You know I haven’t been writing, but you don’t know how much I have been enjoying not writing. Very much, thank you. The break has been nice and I’ve been otherwise filling my time.
My parents came for a nice visit. Here we are at the Olde English for lunch. Lacey is hoisting a glass of Oban. The pour was so generous that we asked for a second glass. My dad isn’t a Scotch drinker but after a glass of Oban, he is an Oban drinker. I didn’t know until two days ago it is pronounced o-bin. We also took them to the Palace to see Tony Bennett. I wasn’t a Tony Bennett fan until Sunday, but I am now. Oh, and the New World Bistro. Never letting me down, these folks. Did you know they offer Daiya cheese? I’ve never had one of their pizzas but I will next time. This time I enjoyed from the new fall menu Tandoori tofu steaks. Don’t be shy with the dish of chutney/pickle on your plate. If there is any left at the end of the meal, you didn’t do it right.
Miyoko’s Homemade Vegan Pantry hit another one out of the park with a no knead baguette recipe. This was not only my first no knead bread, but my first loaf with white flour. The process of no knead bread is so ridiculously easy that I was let down. My past loaves, with the kneading, the multiple risings and very often the milling of the grains, were so very clearly my loaves. I felt like I made them. No knead? It was as if it just showed up. That said, it was very good. Partially attributable to the white flour, to be sure, but the recipe was spot on.
I watched a great documentary on Scotch Malt Whiskey. I’ve been drinking it without much thought for decades, so it was about time to start learning a bit more. This was a very good start. While I watched, I look notes. Ten pages of them. Like I was in college or something. It helped though. I’ve long loved the Islay malts, but appreciate them all. Yesterday I bought a Speyburn 10 yr (Speyside) and a Glenmorangie Nectar d’Or (Highlands). The Speyburn is a well regarded and modestly priced offering. Hoping this can become a go-to bottle, as I can buy locally a 1.75 liter bottle for $55. The Glenmorangie is twice aged–ten years in American white oak bourbon barrels and then two years in Limousin oak barrels that previously held Sauternes. It was pricey but I am hopeful that I will enjoy it. Michael Jackson’s guide, used, is on its way from Amazon. This is going to be fun.
Tonight we are headed to the Orchard Tavern for some delicious vegan pizza. I’ve written them a note to see if they have some Irish single malt to try. I will be driving and not drinking, but I will encourage two others in my group to give a try. If they don’t offer single malts, I will recommend Bushmills. Have you already watched the documentary to which I linked above? If you have, you’ll know that Bushmills is considered by the narrator to be the blended Irish whiskey most like the Scotch malt whiskies, which makes sense when you learn the Bushmills Distillery is located just 16 miles across the sea from the Bowmore Distillery on Islay. You’d also know that the Irish added an e to whiskey to differentiate their product from Scotch whisky. The Irish had concluded that the willingness of Scotch distillers of grain whiskey to use the column still as adapted and promoted by Irishman Aeneas Coffey rendered the blended Scotch whiskies bland. The Coffey still allowed the Scotch distillers to increase production and soon dominate the world market. The favorite alcoholic beverage in India today? Johnnie Walker blended Scotch whisky.
That’s enough of that. I won’t enjoy a glass of anything north of 0% ABV until tomorrow night. Until then, be well!