3/29/11 Cocktails and snacks

4 Apr

My assignment was wonders of the Medieval Mind, which isn’t necessarily the same as Medieval wonders, it’s what people in the middle ages found wondrous.  I was thinking of those dark ages, and first off, got thinking about bread.  Even in this day and age I think it’s incredible that you can start with four ingredients, water flour, salt, and yeast, and end up with a loaf of bread.  That said, I can also see how in the 1930’s, when wonderbread became a household name, that it too, in all it’s mass-produced industrial uniformity was also wondrous in a way.  The greatest thing since sliced bread, actually.

I chose to bake a few loaves of the simpler, more medieval bread, a fairly wet dough, with a long rise, almost a ciabatta recipe, with kosher salt sprinkled.

Just as wonder bread

For my snack, I thought of the obvious; a leaning tower of pizza.  To get the effect, I had to break out some power tools:

Imagine Tim-Allenesque pirate sounds

For the mini-pizzas, I used the same bread dough, cut into small rounds,

San Marzano, basil, garlic, onion sauce, fresh mozarella, and a variety of toppings:

home-made sausage

I par-cooked most of the toppings, as the oven would be 500F and the little buggers would be baking on a stone, so there’s not really enough time for the toppings to cook starting raw from a dead stop.

if they were square, they'd be Brushetta

The assembled tower:

leaning at an authentic angle

For my cocktail, I decided to create a menu with just the name of each wonder as the only clue for each drink, so people wouldn’t know exactly what they’d be getting.  Francine provided the medieval charring to distress the edges:

the drink menu

So here’s what each wonder inspired:

Ordering the "Stonehenge" would get you one of these

Ordering "The Colosseum" gets you a glass of this

John loved the Black Friar Cobbler

  • The Great Wall of China = A Harvey “Great” Wallbanger, made with orange juice, ginger-infused vodka, and galliano.  Joanna was fond of this one.

Harvey's "great" secret addition to the screwdriver

  • The Porcelain Tower of Nanjing = Sparkling Sake

A big hit with the ladies

  • The Hagia Sophia = Efe fresh grape Raki; Kelamity suffered through a glass.  A splash of cold water turns the anise-flavored liquor cloudy.

National drink of Turkey

And finally,

Thanks again, everyone for another memorable evening.

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