I spent all afternoon today wandering around pushing a shopping cart and eating free scraps of food and muttering to myself. No, I haven’t finally cracked and joined the she-hobo population, I was shopping at Central Market: Home of the Free Sample. I love grocery stores that give out lots of samples. And I love when they’re busy enough that I can wander past the pfeffernusse sample bowl like, seven times, always acting like “Oh my, what are these? Maybe I shall taste one and see” to fellow shoppers. I’m totally shameless.

I ended up purchasing a case of wine, which was a big step for me. I’ve never purchased an entire case of wine, unless by “case” you’re referring to “box,” in which case I’ve purchased so many cases that I’m basically a collector by now. Anyway, I was impressed. I got to sample 3 different wines by two different vintners. The first was called “Mad Hawg” or something like that. It’s not Texan, surprisingly, but Californian. It was a cabernet sauvignon, and was deeeee-licious. $99/case down from $167, so that was solid. I hemmed and hawed and ended up just getting a bottle of it to try before committing to a case. Then, at the front of the store, they had both a chardonnay and a merlot by a winery called “Double Dog Dare,” I think. I tried them, agreed that they were wine, and then agreed to purchase a case. Honestly, I was kind of buzzed off of German cookies and Mad Hawg samples at that point, so I would have agreed to purchase a black market baby, as long as they either frosted it or bottled it.

Peter (I’ve learned to link!) always blogs about wines by saying that “it wants another couple of years to age” or “it begs to be served with lamb.” This wine? It wants to be poured down the drain and never spoken of again. But I’m-a drink all of it, and then I’m-a wear my bra on my head, and then likely die. And I’ll appreciate all of this, because at under $4/bottle when purchased by the case, it actually is cheaper than WildVines, and will taste amazing as long as it’s always my second bottle of the night. So…yeah.

Didn’t drink any of it tonight, since I was doing a lot of things with the deep fryer, and it’s been pointed out to me by many of you that frying things may be dangerous. Here are two reasons I love tempura:

Sweet onion rings made with a pumpkin beer tempura batter, and a side of spicy cranberry mustard for dippin’
We had leftover pumpkin beer from taking Mike’s
recommendation, and buying a beer that he openly claimed wasn’t very special for drinking. It made damned-fine onion rings, though. And the mustard was made by mixing Beaver sweet-hot mustard (it’s too easy, so I’m not even going to comment) and leftover homemade cranberry relish. I think it should be moved to the top of Chris’s “Why I Love My Fiance” list. Right above “because she’s kind of a badass at Gears of War 2, already.”


Tempura chicken thighs over spicy peanut soba noodles, served with a sweet chili cucumber-cabbage “slaw.” Woot!

Now, I will leave you with two fun facts.

1-I had an awesome Fuji late harvest apple today. It has what’s called a “honey-core.” The golden pockets you see here are not soft spots or visible oxidization, but are actually concentrated streaks of apple-produced sugar. The apple is sweet and crisp and texturally perfect, and it was the best apple I’ve ever had. Sure, I may have my loyalties to honeycrisp as my apple of choice, but my bit on the side is TOTALLY the late harvest Fuji.

2-Chairman Meow has now taken a shine to punking the dog for his food. Willie does nothing, Mao eats what he wants, and then usually goes and gags up a little bit of the food on something, just to be spiteful. I love that cat.

6 thoughts on “Tempuramental”

  1. As long as it’s not total swill, the wine should be great for sauces, braises, and the like. And, in my defense, I recently compared a wine to Ann Coulter as tranny hooker.

    I generally avoid supermarkets for wine- I like to find smaller stores where the people really know their stuff, and build a case with some cheap bottles and some more expensive bottles, letting the case discount smooth it all out.

    The onion rings look great; I haven’t made them in an age. But the wife loves them, so I should probably get on that. The onion rings.

  2. Hey, thanks for making a silk purse out of the sow’s ear that is pumpkin-flavored beer. Now I feel less bad about ever having written about it.

    As soon as I figure out how to circumvent Texas state laws on the import of hobgoblins, I will atone.

  3. Honestly, Kristie, I can’t believe you had the nerve to come over to my blog and call me a slut. I don’t come down to where you work and slap the dick out of your mouth, so why not give me a break?

    Fine. I put your link in my sidebar. I was a little behind on my reciprocity. ARE YOU HAPPY NOW?!?

    Oh, btw, email me. There’s something I want to send you. Smiley face.

  4. i just love food bloggers…

    not sure which was better, the post or the comments

    btw – peter is TOTALLY full-o-shit when he says he buys super cheapo wine. he’s not ever going much below $12 at the VERY least – which would be considered borderline swill/cooking wine. if he challenges me on this i am so hiring a private detective and calling him on that one…

    kristie – you’re quite a fabulous woman now but i have this thought of how i would love to meet you when you’re 40+ just to see how it all shook out. in the meantime i will enjoy the ride…

    onion rings – good ones – are fucking awesome. a perfect food. i even prefer it to the (double fried in duck fat) french fry. yes i do…

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