• Mixology Monday LXX Roundup: Inverted

    Stir and Strain’s El Jardin de Mi Abuela.

    Another Mixology Monday has come and gone, but this time we were hosting. Thanks again to everyone who participated and to Fred Yarm at Cocktail Virgin Slut for reviving and maintaining Mixology Monday.

    mxmologoThe theme was “inverted”, and we will spare you the full back story (post here) and just say the theme was intended to see if we could “flip drinks on their heads” any and all possible ways. And the Mixology Monday crowd certainly delivered. We saw drinks “inverted” on name, spirits, solid/liquid (ice was well used), colors, layers and temperatures. All good stuff. We are “working” our way through as many of the cocktails as we can, and many are very good.

    As for us, we found this theme somewhat more challenging than expected. We created two drinks, but also failed repeatedly to make our third, a champagne-based cocktail that tasted and looked like Napa Cabernet (some things simply aren’t meant to be, and who wants a cocktail to taste like wine anyway?). Oh well. In any event, here are all the cocktails (mostly) in the order we got them:

    BarFlySF gave us three cocktails that invert classics using light instead of dark spirits. We like their use of homemade limoncello as a substitute for darker liqueurs. Their Union Square inverted the New Orleans classic the Vieux Carre.unionsquare1

    BarFlySF then took up our challenge to invert the Manhattan and created the Nemo.

    nemo

    And finally, BarFlySF, added another post and inverted the classic Brandy Sidecar and created the Pisco Pedicab. Extra points for use of blood oranges.pisco1

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    Shake Strain and Sip took the inverted theme to another place altogether and put the drink inside an ice-cube. The Alice’s Looking Glass is a very cool, and very tasty, creation with rye and Aperol in the lead. (We made it with regular ice, still great).——

    901 Very Good Cocktails managed to create a cocktail, discuss the Butthole Surfers (a band from our youth, yes we are that old) and even promote the idea of moderation. We are all for moderation….in moderation.  The Shah Sleeps Cocktail inverts standard cocktail proportions and leads with Amaro Montenegro.Shah

    ——

    The Shorter Straw applied the inverted theme to the Super Bowl (we would still like to invert that outcome) and gave us the 35th Minute. The lights went out during the 35th minute of the game and we certainly would have liked to sip this beautiful Rhum Agricole-based cocktail while we waited.

    ——-

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  • Announcing Mixology Monday LXX: Inverted

    Happy Mixology Monday.

    Happy Mixology Monday.

    Here at Putney Farm we enjoy our cocktails, but we also farm and cook. A while ago, while researching Julia Child’s recipes, we noticed that she was well-known for enjoying “upside-down” or “inverted” Martini’s (God bless her). This is a version of the classic cocktail that swaps the ratios of gin and vermouth, turning the Martini into something of a “long drink”. And if you are cooking for hours at a time (or gardening with a cocktail- something we highly recommend), the Inverted Martini is a very tasty drink.

    mxmologo
    We wondered if we could apply the same “inverted” approach to Mixology Monday and, at first, didn’t think it would work. But then we asked ourselves, what does “inverted” really mean? Well, here is the definition:
    -
    1. To turn inside out or upside down
    2. To reverse the position, order, or condition of
    -
    Hmm…it appears that the definition is pretty broad. It seems that “inverted” really just means something “flipped on its head”. And that can mean almost anything, and leaves plenty of room for creativity. So we are going with the “inverted” theme.  You can invert the ratios of spirits, liqueurs or bitters in a cocktail, but we suggest you go beyond that and “invert” whatever you want. Spirits, name, ingredients, proof, color, geography, garnish and glassware are all fair game.  An apéritif made with Navy-Strength booze? Give it a try. A beer-based cocktail that tastes like champagne? Sure. A clear Manhattan? Worth a shot (and good luck with that). The only thing we expect is the unexpected. Have fun.
    -
    Here are the particulars:
    -
    • Find a drink recipe or create one that “inverts” the ingredients or other elements of the cocktail. Write up the recipe and your thoughts about the drink, add a picture or two, and post it on your own blog, Tumblr, or eGullet’s Spirits and Cocktails forum. If you don’t have any other way of posting, you can also email us at stewartbputney (at) gmail (dot) com.
    • Include in your post the MxMo logo and a link back to both the Mixology Monday and Putney Farm sites. And once the round-up is posted, a link to that summary post would be most appreciated.
    • Get your submission in by February 18th. Any time of day is fine and we are happy to take a few stragglers.

    Thanks again to Fred Yarm at Cocktail Virgin Slut for keeping Mixology Monday going.

    As for us, we would certainly like to “invert” the outcome of the Super Bowl. Oh well. And here are some more photos. Just because.mixologymixology9mixology1mixology8mixology6mixology10mixology5

  • Our First Anniversary, And Some Gratitude

    petals13Hard to believe, but it has been one year since our first blog post. We had no idea where this was going when we started, but our family blog is now a labor of love. But it isn’t even “labor”, we simply love this. We are not much on milestones here at the farm. We enjoy every day and hope to do a little better every tomorrow. We don’t look back much, as we are so grateful for the present. Sometimes heaven is a place on earth, and many days we think we’ve found it (or at least something pretty close).

    awards1But we will mark this anniversary because we want to thank all of you for visiting us. We cannot begin to tell you all how grateful we are that you would take time out of your day to visit Putney Farm. We feel like we have dozens of new friends from all over the world. And for that, we are eternally grateful.

    peachWe are also grateful for all the feedback, suggestions, jokes and encouragement. Bloggers, it turns out, are a very fun group of people. We are also grateful for all the corrections and suggestions to improve our recipes. It pains us to make mistakes or poor choices (and we apologize for any and all recipe issues), but the only way to get better is to recognize where you can improve. And we can both say we are much better cooks, photographers, gardeners and bartenders than we were a year ago. And for this we are most grateful. To us, food truly is love, and to constantly make and serve better food to those we love is a dream come true. Thank you. (And a summary of photos from the last year).

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  • Curried Red Lentil Soup

    Curried Red Lentil Soup

    Curried Red Lentil Soup

    Happy Monday! Happy MLK Day! And Happy Inaugural! We hope everyone enjoys the long weekend (for those who have it). Meanwhile, we always enjoy long weekends as an excuse to cook and visit with friends. Saturday we had a lovely evening with friends and Sunday we got to cook this soup, and we are glad we did. We wanted to play with red lentils for some time and after enjoying this soup, we only wish that we had done it sooner.

    curry2curry4We are big fans of lentils, but usually cook with the brown / green French lentils and in more Mediterranean-influenced dishes. But lentils are also a staple of south Asian cuisine, so we bought some red lentils and pulled out this soup recipe with red lentils with a strong dose of curry and ginger. The soup is a real winner, combining earthy flavor from the lentils, the warm and cool notes of the ginger, sweet coconut milk and the deep spice of the curry. Add a little dried fruit and/or nuts and you have a complete, and very satisfying, meal. So good, both our boys liked it the first time out.

    curry6curry8curry9The recipe comes from Martha Stewart, but we do add some extra flavor and simplify the process somewhat. Making the soup is as easy as dicing ginger and aromatics, softening them with the curry, adding the lentils and simmering with water and coconut milk. But there is one caveat, you do need to blend this soup. You can use an immersion blender if you have one (this is the easy way), or ladling the soup into a blender, but you must purée the soup. The issue is the use of fresh ginger. It adds flavor, but the fibrous chucks of ginger are very unappealing if you take a bite of one. Puree the soup. It is a bit of a fuss, but very much worth it.

    curry10curry11curry12 Continue reading

  • Super Bowl Snacks: Grilled Cheese Pull-Aparts

    grilled

    Grilled Cheese Pull-Aparts

    grilled1Make no mistake, love of baseball is one of the true pillars of our family (and yes that includes Carolyn, and yes she knows way more about baseball than most men, and yes that includes fans, and yes I am a very lucky man). But it is football season, and while we wait for pitchers and catchers to report we get to enjoy the 49ers run towards a title (we hope). The boys and I watch the games together and even rope Carolyn in for the 4th quarter, and we do try to cook “tailgate-y” stuff most Sundays. But as the Super (Stupor?) Bowl is coming (I hear the NFL may whack us for using their trademark, so we add some satire for legal cover) we are working on a few snacks that we can serve on the big day.

    grilled2We will share a few new recipes and update a few old ones, but we will start with this simple, but fun take on grilled cheese sandwiches. We found the recipe for Grilled Cheese Pull-Aparts at the Creamline, a food blog we like and follow (worth a look). The Creamline thought of the recipe as a snack for little kids, but since a bunch of men watching football are just about the same thing (intellectually), we figured we could easily tune the recipe for “adult” entertaining. And it turns out we were right. This recipe will not blow anyone away, but it is easy to make, easy to play with, tastes great (it is grilled cheese, after all) and is good fun.grilled3

    grilled4So what is the big deal here? Basically you get a sheet of 12 of sweet rolls, some areas have King Hawaiian rolls, some have potato rolls, some Parker House rolls. (Look at the photos, you will see what we mean.) You cut them in half, flip them over, so the “rough” side is out, butter and lightly salt the exterior, put a bunch of good cheese and other stuff in between the layers and grill the sandwich. Serve it when the cheese melts and then “pull-apart” the sections. Watch the melted cheese do its thing. Eat. Repeat. Smile.

    grilled5So what should you put in the sandwich? We use a few different cheeses, usually Cheddar and Gruyère, perhaps Fontina, a bit of bacon, maybe pickles or tomatoes, even a touch of mustard. But this recipe really let’s you do what you want. Left over steak or pulled pork? Perfect? Ham? Excellent. Chutney with cheddar cheese? Sophisticated, but very tasty. You get the idea. Hard to screw this up.

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  • Weekly Cocktail #39: Blood On The Adriatic

    Blood on the Adriatic.

    Blood on the Adriatic.

    After the detours of the holidays and Mixology Monday, we now resume our normal weekly cocktail schedule. And we are happily back at “work”. As for this week’s cocktail, it certainly checks a lot of our boxes for how we choose drinks. Seasonal ingredient? Check. Excuse to try a new type of booze? Check. Not too boozy? (it’s January, we’re a bit pickled from the holidays) Check….Oh, and does it tastes really good? Check.

    blood3The Blood on the Adriatic combines blood orange juice, Amaro Montenegro and Aperol, shaken and strained into a cocktail glass. It is easy to make, uses the blood oranges that are in season, is barely stronger than a glass of wine, looks beautiful (IMHO)…and packs a lot of complimentary flavors. We based this cocktail off of the Adriatique Cocktail from Jackson Cannon at Boston’s Island Creek Oyster Bar.

    blood4Serious Eats wrote this cocktail up a while ago and we loved it, with the sweet, acidic orange juice playing well with the herbal and bitter Amaro and the citrus and rhubarb of the Aperol. But both of us immediately thought the cocktail would be better (at least for us) with the more tart, berry-ish complexity of blood oranges. And we think we were right. The tart, acidic berry flavors add to the sweet orange and balances the bitter notes. This cocktail is very refreshing and has a wonderful aroma. And we will admit that we just love the color.

    blood7As for the ingredients, you can find blood oranges in most good produce or farmers markets this time of year. We tend to prefer the deeply colored Moros, but all blood oranges will have that berry-ish flavor. As for Amaro Montenegro, it is a type of Italian “Amari”, a family of bittersweet, herbal liqueurs and digestifs (here is a good intro guide). Amaro Montenegro is one of the more “accessible” Amaro, it is sweeter and less bitter than most, with complex herb and honey notes and only about 25% alcohol. Aperol is basically Campari’s sweeter, lighter, and less bitter, boozy and “ashy” cousin. Aperol has lots of sweet citrus and rhubarb flavor with a bitter finish. Both the Aperol and Montenegro are good introductions to more bitter-flavored cocktail ingredients.

    bloodWhile these may seem like disparate flavors to put in a cocktail, they all share a similarity. Each has sweet notes on its own, but is balanced by another flavor. Blood oranges have the tart berry flavors, Amaro Montenegro has herbal notes and the Aperol adds more fruit and a bitter finish. When you put them together you get a sip that starts with tart, moves to sweet, fruity and herbal and ends with a clean, slightly bitter finish. And for all that flavor, this cocktail is way less than half-strength, so you can have more than one. Good stuff? Check.

    blood2Blood On The Adriatic:

    Ingredients:

    • 1 oz. blood orange juice
    • 1 oz. Amaro Montenegro
    • 1/2 oz. Aperol

    Assemble:

    1. Combine all the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake thoroughly and double-strain into a chilled cocktail glass, coupé or flute. Serve.