These folks don’t always make love to sages, but when they do, they prefer The Most Interesting Man in the World!
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I see a lot of beer in your future. And considering that yesterday was Independence Day in America, I see a lot of beer in your past too! Despite its ancient roots and global appeal, there is nothing more American than beer. Grilling out? You drink a beer. Exploding things? You drink a beer. Going to go open a can of whoop ass on the neighbors? You drink a beer. Going to ritual? Of course, you’re going to drink a beer!
That’s the very basic process – you can make it much more complex like the commercial brewers if you have the time and energy.
Brewing can also be a fairly cheap hobby. ”If you’re frugal and get a kit, you can get in with an initial investment of $100 or so. The cost to brew a 5 gallon batch (about 2 1/2 cases) is about $40-50 or more, depending on how fancy you want to get.”
Ever get bitched at for not pouring a beer right? Ever wondered what the fuck did it matter if you were just going to drink it, piss it, and drink another one? Hawthorne has the answer to that. ”The best way is to get the right beer glass – it usually has a slight bulge that ends just below the lip of the glass. Those you can pour straight in the glass. Otherwise, tilt the glass a bit while pouring the beer in to prevent excessive foaming – too much head makes it harder to drink, or worse, overflows the glass.” (Too much head makes everything harder to drink and always overflows the glass!)
So, crack open a beer, sit out under the stars, and have your own private esbat tonight. Don’t forget to libate!
What do fancy dinners, Wiccan rituals, Ernest Hemingway, and my favorite punch all have in common? Wine! Pagans and yuppies in particular seem to be fond of wine. For some reason, and I suspect that it goes back to mistaken thoughts about ancients and carry overs from Christian communion, many Pagans feel that they can only use wine for cakes and ale. This of course is ridiculous, but wine is still the most popular beverage in circle. Wine is incredibly easy to make, which probably explains why most of the world’s cultures have some version of it. Kordwainer, who has been Wiccan for 20 years, makes wine at home.
Several years ago he was looking for a new project to take on. ” A friend of mine suggested that I look into wine making. It was good timing too, because there were a couple of learning opportunities right around the bend. I ended up attending a workshop by the agricultural extension service and enrolling in a short class at a local farm just a month or so later. ” Since learning about wine making, Kordwainer has made several batches of wine, from both kits (like making a cake from cake mix) and crushed fruit (like making a cake from scratch), some of which have been used in rituals for cakes and ale and libation.
Wine holds a sacred spot in Kordwainer’s religious beliefs. “I am, in particular, a devotee of Dionysos, God of wine (among other things). He is the Divine aspect that resonates most deeply with me and I see His story played out in the actual wine making process itself,” explains Kordwainer. “In a body of Myth associated with Orphic cults, we are taught that humanity was originally made partly of the remains of the infant Dionysos and partly of the Titans who kidnapped and dismembered Him. When Zeus discovered that the Titans had killed the child and were preparing to make a meal of him, He showered the entire scene with His lightning, destroying both the attackers and the victim. Hermes swooped in and carried away Dionysos’s still beating heart, from which He was later reborn. The soot and ash that was left over served as the raw material from which Zeus formed mankind. The material was a mix of the remains of the baby and His murderers, therefore each of us has something of the God in us as well as more base and wicked impulses.
“Dionysos’s bodily destruction at the hands of the Titans is mirrored in the crushing of the grape, and the gradual separation of the new wine from the must and lees reflects His role in elevating our own spirits, drawing out more of our Divine nature and leaving behind our titanic influences.
“What I’ve enjoyed more than anything else has been muscadine wine. I love the flavor, and the grapes themselves have an untamed quality that I admire. I think of them as embodying more of the wild Dionysian spirit.”
As I stated above, wine is really easy to make. It is also completely legal to make at home, as long as you don’t sell your wine or make more than around 100 gallons. Of course, like anything, there’s always somebody willing to sell their sqeezings regardless of the law.Kordwainer said that his initial investment was about $200, which included yeast and fruit for his first batch and a bundled kit from a wine shop. The typical kit includes a primary fermenter, two secondary fermenters, a hydrometer (a tool that measures sugar/alcohol levels), and some tubing for racking. With this set up, you’re ready to start making your first batch.
According to Kordwainer, “You basically start with some sweet liquid, like fruit juice, and place it in a controlled environment where you can manage things like temperature and exposure to oxygen. Fruit pulp or whole crushed fruit is often left in the juice to help provide aroma and color. This juice/fruit combo is called “must”. Into your must, you introduce some yeast and give it time to convert the sugar into alcohol, making sure to keep an eye on the process.
”At some point you’ll have to separate the wine from the sediment (called the “lees”) or the wine will take on some unpleasant flavors or odors. The separation is accomplished by draining the wine into a new container, leaving the lees behind (this is called “racking”). You’ll probably have to rack a batch of wine at least twice before you get an acceptable level of clarity.
“When the wine is clear, and the fermentation process is complete, you’ll hopefully have a very dry wine. Any sweetness left at this point means that the fermentation process was halted before the yeast could eat all the sugar, and that can be a bad sign. Most winemakers will sweeten their wine at least a little after the fermentation process is done and before final bottling, but for fans of dry wines, it’s not strictly necessary. It is important to stabilize the wine (kill any remaining yeast) before bottling, though. If fermentation restarts after the wine is bottled, it can have explosive results (literally).
“You have to make sure the sugar level in your juice is high enough to get the potency you want in your wine, and you have to be careful about what strains of yeast you use and make sure that the risk of contamination from other bacteria is minimized. My best tip is Sanitation is king. Keep everything sanitized; even the slightest contamination can ruin a batch of wine. Next, I’d advise you to do your homework. Read some books, take a class or attend a workshop if you’re able to. Try to at least partially understand what you’re trying to accomplish on a chemical level. I’m no chemist, but the little bit I learned has really help immeasurably. Finally, I’d say to be prepared to exercise some patience. Wine takes a long time to mature. You’re looking at 3 or 4 months at least before a batch is drinkable, and letting it mature longer after bottling greatly improves its quality.”
Just as wine and ritual seem to be a natural pairing, food and wine seem to be quite natural as well. While many wine aficionados spend endless hours biting their nails over pairing just the right wine with their food, Kordwainer says that it’s not a big deal. “It’s a bit like magick, actually. In a way, wine/food pairing follows the law of attraction. Like calls to like. Red meats go with red wines; and white meats like poultry or fish go with white wines. Rich foods pair nicely with more robust wines, and milder food match with lighter wines. Of course, the most important rule is to drink wine you enjoy with food you enjoy, preferably in enjoyable company. “
Just as pairing the right wine to the right cuisine is important, pouring wine properly is also important. “There are differing opinions about that. There are a LOT of variables, honestly: the exact temperature at which to serve the wine, the shape of the glass, how long to let it breathe before pouring, whether or not to use a decanter, etc. Pouring a glass of wine can be an art, or even a science. To add to the confusion, it can all change for different varieties of wine. You pour a still wine into the center of the glass, but you pour a sparkling wine against the edge to keep it bubbly. White wines are more commonly served chilled than reds, although sweeter red wines sometimes break this rule.
”My own favorite serving method is highly unorthodox, but it does have some historical justification. The Greeks, in accordance with the edicts of Dionysos, always mixed their wine with water. To them, the drinking of unmixed wine was a sign of barbarism. I prefer to mix my wine with club soda and serve it over ice. I also favor sweet, full bodied wines which work out well with this method. I know that there are some cultured wine buffs who would have my head, but I pour it to drink and enjoy, and I think that’s the real secret to the perfect glass of wine.”
With that said, imbibe some wine and try not to act like a maenad (at least not too much!).
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|Who really wants legal whiskey?|
I have never had too much trouble, as I didn’t get caught, haha, except for one time when I was 21. I ran the liquor in my van, and it got to a point that there was always a dark blue sedan or SUV following me when I drove that van. If I drove my small sedan, it was never there, but as soon as I hit the road in the van, there they were. So, at that point I quit for a while, and have only recently thought about starting back up.”
Not a big fan of straight white liquor? Make a cordial out of it. The most famous cordial, and maybe the most historic, is Cherry Bounce.
Espresso, percolators, French presses, K-cups, instant and good ol’ plain drip coffee. Nothing wakes you up like a cup o’ joe. And whether you make it yourself or have a local coffee shop employee to make it for you, it provides a sense of comfort akin to Mom’s chicken soup or warm chocolate chip cookies.
I’m a career barista (as in, yes, I do this for a living) at a major well-known coffee shop chain. I started working with coffee after I developed a severe daily habit for expensive lattes and the sort. Working 80 hours a week means that coffee is with you most of your day. Eventually the people at my local shop offered me a job and as it turned out, the benefits were better than what I was getting as a bank teller. Seven years later I’m still schlepping caffeine and still enjoying it. The term baristais Italian in essence, it basically means “bar person” in reference to the Italian custom of having coffee bars. So, your local coffee shop girl is your all day bartender! I could talk all day about the training, finer points and skill set of a barista, but let’s just cover the basics of brewing a great coffee at home.
I’ve got quite a few tips for you in order to perfect your coffee at home. The 4 major aspects of a good cup of coffee are freshness, water, grind and temperature. If you can buy your beans whole and grind at home or grind at the point of purchase, I HIGHLY recommend it. While pre-ground freshness techniques have improved in recent years, grinding as close to the time of brewing is best. And, this will blow your mind: DO NOT PUT YOUR COFFEE IN THE FRIDGE OR FREEZER. “Why?! My grandma always did!” You might exclaim. Your grandma also thinks that black people belong at the back of the bus, that doesn’t mean she’s right. Not only will your coffee absorb odors and pick up unsavory tastes from your fridge, but anytime you open your cold coffee in a warmer room, you invite condensation to accumulate within your coffee container. That moisture settles into the ground coffee and undoes the roasting process. Ideally, put your freshly ground coffee in an airtight container or large Ziploc bag and store in a cupboard. While your prime freshness window is one week from time of grind, you probably won’t notice a severe decline in taste for at least a month. You want your coffee fresh and dry for the next step of brewing.
As much of a pain in the ass as it seems, use filtered or pre-boiled water whenever possible. Slight minerals that you might be accustomed to in your drinking water can have an adverse affect on the natural oils in your coffee. If you are not using a commercial coffee maker, invest in a candy thermometer and make sure that your water is approximately 180-200 degrees before you introduce it to the coffee. What your preferred brewing method is will also determine how fine of a grind you should have for your coffee. Here is a rough breakdown of how fine or course you should have your beans ground based on your coffee maker.
French Presses and percolators need as coarse of a grind as is possible.
A flat bottom metal or paper filter (typical basket style) needs a medium grind. This has the highest surface ratio and therefore it is better if the water passes through the coffee a little bit faster.
Cone-shaped filters will take a slightly finer grind than a flat bottom. This is so that the water sits in the cone longer since there is less surface area.
Espresso machines require a fine grind so that the machine is able to compress the coffee into pucks for the extraction process. Espresso is a concentrated shot that is force brewed quickly.
The finest grind (which may not always be available in some grocery stores) is for Turkish pots. It is extremely fine, almost a powder.
Now that you know how to make a tasty cup, now you can enforce getting it perfectly made everyday! Many BDSM relationships have little customs, rituals or schedules that provide much-needed structure for some submissives. Every person takes their coffee a specific way and nothing says dedication like knowing just how much cream and sugar should go in Master or Mistress’ mug in the morning. And nothing says fun like learning from the mistakes during the process!
Even spilling on the floor is fine, as long as a bare-ass pointed up in the air being hit with a serving spoon while they clean it up provides enjoyment for the whole gang. Along with that, coffee can be used in sleep deprivation scenes or in coffee enemas. Plus, used grounds can be made into facial masks as part of a beauty regime with pampering. Many stores sell fun accessories like serving trays as well. Imagine having your slave prance into your bedroom, the perfect cup of steaming coffee delicately balanced on it. What a way to start your morning, right?
Personally, my favorite aspect of coffee is the serving! I spend all day serving it to the public as my job, and I’ll be damned if I will go home just to do it all again. Nothing says comfort like coming home to some Nina Simone songs, kicking off my shoes, stretching out and having a scantily clad boy bring ME a hot cup of java.