Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Concert (not coffee)
Cutsie alert! Nobody's forcing you to watch it, but as the dad I am unable to resist posting.

If I were you I would skip forward to about 1:45 in the video where the 6 yr old belts out a solo. I was so nervous for her I couldn't really hold the camera steady.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Food Frenzy
My wife was out of town for work last week. Had the experience of being a single dad for 4 kids (11,9,6,4) for a limited time (I knew she was coming back on Sunday). There was some kid related excitement (training wheels taken off the 6 yr old's bike, 4 yr old thinks he can cross the street by himself), but that is not what this post is about.

Amid the stress, I found myself taking comfort in food projects:

I made dulce de leche after watching the milk episode of Good Eats - fantasic on ice cream!

I scraped the hershey's chocolate off mini Heath bars and re-coated them with dark chocolate (call me unrefined, but I like the Heath or Skor toffee!- I've never been able to match it from scratch) - It was good, but I need to experiment to get the proper thickness of chocolate for balance. I will keep that in mind next time I make truffles, and make up extra coating chocolate.

I smoked half of a corned beef brisket hunk for pastrami, and boiled the other half, purely to be able to make chunky corned beef hash the next morning.
corned beef hash

Since the smoker was running I threw a hunk of un-corned brisket on there for my 9 yr old who loves brisket.

I also threw in a couple hunks of pork shoulder that had been rolled in a cha-siu glaze from a jar. The goal was to make som fatty pork to be able to slice and toss in a bowl of ramen.
I found a good refrigerator case ramen packet at a local market- it used to be called Di-Ho, but has changed it's name to Whole Grain Market or something.
I have been unsucessful in locating shinachiku (pickled bamboo shoots, I believe). The things I thought were picked (labelled 'sour') have so far been unsatisfyingly bland.
mexican coke

As I was leaving something caught my eye- it was bottles of Coke , with Hecho en Mexico on the side. I grabbed some of those as well.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Mike Philips 2008 Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition Champ!

Mike Philips 2008 Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition Champ!
Originally uploaded by pavasm.

Two years ago I went to watch my first Great Lakes Regional Barista Competition. I met this guy I had seen on Coffeegeek, Mike Philips. He was a home barista, owned an Expobar Brewtus. He drove down from MN to watch the competition. At the time, he asked if I could ever see myself competing. I was like, "No thanks! too much pressure. Why, do you want to?"
"Yeah, maybe."
Last year, he had moved to Chicago, started working for Intelligentsia, and entered the competition. He made it to the finals. I thought that was pretty cool. At that year's party at Intelly I noticed he was bonding pretty well with Justin Teisl of Alterra.

This year, Mike won first place at the GLRBC. Excellent job!
Justin from Alterra got 2nd, and Scott Lucey took 3rd. Lucey's performance was one of the most entertaining I have seen- he was having fun up there and it was totally contagious.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Originally uploaded by pavasm.

I really like this cup for a double (this is the one I use at home), I find the shape more appealing than the tulips. Did I hear that the tulips are going to be phased out (maybe just in the shops?). Could that be correct? Would it be a scandal? Would it set off the biggest letter writing campaign since Beauty and the Beast was cancelled?! Am I one of those geeks irresponsibly posting rumors?

Sunday, March 09, 2008

microwaved mallomar
Originally uploaded by pavasm.

I have to give credit to my son Jay. He wanted to see the marshmallow break through the dark chocolate. I was never a fan of s'mores, but then, that is usually Hershey's chocolate. This chocolate tastes really good (to me) when melted, and the cookie portion gets sort of a soft cakey texture.

I don't belive I will ever need to produce a 'signature beverage', but if I did...

Monday, March 03, 2008

This Blog.

I apologize for the lack of coffee posts on this blog. I changed the heading to say that this is my "(sometimes) coffee blog". I just couldn’t resist the simplicity of ‘smallcoffee’ as a url and blog name.

I recently added a list of my favorite blogs. I know this is part of the standard blog format, but I was always reluctant to do it. It seemed presumptuous, somehow, to put a link to a blog I really admire when I haven't ever had contact with the author.

I got to thinking, though, when I read “Spook Country” by William Gibson- a character is pondering blogs and says the real information on a blog is in the links, both who the blog links to and who links to the blog.

That in turn got me thinking about a character in Vonnegut’s “Cat’s Cradle” (which is the book I have on tap in case I get cornered with the question-‘what’s your favorite book?’). The character (Claire Minton, I believe) was a woman that had a job creating book indexes. She felt it was not appropriate for an author to index their own book, and if they did they would expose personal information. I realized that occasionally while reading a blog I get an impression of the author’s birth order. Jay Caragay I think is a youngest child. My guess would be that Danielle of ‘tamp that’ is a middle child.
I hope it’s not uncool to muse publicly about this.