May 2010
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Month May 2010

Raise a toast to Douglas Adams…

This didn’t make Facebook’s status limit even with aggressive editing, but it is dedicated to our political system, with love and consternation.

The major problem — one of the major problems, for there are several — one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.

To summarize: it is a well known fact that those people who most want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it. To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job. To summarize the summary of the summary: people are a problem.

Douglas Adams, the pre-eminent social and political philosopher of our times.  Right behind Monty Python.  Then probably Jon Stewart.  With Friedrich Hayek and John Rawls taking a joint and distant fourth.

Happy Towel Day!

Cocktail Party to Benefit the San Juan Island Permanent Farmer’s Market

Last fall, at our annual Harvest Dinner and Auction to benefit the San Juan Island Permanent Farmer’s Market project, I donated two cocktail classes and parties.  The concept was that the purchasers would select an era, and if they chose, dress in period clothing.  This last Sunday, I hosted the second of the parties, and it was a ton of fun.

As part of the festivities, I taught a short class on cocktail making fundamentals — the bare minimum one needs in order to mix any drink recipe found in a book, etc.  When to shake, when to stir.  Why the dilution from ice is critical to making a balanced cocktail.  How the various ingredients “work” to produce a tasty, balanced beverage.   And then I simply mixed good drinks for the rest of the evening, with food catered by Market Chef in Friday Harbor.

Each person attending also got a booklet which covered the basics of cocktail making, and a bit of cocktail history, in addition to the evening’s menu of cocktails (with short recipes).  I focused on the history of “martini-like” cocktails, beginning from combinations of Old Tom gin and italian vermouth in the mid-1800’s (e.g., Martinez), down through the transition to dry gin and dry vermouth, to the martini as we recognize it today.  Most of the information, of course, is derived from online sources and the incomparable book by David Wondrich, but it’s fun to have a nice summary.

I wanted to post the menu, for folks who were interested.  And, of course, to pique the interest of others who might want a similar party and class.  It goes to benefit a terrific cause — a permanent, year-round home for the farmer’s market on San Juan Island.  Whether you live up here or not, consider supporting the cause!