Saturday, September 3, 2016

Suppertime... and the livin’ is easy

Everyone knows a little leftover wine can be served the next day with a healthy dose of cold seltzer and some ice. 

The “spritzer” is a hot weather classic.

Did you also know you can freeze that wine in an ice cube tray? Toss a cube into a red-hot pan to deglaze the pan after the burger or the steak is done. Set the meat on a plate to rest and melt that winecube over high heat, bubbling and scraping the bits off the bottom into a tasty, concentrated wine/beef sauce. You won’t hate that poured over your burger, believe me.

But Summer suppers should be quick and light. Back in November we did a winter stilton omelet:
Hot weather calls for light toast, “sunny side up” and fruit, not heavy home fries. Mango’s are great right now so cut up a mango, melt some butter in a hot pan and put some challah bread into the toaster. 

We’re making red wine eggs.

The pan and the butter must be HOT, really hot, almost as if the cooler egg just barely saves the butter from browning. Crack two, cook as regular fried eggs and when the bottom is getting done, pour in a quarter cup of red, any leftover red.

Then put the lid on. The wine will bubble and steam and poach the egg while the egg white absorbs the red wine flavor.

Grate some black pepper on top and return the lid. Keep it covered but don’t turn the heat down. Start your toast. Now it’s a sprint to the finish.

A big spoonful of blueberry preserves on the rich, toasty challah goes great with that ripe mango.

And if you still have wine leftover?

Grab a glass. 

Eggs steamed in wine are quick, tasty and vintage!

Friday, September 2, 2016

I wanna walk but I run back to you, that’s why...

The 1970‘s were great years in British motorcycling, but also the beginning of the end.

This 1970 Triumph 650 Tiger is a real sweetie, still with original paint (and rust). I found it parked in the Village at 12th and University.

Honda landed in 1969 with a new and smooth surgical assassin, their relentlessly clean and bulletproof 750 Four. Soon the legendary hot-oil grit of the Brit bikes would fall out of favor with American riders.

Riddled with flaws, this Tiger was still widely loved. For one thing, it’s a very close relative to the TR6 Trophy Steve McQueen appears to jump in the movie “The Great Escape.”
But this bike had many problems typical of British engineering at the time. Clouds in the sky? Uh-oh. The Lucas electrical system might not even fire up.

It had only a kickstart lever, too, electric starting was still years off. So with the engine oil acting like glue on a cold winter morning, rearing up skyward, muttering a prayer and then plunging down through the start-up stroke could almost dislocate your knee.

Amal carburetors were the worst and the Tiger had one, down from two in its more famous and faster cousin, the 650 Bonneville. 

In long, high speed sweeper-like turns with the bike heeled over hard, the bowls in these carburetors would actually drain empty and the engine would cough.

That’s a brake pedal on the left but pushing it didn’t really mean all that much. LockHeed disc brakes weren’t standard yet and the front drum was so lame you practically had to phone in an appointment to slow down. 

They split the crankcase vertically. See how only the outer casing was polished for the showroom? You can still see the sand-casting on the unpolished inside half.

And that vertical seam practically ensured a nice oil stain on the garage floor. But the peashooter mufflers were cool.

So were the rubber “gators” used to protect the front forks from flying crud.

This bike came stock with a tach on the left and a speedometer on the right but that’s all you got in those days, just engine speed and road speed.
The rest was based on engine sound and the riders intuition when to shift.

Here’s a vintage shot of a Tiger in its day. 
Old Triumphs, the epitome of moto-cool. 
Even Joan Jett features one.
And we do love Joan Jett. 
You’ll see why in this waycool period video.


Thursday, September 1, 2016

three's a crowd


on 57th street

I ran into Pee Wee Herman yesterday 
on 57th Street near Park.

He says hi.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Blinded by the light

A violent lightning storm moved through the south Bronx last night about 8:30. The Mitchel Houses behind us, known as the projects, are the tallest structures in the area.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Kurama knows

Archeological evidence places the first human settlement on the islands of Japan at approximately 10,000BC, about 12,000 years ago.

That’s hard to conceive in a country where our 126 year old ClockTower warrants a landmark designation.

Kyoto is one of Japan’s oldest cities, so there is a calm that hangs in the air that is comforting for its perceivable wisdom and patience.

Kurama is an ancient village about 70 minutes north of Kyoto by rail, up into the mountains.

The earth is pristine and the air is so clean it’s intoxicating, and the sense of “let it be” is unmistakable.

What a great, maturing experience.

I love my country. 
Our freedoms are the envy of the modern world.

But we can be such a frenzied, aggressive and clueless little culture, running hard in ever-tightening circles chasing our dreams of happiness not realizing peace is already here, living inside.

All we have to do is quiet down and tap into it.

Kurama knows.