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Friday, July 5, 2013

Sweatshop Sangria

It's summer and we were heading to my brother’s place for BBQ.  I had been hankering for fruit, which translates into “let’s make sangria” in my mind.  Last year, AG had a simple yet delicious sangria recipe.  Since I’m notoriously awful in the kitchen, I figure, let’s go with something easy, tried and true.  But since I was making this for 6 people (and we’re all drinkers in my family), I decided to triple up on the recipe.

I chopped up some peaches and strawberries.  I started off with one of those little plastic boxes of strawberries, and 4 large white peaches.  Most of them made it into the pitcher.  Excellent!  I think I was extremely smart in cutting up the fruit BEFORE the drinking…errr…”tasting” began, otherwise, the Hello Kitty bandaids would have needed to come out again.

There's fruit, so it's *healthy*
Since I was tripling the recipe, I used three bottles of white wine (pinot grigio, per AG’s original recipe).  It was actually more like 3 bottles, minus a glass.  Well, because you know, I had to taste the wine to ensure it was delicious.

Pro tip: "On Sale" wine will make it taste better
And where is where things started to go south.  I had nearly full bottle of Absolut Citrus, but I couldn’t find my measuring cup (I only have one, and it’s usually used as an emergency soup bowl or coffee mug).  So, to err on the side of caution, I poured the entire thing in.  There’s one thing I’ve learned in college - you can never go wrong with too much vodka, right?

I remembered that I had some peach nectar left over from NYE (I love bellinis)…and since it was in the fridge the entire time, it was probably still good, right?  But once I pulled out the box, I realized, there was only about a shot of nectar left.  That clearly wouldn’t make this sweet enough.  So I pulled out the rest of my bottle of Ice Wine Slushie mix, which is basically concentrated ice wine, and added that into the pitcher.  It’s deliciously sweet AND had the added benefit of more alcohol.  Because, clearly, that’s what this sangria needs.  More alcohol.

In case you haven’t gotten the sense of where this was going…nope, I didn’t have any ginger ale either.  But fortunately, I have a fridge full of champagne.  Hey, both are bubbly, effervescent and delicious.  It’s practically the same thing, right?  So I popped open a bottle…and again, because I couldn’t find my measuring cup…the entire bottle went in.  You know, just to be sure I got enough.

This is only with the 3 bottles of pinot...sooo much sangriaaaaaa!
 Quick stir, and VOILA!  Sweatshop Sangria!

Sweatshop Sangria Recipe:
  • 4 - 5 ripe peaches, cut into small chunks.  Use 6 peaches, of you plan on noshing while cutting.
  • 1 big plastic box of strawberries, hulled and cut into chunks/slices. Try not to eat more than half of the strawberries while cutting.
  • 3 bottles of Pinot Grigio…be sure to find the brand that’s on sale – it’ll taste better.  Trust.
  • 1 bottle of citron vodka (or whatever you have handy)
  • 1 shot of peach nectar…or whatever juice you have left in your fridge. Totally skip this ingredient if you don’t…it’s not that crucial
  • ½ bottle of ice wine or ice wine slushie…if you can’t find ice wine, I think Riesling would work too…the key is not to overthink this
  • 1 bottle of cheap champagne- if it’s more than $10 for the bottle, you’re grossly overpaying for champagne

  1. Cut up fruit and throw in a large pitcher.  It’s key to do this step first, so you don’t hurt yourself once you start “sampling” the booze
  2.  Pour in the wines, vodkas, juice, etc.
  3.  Save the champagne for right before serving, so you don’t lose the fizzy
  4.  Stir
  5. Pour into sippy cups so that when it knocks you on your butt, you don’t spill it over your brother’s new hardwood floors.
Sippy cups FTW!

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Heroescon 2013: Comic book nerds > political nerds

Heroescon 2013 blew my mind in a very unexpected way.  This is the show where I discovered that comic book nerds are more polite and decorous than the NC GOP.

I’m not going to get into ideology, although in the interest of full disclosure, I identify as an independent liberal. However, I live in DC, home to both political parties, and at least half of my friends are conservative Republicans.  Besides, let’s face it, Republicans are really just political nerds.  They love politics and their platform just as ardently as I do my X-men and Doctor Who.  I think everyone should be able to respect that.

So…with all that being said…

The weekend of Heroescon 2013, was also the same weekend the NC GOP was holding their convention.  AT THE SAME CONVENTION CENTER.

You know, there is a booker out there that is still cackling.

After a grueling 10 hour drive (should have been 7…thanks Tropical Storm Andrea, you’ve been a peach), I head to the hotel lobby elevator bay carrying two large bags and a small box.  There is a small line, but nothing too outrageous.  I politely chat with the people in line, one of them had on a terrific Star Trek shirt that I would have taken a pic of, if my hands weren’t full.  I get to the front of the line when an elevator opens up and I start heading to it, when a pack of young NC GOP delegates (they all still had their badges and ribbons on their suits and dresses), come into the elevator bay area, looks at the line, then looks at the open elevator doors, and ignoring the line, tries to cut in front of us to get onto the elevator that we had been patiently waiting for!

Before I could say or do anything, two fellow Heroescon geeks, step out of the line, block the NC GOP delegates’ way and very politely said “excuse me, but I believe these people were here before you”.

I just about dropped my bags along with my jaw. 

Comic book nerds, infamous for being socially awkward and gawky, was more polite and understood the basic social niceties better than a group of young NC GOP delegates?!?!  Was I in Bizarro world???

But there you had it, and that was the theme for practically every encounter I had with the NC GOP that weekend.  They prevented anyone from getting on an elevator while they drunkenly argued over who’s room they should go to.  They argued about some delegation seating snafu/upset in front of my hotel room…at 11:30pm (hey, *some* of us have to *work* the next day).  But I think my favorite incident was Saturday night, when I was wearing my vintage Alfred Sheenan dress, when a very nice GOP lady stopped me in the lobby.

“I love your dress,” she gushed. 
“Thank you so much!” I gushed back because hey, who doesn’t like to be told their dress is awesome, right? 
“Did you get it in JA-PAN?” she asked loudly
“Excuse me?!” I was sure I misheard her. 
“JA-PAAAAN.  Did you get the dress in JA-PAAAN?”

Fortunately, Paige and Maria grabbed me and dragged me into the elevator before I could say something decidedly inappropriate.

OK, it's a *little* Asian looking.  But still...please don't scream "Jaaa-paaaan" at me.
On the upside, practically every-single comic-book nerd we met that weekend was *awesome*.  Perhaps everyone was on better behavior because almost everyone I spoke to had had unpleasant run-ins with the GOP delegates, but doors and elevator doors were held open, people were kind and courteous, and well, it just made me feel so glad to be a part of a community that may get mocked on TV and in the media, but when it came down to it, geeks are just good people.

I was going to say something about the growth of Heroescon and how differently it felt being a vendor this year over last...but honestly, I think Paigey captured it perfectly.

Also, this was the first year that I didn't leave the con on Sunday night, so I got to attend the Dead Dog party!  You know I had a fantastically awesome time, when I didn’t think to take a SINGLE FLIPPING PICTURE!  Which is especially aggravating because I never took photo with my two favorite ladies – Vivian and SarahDyer!

I also got to meet the fabulous Lorraine for the first time in person
(OK, we might have met before...I'm terrible at these things)

Oh yes – and there was Mr Geoffrey the Photo-Gnome that we did pictures of all weekend long…but note...we never got around take one with all of us.  Total photo fail on our part, but again, seriously, the crazy amount of fun we were having made us forget...

See you next year Heroescon!