Last month, I got an email that I was almost sure was spam. The subject was “REGARDING BAD ASTRONAUTS DARK MATTER TRADEMARK INFRINGEMENT”, and the email simply said “Please see the attached document”. Now, anyone who knows anything knows that … Continue reading →
I love food and beverage-making challenges. Making things that sound “hard” gives me no end of pleasure. This year, I’ve stepped it up a notch and taken on a number of the big ones, but I’ve also learned quite a bit about cooking some very simple things. Here’s my partial list of things I’ve learned how to make, maybe a short description of how I feel about it, and the thing I consider to be “the key” to success with that thing.
Cassoulette – very tasty, but made me become vegetarian – it’s not easy to find all those meats in the US. Try Asian markets, or find a more Americanized version.
Beer – homemade can be so much better – cleanliness is key.
Cheese – still very new to this – your thermometer is your friend.
Wine – if I could stop doing everything else, I’d just make wine – Best advice I’ve ever gotten came to me 2nd hand from a very famous winemaker: “Get good grapes and don’t fuck em up.”
Pizza dough – easy as pie! – With 3 to 5 ingredients, you kick ass and you’ll be so happy.
Tortillas – I can eat these all day. – With 2 ingredients, you kick ass! A tortilla press is inexpensive and helpful, but I’ve made some of my best tortillas using an empty wine bottle as a rolling pin.
Tamales – if you’re gonna do tamales, do a LOT of them. I make em vegetarian, and I make everything from scratch. Takes me 8-10 hours, but I end up with 70 or so of them. I hear they freeze great, but they never make it to that point here.
Guacamole – I thought I knew how to make guacamole until my Mexican friend taught me her family recipe. Sorry, I can’t say any more.
Crepes – Amazingly versatile and tasty. Just a few ingredients, but the cooking takes practice. Don’t give up! I always have to throw away the first one to get the amount of oil right in the pan.
Souffle – memorize the recipe you’re doing. At certain points, it’s critical that you work fast.
Pretzels – the dough is irritatingly dry. There must be a better way to do them. I have a lot of trouble making long and thin enough ropes of dough. Tasty, though!
Limoncello – I make the best limoncello you’ve never had (well, maybe a couple of you have). Filter the water, filter the alcohol. Wash those lemons. Be patient, it’s worth it!
I’m looking for new challenges. What else is there that a lot of people don’t bother to learn to cook, or that’s considered difficult?
We’re completing our focus group testing and getting the label ready to be printed. We expect that Galactic Grapefruit Wine will be available for purchase in time for Thanksgiving. This weekend, Jeff took a bottle to Philadelphia, and I shared a bottle with Molly, John, and Maya here in Sacramento. Grapefruit Wine has now been [...]
Yesterday, Margaret and I poured Bad Astronauts wine at the Sonoma Home Winemakers Celebration. We met a lot of people, including a couple who were going to astronaut Rusty Schweickart‘s house for dinner and wanted a bottle of Bad Astronauts Galactic Grapefruit wine to bring him! We gave them one, of course! I hope they [...]
Here’s the merlot status so far: I drove to northern Sonoma county (Kenwood) Monday morning to get the grapes. I got to downtown Sonoma at about 6:00, had some coffee there, and then drove up highway 12 for another 20 minutes or so to the vineyard. Morrison Vineyard is the most beautiful place in the [...]