If you’re tired of restaurant and baby posts, you’re in luck. We finally had a guys weekend in WV for an upland hunt. Due to certain other responsibilities, our usual fall hunt didn’t work out, so I thought a nice spring hunt would be nice. I did not expect a March blizzard.
It was a little dicey getting up there. The toll road was crazy, but my 4wd had it covered.
At the woods, the driveway had about 8 inches of accumulation.
RP made us some ghetto hot dogs (bread for a bun), and we had moon pies for dessert.
Then we settled into our sleeping bags (to avoid doing laundry), and called it.
The next morning was plenty cold, so there wasn’t much melt.
I grabbed a jazz cigarette, and a filling meal at the waffle house (on the left), and we headed to the shotgun range.
I put it in four wheel low, and we headed down a back road in the wildlife management area.
The snow came up to the bumper between the wheels, and at about the time we took this photo, we lost cell service. There were some tire tracks, but we never saw a soul.
But we made it.
We measured out 40 yards, and set up the patterning board.
We tried some different ammo, and a couple chokes. I’ll post the results of our patterning later on.
After patterning, we had a little fun throwing our own clays. The new thrower I got worked out great.
After about three hours, we warmed up, packed up, and headed out.
After shooting, the truck started right up and we got out of the snow no problem.
When we got back to the cabin, Dr. Bumpy was waiting for us. The rest of the guys arrived, and we rolled out to the Long Branch Saloon for dinner.
After dinner, I had a Kirkland Light (I would not recommend it), we started a fire, and enjoyed the 8 degree temp on the screened porch.
The next morning we did a little sledding on the first hole of Stoney Lick.
Then it was time to head to Quail Hollow Farm for some upland hunting. The weather wasn’t ideal, but Steve didn’t want us to go home empty handed.
After a warming up with some clays, we geared up for the hunt.
Steve turned the dogs loose, and we were off. It was a really beautiful day. The quail have flown better when its dry, but to their credit, there were plenty we missed.
Badger and Molly were great as always, but someone was misbehaving and got the leash…
Everyone took a bird or two, and Thom had some particularly nice shots.
After the hunt, we cracked some beers, pulled out the cigars, and put in a lip or two.
The dogs snuck a few spoils of the hunt while Thom and Steve cleaned the birds.
Steve’s son came and sold us some apples, apple sauce, hot sauce, apple butter, etc. We left prepared for a feast.
Back at the cabin, we toasted to Zeiby’s and ML’s first upland hunt, and dried out.
RP and Bumpy bacon wrapped the quail, and threw them on the grill.
The feast was delicious. Thanks again to the chefs. After some midnight toddies, I had to call it. Fortunately, I woke up to some freshly made crunk food the next morning.
Then RP made us some biscuits and gravy.
Bumpy blew an alternator, so we went into Berkeley Springs to try to replace it.
After some McD’s, we stopped at sheetz for some gas. I noticed some guys in a sedan wearing button-downs tucked into chinos. I looked them up and down while gassing up the truck, and gave them the, “you boys ain’t from around here” look. They bought it, which is hilarious, since neither am I. FJ is probably mortified, but the other Wayne boys would be proud.
I came home exhausted, but with a cooler full of birds. As always, I had a great time with the guys. It had been too long. Can’t wait for next time.by rsiv with
We had another good meal from Caribbean Plate.
HB made some great food on a snow day. It started with cinnamon rolls, then we had some fried thick cut bologna sammies, and finally, some breakfast for dinner.
One day we thought we’d be healthy and get some Cava mezze grill. The food was amazing, but based on the portion size, I don’t know how healthy it was.
We also got some taco bamba. The food was great except they’ve ruined their chicarrones. I think they’re using store bought pork rinds. Very sad times.
EF has decided she likes sitting up like a people and got a new wub. She also had a perfectly timed kerchoo (thanks Chashley for the book).
On superbowl Sunday, I had time for a run. I think thats my second run since EF was born, and my time definitely reflects it. I hate running, so I can’t wait for the weather to warm up so I can get out on the water.
Then C-Note and Jodiah came over for some hot tubbery. We made bourbon lancers and lit up some stogies. I had a Hoyo, and RP had a Partagas. Then we warmed up in the sauna.
HB got back from the inlaws. I fixed some wings and fries upstairs and then we went downstairs to watch the game. I didn’t really have a horse in the race, but I would have liked to see New England lose.by rsiv with
I’ve been stuck at home with baby too young for vaccines, so I’ve been watching more than a little bit of TV. Next week, we get a little freedom back, but since I’ve been doing the legwork, I thought I’d share some of my favorite shows. I’m not one to merely watch TV, so I’ve also provided a drink pairing for each suggestion.
Justified is an amazing show about a US Marshall in Harlan County Kentucky (I have an uncle from just outside Harlan). There is plenty of gunplay, action, and bourbon. Raylan goes up against guys he grew up with, and the dixie mafia. This show picks its drink pairings itself. In the last episode, Raylan brings the police chief some Blantons (my all time favorite bourbon). I don’t know what advertising deals they have on the show, but they usually have some really good bourbon featured. You’ve got some catching up to do. Justified is in its final season.
Next up, Black Sails.
I’ve reviewed the show and my rum pairing before, but its a new season, and I’m still down. Getting lost in a period piece with plenty of violence and nudity while enjoying a rich glass of rum from Guyana is not a bad way to spend an hour.
To further immerse ourselves, we got some food from Carribbean Plate. I recommend the saltenas, yucca, and Jamaican beef patties.
I’d been hearing a lot about Downton, but it was my parents that finally talked me into giving it a chance.
I’m not sure why I enjoy watching young women struggle in Edwardian era relationships, or Lord Grantham struggle to keep his estate afloat, but I do. I do know why I like the Dowager so much. She as a dry acerbic wit to which I aspire. On the show, they drink a fair amount of wine, sherry, and even a cocktail on rare occasion (when they’re up for some excitement). However, I, like Lord Grantham, prefer a nice glass of scotch. If you want to compromise, maybe go with a sherry cask? I’ve also been known to brew a nice cup of tea, or even pop some bubbly.
I’ve talked about how much I like Peaky Blinders before, but why not again.
I’ve never considered it before, but it looks like I really like period series. Peaky Blinders is a netflix series, and looks to have a pretty big budget. Visually, its pretty amazing, and I’ve found the plot every enjoyable. Despite being set in England, there are Irish characters and the IRA also come into play. Therefore, I skip proper ale (usually) and go for whiskey.
Archer just started back up.
Archer is hard to explain, but essentially its a raunchy action comedy cartoon with a James Bondy and arrested developmenty vibe. Archer works for his mom, which I find to be fairly relatable. Any drink pairing would do, as Archer is all over the map. Champagne, icewine, schnapps, rubbing alcohol, or vodka could all work. Despite expensive tastes, Archer drinks whatever is available and often drinks bourbon. So I went with a bottle my buddy recently got me:
There is also a pretty good mini series on History right now called Sons of Liberty. I have gone the obvious route of cracking open a Sam Adams, but for a deeper and more accurate cut, maybe open a nice bottle of Madeira. I might have to go out and grab a bottle, as I’m all out. Madeira would also go well with the book I’m currently reading.
Whatever you watch, try pairing it with a drink.by rsiv with
The other day at about noon the snow really started coming down. I was working from home and had to do a little house sitting anyway, so I decided to take a lunch break. My truck was the more obvious choice, but I decided to take the M3 out for a snowy spin.
After bringing in the mail, I decided to make sure the hot tub was working properly.
I was reminded of the proverb: without pain, there is no pleasure. Having a newborn can be a tad stressful at times. I think this was just about the most relaxed I’ve ever been. My favorite cigar, my favorite Scotch, a steaming hot tub, some jazz, and the gentle fall of the snow. I even had a cardinal come keep me company, but to be honest, it was some much appreciated alone time.
I enjoyed a little tree overhang that sheltered me from the snow, and a magical and ethereal view that the above picture doesn’t do justice. I decided the sauna needed a quick check as well.
HB took EF for a walk in the winter wonderland. EF was full of wonderment for about 20 minutes, and then enjoyed a nice brisk nap.
After the walk, HB made some homemade hot coco while EF enjoyed some leche de madre.
That weekend, I thought HB might enjoy some hot tub time as well. I picked myself out another cigar.
Then while HB was soaking, I popped some bubbly and made up some canapés as a quelle surprise.
I’ve got to say, this was a pretty damn good time. The salty fattiness of the caviar, crème fraîche, and blinis was cut perfectly by the dry acidity of the bubbly. The cigar put my olfactories into overdrive and took me back to Havanna. The jazz didn’t hurt either.
Let me wax a little poetic about the champs. This bottle was an impulse buy for new years. Fortunately, we only managed a bottle a person on NYE, and this one was spared the saber. I was aware that Bollinger is a favorite of Bond, and totalwine said it had a high wine spectator score, but that was about it. I was very impressed by this bottle. It was rich and complex with velvety bubbles, and paired perfectly with our accompaniments. Its a very handsome bottle as well. Dark forest green glass, gold accents, and a beautiful pearlescent label that screams that one pair it with caviar.
EF took a pretty long nap, and HB and I got a lot more hot tub time than anticipated (Thanks EF).
After a long afternoon of hot tubbing, we decided to unwind in front of the fire with a little brown (Thanks again to Susie, a true aficionado, for the bourbon – HB loves it). Then we put on some Strikeback and enjoyed some sex for no reason…
by rsiv with
HB’s Bday was this weekend. Since FJ and Swaggy-we were going to St. Lucia, we went over to celebrate early. FJ got some soup and pretzels and beer cheese dip from Taste by Katie. Very delicious. CK made some birthday cupcakes, and LeBeef had us smoke some smores, which were…interesting.
Since my parents were out of town, we had to have a party at their place. HB and I had been craving wings, so I instacarted 30 lbs, got some sauces, 16 lbs of fries, and we were in business. We smoked the wings to defrost them, and then grilled him. I don’t have any pictures of this because it was quite an undertaking. Thankfully, HB and Jodi sent me a bunch of pictures so I could still do a post (thanks again!).
The spicy buffalo did a number on my tumtum. CW loved the bbq, and HB was all about the sweet chili.
HB blew out her candles, and errbody gave EF some love. HB opened some prezzies, my fav of which was the bourbon.
Then, in keeping in the spirit of a high school party while the parents are out of town, someone suggested a drinking game. Things got a little wild, and we did a little singing.
It may look like drunken karaoke, but things got a little slow, a little country, and a little emotional, and HB may have not been the only one to shed a tear…
Later that weekend, HB enjoyed her first hot tubbin since getting knocked up.
Then EF gave her mommy the gift of going out, by getting some vaccines (which will be enjoyed when they kick in in two weeks).
Now, its time for one of those 80s cleaning montages before the parents get back. Fortunately, a lot of picking and cleaning up got done at the party. We have good friends. I saw Ash in particular doing a lot (thanks again). It was a really great party, and to quote CW, “We needed this.”by rsiv with
I’m going to tell you about RP’s 30th, but first, let EF take a selfie…
The Capt’n drove up, and then we dropped the bebe off with Nana and ubered to The Tune.
After some bourbon and sodas, we walked over to RP’s for some delicious pizza.
RP didn’t get diapers. For your 30th (and combined xmas prezzy, which all December babies hate), you have to get something special.
So HB and I went with a personalized pre-embargo-lift Cuban humidor for storing fine puros habanos.
After dinner and gifts, we headed to Jack Rose.
The neophytes were overwhelmed. If you’re not familiar, they have a pretty extensive selection of brown…
HB started out with some Old Taylor from the fall of ’65. Jes.
RP got some Talisker to celebrate his milestone.
Thom went with an Old Fashioned.
I started with a dram somehow tied to Ardbeg, which was quite enjoyable.
HW and ML enjoyed some manhattans.
I was looking for something special and different to order for the birthday boy, and since they didn’t have what I ordered, the bartender suggested some 17 year old Japanese whisky from the 1970s. I ordered a couple, and was quite impressed by it. I very much appreciated the suggestion.
We were having a great time, but EF needed some leche de oro so we had to vámonos. A special thanks to Jodi for planning everything. I almost suggested Jack Rose as the venue, but then decided it wasn’t my place, so things certainly worked out well (and great minds think alike). Happy Bday again to Ry; I suspect it will be a big year for you.by rsiv with
A day or so before xmas, I had my parents over for some nog. Nog is never noggy enough for my taste, so I topped ‘er off with some brown in honor of FJ.
On Christmas Eve, we have several family traditions. One of which, is vodka martinis.
Then we go to a party in A-town, that I’ve been bartending at since I was 8. I switched to gin.
Then when we get home, its time for champs, caviar, a little more vodka, and FJ’s version of The Polar Express.
We ended the evening by opening our stockings. Ry got his own this year that LeBeef embroidered herself.by rsiv with
The other evening, I grilled up some poblano and anaheim peppers to serve with some wild boar sausage. I used to grill more bell peppers, but I’m pretty hooked on the spicier ones now.
The Tracys got me a bacon jam sampler for xmas (very good with cheese, or on a BLT). I enjoyed some fine Scottish beer that CK enjoyed in Scotland.
I picked up some lamb and brussels at the local market, pan fried both, and seasoned with a little balsamic reduction and opened a bottle of rioja.
The Tracys also got me a Balducci’s taco salad.
CK brought me back some Bramble Jam from Scotland. I’m not sure how its different from blackberry jam, but it certainly had a delicious and unique taste. It was a cold rainy night, so I put some Rob Roy on the telly, and fixed a fry up.
I enjoyed some more Scottish beer, but went with a more American brown sauce made by some of my people in Clan Russell.
CK and RY brought me back some very interesting drams, but I haven’t invented a good enough excuse to open them yet.
I’ve also been feeling this Tullamore Dew commercial. It was clearly effective.
Another tune from the Emerald Isle for your drinking pleasure:
by rsiv with
FJ came over, and we loaded up the 30 footer to hang FJ’s wreath. I’m not a huge fan of heights, but we got it done.
Since I have the new bebe, I got out of putting up the little trees that line the driveway this year. Its always a cold tedious task, so I was happy to avoid it, but it makes the house look like a holiday car commercial, and I’m glad Swaggy-we and FJ got them up. Later that evening, I had a surprise for FJ. HB really wanted a picture of EF and Santa, but the doc said germy malls and unvaccinated bebes don’t mix. So I went on amazon prime, and in two days, Santa popped down the chimney.
Thursday we had a little cocktail party. I went to Dominion Wine and Beer to get some provisions.
It was nice to see everybody, and a welcome change of pace from the dipers and fussiness.
Chelsea was going to be in Scotland for her bday, so we celebrated early. Then she and Ryan headed to Scotland, while FJ and Swaggy-we rolled to West By God Virginia, so HB and I were new parents that were house and dog sitting. Yay.
We made the most of it with Taco Bombas.
Then daddy enjoyed some much needed hot tub and sauna time.
The next day I interrupted band practice to let the dogs out.
Then Otto von Bismarck (Prince of Bismarck, Duke of Lauenburg) helped me pick out a Riesling to pair with some chinese.
After lunch, HB wrote some thank you notes, and then we headed out to walk to the dogs, and take EF on her first walk.
After a light stroll, I rewarded myself with a stogie and some sauce and enjoyed watching the clouds roll by. I rounded out the evening with a nice schvitz.
I gchatted with the buggins and Ry, who were having a great time in bonny Scotland.
I enjoyed a salteña. FJ finally got an xmas tree for his office, which was decorated with all my favorite ornaments.
LeBeef and FJ had their xmas party, and EF attended virtually via her baby monitor.
On Chelsea’s bday, I picked up some flowers from her for my moms.
Then I enjoyed some of the truffles that Christine brought over. They were quite delicious.
Most festive holiday pano-selfie ever?
We tried out the coravin on some port, and HB enjoyed some rare tuna steak for the first time in nine months.by rsiv with
Thursday I had a little wine, and headed out into the cold. I got the smoker going, and threw in the ducks.
FJ got the turkey on the rotisserie.
If you’re still doing some holiday shopping, check out that pic above of my dad using his blo-poke. Its handy by the hearth, but also very useful for smoking/grilling. You can get one at Orvis, but they’re cheaper factory direct and the guy that makes them even called me to make sure I was happy with mine.
Then we headed inside to enjoy the meat and cheese we scored at arrowine.
FJ’s turkey came out great, and we didn’t have any rotisserie motor failures this year.
Otto is enjoying some sauce next to some champs that Kate will be able to saber next year (practice makes perfect…).
I know its been a while, but how about a (beer) cocktail recipe. I had this at McCormick & Schmick’s a couple weeks ago. Their version included sugar, or some sweetener. I prefer mine with straight pumpkin. Pour a guinness into a glass. Add about 1.5 oz pumpkin puree. Stir it in well. Top with some pumpkin pie spice. Enjoy.
This was my great uncle’s pipe.
My sister’s bf Ry brought me some holiday brown sauce, so I poured the guys a couple fingers. Then it was time for dinner.
Everything came out great. My cousin’s fiance came in a little late, so we had a second round much later that evening. It was great to finally meet Dan.by rsiv with