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> Odyssey, That Ain't No Blues!
Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:26 PM
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QUOTE
You seek a great fortune, you three who are now in chains. You will find a fortune, though it will not be the one you seek. But first... first you must travel a long and difficult road, a road fraught with peril. Mm-hmm. You shall see things, wonderful to tell. You shall see a... a cow... on the roof of a cotton house, ha. And, oh, so many startlements. I cannot tell you how long this road shall be, but fear not the obstacles in your path, for fate has vouchsafed your reward. Though the road may wind, yea, your hearts grow weary, still shall ye follow them, even unto your salvation.


Oracle's verdict, delivered to Ulysses, Delmar, and Pete.



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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:28 PM
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Last year, at LFX in Allentown, I told someone I had gone in the hope of meeting a saint.
"A New Orleans Saint?", he asked.
Hell no, I can meet those any time. They practice right across the river several times a week. Someone else there told me he had expected to meet a superhero (me!) but had come away disappointed. That made at least two of us.


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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:30 PM
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Earlier this year I became aware of an Autumn project planned to take place in Walton, New York, at Delaware Phoenix Distillery. Kirk was going to foot the bill for lodging and meals and provide some of his home-grown plants. Cheryl was going to make her facility available. Eric was going to provide a recipe and his expertise with the "Texas Rectification" method in an effort similar to that which involved him and some others traveling, some years ago, to Europe to meet with Pierreverte and Oxygenee and to help make a commercial offering called L'Artisanale that was pretty well received.

Autumn in the Catskills was the icing on the cake, and I counted myself in, but without commitment, as usual, until almost at the last moment, with September on the horizon, I got a call from Kirk inviting me in a polite way to get off my ass. Honestly, I didn't know what I could contribute. As always, I wanted to be there, but I didn't want to go there. It's a long way to go, in more ways than one.

Ultimately I decided to face my fear, de-hobbitize, and make it my contribution to get the wizard safely there and back again. I called Eric and invited him to set up the itinerary. He decided that we should travel by way of South Bend, Indiana, his boyhood home, to allow him to spend some time with his family and friends, and that we should hit as many barbeque joints and snake farms as was reasonable on the way, documenting the whole thing for the potential amusement of friends and fellow forumites.


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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:31 PM
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I set out for Austin, Texas on September 11th and got back home to Louisiana on the 27th.

4,500 miles

Five barbeque joints in five states

A couple of live blues sessions

Intense autumn leaves (but not in the Catskills, where autumn had not set in - it was in a river valley in western Virginia after we had taken the wrong way to the Interstate and had to crawl toward Tennessee through the countryside)

Too many good beers to remember

New York pizza and deli sandwiches

Some absinthe got made

as well as some new friends



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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:34 PM
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Barbeque I:

Sam's in Austin - famous place in a rough part of town. Rough and tumble, much run down. It was okay, not great. It was Stevie Ray Vaughn's favorite barbeque. People say it was better before Sam died and I don't doubt it.
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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:37 PM
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Barbeque II
Frankie's in South Bend, Indiana - pretty good. Also in a rough neighborhood, that used to be a lot worse. Lots of pictures of famous patrons (mostly black, of course) on the walls. They put barbeque sauce on the fries, an option upon which I wish I had passed. Barbeque is not about sauce. Sauce is for the side, but shouldn't be needed.


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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:41 PM
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Barbeque III
Tony Gore's in Sevierville, Tennessee - extremely good. Straight up smoked meat, with a variety of sauces on the side: Texas sweet, Texas not sweet, North Carolina (vinegar with red pepper flakes), South Carolina (yellow mustard based), Teriyaki, and one or two others I don't remember. Deep-fried dinner rolls; that was a first for me. Lots of pictures of mostly lower-tier country music star patrons on the walls. Tony Gore is apparently among them. I think it was his gospel-style stuff that was being played in the dining room. I'll pass on the music but I'll take that barbeque any time. They have a killer Sunday buffet that includes the fried catfish, but it wasn't Sunday.
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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:43 PM
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Barbeque IV
Smiley's Fuel City in Raphine, Virginia. It's a truck stop. The pulled pork sandwich is the genuine article, as good as it gets. Cole slaw and vinegar on the side. Smiley's sign claims the best dang barbeque in Virginia, and I don't doubt it. I was really glad we noticed the sign from the Interstate.
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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 10:47 PM
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Barbeque V
Jim n' Nick's in Birmingham, Alabama. We had contacted Ted Breaux on short notice, and he had asked us to meet him there, and so we did, without knowing it was a barbeque joint. It was by far the biggest, busiest (despite our arrival near closing time) and most upscale (actually, the only upscale) place we visited. Hard to judge the barbeque, as I wanted to try the sausage, having passed on that at the other places, and I didn't fancy the other options on the combo plate so I wound up with sausage and more sausage. The sausage was okay. The collard greens with side meat were exceptional. They had a nice selection of beers on tap, including a pecan ale that Ted recommended, which turned out to be very nice. Ted said it's the first place he hits when he gets back from Euroland, which sadly knows little of root beer and less of barbeque.


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Artemis
post Oct 4 2011, 11:10 PM
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Ted seemed very happy to see us, grinning like a Cheshire cat and punching us on the shoulder (ouch - when Teddy Biceps punches you, you know you've been punched). He was in fine form, schmoozing the waitress, putting on his Cajun accent, and telling us about a rather bizarre absinthe cocktail he recently discovered - I'll have to make sure I have the details on that one right, but I think it was nothing but absinthe and lemon juice. He kindly gave us a critique of a sample of Blues Cat (the working name for the absinthe we made in Walton, and maybe the final name) as well as a sample of Cheryl's rye whiskey. I have no pictures because my camera card was full by that time and I had no replacement.


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pierreverte
post Oct 5 2011, 01:47 AM
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Brunelle Cocktail (adapted up in A Taste for Absinthe from the Savoy Cocktail book - 1930)

1 1/2 oz lemon juice
1/2 oz absinthe
1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

Combine in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake well, and strain.

The lemon completely unmasks all aromas (good or bad) under the supporting anise and fennel, like an X-ray.
The best absinthe cocktail to introduce good absinthe to a neophyte (or those stuck on traditional drips) - one of the best absinthe cocktails ever, since 1930.


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Absinthe is always greener in the other glass. ™
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Artemis
post Oct 5 2011, 03:12 AM
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Thanks, Peter.

QUOTE
The lemon completely unmasks all aromas (good or bad) under the supporting anise and fennel, like an X-ray.


That's just about exactly what Ted said about it, and what intrigued me.


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Tibro
post Oct 5 2011, 07:57 AM
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Uh, snake farms? You said something about snake farms. I'm too impatient for these installment publications.


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When I wake up,
I try to convince myself that my arm
isn't there --
to retain my sanity.

Then I try to convince myself that it is.

Frank Bidart
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Artemis
post Oct 5 2011, 02:35 PM
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You wouldn't have enjoyed the Crimson Ghost, I guess. At the end of an episode, he might have young Polly spread-eagled on a lab table, while he plugged in an electrical device that emitted a sinister dynamo hum.










Tune in the same time next week, boys and girls, to see him brush his evil teeth.




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Artemis
post Oct 5 2011, 03:05 PM
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Truth be told, America is not what it used to be.

We saw nary a sign for a snake farm (See the Two-Headed Alligator!!!), and even See Rock City!!! is not as ubiquitous as it once was. It's probably George Bush's fault, or maybe families are seeking their entertainment elsewhere, maybe even staying home and reading Vladimir Nabokov.

But I saw something even better, the Museum of the American Dad, otherwise known as Eric's father's shrine to himself (not intentionally; it just turned out that way) - a fascinating place. This will be covered in a future installment, but for now, here's one of the exhibits, which I hereby nominate as the official Fee Verte vision test.
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