Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Burns Nght Post #4: The Wrap Up

The Dinner:
As y'all know, I rarely eat meat, but for Burns Night I'm happy to indulge in a little haggis. Stephanie has been making a veggie version for years, but last year Wendy brought the real deal. She brought it again this year, & I loved it. It didn't last long, & I feel that it's gotten a bad rap in culinary circles. I get the fact that it sounds nasty... sheep hearts, lungs, & livers ground up & mixed w/ oats & potatoes & then stuffed into the sheep's stomach... but it's delicious.

Stephanie's veggie haggis consists of red & brown lentils, mushrooms, potatoes, carrots, & peanuts. It's awesome. We had it again last night & there are leftovers so I'll be having it again today or tomorrow... if it makes it that long.

I made Brussels sprouts w/ chestnuts. I sauteed the chestnuts in ghee w/ apple & red onion while boiling the Brussels sprouts. They then go into a casserole dish & slipped into the oven w/ more ghee. Brussels sprouts, along w/ haggis, get hated almost universally, & I don't get it. They're really good.

Rachel brought the neeps & tatties... mashed potatoes w/ turnips. Along w/ the haggis, it's the other traditional half of the Burns Night dinner.

Stacey brought oranges (orange & blood) steeped in Drambuie... they were a big hit... & as it turns out, Drambuie is pretty damn good.

Once the other food was gone, Dawn showed up w/ awesome bridies & pasties from Ackroyd's Scotch Bakery in Redford.

The Desserts:
Stephanie made Honey Creams. They're homemade ice cream w/ honey, scotch, whipped cream, egg whites & sugar... they're delicious.

Mary brought fantastic scones w/ whipped cream & fancy homemade jams.

Of course, there was also cheese, chocolate, & spotted dick... & lots & lots of Scotch.

The Scotch:

Dewars... This was mainly for the Honey Creams, but a couple pulls helped the readings go smoothly.
Abelour... I wrote about this a couple weeks ago & decided another bottle was in order.
Laphroaig... I picked this up last week. It's a nice peety Islay. It goes down smooth.
Glenfiddich... I called my dad a couple weeks ago & he was @ the duty free shop on his way to Windsor. I asked what kind of Scotch they had, & he said the Glenfiddich was 35 bucks. I said, "That's not much better than retail. He said, "For a 5th?" I said, "Yeah." He said, "These are liters." I said, "Hook us up!"
Oban... Pete brought this one. It's a nice mixture of the Islay smokiness & the Highland sweetness... It went down smooth.
Caol Ila... Andy brought this one. A fantastic Islay. Everyone loved it.

The Entertainment:
Aiden read "The Selkirk Grace" before the meal. It's the traditional Burns night grace. He practiced the pronunciation for quite a while & did great.
I read "Address to a Haggis" after the grace but before the dinner.
Jim read "To a Mouse" during dinner. He was great. no one could understand a word he said, but he was great.
Andy & Matt both read poems, but I don't recall what they're called, but Andy's was about brothers-in-law & Matt's had something to do w/ the deflowering of a young girl... I think.
I then read about 1/2 of "To a Louse" before it faded away as people lost interest... it was too late in the evening for another reading.
Jim & Joe also played some music... some Mayflys originals, plus some Beatles, GD, & RA covers. Isaiah loved watching them, & so did I.

The Photos:
Here is a link to Stephanie's Facebook album from the party.
Here is a link to Rachel's Facebook album from the party.

All in all, a good time seemed to be had by all. I can't wait until next year. Maybe we'll have to have something sooner like a Tartan Day party or Bloomsday in June. That might be good.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Burns Night Post #3: Who Would Rabbie Support?

We prepare to celebrate Burns Night tonight, & as always, the celebrations falls during the FA Cup Forth Round matches. Awesomely, Man U has already crashed out of the competition which leaves only Chelsea as a real challenge to Arsenal's sweet run towards the League/Cup double. Of course, Arsenal's 4-2 fight back @ mid-week against Bolton sent them to the top of the league table... granted, a Man U win this afternoon would see Manchester overtake them for a couple days. Still, it's pretty sweet to be top this late in the season.

So in honor of Burns Night & Arsenal's rise to the top, here's what may be the 1st in an new annual tradition... my Burns style poem for the weekend.

"To a Goon"
Now, if wee Rabbie Burns were still agood
Do’na think that he would be a Chelsea man
For fookin’ fruit & prancin’ doon the road
Is not the way for our fair Burnsie, ken?

And whoot of auld sir Alex’ red Manure?
(He wouldna be a Yankees fan me’thinks.)
Young Rab would ratha cheer the worker, sure,
Than fancy big buck squads with big buck stinks.

Take Merseyside and shove it up yer arse!
Not since the four fair Beatles was it plain.
He’d never been nor would he be a Scouse.
He’d floosh the Reds, wi’ shite, right down the drain.

He’d scoff at Villain ‘tenders to tha crown
Blue Cit’zens, too, wee Rabbie would na take.
Nor lily-white; tha Hotspur, he’d put down.
North London’s got but one fer foock’es sake.

Perhaps the Ayr United or the Killie
Would scratch his home town need for home town sport.
Fair Rabbie was no silly billy Gillie,
He wouldna’ take no silly billy court.

Not Hearts nor Hibs nor Hoops would be his team.
And Rangers only range for gearlie boys.
Though Scotland’s squads would be for him it seems,
They play a pretty plot with ugly noise.

He’d be a true red Gooner don’t ya ken?
Up the Ars’nal; top the table strive.
A club wi’ whom th’hard workin’ lass and men
Can drink and sing and fight and be alive!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Burns' Night Post #2: Iron Your Kilts!

Here are some links to get everyone ready for the big drinking game that is Burns' Night. This Saturday @ our place... bring your appetite for scotch & your appetite for good, good food.

  • Burns Night.Net
  • The Facebook Group
  • Burns' Poetry
  • Burns Supper
  • a fun little story from the Moscow Pullman Daily News... whatever that is
  • A fun little story from The News, a small paper from Nova Scotia w/ a rather uninspired name.

  • Monday, January 18, 2010

    MLK @ EMU & Beyond

    Here's a full schedule of the stuff to do on campus today: http://www.emich.edu/mlk/. I think I'll be heading to the "Stereotypes in Film" seminar, but I might hit the performance of "The Meeting" instead... a fictional account of a meeting between MLK & Malcolm X. There are 3 or 4 things I'm interested in all going on between 2:00 & 2:50, but none of the 3:00-3:50 stuff looks up my alley. Off campus there's obviously a lot going on too, but I was a bit surprised that the Ypsi libraries weren't doing more. An afternoon marathon of Selma, Lord, Selma @ the Michigan Ave branch is interesting, but it's a bit odd.

    I went w/ Stephanie & the kids to the Whittaker Branch this morning for "Story Time" w/ Isaiah. They go every week, but I've always been busy. It was super fun to hang w/ him as he played along & listened to the stories. He was so excited from the moment we walked in there. He kept pulling my arm to get me to go to the proper room as I was attempting to look @ other stuff. He was so funny. I wish I had the opportunity to do that more often. Of course, while we went to "story Time," S & A hung out on the computers. Aiden's Lost addiction is pretty ridiculous. All he was doing was looking @ Lost flair on Facebook in an attempt to figure out what's coming next. (we're on Season 5 Episode 9: "Namaste." I'm sure he'll ensure we get through @ least 2 or 3 this evening.
    Comin' attcha!

    Tuesday, January 12, 2010

    Burns' Night Post #1: Aberlour 12 Year & Other Whisky News

    While I was waiting for Chinese food @ Chia Shiang a couple weeks ago, I strolled next door to Morgan & York to survey the Scotch selection. The last time I'd been there, I picked up a bottle of Glenmorangie Lasanta which was good but it had a bit of a sherryesque finish with which I wasn't completely down. It was aged in sherry casks so it's supposed to be sherry-y, but not that sherry-y. I don't mean to complain though. It was good (Glenmorangie always is), & @ 92 proof, it did its job, but I needed to try something different this time.I wasn't familiar w/ Aberlour, but I'm glad I got to know it. The 12 Year is in the same price range as Glenfiddich & The Glenlivet. It doesn't have the sweet, honey finish of the Glenfiddich; there are some caramel & cherry highlights instead. It's miles beyond the Glenlivet in flavors & complexities. It's probably been 4 or 5 years since I last bought a bottle of Glenlivet though so maybe I should give it another go... but then again, I had a glass last year & was I under impressed then too.
    In other Whisky (or whiskey) news, I read Kate Hopkins' 99 Drams of Whiskey a couple weeks ago. It's a fun book about her travels around the globe exploring distilleries & tasting whiskeys. She writes a great food site, The Accidental Hedonist, & the book was a really fun look into the process of making & enjoying the Water of Life.

    Thursday, January 7, 2010

    Shatner & J.J. Abrams

    Last night I stumbled upon the most ridiculous talk-show ever. Shatner's Raw Nerve makes The Pat Sajack Show seem like a good idea. It's a 1/2 hour show on the Bio channel which features Shatner interviewing another celeb for the entire program. The 2 of them sit facing one another in an S shaped kissing chair while Shatner pries into the tortured past of the guest. I saw 2 episodes last night & got to witness both Weird Al & Gene Simmons in tears. I've never said to myself, "Hey, I'd really like to watch The Demon weep." But it works. Against all my best judgement, I recommend this show... & I know I'll be watching it again.In other Shatner news, I watched Star Trek VI w/ Aiden last night. Over the summer, we started watching the films (skipping the 1st one), as a build up to the new movie. He has finally seen all of the original cast films so no we're ready. I saw VI in the theater w/ my cousin when it 2st came out, & I always liked it. It's definitely better than V, but last night's viewing made me think it may not be as good as I'd always thought. It's a bit low on action. They muddy up a pretty basic plot by spending way too much time explaining it. Also, the effects aren't what I remembered. The parallels w/ Tomorrow Never Dies are pretty interesting though. I've probably talked about this before, but they both feature a cloaked ship that can fire while cloaked, they both feature an enemy general named Chang, & they both revolve around a plot to use the cloaked ship to start a war between 2 groups that are uninvolved w/ the ship. (Admittedly, the 3rd point could be said of most Bond movies).While we're now ready to give the J.J. Abrams Star Trek movie a go this weekend, Stephanie & I have also been watching his new show, Fringe. It's no Lost, but it's pretty cool. I'm yet to decide if I love it or hate it. I feel like I might be on the verge of addicting myself to the next Zena: Warrior Princess. It revolves around an FBI agent, her boss (played by the dude who played Abaddon on Lost), a crazy old scientist who spent the last 17 years in a mental institution after doing weird experiments on humans, & his genius son (played by a dude from Dawson's Creek) who will obviously become a love interest for the FBI agent. Crazy events are happening (mainly in he Boston area), & they're all related to some pattern of scientific research that has been killing hundreds of people. I'm afraid I may be hooked.Not as hooked as Aiden has become on Abrams' other recent show. We've been rewatching Lost, this time w/ the kids, & they're loving it. We slowly got through season 1 last fall & then blew through seasons 2 & 3 over the holiday break. We started 4 last night in the hopes of getting through 5 before 6 starts on February 2. It's pretty awesome watching the kids pick up on the foreshadowing & little stuff in the background. I was afraid they wouldn't be able to follow it, but they're doing really well. I think we'll watch a couple more episodes tonight before The Office.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    A New Soccer Post for the New Year

    With Arsenal poised to move into 2nd place (ahead of ManUre) this afternoon (home to Bolton @ 2:45 & I'll be watching it in the office) & the African Cup of Nations starting in Angola on Sunday, I thought a little transfer talk might be in order. I suppose we should do some CAN 2010 updates this month too.

    * Man U look set to make some big changes after crashing out of the FA Cup @ home to Leeds United (a Division 1 Side). Ferdinand also seems ready to hang up the boots after an injury hit season (& more roid rumors). Problems @ Old Trafford bring smiles to my face. It's also rumored that Ji Sung Park will be moving East... not all the way back to S. Korea, but over to Birmingham City. He's an odd player & this might be a good move for him.
    * Obviously, L'Pool need depth, but the rumors of a mass exodus have been flying. Supposedly Babel, Dossena, Voronin, Lucas, & even Reina are all on the outs. The changes should happen soon if they want to get into the Champions League next year... & if they don, I would imagine Torres & Gerard will be leaving in the summer.
    * Chelsea won't be allowed to make any changes after this month for a year & a half, so 1 would expect things to be happening, but Ancelotti claims there won't be any. with Drogba, Essien, Mikel, & Kalou all in Angola, that seems like a risky decision.
    * Arsenal's injury hit squad could use a boost, but Wenger pointed out that even w/ RVP, Fabregas, & Bendtner out, they've still scored more goals that any other team. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for André-Pierre Gignac to move in from Toulouse, but that doesn't seem likely. A right back might be a good buy too... & a back up central defender w/ Djourou out & the rumors of Senderos leaving.

  • EPL Transfer Rumours
  • Football Rumours
  • The Telegraph
  • The Guardian
  • Sky Sports
  • Friday, January 1, 2010

    Holiday Post #12: Another Reason Democracy Sucks

    Here are the final tallies for you 2009 Visions of Ypsi Celebrity MILF of the Year. W/ 2 write ins for Kendra Leigh Baskett (née Wilkinson)... some surgery-enhanced whore from Playboy... & 1 abstaining, the rest of the results look like this:

    Ashley Jensen: 2
    Adriana Lima: 3
    Heidi Samuel (née Klum): 3

    And bringing the most votes, your Visions of Ypsi Celebrity MILF of the Year, Sarah Michelle Gellar: 4
    Next year, we may need to adjust something to ensure it doesn't get this ridiculous ever again. We @ Visions of Ypsi will be holding our noses while we congratulate her on her victory. You can see her here in all her pregnant glory, but it's pretty obvious that the cutest one in the picture is the dog (& probably the most talented too).
    OK, I'll admit that she has a nice set of targets