Sunday, May 1, 2011

Graduate school has eaten my soul

...and honestly probably my liver as well.

Drinking briefly stopped being about taste sometime in late February/early March and became about getting drunk. One evening, after getting involved in some drama that I should just have ignored, I cut up someones face.

I'm pretty sure he deserved it! I'm also pretty sure I warned him I was gonna do it! But mostly I remember waking up the next morning, my mouth tasting like sandpaper and my head feeling like it was lined with painfluff and thinking the following:

"Oh god Learning Shots were a bad idea."
"Did I make out with DesignBroad last night?"
"Wait... wait... did I cut up Disaster's face? WHY DID I CUT UP DISASTER'S FACE?!"

I went downstairs and sure enough, I had both cut up Disaster's face and made out with DesignBroad. Thankfully neither one of them was particularly upset with me. We all pretty much agree that the night started off downhill when we started doing "Learning Shots," which was a drinking game with one absolutely retarded rule: drink whenever you drop a kitchen utensil. Don't do that. That is a bad decision no matter how awesome it sounds when you are cheerfully sober. Just... trust me on this. If you aren't trusting me on this, at least don't do Learning Shots with tequila. If you insist on doing Learning Shots with tequila... well then I hope your group's version of Disaster is as laid back as ours is.

I'm much better now, thankfully.

I have also figured out how to make really good sangria, the key to which appeared to be boxed malbec (reasonably tasty even without sugar, triple sec and fruit added) and blood oranges. I *love* blood oranges and I am so very very sad that I can't find them right now.

In non-drinking news, I have completed my second draft of the novel and nearly completed my first year of graduate school. I have also learned how to make muskrat pie.

You heard me right! The Boyfriend has been threatening to bring muskrat to my family's gatherings for a long while now, and finally used my family's Easter celebration as an excuse. It's delicious as all hell too. Here is a recipe!

Take one muskrat and cut into muskrat bits. Soak in saltwater for two days to get the musk out. Season and cook muskrat by your method of choice fully. Set your sous chef to picking the muskrat from its bones. Muskrats have lots of bones and you don't want to crunch on them. While he is picking the muskrat, finely chop two carrots, one large onion, and one medium celery stalk. Saute your vegetables until they are appropriately squishy. Add salt, cracked black pepper, and sage to taste. Add the shredded muskrat bits and heat them through.

While the muskrat and veggies are blending their flavors in a bizarre orgy of taste in your pan, grease a muffin tin and squish some dough into the cups. Our dough was leftover pizza dough which had yeast in, so we had to blank-bake them first. If you have to do that, line the dough-cups with some wax paper and fill with uncooked rice. When that is done, sprinkle some muskrat and veggies into each cup, but don't overfill.

In the pan you sauted the muskratty veggies make a quick roux, one tablespoon of butter to one tablespoon of flour (muskrats are oily little devils, but they shouldn't give off a lot of fat to make the roux with. Even if they did... pour it out and just use butter. Your guests will thank you). Add a cup of hot water mixed with a tablespoon of beef Better Than Bullion (it's expensive but it makes the best damn gravy). Add pepper, and sage to taste, you won't need more salt. Fill the muskratty cups the rest of the way with gravy, put into 350 degree oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until the crust looks crunchy. 

Yesterday I went to a wine tasting, and so I will have tasting notes up soon enough! In the mean time, I suggest that you all make a muskrat pie and absolutely do NOT take any Learning Shots at all during the way!

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