My mother is the antichrist

My mum took my Canadian Cream liqueur and baked it into a cake for Scarybear’s birthday. This goes against everything I thought we stood for—allowing good alcohol to burn off in a hot oven.

I loved that liqueur.

I loved that Canadian Cream.

I tried to stop her but she said, “Buddy, no one was drinking that liqueur.”

“But there was nothing wrong with it!”

She just shrugged. “It was taking up space in the fridge.”

“We could have drunk it!”

Another shrug. “I know. It smelled fine when I put it in the cake.”

“Then why? Why???”

“I just couldn’t work up an urge to drink it. And neither could your dad.”

“Why???”

“It might have had something to do with the branding, LB.”

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STORM WATCHER—The last drink before Armageddon?

My Fellow Inebriates,

If you’re like me (and I hope for your sake you’re not) you must be wondering exactly how the Apocalypse will come, as well as the exact moment. New Zealand chimed in earlier to say it had made it to December 21, but that was 12:01 a.m.—a little optimistic if you ask Scarybear, who will no doubt maintain his apocalypticity until Pago Pago has crossed into the safety of December 22.

Which happens to be Miss P’s seventh birthday. Note that Scary did not advise against making a cake, which throws his confidence in global annihilation into question. For if we were going to blink into non-existence on the 21st, surely it would be torture to observe the cake’s preparation knowing you’d never get your greedy paws on it.

“But the cake will be in the fridge. The fridge is the safest place,” Scary insists. “Didn’t you see Indiana Jones when he survived a nuclear bomb blast by getting inside one?”

Note Scary says “Indiana Jones.” Not “the character Harrison Ford plays.” Indiana Jones.

scary 2Scary has always struggled to separate action and sci-fi characters from the actors who portray them. Throughout his pre-literate years, Scary believed in Jean-Luc Picard, Jack O’Neill, Seven-of-Nine, Morpheus and Agent Smith, Han Solo, Sarah Connor, and RoboCop. Only when challenged by the subtitles in Heroes did he become literate, read the end credits on his shows, and reluctantly admit the possibility that these were characters. And even now, he forgets. He sees continuity between Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel in Angel, then wonders why Angel switched jobs for Bones. So of course the “nuke the fridge” scene in The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull seems fully plausible to him.

Okay, well, it might work if you had a lead-lined fridge rather than the cheap piece of shit that came with our house. But what about the beer in the fridge? OMG! The bottles would shatter. And that’s why we have to finish our supply of STORM WATCHER WINTER LAGER.

storm watcherVancouver Island Brewery isn’t renowned for departing from mainstream flavor. While its winter offering can be found in the Craft Beer section of our local booze shop, it differentiates itself from macro beer mainly by location and scale—not with oddball tasting notes or niche beers. (For a great dissection of “craft versus macro” and whether it matters, check out beerbecue.) Vancouver Island Brewery has often tended to be very “safe,” and while it’s expanded somewhat into beer-nerd territory, its winter lager is a fairly predictable offering. Which isn’t a bad thing. Sometimes you just don’t need a surprise. Especially on Apocalypse Eve.

The color is reddish amber with minimal head and patchy lacing. On the nose there’s… well, beer aromas—slightly sweet and malty, but not much going on.

STORM WATCHER hits the palate with a wash of…beer. Decent beer. There’s some toffee sweetness and a pat of honey; moderate hops, carbonation, and mouthfeel; and a friendly, lingering finish. It’s pretty good, but not a stand-out. There’s nothing to wonder about, no odd flavors you can’t place—just nicely harmonized hops and caramel malt. Overall: yummy enough.

But do we want this to be our last drink ever?

Huh. Not really. But the alternative is to dig the Canadian Cream* out from the back of the fridge and put it through a strainer to get rid of some unexpected curds—the very sort of pre-Apocalypse surprise I didn’t want.

So much for my teats. (Actually, I don't think the lumps are curds; they're more like lumps of cream that separated because my mum decided to use organic, unpasteurized, unhomogenized cream.)

So much for my teats. 

And the last word goes to Scary: “You should buy cans, weirdo. And put them in the fridge right away.”

 

 

*If you decide to make your own Canadian Cream, make sure you use homogenized whipping cream 😉

CANADIAN CREAM—Empty somehow without Glen

My Fellow Inebriates,

Glen Bear has still not materialized anywhere at LBHQ.

Last night Blackie and I had a good cry about it while Fluffy observed us emotionlessly and Scarybear attacked a plate of ginger cookies, which he would have done anyway.

This should not be a sorrowful time of year. This is Glen’s favorite time of year, when his big, thick coat of white fur is his best asset and he doesn’t mind cuddling.

Glen as a baby, 2006

Glen as a baby, 2006

But he’s gone. He seems to be…really gone.

It didn’t seem respectful to drown our sorrows last night, but what the hell else was there to do?

Blackie Bear isn’t an alcoholic, and he has some common decency, so he hesitated—but not after we’d got the CANADIAN CREAM open. The lid wasn’t even tightly on, my fellow inebriates, it was a cinch. This means my mum was into it last. With her habit of returning jars and bottles to the fridge and cupboards with the lids barely on, my dad won’t even pick up a jar or bottle by the neck any more; it’s too dangerous. He retaliates by closing jars and bottles so tightly that she in turn can’t get them open without asking him nicely. This is the state of their marriage. It’s also how I know who’s been into what most recently. And my mum has apparently had some of my liqueur, otherwise Blackie and I wouldn’t be able to pour a toast to Glen.

Ahhhh, I know you’ve been wondering how our CANADIAN CREAM turned out. Or maybe not, in which case, here’s a picture of some people shopping at Walmart.

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When we first made the CANADIAN CREAM it seemed a little thin. Then again, we couldn’t remember the exact consistency of Bailey’s. (And no one would buy any, even to be scientific.) Over the last 17 days our concoction has thickened noticeably, achieving what seems to be the right viscosity. How does it smell?

The aroma is comfortingly familiar—definitely in the neighborhood of Bailey’s if not right next door. The top note is milk chocolate, a full cup of which went into our recipe. Next time we should probably reduce this a little.

20121117_100557Under the chocolate is the scent of delicious whisky, mellowed somewhat by a fortnight in a plastic milk jug. Of course it hasn’t really aged; whisky ages in casks, after which it ceases to mature. If it were to take on the characteristics of a two-litre plastic jug…well, we wouldn’t really want that. But somehow our three cups of Wisers have married nicely with the milk ingredients; the mixture doesn’t have the same searing booziness it had when we first poured it into the jug. Which is to say, it’s become less appealing.

The container needs a vigorous shake. Some of the chocolate has settled down to the bottom—not in chunks or particles, mind you, just a layer of darker chocolatiness that reluctantly goes back into solution if you jump up and down with the jug for a while.

CANADIAN CREAM coats the ice cubes in a crystal rock glass, looking eerily like Bailey’s but naggingly not. It is thick and creamy, but not as smooth as it should be. It foams a little over the ice instead of settling into a smooth, placid surface.

Not only is Glen missing; so is the camera charger. Not only THAT; my parents have refused to buy Bailey's Irish Cream for to compare with our custom hooch. Luckily, someone else on the Internet has taken such a picture already. Photo: cocktailhacker.com

Not only is Glen missing; so is the camera charger. Not only THAT; my parents have refused to buy Bailey’s Irish Cream to compare with our custom hooch. Luckily, someone else on the Internet has taken such a picture already. The one on the left is Bailey’s. The one on the right is homemade.           cocktailhacker.com

The consistency feels right. But there is something missing in the taste. And something added.

Missing?

  • ???? We can’t figure it out. Almond? Vanilla? Coffee?
  • Booze. It needs a smidge more.

Added?

  • Definitely chocolate. It’s not oppressive, but the additional chocolate makes our version seem a little sophomoric—like a milkshake but less thick.
  • Something higher-frequency…not sourness, this stuff had better not be souring this soon. But something about the homemade stuff is not quite as…deep.

Blackie’s verdict:

“Good, but dude…this isn’t right. Is there any more?”

LB’s verdict:

“It’s not right, but Glen would want us to have it.”

The upshot? A sense of dissatisfaction. A longing for the exact right thing and a sense of discomposure at not quite having it. Kind of like if someone suddenly produced a polar bear who looked just like Glen but was really just one of his Animal Alley™ twins. Not our Glen with the stained paw. Not our Glen whose fur Miss P decided to trim one day. Not our Glen who warms me up with a winter cuddle.

😦