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Hey internet, friends, and family, in that particular order! (Just kidding!) Supper in Stereo’s kitchen is back in order after a couple of months (OK, WAY longer, admittedly) of mudding, sanding, painting, pot-lighting, and procrastinating our kitchen (and living room and bedroom and excuses). Does this mean that http://www.supperinstereo.com is also back? TOTALLY… a possibility, but no promises!

But you may be happy to know we’re at least cooking again, working on our chops! Or maybe not. Whatever dudes (and family). Our budget will be happy, we’re happy, and maybe baby TBD Lynch is happy about it.

It’s just that blogging is kind of weird, you know. I like it, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it kind of feels like boring reality TV without the TV but with the boring. I mean, recipes are good, and pictures are nice to look at, but… we’re still kinda searching for an angle. Someone recommended Supper in Threepeo. Yeah, maybe, but NO PROMISES!

So yeah, add us to your feed reader, bug us if you like, and maybe give us a bunch of hits to encourage us, and maybe we’ll be better this time.

Look at food!

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I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve been wide awake since 4 this morning. I gave up on sleeping an hour ago and snapped my headphones on. Thought I’d share one band in particular with you: The Rural Alberta Advantage.

This one’s called Frank, AB:

And this one’s called Edmonton:

Leave it to a bunch of Albertans living in Toronto to make me wax post-nostalgic for our time in Montreal from where Hanne and I would think about all the good bits of our hometown. And sure, now we’re back and there are… good bits. North America’s northern-most city will have an unseasonable high of plus-11 C today. The past few days have been/will be a brief respite from the cold — theseĀ  few days count as a good bit of a long brutal Edmonton winter. A spring-tease before we’re plunged backĀ  far under zero until April. Or will it be May? Winter here seems both colder and longer than I remembered…

New and old, here’s what SiS listened to in 2008. List will be updated until… I lose interest.

WSiSL2in2008 playlist will show up on your right side after the jump.

PLAYLIST HERE

And whatever you’re listening to tonight, your playlist ought to end here:

…because I’m supposed to post at least once a week to help keep SiS’s NaBloPoMo (post a day month) run going and because I only feel like playing video games and drinking beer today.

Counts. Totally counts.

Remix No. 1:

The Original:
Cut Copy – Lights and Music (from In Ghost Colours)

The Remix:
Boyz Noize – Happy Birthday Remix (from Lights and Music Single)

Remix No. 2:

The Original:
Does It Offend You, Yeah? – Epic Last Song (from You Have No Idea What You Are Getting Yourself Into)

The Remix:
Lifelike – Epic Last Song (from Epic Last Song Single)

Remix No. 3:

The Original:
Kraft – Kraft Dinner
– KD is okay, but it could be better. I’m right, right? Hanne and I got home late one night and I wanted junk food. KD sounded about right, but it’s boring and one-dimensional. So…

The Remix:
Supper in Stereo – BKD
– Fry four or five strips of bacon. Instead of using butter or milk as per regular KD instructions, use some (or all!) of the bacon grease. Chop bacon into chunks and mix it into finished KD. Peas would be good, too, I think. I’m going to try that.

AHA! I figured out a way to get music on our blog. Here’s what Hanne and I have been listening to in the kitchen.

Bon Iver: Flume / Skinny Love from For Emma, Forever Ago


Ingredients:

Passion Pit: I’ve Got Your Number / Sleepyhead from Chunk of Change


Ingredients:

High time for the SiS team to learn its chops! Hanne and I recently attended NAIT Culinary School’s Art of Garde Manger & Knife Skills course. We spent three four-hour sessions in these kitchens:

There’s Hanne in the back of the room interviewing Chef Roote. Hanne was working double duty as she was on assignment for Vue Weekly. If you’re interested in all the nitty gritty, jump over here.

I tagged along because I’ve always wanted to work in a professional kitchen. I’ve read books and articles on chefs and their kitchens. I simultaneously romanticize and pragmatize this life when cooking. I want to work dans le merde, even though I know that means in the shit. I want to work in a lively, chaotic environment, but don’t want to get pushed around or yelled at (you reading this, Hanne?). I often tell Hanne, while doing the prep work for dinner, that if someone would pay me well to chop and slice food all day, that would be exactly what I’d do. But not only do I not chop and slice well enough, a chef’s work is meant for people with figuratively and literally thicker skin than me.

I was excited to take this course because I could pretend. I did the pretending in my head, so not to embarrass Hanne. Like calling the chef, “chef” or my prepared ingredients my mise or asking if I could wear a toque. I didn’t actually yell at people to get out of my way, but thought of cantakerous ways I would have while waiting impatiently for them to get THE HELL out of my way. I didn’t actually scold a guy for putting a knife in the sink… no wait. I actually did. It is a sure-fire way to dull a knife, after all. Man, I’m an asshole.

The fun wasn’t all in fantasizing. I learnt a lot. I have decent knife skills, but the chefs gave me a gamut of tips to sort out a few bad habits. The best tip was to simply move my cutting board to the edge of the counter so that my fist (the one holding the knife) wouldn’t get in the way when side-slicing an onion. Painfully obvious. “Thanks for the tip,” I said, and at the end of the sentence I swallowed the word chef and washed it down with my pride.

Chef also told me to take my time. I learnt the bear claw/knuckles knife technique around the same time we launched SiS and have spent the last year and a half NOT cutting myself with the chef’s knife. I got so good at not cutting myself that I invested all excess energy into doing it fast. But while quickly pounding a carrot into a haphazard rumble strip is fast, it ain’t good. I was told to take my time and be more precise, which you may have read about in Hanne’s chowder post. What I learnt in this course paid off on the chowder as all the veg. cooked through evenly (perfectly!) and, although you couldn’t see it in the post’s picture, the symmetry of the cubes looked great on the spoon and felt great to chew.

Precision was also called upon in class when making canapes and sandwich displays. I’m now convinced that paying attention to presentation is important. Seeing all the food laid out pretty in class made me even hungrier and although the moment was fleeting, I did at first eat with my eyes.

The course was a lot of fun and I encourage you to read Hanne’s article. She spent way more time working on it than I did on this post, so if you’ve read this far, you owe her a read. Also, if you’re a foodie in Edmonton, check out NAIT’s list of part time culinary courses.

Hanne’s written 1234 great booze articles for Vue Weekly, all odes to classic cocktails and/or rare spirits. In October, our columnist turned her job into a losing venture by purchasing 1234 bottles of rum, three of which are pictured above (Havana Club Anejo Blanco-Appleton Estate V/X-Gosling’s Black Seal) and won’t be subsidized by the weekly. The problem is, I can’t object because she has 1-2-3 more jobs than I do right now. Also, the cocktail recipes Hanne dug up and created in her latest feat of investigative journalism are some of my favourites.

One of these is the Harpo’s Special, which may (or may not) have been invented by (or for) Harpo (probably not Karl) Marx. I like flavours that attack in different ways with different trajectories. The Harpo’s Special has a sour hook of lime, a jab of boozy acid, a slap of bitters and a soft sweet finish. Go to Hanne’s latest Vue article to make this and other rum-based cocktails.

SiS’s Ginger Beat Cocktail

This drink will work you over. It’s a SiS original made by Hanne, a take-off on Gosling’s Dark and Stormy. I’ll call it–and I get to because I’m, like, married to the creator–the Ginger Beat. Think your various tastebuds cymbals, toms, high hats, bass drums and imagine benched behind them the best drummer you can name, say Stewart Copeland or Dave Grohl.

Gulp, sip or do whatever you do. The lime shimmers sour over your tongue and rumbles in your cheeks. The ginger snaps up your palate and burns down your throat. The dark rum breaks in, flattening the flavour with bitter caramel while beating licorice, anise and earthy (peat moss?) notes. Sugar settles the flavour’s throb to a steady beat and is nearly a nod to silly-girly-drink but comes off more sophisticated-lady-or-mister-drink, grounding the bite of the alcohol and ginger and making the drink less brash than composed.

That may seem a bit exuberant, but I’ve just had 1-2-3 drinks while writing this post. Make it like this:

  • A third of an old fashioned glass of crushed or cracked ice
  • 2 oz Gosling’s Black Seal or other dark rum
  • 1 Tbsp ginger syrup (recipe below)
  • Top glass up with ginger ale

For ginger simple syrup:

Ingredients:

  • 1 inch cube of fresh ginger, sliced thin
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar

Method:

  • Put above in pot, bring to boil, simmer until golden
  • Refrigerate leftovers for seconds
  • Thirds

Let’s just say it’s probably good that Hanne doesn’t let me post what I want, whenever I want. Luckily, for me, Halloween is a great excuse to take SiS in a decidedly different (read lowbrow) direction. Here’s the world’s “blacker than the blackest black… times infinity” death metal band grocery shopping (*Hanne’s note–This is NSFW, and pretty vulgar):


The show is Metalocalypse. Ignore the video captions. Happy Halloween!