Bubble Tea

Lynn loves bubble tea.  I think maybe loves doesn’t do it justice.  Lynn loves lots of things, me (I’m told), her puppy, not being cold, but none of these things compare to bubble tea.  To try and appease her and coax more back scratches out of her I tried making our own bubble tea.  It’s not as sweet as you normally find at brightly lit Asian cafes (which I think is a plus) and it still has all the fun of choking on tapioca balls from a flood of them coming up the straw at once.  Credit where credit’s due.

bubble tea

Serves 1
Bubble Tea
8 oz black tea
1/4 cup tapioca pearls (Bob’s Red Mill are the only I can find readily at HEB)
Milk
Sugar (if you must)

1. Make yourself some black tea and some tapioca pearls per both instructions

2. Put the tapioca pearls in the bottom of a glass, add ice, the black tea and then pour in milk to top

3. Add sugar (optional) and stir

4. Get the biggest honkin straw you can find and try not to choke

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Egg Nog

I was watching Ace of Cakes and saw Duff making egg nog for his whole crew.  I jotted down the ingredients (that’s all they showed), googled it, and found it was actually Alton Brown’s recipe.  I’m a huge fan of this (not the Alton Brown part, but the recipe part) because a. Ace of Cakes is awesome and b. I get to use my stand mixer.

Serves 6 cups
Egg Nog
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1 T sugar
1 pint whole milk
1 cup heavy cream
3 oz bourbon
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
4 egg whites

1. In a stand mixer, whip the egg whites to stiff peaks, gradually adding the 1 T sugar.

2. Take the whites out of the mixer bowl and set aside.

3. In a stand mixer, begin beating the yolks until they lighten in color

4. Add the 1/3 c sugar and beat until completely dissolved.

5. Add the milk, cream, bourbon, and nutmeg and stir to combine.

6. Whisk together the egg whites and yolk mixture.

7. Chill and enjoy.

Bacardi Mojito

My take on a Bacardi Mojito.  A lot of people like to use simple syrup but I prefer the raw sugar because it helps grind the mint to release the flavor.  (Hint: This is a great excuse to buy a muddler.)

Serves One

Bacardi Mojito
12 mint leaves
1/2 a lime
3 tsp sugar
1 1/2 oz Bacardi white rum
Sparkling Water

1. Quarter the half a lime (if you do it hamburger style instead of hotdog they juice better when muddling)

2. Add the lime, mint, and sugar to a highball glass and muddle until limes are juiced

3. Add rum and stir

4. Top glass with cubed ice and then sparkling water

5. Stir with a bar spoon. (Hint: If you put the spoon to the bottom and then rub the stem between your hands like you’re trying to start a fire it works really well.)

6. Add a straw and enjoy.

Mint Julep

I’ve had this recipe for mint juleps for a while and its way too hilarious to not share.  It’s in a letter written by Lt General Simon Bolivar Buckner, Jr. from 1937. Enjoy!

My Dear General Connor:

Your letter requesting my formula for mixing mint juleps leaves me in the same position in which Captain Barber found himself when asked how he was able to carve the image of an elephant from a block of wood. He said that it was a simple process consisting merely of whittling off the part that didn’t look like an elephant.

The preparation of the quintessence of gentlemanly beverages can be described only in like terms. A mint julep is not a product of a formula. It is a ceremony and must be performed by a gentleman possessing a true sense of the artistic, a deep reverence for the ingredients and a proper appreciation of the occasion. It is a rite that must not be entrusted to a novice, a statistician nor a Yankee. It is a heritage of the Old South, and emblem of hospitality, and a vehicle in which noble minds can travel together upon the flower-strewn paths of a happy and congenial thought.

So far as the mere mechanics of the operation are concerned, the procedure, stripped of its ceremonial embellishments, can be described as follows:

Go to a spring where cool, crystal-clear water bubbles from under a bank of dew-washed ferns. In a consecrated vessel, dip up a little water at the source. Follow the stream thru its banks of green moss and wild flowers until it broadens and trickles thru beds of mint growing in aromatic profusion and waving softly in the summer breeze. Gather the sweetest and tenderest shoots and gently carry them home. Go to the sideboard and select a decanter of Kentucky Bourbon distilled by a master hand, mellowed with age, yet still vigorous and inspiring. An ancestral sugar bowl, a row of silver goblets, some spoons and some ice and you are ready to start.

Into a canvas bag pound twice as much ice as you think you will need. Make it fine as snow, keep it dry and do not allow it to degenerate into slush. Into each goblet, put a slightly heaping teaspoonful of granulated sugar, barely cover this with spring water and slightly bruise one mint leaf into this, leaving the spoon in the goblet. Then pour elixir from the decanter until the goblets are about one-fourth full. Fill the goblets with snowy ice, sprinkling in a small amount of sugar as you fill. Wipe the outside of the goblets dry, and embellish copiously with mint.

Then comes the delicate and important operation of frosting. By proper manipulation of the spoon, the ingredients are circulated and blended until nature, wishing to take a further hand and add another of its beautiful phenomena, encrusts the whole in a glistening coat of white frost.

Thus harmoniously blended by the deft touches of a skilled hand, you have a beverage eminently appropriate for honorable men and beautiful women.

When all is ready, assemble your guests on the porch or in the garden where the aroma of the juleps will rise heavenward and make the birds sing. Propose a worthy toast, raise the goblets to your lips, bury your nose in the mint, inhale a deep breath of its fragrance and sip the nectar of the gods.

Being overcome with thirst, I can write no further.

Sincerely, Lt. Gen. S.B. Buckner, Jr. VMI Class of 1906