D’s grandpa makes good margaritas. Funny story, the first time I met him he offered me a drink and I wanted to make a good impression so I said “sure” and he made himself and me a Bloody Mary. I thought, “Cool, I can drink tomato juice with some vodka in it. Easy.” That was before I drank any of it though and found out that really, it was mostly vodka and hot sauce with a splash of tomato juice in it. Grandpa Burkart had three of them and wasn’t even phased. I ceded at two and then handed the keys to D because she’d be having to drive… His margaritas are just as strong, made of equal parts lemon juice, tequila, and triple sec. They do taste great though…
- 1 part fresh squeezed lemon juice (I used Meyers)
- 1 part tequila
- 1 part triple sec
Combine equal parts lemon juice, tequila, and triple sec in a container. Shake. Store in freezer for at least three hours. Serve in margarita or martini glasses with salt or sugar-lined rims.
Grandpa Burkart knows how to make a margarita! Despite not having any lime juice (the ones in the pictures are just for display), simple syrup, or any of the other things you sometimes see in recipes these are still the best margaritas I’ve ever had. If you want something a little dryer you can use regular lemons instead of Meyers. Just be careful as these pack quite the wallop, though you wouldn’t know it from the taste!
A friend of mine started a new blog, Project A Month, at the beginning of the year. Each month he introduces a project and then he and his design, plan and execute. The first month was to:
Make a meal based on your favorite movie, book, song, or game - Whatever your favorite piece of entertainment is, there’s bound to be some way to make a meal based off it. Maybe food is a central component to a pivotal scene, or perhaps a character happens to be a spicy chicken. Either way, this month you need to think hard about what meal would represent and give homage to your choice. Be sure to take pictures of the process, write down your recipe, and explain a little bit about the choices you made.
I loved the premise of the blog and wanted to participate. I mentioned it to D and she also thought it would fun. The first problem though was coming up with a favorite anything to be our inspiration for the meal. I knew I wanted to do the project with D, instead of us each doing our own, and that meant that the book, movie, song, or game had to have meaning for the both of us… It didn’t take too much rumination to settle on J.R.R Tolkien’s Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings as our inspiration. The two of us not only grew up with the books but we’ve read them too each other as well during our courtship and marriage. I felt we got lucky with our pick as Tolkien infused his work with a love of food and eating (especially his hobbits…) Almost immediately I knew I wanted to do a take on the Elves’ magical lembas bread that served as the main staple for most of the Fellowship’s journey to Mordor. D said we should do some sort of hearty breakfast to go with the bread and call it “second breakfast.”
My first thought for Lembas bread was a multigrain loaf, full of nuts and berries. This fits with the description of the bread in LOTR but wouldn’t make for exciting eating or recipe making. I then thought a biscuit might work, something like hard tack but not so bland. The biscuit idea finally lead me to a scone. A scone was perfect: sweet, filling, transportable. I looked up a basic scone recipe and then went to tweaking! Continue reading
I’ve been listening to and reading the words of game designers recently. How they make their games, what in the process comes first, where ideas for game mechanics come from, etc. All those words must have been sinking in to my grey matter with out me noticing it because earlier this month ideas for game mechanics started surfacing into my conscious from no where. Most of them seemed far-fetched and unworkable but a few held my interest and I spent a couple hours on the train to and from work thinking over them before pulling out a standard deck of 52 playing cards and seeing if any of them worked.
What I came up was Duel! a simple card game for two people that can be played with a standard deck of cards in under thirty minutes. I haven’t had a lot of time to playtest the rules or do any tweaking so I don’t know how balanced or playable the game is beyond the few hands I’ve played with myself. Playtesting will continue on my end but any comments or criticism would be appreciated!
In Duel!, each player starts with a starting hand of five cards (a flurry) that they keep hidden, and a set of three more hands each with five cards face down in front of them.
The game takes place in four rounds or until a player has won three flurries. A round consists of each player playing a card from their hand onto the table and the other player playing a card in response, comparing the cards, scoring (drawing blood), and then repeating this process each player alternating who plays the first card until both hands are empty. Then the next hand is drawn and the process is repeated.
The goal of the game is to win three flurries.
In Duel! you’ll be trying to get to through your flurries as quickly as possible while dealing the most injuries to your opponent while avoiding being marked. In Duel! Each suit represents a strike: Spades = High, Clubs = Medium, Diamonds = Low, and Hearts = Parry. High beats Medium, Medium beats Low, Low beats Parry, and Parry beats High. In the case of both players playing the same suit the card with the highest number wins (Aces beat Kings.)
Duel! is played with a standard 52 card deck. Shuffle the deck. Deal each player half of the deck. Each player now organizes their cards into five stacks of five without letting their opponent see what is in each stack. Players discard their remaining card. After each player finishes selecting their stacks they each select one of their opponents stacks those stacks are removed from the game. Players now place take one of their stacks to be their hand and arrange the remaining stacks, face down, in front of them..
The player who introduced the game goes first (I challenge you to a duel!) if both players have played assign going first randomly. The game consists of four flurries each played using the deck in hand and on the table.
The round begins when the first player picks on of the cards in their hand and places it on the table. The other player then plays one of their cards down on the table in response. Following the rules above see who scores. The person who scores takes the two cards off the table and places them in front of them. Now the order alternates with the player who responded to the first card on the table playing a card from their hand and the other player playing a card in response. Score the cards, continue the flurry until one of the players has scored three times. If there are any more cards left in the players’ hands they are discarded. Each player now picks up one of the flurries in front of them and continues play as described above.
The game ends when one of the players has won three flurries.
For quicker play follow the setup and play of the game but instead of alternating the play of cards each player plays their cards simultaneously.