Thursday, January 3, 2008

Using your Noggin

I had some PCV friends over for the interim between Christmas and the new year. We decided one day to make egg nog. So, we went out and bought the necessary ingredients-- eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Lacking a blender, I thought about how we might mix everything together. I decided to go to the hotel across the street and see if I could borrow something from their kitchen. However, my friend George wasn't in (he's the doorman who usually allows me to borrow items from the hotel kitchen). I decided to ask the lady at the desk anyway. I explained that I needed some sort of machine to mix liquid ingredients together. At first she thought I was a guest at the hotel, but after I explained I lived across the street and wanted to take the thing with me she got confused. The manager (at least I think that's who it was) happened to pass by at this point, and asked the desk clerk what was going on. She explained that I was in need of something to mix a drink. 'Simply bring the things down from your room and we'll mix them for you,' said the manager. I further clarified that I wasn't a guest, but simply a guy who lives across the street. 'Oh, you don't have a room here?' 'No,' I explained once more, noticing the conversation going in circles. In any case, it seemed extremely doubtful that they'd give me any sort of mixing device, so I left, still wondering what I'd do.

Eventually I got a mixing device from my land-lady. However, there was still a problem. I had bought whole cloves, and didn't have any way to grind them. Suddenly, I remembered that I had a brick in my oven. It was a giant brick I had taken from the courtyard of my building to use as a weight (I had made some stuffed peppers that were so stuffed that I couldn't get the lid of the casserole dish to sit tightly). It was simple; we'd use the 'whammo method,' one of the most ancient and trusted processes (see illustration below). So, we put the cloves in a plastic bag, carefully wrapped the bag in a paper towel, and proceeded to beat the cloves mercilessly. The caveman method produced finely pummeled cloves, which we added to the nog. In the end, perhaps a bit surprisingly, it tasted almost exactly like egg nog. Pretty awesome!

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