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sarakingdom

Sara Kingdom's Valentine's Day Casanunda Challenge

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19 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

 

And I think it's very unlikely to make either the version of me in the correct timeline and the version of me who isn't feel double-rested afterwards.

 

 

For me, it's the other stuff that's where the interest is. My usual limited go-to list is all centered around the herbs and spices that are infused in it. (Heck, till now, infusing booze to get liqueurs has kind of been the extent of my home bartending.) Hard liquor is pretty boring straight. And once it's in a cocktail, 95% of its job is to just be alcoholic and not clash with the other flavors. For me, the interest in a drink is all the other stuff they add. 

 

Ohhhh. If that's true, that would make it easier to choose. But I don't like vermouth. It definitely tastes like something. And so does mezcal. Smokey. mmm. 

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2 hours ago, Harriet said:

Ohhhh. If that's true, that would make it easier to choose. But I don't like vermouth. It definitely tastes like something. And so does mezcal. Smokey. mmm. 

 

Yeah, vermouth is an acquired taste. It's wine infused with a ton of mystery herbal stuff, one of which by definition is wormwood (in German, vermouth), which is ultra bitter. Bitter is not a universally loved flavor. That's one of the flavor add-ons it's good to know if you hate. (This might mean you're also not a tonic person, and potentially not a gin person. Tonic is also bitter, though based on a different herb. Gin isn't bitter, but it's another mystery herbal infusion, one of which by definition is juniper, which can be pretty pine-y, and not universally loved.)

 

But yeah, while straight hard liquor in a glass has "nuances" and "tasting notes" and different sorts of "smoothness" and whatever, it's super subtle and largely disappears in cocktails. (Which was basically the original point of cocktails.) You'll get slightly different flavors from adding rum or whiskey to a cocktail, but probably not enough that you'd care, unless you're really into that. "Brown alcohol and Coke" basically works. "Clear alcohol and citrus" basically works. The entire swathe of random things in martini glasses called a _____ martini.  You can basically swap any brown liquor for each other; it'll probably even be a real drink, because people have already done it. Same with clear ones, with the possible exception of gin, which takes some special handling. But almost no one will notice if a restaurant's pomegranate margarita with elderflower liqueur was based on gin, vodka, clear rum, or tequila, and even fewer would care, if they liked pomegranate and elderflower. It's a boozy frozen fruit drink in a glass, all they're gonna taste is the pomegranate juice and elderflower and some kind of booze. So yeah, choose based on the mixers, not the booze.

 

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Just now, sarakingdom said:

Same with clear ones, with the possible exception of gin, which takes some special handling.

 

I was gonna say that I couldn't imagine gin in a cream-based drink like a White Russian, but it occurred to me that putting what is basically a juniper-infused vodka into a White Russian might be part of the natural thematic evolution of things. Guys, it's a White Russian Steppes, and it's mine. I will be trying it.

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Reposting for page 3, with added homemade cosmetics tasks.

 

Done: 24

Underway: 6

Not done: 25

 

Part I: Casanunda Training

 

Underway

  1. To assist with yoga, measure the coffee table for caster inserts and order them

Not Done

  1. Watch episode 1 of Casanova and take notes
  2. Ditto episode 2
  3. Ditto episode 3
  4. Order casters to fit the inserts
  5. Install them

 

Part II: Be a Better Lover Than Lord Rust

 

Done

  1. Get a haircut
  2. Get shoe polish
  3. Get curly hair care products
  4. Get mascara and sharpen the eyeliner
  5. Get body shimmer, cuz glitter
  6. Get lemons for limoncello
  7. Cut up an orange for drink garnishes (I have no idea how long this will keep, but...)
  8. Order reusable toothpicks for tapas hour to fit the vintage toothpick holder that somehow ended up in my kitchen stuff (these ended up being bento fork-style picks, so I'm sort of guessing on the fit, but we'll see - if they don't do it, there are other options)
  9. Get a bottle brush
  10. Get reusable cocktail picks
  11. Polish my shoes
  12. Top up the bottle of vanilla while I'm making extracts
  13. Make a small bottle of chocolate nib extract for homemade Bailey's
  14. Get mint for the watercress fountain
  15. Make a shopping list of tapas ingredients
  16. Restock the bar basics
  17. Restock the wine rack
  18. Make labels for diy cosmetics
  19. Make face serum
  20. Make face cleanser

Underway

  1. Figure out if I can do some maintenance on that old wool coat that feels a little brittle and dry
  2. Make a bottle of coffee liqueur

Not Done

  1. Break in the pair of Doc Marten shoes
  2. Inspect clothes for pieces that need replacing
  3. Buy a couple of pieces to make the clothes I don't wear more useful
  4. Organize my bathroom counter better by replacing the basket with my daily use stuff with a better tote that's being underutilized
  5. Find jars for infusing
  6. Make two bottles of limoncello
  7. Make homemade tonic water
  8. Make vitamin C serum

 

Part III: Be a Better Lover Than Rufus Drumknott

 

Done

  1. Order folders and hanging file folders
  2. Start file labels
  3. Get a USB hub
  4. Clean the top half of the fridge

Underway

  1. Preliminary filing/sorting of the box of papers I collected on my most recent cleaning pass
  2. Ditto of the files and manuals in the kitchen cupboard
  3. Work on the watering automation for my watercress fountain and potted plants

Not Done

  1. Ditto on the broken inbox
  2. Ditto on the magazine file of things to be filed
  3. Fix the DVR antenna
  4. Set up the new DVR disk
  5. Redo the wiring running behind the TV
  6. Set up the bathroom audio player
  7. Set up NAS mounting on the DVR
  8. Set up NAS mounting on the computer
  9. Set up a calendar on my intranet with challenge tasks laid out
  10. Ditto for another project
  11. Ditto for events
  12. Clean the bottom half of the fridge
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Week 0 Day 7

 

I spent yesterday hopping into bed at a rate Casanunda would be proud of. I've just had an hour of gentle exercise and run some errands. While I'd like to nap again, today is my day for accomplishing things. I'm going to shake up a cocktail and finish cleaning the fridge. (Maybe... maybe just a quick catnap.)

 

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It occurs to me that I really need to eat earlier if I'm going to be hopping into bed at a Casanunda-like hour. Oh well. I'm not doing too badly.

 

Today's super simple spritz recipe: 2 oz. sparkling water, 4 oz. prosecco, several dashes of grapefruit bitters. Yeah, that's hitting my Italian grapefruit soda spot even better than Italian grapefruit soda.

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On 2/16/2020 at 12:57 PM, sarakingdom said:

 

Yeah, vermouth is an acquired taste. It's wine infused with a ton of mystery herbal stuff, one of which by definition is wormwood (in German, vermouth), which is ultra bitter. Bitter is not a universally loved flavor. That's one of the flavor add-ons it's good to know if you hate. (This might mean you're also not a tonic person, and potentially not a gin person. Tonic is also bitter, though based on a different herb. Gin isn't bitter, but it's another mystery herbal infusion, one of which by definition is juniper, which can be pretty pine-y, and not universally loved.)

 

But yeah, while straight hard liquor in a glass has "nuances" and "tasting notes" and different sorts of "smoothness" and whatever, it's super subtle and largely disappears in cocktails. (Which was basically the original point of cocktails.) You'll get slightly different flavors from adding rum or whiskey to a cocktail, but probably not enough that you'd care, unless you're really into that. "Brown alcohol and Coke" basically works. "Clear alcohol and citrus" basically works. The entire swathe of random things in martini glasses called a _____ martini.  You can basically swap any brown liquor for each other; it'll probably even be a real drink, because people have already done it. Same with clear ones, with the possible exception of gin, which takes some special handling. But almost no one will notice if a restaurant's pomegranate margarita with elderflower liqueur was based on gin, vodka, clear rum, or tequila, and even fewer would care, if they liked pomegranate and elderflower. It's a boozy frozen fruit drink in a glass, all they're gonna taste is the pomegranate juice and elderflower and some kind of booze. So yeah, choose based on the mixers, not the booze.

 

As a non-drinker, this kind of discussion is fascinating on a purely theoretical level :D 

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On 2/15/2020 at 8:57 PM, sarakingdom said:

 

Yeah, vermouth is an acquired taste. It's wine infused with a ton of mystery herbal stuff, one of which by definition is wormwood (in German, vermouth), which is ultra bitter. Bitter is not a universally loved flavor. That's one of the flavor add-ons it's good to know if you hate. (This might mean you're also not a tonic person, and potentially not a gin person. Tonic is also bitter, though based on a different herb. Gin isn't bitter, but it's another mystery herbal infusion, one of which by definition is juniper, which can be pretty pine-y, and not universally loved.)

 

But yeah, while straight hard liquor in a glass has "nuances" and "tasting notes" and different sorts of "smoothness" and whatever, it's super subtle and largely disappears in cocktails. (Which was basically the original point of cocktails.) You'll get slightly different flavors from adding rum or whiskey to a cocktail, but probably not enough that you'd care, unless you're really into that. "Brown alcohol and Coke" basically works. "Clear alcohol and citrus" basically works. The entire swathe of random things in martini glasses called a _____ martini.  You can basically swap any brown liquor for each other; it'll probably even be a real drink, because people have already done it. Same with clear ones, with the possible exception of gin, which takes some special handling. But almost no one will notice if a restaurant's pomegranate margarita with elderflower liqueur was based on gin, vodka, clear rum, or tequila, and even fewer would care, if they liked pomegranate and elderflower. It's a boozy frozen fruit drink in a glass, all they're gonna taste is the pomegranate juice and elderflower and some kind of booze. So yeah, choose based on the mixers, not the booze.

 


I like G & T. I think it's probably the herbs I dislike. I used your advice to order cocktails last night---I just looked at what they added. It was a very great success. Exceedingly delicious.

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11 minutes ago, Harriet said:

I used your advice to order cocktails last night---I just looked at what they added. It was a very great success. Exceedingly delicious.

 

Awesome, I'm glad to hear it! It's hard to go too far wrong if you like the flavors in the mixers.

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1 hour ago, sarakingdom said:

 

Awesome, I'm glad to hear it! It's hard to go too far wrong if you like the flavors in the mixers.

 

Can confirm. I don't pay much attention to the base anymore; the mixers are where it's at.

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Week 1 Day 2

 

This was really not a good self-care day. Something is not entirely on point with my moment to moment decision-making. Like, in a not usual way. So I did what I could to recover some ground and get back on track, and I sort of did. But it's a thing to watch. I'm suspecting it's my brain, not my body, but it's hard to tell. It's kind of confusing, and I have a history of ignoring physical signals that I need recovery time before I crash, and I have had some fatigue crashes lately, so who knows. But one or the other doesn't seem to have the reserves I need right now.

 

I'm switching up my intermittent fasting schedule, to try to take advantage of some of the repair mechanisms that kick in for longer fasting periods. Which, in a way, is also prioritizing rest and recovery, by letting the system idle and repair more often, and taking some of the variables out of a good night's sleep. That's my theme this week. I need to nudge all the mental and physical recovery levers, and just get out of my own way.

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So I do a slightly extended fast period. I've done 36-hour intermittent fasting periods before. That's alternate day, tried it. No big. And I'm not getting hungry or anything, and feeling pretty good. But still, I'm like, this is enough, it's not about suffering or whipping it out to see who has the biggest fasting period, I'll have dinner tonight. I'm sorta mildly peckish. And frankly, just bored. Intermittent fasting is when you find out how much sensory experience your mouth is the source of.

 

And my body is not having it. Just not having it. Food and me, we're not being friends. So now I have to wonder, are we not friends because I overdid it when I had low resources, or because my body was all, "I'm working here, what the hell are you doing?". I really don't know, that could go either way. Though given that I felt fine fasting, and wasn't sure I was feeling great after eating before that, I have to think maybe my body wants no food right now. Which is a little concerning.

 

Whatever. I'm going to bed. It's time. I don't even know what time it is, but it's time.

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Hypothesis one: dehydration was a factor. I wasn't really hydrated properly for, well, life, if I'm honest, but it wasn't good practices for longer intermittent fasting periods. The good news is that I've already stocked up my office with a massive supply of tempting hydration sources, and I have portable and non-portable electrolyte sources to add to them, and both of those are good practices. (I'm sharing some with my coworker, but we now have 35 liters of sparkling water hiding in a cupboard. That should last me a few days.)

 

So I'm gonna finish out the week aggressively hydrating and aggressively resting when possible. Because probably implicit in being Casanunda is that one is adequately hydrated for, ahem, vigorous activity. (Swordfighting. I don't know what you were thinking.)

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Groceries have been ordered. Including some supplies for challenge-relevant tasks. Also, I will be going off diet tonight, just cuz. But it was planned in advance. By "advance", I mean earlier today.

 

Right. Doing the things. Not happy about it, but doing the things.

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Community Garden this morning. My garden is doing well. The garlic, thyme, perennial onions, and, unexpectedly, the fennel, are all thriving, despite my having neglected them all winter. (Fennel is a cool weather thing, but it's also Mediterranean, so I didn't expect it to love hard freezes unprotected, let alone take off in January. But it's working on at least five bulbs right now, and looks super lush. It's nearly as big as my giant year-old kale. I thinned it down to three bulbs, because they were bunching close together.) The peas I planted in the fall hung in there and are growing. And, most bizarrely, my lemongrass survived. It's perennial, but tropical, and needs a place with no winter, not a place where I let it take on 20 and 30 degree weather on its own. No idea, man, but stuff that survives can stay.


My take-home: two types of kale, a few radishes, some chocolate mint for my mint and watercress fountain, two small bulbs of fennel, and some green onion for scallion pancakes.

 

This weekend's food jobs: freeze some kale, make some kale sauerkraut, make a fennel salad, infuse some fennel fronds for liqueur, dry some for tea maybe, clean and plant the chocolate mint. The radishes are for tapas. Don't know about the greens. Maybe a salad.

 

Next, some rest. Then work on my job list for the weekend.

 

I've been letting some chores at home slip in favor of rest this week, and it's reached the point where it's anti-self-care. So this weekend, I'm going to focus on future me's needs, as current me needs All the Rest, but also All the Jobs, and that's stupid. Future me will need some of the jobs done, and some good systems to make some of the jobs easier, and also some rest.

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I loooove fennel! I had never had it until we started getting it in our CSA a few years ago. So good :) You must be in a non-winter place, i conclude as I see the word garden then turn to look at the thoroughly snow covered ground outside my window.

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37 minutes ago, Harriet said:

wait. it grows with the chocolate on? 

 

It grows with the chocolate flavoring in it.

 

5 hours ago, Haikoo said:

I loooove fennel! I had never had it until we started getting it in our CSA a few years ago. So good :) You must be in a non-winter place, i conclude as I see the word garden then turn to look at the thoroughly snow covered ground outside my window.

 

A milder winter, anyway. It doesn't consistently stay cold enough for snow accumulation. But there's definitely a winter and freezing temperatures. It's pretty good for growing cold weather greens, if you protect them from frost and give them a head start on the fall. But I got lazy this winter and stopped doing frost protection. I didn't expect the Mediterranean plant to pop out of winter hibernation in January and ignore the frost.

 

By the way, kale survives snow pretty well, even without protection. You have to start it early enough in the fall that it basically gets the bulk of its growing in before the freezes hit, but it's perfectly happy to sit out there in the snow.

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I have decided my life would be better with more noodles. This is hard enough gluten-free, but really hard with that and low carb. So I'm going to learn to make shirataki noodles from scratch.

 

I think this qualifies for a Casanunda challenge on the grounds that food is seduction, and Italian food doubly so.

 

Also, I really needed rest, cuz my nap was five hours long. Tonight's jobs must therefore be quick.

 

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13 hours ago, sarakingdom said:

I have decided my life would be better with more noodles. This is hard enough gluten-free, but really hard with that and low carb. So I'm going to learn to make shirataki noodles from scratch.

 

I think this qualifies for a Casanunda challenge on the grounds that food is seduction, and Italian food doubly so.

 

I don't know what shirataki is, but I wouldn't have guessed it was Italian. Still. I'm here for ALL noodles. 

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1 hour ago, Harriet said:

I don't know what shirataki is, but I wouldn't have guessed it was Italian. Still. I'm here for ALL noodles. 

 

It's not, but gluten free beggars can't be choosers. And there's apparently a way to make them more like Western pasta.

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Today I had no motivation to do anything or eat anything, so I made myself do the dishes, and I made macro-fitting chocolate ice cream for dinner. Because it's dinner, I added cocoa nibs and cashews for extra nutrition.

 

Also, I started cold brew coffee for tomorrow morning.

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