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August, 2012 | Manolo's Food Blog
Archive - August, 2012

The French Press and the Cocktail Shaker

If, improbably, you were to ask the Manolo, “Manolo, what are your two favorite utensils,” he would reply, “The french press and the cocktail shaker!”

Grosch French Press Coffee MakerPewter Cocktail Shaker

The French press and the cocktail shaker are not merely artifacts of beverage production, but exemplars of civilized life. The proper use of either of them force upon us the sort of ritual of preparation, the tiny tea ceremony, whose orders we must follow exactly if we hope to achieve perfection.

In the morning, it is the heating of the water, the grinding of the fairtrade coffee (from Ringtons), the pouring of the water to the proper level, the stirring of the pot, the placing of the lid, and then the waiting, three minutes of anticipation. Only, at the very last, is the plunging of the press, done so carefully, so deliberately, with such satisfaction.

In the afternoon, the ritual is different but similar. The ice, the gin, the whisper of vermouth, the vigorous shaking, up and down, up and down, and then the celebratory decanting, the careful, deliberate pouring of the elixir into our glass. Ayyy! Keep out the ice!

What can be more civilized than this? Done alone or with friends, the proper employment of the French press and the cocktail shaker are marks of civilization, tokens that we have triumphed over our primitive past.

“But, Manolo,” you may ask, “what of the tea pot?”

It has it’s place, the Manolo cannot deny. The drinking of tea is the civilized act, although, too often, the tea pot is rendered frou-frou fussy, with its baroque patterns and garish colors.

The colorful teapot lacks the solemn, pleasant dignity of the French press and cocktail shaker, which makes the latter two the superior objects, and their employment the superior act.

And so, dear friends, raise your glass and hoist your mug to the French press and the cocktail shakers, two of mankind’s greatest inventions.

Sunday Food Porn, slightly delayed Cake Edition

Just as with the real thing and our belleh, this GIF of a gorgeous lemon cake is probably going to be too big to fit in the blog, but Sooooooo worth it anyway. Click on the image to view it in full size 3D GIF form.



GPOY: Learning to cook



Let’s just say the lessons aren’t going as planned. God, I need a drink.

Phyllis Diller, what might have bean…

Phylli Dilli Chilli

Phylli Dilli Chilli

This was real. This was a real thing. The late, great Phyllis Diller had her own line of chili and apparently it wasn’t half bad.

Except for the puns.

You can judge for yourself what kind of a kook cook she was by playtesting her recipe for stuffed mushroom caps, from the Celebrity Cookbook byy Johna Blinn.

Phyllis Diller Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Phyllis Diller Stuffed Mushroom Caps

Warning: it comes from the days when salt, pepper, and parsley comprised the bulk of a cook’s spice repertoire. Click to enlarge, if you DARE! Can you imagine what Food Network would be like with a Phyllis Diller cooking show? It would be like a kegger at Auntie Mame’s, that’s what it would be like, and she would snap Giada like a twig.

Via CrazyDiscoMadness.

Sunday Food Porn: Wasabi Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Wasabi Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Wasabi Grilled Cheese Sandwich

From the Buzzfeed post Brilliant or Really Gross. Can there be any question of the brilliance of this???

Epic Tea Time with Alan Rickman

Alan Fucking Rickman is the great unrequited (as far as we’re aware) crush of the pre-Assange-era. And here he is being fierce for an unrelenting seven minutes, eight seconds. Tea is something the Brits take VERY seriously.

Sunday Food Porn: Margarita Fruit

Margarita Fruit

Margarita Fruit

Hawt enough for ya?

Recipe of the Day: Hendricks Cucumber Soup Shooters

Hendricks gin

Hendricks gin

Cheers to this! In the summer, I can’t get enough of cold soups, and year round I can’t get enough of gin, so for me this might be the very best recipe of the entire year.

Hendricks soup shooters

Hendricks soup shooters

From SomeoneLeftTheCakeOutInTheRain on WordPress.com:


When you look at a cucumber, what do you think?  Perfect for tea sandwiches?  Great marinated with vinegar and dill? Over the eyes for depuffing? Something inappropriate for sharing on this site???

I look at a luscious summer cucumber and think, “Man, they’d be awesome mixed with gin and thrown into a soup.”  Just me?

During this point of our vicious Summer, finding big, beautiful, and delicious cucumbers should be a super easy task.  Now all you have to do is round up some other suspects and get them together.

The botanicals, rose, cucumber, and coriander notes of Hendrick’s make it an obvious choice for this soup.  It will be boozy off the bat, so I suggest letting it meld and marinate over night.  Once it has calmed down, the gin brings the cucumber and avocado to a whole nother level.

Cucumber Hendricks Soup Shooters


2 large cucumbers, peeled and seeded

1 small ripe avocado

2 scallions sliced, white and green parts

1 garlic clove, minced

1 medium lemon, juiced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill

2 tablespoons honey, or 2 teaspoons sugar

2 teaspoons Sriracha

2/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt

1 cup low-fat milk

1/2 cup Hendrick’s gin

1/4 cup rice wine vinegar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

Now, head on over to the blog to get the instructions. Happy drinking…uh, eating. Uh. Souping.

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