Monthly Archives: April 2013

Ben’s recipe for REAL BBQ Beans

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Recipe: Ben’s BBQ Beans from Boston

 

Ingredients:

1 medium can “original” flavor beans.

2 large strips of bacon

1/3 small onion, diced

a squirt of Ketchup

1/3 cup weak espresso

 

Preparation:

Cook the bacon, Saute the onions

chop the bacon into small slivers – basically cut each slice into 12 or 14 pieces

add the bacon and beans to the onions in a fry pan

add the espresso and ketchup

Let it simmer ’till the sauce is reduced almost to a paste.  It should still be liquid, but not watery

Enjoy with your BBQ!

25-Jan-13 – Snowboarding, BLTs, Hot tubs and partying at Sunday River.

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Friday, 25-Jan

 

Packing the last few things up only took me a few minutes once I got home.

I’d gotten most of my gear ready the night before: layers, snowgear, and swimtrunks. And I was packed not a minute too soon, since Mike showed up about twenty minutes after I had gotten in, all his stuff packed into his car and ready to go.

So, we ate a quick dinner, packed my gear in on top of his, and headed up toward Sunday River.

We’d planned this weekend out a few weeks before – Mike and I would drive up in his car, and Marla would meet up with Mark and Deb in Jamaica Plain. From there, we’d drive up seperately and meet at Sunday River where we were staying, at the condo that Mike’s Dad and Stepmother own.

It was a fairly long drive, nearly four and a half hours, but it went by fast for Mike and I. We pulled in for Coffee fairly early and lit up a pair of cigars to keep us occupied, and then jumped right into one of our usual crazy dicsussions.

This one went even more wild than most – starting out at the bill of rights, we worked our way through each and every one of the first ten amendments to the constitution, discussing which ones were still in place, which ones were being impinged upon, and which had just been thrown out the window completely. From there we move onto our jobs, the Hells Angels, the economy at large, and even discussed a bit of economic psychology for good measure.

Basically, it was amazing, and the drive flew by.

Before we knew it we had missed our exit by nearly fifteen miles, so by the time we doubled back and got to the condo Deb and company had already been there for nearly twenty minutes. But all was forgiven once we got into the condo, cracked open a few beers, and relaxed before crashing for the night.

 

Saturday, 26-Jan-13

 

We were up before 9:00, for once, and dressed within minutes.

Why, you may ask? Well, the smell of waffles, bacon, and coffee definitely help motivate poeople in the morning. I’ll be the first to admit that they motivated the hell out of me.

From there, Mark L. (Mike’s dad, not Marla’s boy) picked me up a ticket at his discount, Mike and I grabbed my gear, and we all rolled out into the cold. Mike, Mark, and I all went to the main mountain, while Marla and Deb headed off into the woods for a day of cross-country skiing.

Our group only lasted as far as the first trail, at which point Mike and Mark realized just how bad I actually am at snowboading. I’m horrible. Bad enough that they ran off on their own, with my blessing, after that first run.

But I was good – gave me the freedom to take my time and roll down the easy routes, going slow and steadily down the mountain. And by “slow and steady” I mean “really fast, then crashing, then really slow, then crashing”.

I had fun anyways, getting three or four runs under my belt before noon. I even met up with the guy teaching my Capoeira class, as crazy as that sounds. It was a good start to the day, but I was ready for a bit of a break and a bite of lunch.

So, I stopped back in at the condo, to find Micki (Mike’s stepmom) making up a platter of BLTs. Now, I like me a BLT, and I like to think that I’ve had some pretty good ones. But Mickis? They were better than any. I couldn’t tell you if it was the sandwiches themselves, the fact that I’d spent the morning slamming my face into ice, or a combination of the two, but either way those sandwiches were amazing.

I chowed down on three, I think, before succumbing to the comfort of the couch for a short nap.

The second set of the day wasn’t nearly as fun as the first, if we’re being honest. The mountain was getting cold, my legs were getting sore, and some of the earlier falls were finally catching up to me.

Basically, I was a wreck.

I made it down two or three more runs before finally calling it a day around 4:00, after a particularly horrid run down what I thought would be an easy trail, but turned into a flat hellscape that I couldn’t get any momentum on. While snowboarding, loss of momentum is the killer, and I ended up just walking over half of the dang trail before I could get back on the board.

But dinner made all my anger and annoyance and frustration melt away. Because it wasn’t just dinner. It was a soak in the heated pool, followed by dinner, followed by partying.

Yep. The condo had an outdoor heated pool. We could see the snow falling all around us and felt the ice in the air. But the water was a nice 85F, more than sufficient to keep us all warm as we swam around and talked with the other people swimming in the pool.

A quick note about heated pools in the winter – they’re awesome, but don’t discount the temperature difference. My beard froze solid in the cool air above the water, and the steam cloud made it nearly impossible to see other people clearly.

But there were other people, other people who wanted to share their beer, and we made the most of it. We shoot the shit about everything, dared each other to jump out into the snow, and even found a way to use the snow to keep the beer cold but not frozen.

It. Was. Awesome.

But even a heated pool gets boring after a while, so we headed back inside to get in on the pizza action happening up at the apartment.

Dinner was excellent, as one would expect, but what was unexpected was the game that Mike’s folks got us all to play – Asshole Golf.

Asshole golf is a game where a cup is placed in the middle of a room, and each party member takes a turn trying to drop a quarter into the cup. The challenge lies in the rule that no bodypart can be used to hold or manipulate the quarter, save ones buttcheeks.

Hence, the name asshole golf.

We hung out late, laughed hard, and drank well into the night before finally giving up to our exhaustion and crashing.

 

Sunday, 27-Jan

 

We woke up slowly – Marla went for a run, the Marks got a few quick runs in, and the rest of us relaxed in the condo or in the heated pool.

The day was honestly a relax and recover, with basically nothing happening aside from packing everything and everyone up before heading back to Boston. Mike and I did stop in at Tilton Diner on the way home, but aside from that it was pretty calm. We worked our way through the few Rush albums that Mike keeps in his car, and lethargically worked our way back South to Boston.

New Years Eve 2.0 in 2013

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Saturday, 12Jan13

 

Hosting parties is fun. It requires a good bit of effort and prep work, but that just means that you get to at least semi-control what kind of awesome stuff happens at the party.

In this case – Pinatas.

Marla and I had decided, back before we even signed the lease on our place, that we needed to host a big house-warming party. And I wanted to honor Storm’s tradition of having a New Years 2.0 party. Well, this combination was perfect, and so the weekend of the 12th of January was chosen to be our combination House-warming / New Years 2.0 party.

With that in mind, we rolled out fairly early on Saturday, hitting up a few stores for the required party goods. We got pirate-themed hats and noisemakers, and rounded up a dragon Pinata… because everyone loves dragons. They’re awesome! And this way, we could pretend to be dragon hunters!

From there we picked up the remaining ingredients (champagne, beer and snacks), and then headed on back to start prep-work on the house itself.

We really didn’t do too much – the big challenge was finding a way to fit all the beer into the fridge, and still be able to close the door. With that out of the way, all that needed to be done was eat dinner, give everything a final once-over, and wait for people to arrive.

  • Party starts run and relaxed, with people showing up over the course of an hour or two.
  • Start out slow – everyone’s catching up, hearing what everyone else has been up to
  • Finally starts picking up once the snacks and beer gets opened up in earnest
  • Tours! So many house tours!
  • See people I haven’t seen in years… even before I went traveling
  • Cards against humanity gets started. How does this always get started? I hang out in the other room, chatting with non-players.
  • The upstairs turns into a dance-party. This is awesome, but also terrifying. We learn that our floor is not super-sturdy, and that dancing causes shaking.
  • Pinata time happens! Then the pinata fails. It was not a good pinata.
  • We have a bit of live music – quite fun, but kinda slows the party down a bit. Need to get a special band room…
  • Everyone starts rolling out around 2:00 – those who’re staying over form up and make an amazingly floor-rocking dance party.

 

Sunday, 13Jan13

 

As with any morning that I have friends over, we made pancakes.

I seriously love breakfast, if that hasn’t become obvious by now, and I jump at the chance to cook up a big batch of pancakes. Especially if there’s Bacon and Eggs to go with that setup.

So, I cooked breakfast for everyone, we relaxed, and generally nursed our hangovers out from the back of our collective skulls. It was nice, and I got a chance to try out making a big breakfast in our new kitchen for the first time.

After eating people slowly meandered on home, and I started to feel a bit restless. So a nice bike trip formed itself, I tossed a water bottle into my bag, and headed out for the afternoon.