Author Archive for Grant Derigo

28
Nov
09

Great holiday recipes = great late night snacks

Everyone knows the best part of Thanksgiving is the leftovers.  Well, it’s Saturday and I’m still living off of mine!

I’d like to share a couple family recipes that always raise a few eyebrows.  The first two are my two all-time favorite holiday dishes – cranberry soup and rhubarb pie.  The third is the Northern version of stuffing.  The main difference is the bread — people from the South make cornbread stuffing and people from the North make stuffing with actual torn pieces of bread.  I prefer cornbread, but both are delicious.  Here they are:

Jolynne’s Cold Cranberry Soup

(From The Madd Apple Café – a pretty soup for brunch, lunch or dinner.)

Makes about 2 quarts

  • 3 cups fresh cranberries, low bush
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 to 2 whole cloves
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • ¾ cup dry red wine
  • ¾ to 1 cup fresh orange juice
  • fresh mint sprigs*

Simmer cranberries, water and cloves in large saucepan 10 minutes. Drain cranberries, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid.  Discard cloves.  Puree cranberries in blender.  Press through fine strainer into heavy large saucepan.  Mix in reserved cooking liquid.

Combine sugar and flour in medium bowl.  Stir in sour cream, wine and orange juice.  Mix into cranberries.  Slowly bring to boil, stirring constantly.  Reduce heat and simmer 2 minutes, stirring constantly.  Cool.  Refrigerate until well chilled.  (Can be prepared 1 day ahead.)  Garnish each serving with mint sprig*.

*optional

Jolynne’s Rhubarb Pie

  • 4 cups ( 1lb ) rhubarb in 1” slices
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons flour
  • dash salt
  • zest of ½ orange, minced

Combine sugar, flour and salt.  Toss rhubarb and orange peel with sugar mixture, mixing well.  Let macerate several hours if rhubarb is very tart.  Use a 2–crust 9” pie shell; cut decorative slits in the top.  Bake at 400 for 45-50 min., until juices have thickened and start bubbling out of the slits in the pie.

Note: I cut the rhubarb and freeze it; then toss it into the pie shell frozen and allow an extra 10 minutes baking time.

Macerate – to make soft by soaking or steeping in a liquid

Tim’s bread (and onion) stuffing

  • 8-10 cups sliced onions
  • 4 cups sliced celery (about 1 head)
  • ¼ cup butter or olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sage
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 large loaf of crusty Italian bread or San Francisco Sourdough, torn into 2” chunks
  • 3-4 cups poultry stock
  • Diced giblets (cooked in giblet broth)
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26
Nov
09

Thanksgiving, a day to remember… or not

It’s very easy to think of topics to write about on a blog devoted to Austin night life, but when I go home to Podunk, USA (okay so Midland is far from Podunk, but it seems that way when contrasting night life to that in Austin) I can only think of three things to do. One is to go to the drive in movie theatre, and the other two I can’t even mention here.

I’ve compiled a list of the best Thanksgiving Day drinking games to give you all a way to get wild on the holidays without even leaving home. They are sure to make the festivities memorable, even if you can’t the next day.

Here they are:

College Jolt’s Thanksgiving Day Drinking Game

This one’s pretty basic.  Just take a drink anytime someone says the following:

  1. “Can you pass the (insert any food item here)?”
  2. “White or dark meat?
  3. “Just a small piece.”
  4. “Mmm…I love (again, any food item)”
  5. “How’s school going?”
  6. “This is really good.” (or any other compliments to the host)
  7. “Would anybody like any more…?” (This could be anything)
  8. “I’m going to need a nap after this.”
  9. “What’s the score?” (referring to football)
  10. And the most obvious which I cannot pass up-”I’m so full!”

Pax Romano’s Thanksgiving Day Drinking Game

  1. Every time someone says, “If I eat anything else, I am going to burst” – TAKE A SHOT
  2. Every time someone compliments the host/hostess on the bird, “Gee Aunt Flossie, this turkey is so moist!” – TAKE A SHOT
  3. When the gay or lesbian cousin/son/daughter uncomfortably introduces their date/partner to the other guests as “My friend” – TAKE A SHOT
  4. When the host/hostess proclaims, “I forgot the cranberries!!” – TAKE A SHOT
  5. If someone says, “I hate sweet potatoes.” – TAKE A SHOT
  6. Every time a relative says, “I can’t believe its Thanksgiving already.”- TAKE A SHOT
  7. If someone follows this up by saying, “It’ll be Christmas before you know it!” – TAKE A SHOT.
  8. If the host/hostess is playing holiday music in the background – TAKE TWO SHOTS, you’ll need them.
  9. Per food compliment (“great yams” “excellent stuffing” “fabulous turnips” etc…) TAKE A HALF SHOT.
  10. Family arguments that escalate to physical confrontations – TAKE THREE SHOTS
  11. Inappropriate sexual remarks made by anyone to any of the other guests. – TAKE A SHOT
  12. Depending on how many there are, TAKE A SHOT, per passed out guest on the sofa in the living room while football game is one – if pants are undone, TAKE A SHOT AND A HALF.
  13. If some one curses out someone else – TAKE A SHOT: If they are related: TAKE TWO SHOTS.
  14. When the first big dramatic proclamation occurs (“I’m gay” “I just quit my job” “My therapist says that I am so screwed up because of you, Uncle Jake!” “Yee haw, I just got my third DWI”) TAKE A SHOT (Note, IF YOU MAKE THE PROCLAMATION, YOU HAVE WON, THE GAME IS OVER)

Drink Wiki’s Food Network Thanksgiving Special Drinking Game

Tune into the Food Network and take a drink when:

  1. Any time Alton Brown shows a Chemical Formula
  2. Giada says ‘crisp’ or ‘light and delicious’.
  3. Alton says ‘brings flavor to the party’ or ‘wash those ____ hands!’.
  4. Emeril says ‘BAM!’, ‘kick it up a notch’ or ‘Yah, babe’.
  5. Paula talks about buttah.
  6. Rachael Ray says ‘EVOO’, ‘yummo’, ‘delish’, or ‘sammie’.
  7. Sara Moulton uses any form of the word “simple” or “simply”.

The Bachelor Guy’s Official Thanksgiving Football Drinking Game

During the games, everyone takes a drink whenever any of the following happens:

1. CBS and/or their announcers show off their incredibly lame Thanksgiving Game MVP trophy.

2. Any close-ups of celebrity “fans” that are in attendance at the game – who (as coincidence would have it) also happen to star in that network’s shows.

3. If announcers plug any of the following shows right as a play is about to develop:
CSI (any version)
60 Minutes
Two and a Half Men
Survivor
House
The Simpsons
Family Guy
The Next Great American Band
American Idol

BONUS: Everyone takes a second drink if the other announcer makes some lame comment designed to make us think he actually watches the show.

4. Whenever there is a shot of a completely unappreciated behind-the-scenes crew member waiving to the camera while mouthing “Happy Thanksgiving” to his family at home celebrating without him, as the announcers say how much they appreciate him and his “efforts” – shout “Here’s to you!’ and drink in his honor of working during the holiday to put this game on so you don’t have to spend the night talking to relatives. (Take a second drink if his kids are mentioned.)

5. Any time there is a gratuitously long close-up shot of the cheerleaders. (Actually do not drink for this, just ogle.)

6. If the animated FOX football-playing robot shown before and after commercial breaks is dressed as a turkey, pilgrim or Indian, take 5 drinks.
BONUS: FOX is running a contest to name this robot. The first guy in your group to actually attempt to come up with a name has to take 3 drinks. If the name he comes up with is something lame like “Robo-Back”, hit him with the bottle. 7. Any shot of a female fan holding a sign with a heart symbol and the words “Tony” or “Romo”.
BONUS: If she’s hot, take 3 more drinks to drown your jealousy over all the incredible tail he gets.

8. If anybody in your group comments “That Tony Romo is good looking guy”, take a drink. If it is a guy who makes this comment, drink is preceded by a long, uncomfortable pause. If the word “cute” is used in place of “good looking”, drink until you throw up.

9. If an announcer makes a reference to Tony Romo and his celebrity hookups, drink.

10. If anyone makes a reference to NY Jets head coach Eric Mangini and his celebrity hookups, chug a whole bottle if this actually happens.

11. Someone watching with you asks, “Do the players get distracted by that yellow line on the field?”, drink, then throw your empty glass at them.

12. If anyone in your group snickers at, or makes a stupid comment about, the BJ on the back of the back judge’s uniform, make them chug.
Note: The guy who made the comment also has to make the next beer run.

13. An announcer uses the word differential, as in “the touchdown differential between these two teams is huge.” It an unnecessarily big word to be used during a football game.

14. If there is a discussion about the Patriots going undefeated.
BONUS: Chug while jogging around the coffee table if the term “run the table” is used.

15. An announcer mentions that Terrell Owens is “really trying to be a better teammate”.

16. Any comments on how tough the New York media is on any Jets player or member of the coaching staff.

17. If Phil Simms talks about his playing days with Bill Parcells, drink.

18. If Troy Aikman mentions any game he played on Thanksgiving, drink.

19. If a celebrity joins the announcers in the booth, take 3 drinks and hit the mute button. Unless the guest is Charles Barkley, then turn up the volume.

20. If the announcers incorrectly predict how a replay challenge will go, you lose a drink. If it’s Phil Simms and he is “positive” about his prediction – and he’s wrong, as usual – pour the bottle down the sink.

21. If announcers acknowledge the troops watching the games overseas, shout “USA” three times and do a shot.

22. If announcers discuss how Roger Goodell is cracking down on discipline, take a small sip. Quietly.

23. If there’s any mention of dog-fighting/Pacman Jones/steroid suspensions/Ricky Williams, pour a drink on the floor for your homies who couldn’t be here tonight.

24. Any shot of a player using smelling salts or oxygen, then it’s beer bong time.

25. If Peyton Manning throws his hands up in frustration, yell “Oh, come on!” and take a drink.

26. Any time the camera finds Brett Favre’s wife in the stands, or if the announcers mention her overcoming her illness and how Brett dealt with it, drink. If both happen at the same time, chug.

27. Any mention of Brett Favre’s career game right after his father passed away.

28. Any play made by a guy with long dreadlocks, shout “Yeah, Mon!” and chug a Red Stripe.

29. If announcers comment that Marion Barber runs “hard” or “tough”, do a shot of whiskey. If the term “smashmouth football” is uttered at any time, do two extra shots.

30. For every sideline/owner’s box shot of Jerry Jones, take a drink.
BONUS: Do a spit take if it’s a tight shot on his face.

31. Anytime Jon Kitna removes his helmet, yell “Put it back on!”, chug whatever is left in your glass, and place the empty glass on your head.

32. If anyone dares mention of Detroit coach Joe Cullen going through the Wendy’s drive-through buck-naked, everyone watching must drop their pants, and drink.

33. For every mention about how nice and likeable Tony Dungy is, drink a wine cooler.

34. For every reference to Peyton Manning being smart, take a drink.

35. For every reference to Joey Harrington not being smart, pour the drink down the front of your shirt.

36. If a coach signals time-out right before a field goal attempt, drink. Then a second later, drink the exact same amount again.
BONUS: If any announcer uses the phrase “icing the kicker”, pull a bottle of vodka out of the freezer and do a shot.

37. If the referee forgets to turn on his microphone during a penalty call and/or forgets to turn it off after he makes the call, drink from an empty glass.

38. If a coach halfheartedly tosses the red challenge flag and it doesn’t go more than five yards, everyone yells “Lame!” and chugs a malt beverage with their non-throwing hand.

Special “First Half Only” Rules –
These rules are only in effect for the first half of games, since if applied for entire game, it would lead to alcohol poisoning:

39. Every time an interception is thrown by Joey Harrington or Byron Leftwich (should he get in the game).

40. Airing of any Peyton Manning commercial.

41. Any airing of the “This is Our Country” Chevy Silverado commercials.

42. Terrell Owens mugs for the camera and/or shakes his head in disbelief, amusement, or a show of pure unadulterated self love.

43. Any reference to Brett Favre’s age.

44. Any reference to Brett Favre playing like a kid again.

Winner:
Winner is determined by last guy able to stand after a full turkey dinner, 3 games and over nine hours of football.

USA Today’s Thanksgiving Day Drinking Game

  1. Every time someone unbuttons his/her pants, take a drink.
  2. Each time someone makes that uncomfortable “Unnnh” noise when they rise from a seated position, take a drink. 
  3. Each time someone screams at the TV, take two drinks.
  4. Take two drinks for each person napping.
  5. Take three drinks each time an old person mentions the weather. (In the end, the last one standing gets first pick at leftovers.)

Hope you all enjoy and please drink responsibly!

19
Nov
09

1-800-222-1222, Save a Life

The general purpose of this blog is to inform people of fun activities to do at night. While we do not endorse drug use, we understand that it is a very common practice. With this in mind we would like to inform you of a very important number to know in case you or anyone you know ever ingests harmful chemicals.

1-800-222-1222

is the Texas Poison Control Network hotline. According to their Web site:

Your call will be answered by one of the specialists at the Poison Center. These experts are trained nurses and pharmacists who specialize in poisoning emergency treatment and poison prevention.

The poison specialist will help you to decide if you need to go to a hospital. Most poisonings are not life threatening and can be handled at home with the help of a specialist, saving you time and money.

If the victim has collapsed or is not breathing, call 911 for an ambulance.

The poison control network urges people not to try to treat poisonings themselves and if they know someone has been poisoned, they should call 911 immediately and not wait for signs of poisoning.

17
Nov
09

Meteor Shower!

I woke at three this morning with some friends to watch the Perseid Meteor Shower pass over the Austin skies. The cloud of cosmic debris following the comet Swift-Tuttle completes it’s orbit every 130 years. Call me a Debbie-downer but it was so cold I think that 130 years would be about all I could bear.
Perseid Meteor Shower
It took a little while to find an are dark enough to see the sky well, but we finally settled at the Hyde Park Pool and gazed up. It took a little while to spot the first one but once we knew what to look for, we began to catch them darting across the sky more frequently. Watching the Perseid Meteor ShowerI’m sure I’ll tick of a few astronomers, but the next time you have an opportunity to see a bunch of space rocks that only fly by every hundred years at three in the morning in the freezing cold, stay in bed! But if you’ve got nothing to do the next day and have a few warm jackets and a little patience, you’ll have a good time.

12
Nov
09

Open Mic Night!

Whether you’re serious about music and just getting your start or simply want to play for a few friends, you can find an open mic in Austin almost any night of the week with a friendly audience.

I’ve compiled a map of some of the most popular open mics in the Austin area from a list on www.openmicaustin.com. You may have to drive a bit for some, but if your looking for a “real good” time it’s worth the trek.

If you are good some venues, such as Ruta Maya will ask you to come back for a “best of” open mic night, where each performer is given a slightly longer set.

10
Nov
09

Come Hear the Youngest Working Blues Singer In Austin

Travis Green has only been singing around town for a little over six months and he’s already landed a weekly gig at two different bars, as well as being a regular to some of the more reputable blues jams. At 21 years old that makes him one of the youngest working blues singers in town. He’s currently playing with Austin guitarist J.T. Coldfire while he gets a more permanent lineup together.

You hear Travis sing on Sixth Street Mondays at Friends Bar and Saturdays and alternating Wednesdays at Nuno’s.

05
Nov
09

Early Morning Breakfast, with Gratis!

With so many exciting things for Austinites to do at all hours of the day, one can easily work up a late night appetite.  Fortunately, if you know where to go you can avoid scrounging for left-overs at three in the morning.  One of my favorite places to go, both because of the food and the friendly service is Mrs. Johnson’s bakery located  on the corner of Airport and 49th 1/2 Street.

Mrs. Johnson's Bakery

Mrs. Johnson's Bakery

 

 

Mrs. Johnson’s opens every day at 7:30pm and closes the following day at noon.  That means you can technically eat here at any time morning or night ( just not during the day ) to enjoy their wonderful hand-made pastries and kolaches.  And although it keeps odd hours, it is not unusual to see a line here.

It’s not surprising that people come here again and again, because the people are very friendly and they offer free food!  That’s right, with almost every order (not EVERY order so don’t crucify me if I’m wrong) they provide a free glazed donut.  The tradition of giving free treats to customers in hopes that they will return is called gratis and is primarily practiced in Cajun parts of Louisiana.  Well it sure has kept me coming back there.  I even came once with a friend and bought one donut, my friend got nothing and the owner gave us both a free donut in addition to the one I purchased.  I can’t say he’s that generous everyday but it still goes to show what a great family business this is.

Treats

For those of you who do not wish to venture so far North for you tasty late night treats check out Mrs. Johnson’s counterpart, Ken’s donuts located at 29th and Guadalupe in West Campus.