Coming up is K’s birthday, and that means valuable cards and prizes for her. In true game show fashion, she opened a catalog, pointed at the object of her desire, and said, “this!” Whatever you say drill sergeant! “This” turned out to be a yogurt maker from a health food catalog specializing in juicers. The ordering experience was friendly, but odd. It’s in the catalog, but not available yet. You can have a confirmation number, but call back tomorrow to get it. I guess that’s to be expected from a catalog where wheatgrass juice is considered a tonic equivalent to a Potion of Healing. Might very well be, but let me be the judge of that!

Yogurt making sounds fun, so why not? Healthy, probiotic stuff! You heat up some milk, throw in some culture powder, fill the nifty containers, put on the lid, and turn on the machine. Well, okay, not quite. The instructions that came with the maker, and the ones on the label of the culture container were both wrong, and we got a bunch of milk that smelled like yogurt, but that’s it. After some research on the internet for formulas, and the use of coffee filters to filter out the whey, yes we now have yogurt. Fresh is good. Much better than store bought. But the hoops are a little more than was advertised.

My legendary pizza of doom recepie continues to gain daily in power. We ordered a pizza from Pizza King and it was way good. Me, ever the pizza master, always examine a pizza to see how it was manufactured, and wow! Secret kung fu trick discovery! They curl the pizza crust inwards to get the edge crust, so I give it a try on my next pizza training bout. Most cool. Sauce drip and overpuff of edge crust eliminated, plus new handy curl makes grasping easier for muncheroo destruction! Overall, a nicer, more appealing look of pizza, and I achieve 100% toppings containment with less handling time. The only drawback is the technique is slippery, and the edge crust cooks very hot, and becomes a little too crunchy. Clearly, there is an additional kung fu maneuver in there to be mastered, but baby steps, I tell myself, baby steps to world pizza domination.

The rum punch alchemy experiments are drawing to a close, to the satisfaction of pirates and barbarian raiders everywhere. My secret orc investors should see a nice return on their brain-bashing, party vertical initial public offering, thanks to my frankenstein efforts. I still have some finalizing to do, but the basic recipe goes like this:

A big glass punch bowl
2 Grapefruits
4 Valencia Oranges
8 ounces of Water
9 ounces of Appleton White Rum
14 ounces of Appleton Rum (The regular, amber colored stuff)
15 ounces Myer’s Dark Rum
30 ounces of fresh squeezed orange juice
64 ounces of Nature’s Promise Pomegranate Juice

I use a grater to grate the skin of the grapefruits and oranges into the bowl, then squeeze the juice in. I don’t go ape with the grating, you’re looking for the citrus tang, not necessarily volume. I leave the pomegranate juice for last, since you’re going to have to add until you get the taste you want. I usually end up having to add the whole thing anyway, and make any difference up with more orange juice. You want the tingle of the alcohol, without the bite or the flavor, so you won’t know you’ve gone too far until it’s too late.

For drinking containers, every fiesty plunderer ought to use the pirate mugs from Archee McPhee! These things are solid construction, have got character out the wazoo, and fit nicely in your hand for easy access.

The blackberry/cherry/orange rum punch was a success, but the work involved in straining the juice was a little too hard core to justify the result. I’ll tag that one for a furture development project down the line. You’ve got to be cutting edge when you’re a pirate, ahrrr!

Edit 02-04-2008:  It should be noted that the fresh squeezed orange juice is in addition to the Valencia Oranges.  You are squeezing the Valencia Oranges into the mixture for the fresh tang of citrus, but you will also be adding orange juice from a container.