Friday, March 14, 2008

A Black&Tan, Irish Cream, raw eggs and who wants to live forever anyway?

For some reason, I agreed to cook Irish for some friends tomorrow night. They don't have kids. Their house is clean. They know where the Bundt pan is. Why the HELL I agreed to this, I can't remember.

My Some-Timers is getting worse...I make mistakes typing I never made before. And this morning I'm standing in front of the beers in the grocery store and my mind...went blank. A Black & Tan. I know the black is Guinness stout. The tan part? I was clueless. A liquor rep showed up but that wasn't his product and he didn't know, either. The check-out girl didn't know. My friend I called didn't know. The store manager I grew up with didn't know. I need more educated friends. Or a better class of drunks. So I bought the Guinness and came home and looked it up and, for all practical purposes, it's pale ale. There were a couple of discussions about the difference in a Black & Tan and a Half&Half, but for my purposes we'll stick with whichever pale ale is on the shelves when I have to go back tomorrow. If we're lucky, it'll be Bass.

The directions seem to depend on where you are when you order the drink. In Ireland, it seems both beers are just poured into the glass. To layer them, there is actually a Black&Tan make your own you bend a spoon bowl back. But the light beer goes in first...poured heartily so as to build a nice head. Then the dark beer is poured over the spoon, onto the edge of the glass so as to "float" this layer over the bottom layer.

I think I'll let everyone get pretty far into the bottle tomorrow night and then set them to pouring. If I drink more than they do (that's a joke), I may bring out the spoons, some needle-nose pliers and this picture. This ought to be interesting.

THEN, there's the Irish Cream. Why didn't I buy Bailey's? I can't remember. But at eight o'clock this morning I'm in the kitchen making Irish Cream and the recipe wants me to combine the first four ingredients, heat them, beat an egg yolk and stir in one-fourth of the hot mixture, then stir the egg mixture into the rest of the hot mixture and cook for two minutes, stirring constantly.

Good Lord. It's just salmonella. The whiskey and rum will kill it. (They do in eggnog because I've ALWAYS made it that way.) So I just put everything in a jar and shook it really well and put it in the refrigerator. I'll serve it in little chocolate tasting cups and everyone will be so impressed and if they get sick well, it was probably the Black&Tan.

Which brings us to another thing. I don't like Irish whiskey. So I'm using bourbon. From Kentucky. I think most of the people in Kentucky got there from Ireland so...I'm not too far off the mark. The Maker's Mark.

Anyway, here's what I ended up with for Irish Cream. I need to remember to go by and pick up some chocolate milk for the kids so they'll stay out of this.

Living Dangerously Irish Cream
1 cup whipping cream
1 cup whole milk
1 can Eagle Brand
1 tablespoon instant coffee
1 egg yolk
1 cup Kentucky bourbon
1/3 cup gold rum
2 tablespoons chocolate syrup
1 tablespoon Madagascar bourbon vanilla

Beat the egg well, put all ingredients in a jar and shake well. I'm guessing the Irish were too poor to have nutmeg (I know MY branch was), but I think I'll grind a dusting over each serving.

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