Wednesday, January 11, 2017

...The mouse ran up the clock...

I am celebrating.  I have been transporting Wild Willie, one of Kubota's buddies, from Charlotte to Eaton Rapids every school morning since the beginning of the school year.  I drive Mrs ERJ's minivan to Charlotte.  Wild Willie drives it to Eaton Rapids High School.  My morning starts at 4:50 AM.

I enjoy Wild Willie.  He is a GREAT kid.  But it is time to move on.

He passed his driving test today.  He used Mrs ERJ's minivan,  the vehicle he has 36 hours of driving time on.  He knocked it out of the park.  The tester had to scrape to find "room for improvement".  In short order, I expect him to own his own car and be transporting himself.

I will miss the conversations.  He is a GREAT kid.

The mouse ran up the clock...
This recipe for Hickory Syrup is from Doctor Lucky Pittman.

I made some 'hickory syrup' this weekend. I saved all my hickory nutshells after cracking and picking out the nutmeats.  I had about a gallon of good clean shell pieces, with a few fragments of nutmeat still clinging in there in some. I took a dozen or so freshly collected mockernut nuts and crunched 'em with my vise-grips and pitched them in the pot, along with the hulls from 3 or 4 of those nuts (still partially green). I also pitched in a couple of small pieces of shagbark hickory bark (the restaurant Donna told me about makes theirs exclusively with hickory bark, but I didn't know what effect lichens and poison ivy rootlets might have on the flavor or reaction from consumers). I covered the nuts/hulls/bark with a couple of gallons of water, brought it to a boil, and simmered it all day long, then scooped out the chunks and strained through clean cloths - twice. Ended up with about 6 cups of aromatic light brown liquid. Stirred in 3 cups of sugar, and cooked it down to about 3-3.5 cups of thin syrup.

Lacking a supply of hickory nuts, hulls and bark, one can scrape by using pecans or purchase hickory syrup from any number of sources.

Bottom Shelf Mixology
 
Clockwise from top-left, pint of Hickory Syrup supplied by the incomparable Doctor Lucky Pittman, a shot of Poteen, lid, measuring spoons.  Unless you are serving company it is considered good form to lick the spoon.

  • A shot of your favorite, inexpensive poteen.  I used Northern Lights Canadian Whisky.  Rum is traditional.  Bourbon is a mid-South favorite.
  • A teaspoon (5ml) of Hickory (or Pecan) syrup.  You can use more if you like a sweeter, Manhattan-like drink (15ml) or if your nasal passages are fried by a particularly hideous post-mortem
  • Three parts spring water
  • One ice cube
 This drink is known, of course, as the Hickory Daiquiri Doc.

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