unsprung weight

Cornucopia

My poor Sebring needs like $1400 worth of maintenance again. Last time I had it in for maintenance was during last tour and it cost me like $2k, so I guess this is a step in the right direction? I don’t know that I should even be putting that kind of money into my car, considering that it’s 10 years old, but given that I’m looking at a year of limited income (to say the least), I’m definitely not in the market for a new car. Besides, I like my car.

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wine flight
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Data Entry

Food & Wine

It’s 36 bottles.  I brought them home on the airplane, so I checked 4 items (3 cases and my backpack), the third and fourth of which cost $175 each to Quantas.  Dayum, says I. Then again, WineFlite wanted $585 for 30 bottles, I think, and who knows how that would have gone.

Now it’s on to finishing the data entry so I can get through some of the other projects that I’ve got on my plate. Whee!

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from Arnold

Cornucopia

Milk is for babies. When you grow up you have to drink beer.

Arnold Schwarzenegger

immature matt
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what porn stars do

Cornucopia

or, at leaimmature mattst what I would do were I a porn star.

Leaving for South America to try that leg one more time, so I’m in a weird mood.

Peanut butter blossoms
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Cookies!

Holidays

Peanut butter blossomsSo I’m in full-on grinch mode, but cookies usually make me feel better.

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This update is a mess

Cornucopia

Beach day today rather than hunting down more work was probably a mistake, but since there are friends in town, it was pretty much unavoidable.

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back with a simple update

Cornucopia

I’m doing it again – that thing where I let too much time go by and then I don’t want to post a stupid update because I feel like I owe an explanation…

eggs
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Breakfast Blues

Food & Wine

I am not as good at eggs as I should be.eggs I cook them very rarely, and almost never over-medium, the way I like them in the diner.  I think I’m using a pan that’s too small for two eggs, actually, and I think I’m impatient.  If I had a bigger spatula I could probably flip both eggs at once in the small pan, but alas, I do not.
(Time to go to Spatula City!)

I make really good scrambles, of course, but that’s about the ingredients and finding tasty things that taste great together. And an omlette is just a scramble with pretentious aspirations, make no mistake.

At least I’m trying to start the day off right with tea and eggs.

Wine!
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Wine Batch #2

Food & Wine

I bottled my second batch of wine!

It’s another kit wine, this time from “Cru Select.”  It’s a Chilean blend of Malbec, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, and I call it Chilean Mystery Blend because I don’t know the percentages of each, nor really anything about the grapes’ origins.  On the provided labels, the description says this: “Opening with dark roasted notes of coffee and chocolate with a hint of blackberries, fermentation on Cabernet Merlot Genuwine Winery Dried Grape Skins and French oak completes this monumental taste experience.”

I have more pictures and notes and such after the break, but the takeaway here is that in 10 days or so, I’ll have a new wine in rotation at the Casa Fredonia.

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I racked my wine yesterday

Food & Wine

I don’t have any pictures yet, but I racked.  In less than 2 weeks, we’ll have bottled wine, which is exciting.  If I ever get paid again, I’ll be buying a new thing of juice and starting another batch.  Pictures and details will eventually make their way onto the forum, of course, but I’m just excited about the fact that more wine is about to make its way into my coffers.

Soup Motherfucking Week
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Soup Week – The Thrilling Conclusion

Food & Wine

So the week of soups comes to its thrilling conclusion, culminating in what Casey said was her favorite soup: Custom Tortilla Soup.

Steak Tortilla SoupIt’s custom because I didn’t want to make chicken tortilla because we had awesome chicken noodle earlier in the week and I didn’t want to compete with my own product.  What I decided to do was to buy Skirt Steak, do a mexican-style marinade on it (salt, pepper, chili powder and lime juice, refrigerate for an hour or more), then pan-sear the steak and use the juices as part of the soup.

Pictures and more notes post-break.