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The Beauty of Boilo

boiloI learned of a new drink from my friend and com-padre Rob Llewellyn this weekend. It’s called Boilo. From what I understand, it has Lithuanian roots, and at this time I’d like to personally thank the Lithuanians for bringing this fine recipe over from the old country and sharing it here in the good ol’ US of A. I am enjoying it immensely.

Rob has taught me a lot of things. When I first started camping in a camper, he taught me how when and why you tip your awning. When I started motor boating he taught me how to trim my out drive. He turned me onto soupies, which are a delicious meat snack that goes great with beer, and now he’s taught me about boilo. While I’m thanking people, I thank you Rob, for all that other stuff too, but especially for the boilo.

There are many boilo recipes out there on on the net. A simple google search will turn up a good harvest. After reading a few, I went to the grocery store and got some goodies and here’s how I made mine.

3 large navel oranges
3 lemons
1 1/2 oz of raisins
16 ounces of honey
1 rounded teaspoon of cinnamon
1 quart of blended whiskey

Peel the oranges and lemons and smash the shit out of them in a pot. I used my hands to squeeze as much as I could squeeze and then I smashed them with an old fashioned potato masher. Toss in the raisins, honey and sprinkle on the cinnamon. You’ll wind up with about probably a quart of juice pulp liquid stuff. Cover it and pop it in the oven at 200 degrees. In a few minutes it smells heavenly. Every half hour, get it out of the oven and smash it some more. In about 3 or 4 hours, it’ll be cooked down as much as it’s going to cook down and it’s almost ready.

Take it out of the oven and strain it into a pitcher. Add the quart of whiskey and stir it real good and pour yourself a cup in a coffee cup. If it’s not hot enough, zap it in the microwave a little.

And that my friends is boilo, or at least one version of it. There are a few things to note.

* Keep the oven at 200 degrees. No warmer. You don’t want it to boil even though it’s called boilo.
* Never add the whiskey while you are cooking it. Heat will evaporate the alcohol and we certainly don’t want that now do we.
* Don’t keep it hot for the reason above. When you want another cup, just pour it in a cup and nuke it.
* Watch it when you put it in the microwave because it will bubble out over the top if you get it too hot.

After your first sip you will know in your heart that there is no finer holiday drink known to man. After the second cup, you will be hooked and telling all your friends about it. After the third cup, you’re likely to announce that eggnog is for pussies, and so forth it goes.

Disclaimer: There are many many ways to make this. Some use a crock pot. Some make it on the stove top and actually bring it to a boil with the booze already in it. There are many ways to skin this cat so please don’t jump all over me and tell me that I’m doing it all wrong. The method that I laid out above is simply the way I chose to spin it after doing much research on the net. I intend to make many variations of this as long as the weather stays cold and I crave a nice hot drink, but for now, this is the way I did it and all I can tell you is that this is some awesome stuff and………..

Eggnog is for pussies.

UPDATE: I’ve been using Evan Williams Cherry Whiskey and I only add about 3/4 of the bottle. It makes it real nice 🙂

Sometimes my brilliant ideas aren’t so brilliant

yamsDuring my many trips to the Riviera Maya there were many, many things that I truly enjoyed and one of those things was a little dish that I’d always load up on at the breakfast buffet. That dish was fried bananas. They take bananas, quarter them and fry them in butter and brown sugar. Nummy! I always looked for them when I was in a Mexican resort and I started making them at home once in a while too.

During one of my recent grocery shopping trips I bought a few sweet potatoes. I like baked sweet potatoes as much as I like baked white or red potatoes with a steak or a good piece of baked haddock. Anyway, I had a small sweet potato left and was sitting there on the counter for about a week and then it hit me. I had a brilliant idea! I’d prepare that little sweet potato just like I prepare those delicious fried bananas.

So I peeled it with care, quartered it, and placed it in a covered frying pan with about a half an inch of water and let it cook. When the water boiled down and the potatoes were soft, I added about two tablespoons of butter and a quarter cup of brown sugar and that’s when it hit me. I had just made a serving of your common everyday candied yams. You know, the ones that you can buy in any grocery store in the free world and even in most third world countries.

Imagine my chagrin. It’s good that I like candied yams. I had never made them any other way other than opening a can and heating them up, but now I know, and you know what? They were as sweet and tasty as the fried bananas that I love so well, but instead of dreaming of the tropics while I had my breakfast, I had thoughts of the many thanksgiving dinners that I’ve had in my life and how much I love my dear grandmother. She made candied yams almost every Thanksgiving that she cooked, if not every Thanksgiving that she cooked.

So while this brilliant idea wasn’t really all that brilliant, it turned out okay in the end and I learned that candied yams taste surprisingly like fried bananas.