That one in the front is the Burning Oak black lager, my favorite beer.
Let’s hear it for Linden Street Brewery, Oakland beer and wine culture, Urban Legend Cellars and biking around in the sun.

That one in the front is the Burning Oak black lager, my favorite beer.

Let’s hear it for Linden Street Brewery, Oakland beer and wine culture, Urban Legend Cellars and biking around in the sun.

Next goal: Get a robot drunk.

While I was googling savory cocktails on my lunch break, I got two freelance inquiries today: one about developing a WordPress web site, and another asking me to devise “aperitifs and dessert drinks that can be poured by robots.”

Guess which of my replies was in all-caps.

Bees are weird, in that way anyone who grows up with the mythos of the rugged individualist thinks they’re weird. There are so, so, so many of them and they’re so, so organized, but in a freeform, slightly haphazard way.
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We like to think of ants and bees as precise, but it’s not the precision of craftsmanship; it’s the precision of thousands of unskilled hands repeating the same simple process over and over. They’re a triumph of instinct. Drones live six weeks and martyr themselves at the drop of a hat, once they’ve started stinging, which made me feel less bad about the flat crunch of dozens of little bodies giving way whenever one of us made a wrong move with the hives.
When I think “beehive,” I think of perfect, idealized hexagons, but real live combs have an irregular rhythm to them. They flow around and across physical space in a way that looks like a Buckminster Fuller dome that’s been squashed at a party by a clumsy drunk, apologetically stretched out with fumbling hands and set back down about where it started.
Granted, some of that impression was probably due to the types of bees I saw and the fact that the hives could’ve, as I was apologetically told a half-dozen times, stood to be better maintained before we drew honey from them, but it was still pretty alien. So was the sound: a steady, thick drone that, when I leaned in close to the hive, I heard as a high-pitched, boiling sizzle. Lean back out, and the high frequencies of thousands and thousands of tiny wings would drop off, leaving behind that low unplugged-amplifier growl. Most bizarre Doppler shift I’ve heard in my life.
Also, you can chew straight-up honeycomb like chewing gum, and it’s pretty pleasant. If you like your chewing gum a little crumbly and stiff, anyway.
Interesting things to ponder while I laid down smoke for my friend and did my level best to recite that entire Eddie Izzard sketch from memory.

Bees are weird, in that way anyone who grows up with the mythos of the rugged individualist thinks they’re weird. There are so, so, so many of them and they’re so, so organized, but in a freeform, slightly haphazard way.

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Dinosaur Grits

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Visitors bitched so much and so frequently about the fact that I use my Dinosaur Comics whiteboard for recipes that I finally made a recipe comic.

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PBR Fisher is rolling back slowly toward the stove after spending the year after the death of PBR Fisher’s mother failing to innovate in the kitchen and mostly drinking neat whiskey and ordering takeout. Dad taught PBR Fisher how to make a grilled cheese sandwich at the age of 4, but Mom was the reason PBR Fisher’s childhood analog of mac ‘n’ cheese from a box was champignons à la crème, liverwurst or Gruyère on toast.
PBR Fisher is reading Food and Trembling and officially book- and blog—crushing on Jonah Campbell, especially the half-assed francophone tendencies, post-vegan pantry staples, paralyzing self-criticism of one’s mastery of sauces, high-flying philosophy, salt-hound palate, easy vernacular, gustatory sentimentality and unremitting cussing. Also Campbell digs Hauschka, which is pretty fucking dreamy.
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Plus, you can’t hate on anything with a blurb from Joey Comeau on the back cover: “This book is the Fear and Loathing of food writing: thoughtful, vulgar, and hard to describe, but it is never boring.” (You know Comeau’s on Tumblr, right?)
Observe:

See, I used to be sick a lot, and this really fostered an antagonistic Cartesian split in my life. It basically goes like this: I get sick, and then am all like “WTF, BODY? I treat you well with whole grains and some other healthy nonsense and this is how you go and do me? Well how do you like this?” as I stuff a fistful of chips into my mouth, “and THIS!” the next fistful of chips, and so on, until I have eaten an entire bag of Ruffles or whatever it is. And for a moment I feel a perverse sort of victory that is part sheer delight at having tasted delicious chips for such an extended period of time, part the guilty pleasure that comes with eating an entire bag of chips (not unlike the shameful self satisfaction of spending a months’ rent on booze), and part mad Flagellant monk triumph over the body that says “Hey body, what’s up? Bet you feel like shit, eh? Well, how you like me now?! Remember, I made you (untrue, admittedly) and I can unmake you, never forget that.” As if you’re teaching your stupid body some sort of lesson for being self-preserving enough to get sick. It’s really insane, but that’s how it goes.

PBR Fisher is feeling hella weird about the use of the third person throughout but figures it’s too late in the game to abandon it now, and notes that it is fucking gratifying reading a breakdown of comfort food from someone with a nearly Buddhist sense of the futility of comfort.
(Photo from this worthy interview at Swallow Daily.)

PBR Fisher is rolling back slowly toward the stove after spending the year after the death of PBR Fisher’s mother failing to innovate in the kitchen and mostly drinking neat whiskey and ordering takeout. Dad taught PBR Fisher how to make a grilled cheese sandwich at the age of 4, but Mom was the reason PBR Fisher’s childhood analog of mac ‘n’ cheese from a box was champignons à la crème, liverwurst or Gruyère on toast.


PBR Fisher is reading Food and Trembling and officially book- and blog—crushing on Jonah Campbell, especially the half-assed francophone tendencies, post-vegan pantry staples, paralyzing self-criticism of one’s mastery of sauces, high-flying philosophy, salt-hound palate, easy vernacular, gustatory sentimentality and unremitting cussing. Also Campbell digs Hauschka, which is pretty fucking dreamy.

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Jammie Dodger Flip

GUYS. GUYS. I MADE A JAMMIE DODGER COCKTAIL.

Figure 1: Yeah I did. image

And you can make one, too!

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Petrichor

imageI’m a dork, and I’m a pretentious bastard who likes making conceptual drinks with precisely chosen, (yes I’m gonna say it, here’s the center square on your pretention bingo card) artisinal ingredients. So here’s a cocktail inspired by a frankly gorgeous word from the Neil Gaiman-penned episode “The Doctor’s Wife”: petrichor, the smell of rain falling on dry ground.

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A Lurid Salad

(This recipe doesn’t come with a photo of salad because THAT’S JUST PLAYING THE BASTARDS’ OWN GAME.)

Let’s talk about the phrase “a beautiful salad.”

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Salmon-head soup

With this one, I’ve set a personal record for the highest ratio of work to results. It took more than two hours to turn this:

… into something much less imposing:

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The LoveKraft

GUESS WHO’S A FUCKING GRILLED CHEESE CHAMPION.

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