February, Taxes and the Death of Authenticity

KEN1

Is it interesting to learn of a songwriter’s back story in the creation of a particular song?  Is it disappointing when you do?

I came across a piece of paper in the rattan basket by my bed titled:

“February, Taxes and the Death of Authenticity”

In rereading, I remembered it was something I typed up at a former place of employment having returned from a three-day bereavement period after the unexpected passing of my father. You get three days to grieve and stuff according to state law. So physically, I’d punched the time clock, mentally the clock punched me. I did have the sense to fake it though…a flurry of rat-a-tap-tapping fingernail to keyboard.

“I will just write free of form and see what comes…”

And as I read through, the plot line was confirmed.  Did I really write this? I don’t remember. But it was me. And proof, the last line typed:

“Were I to be a scrapper, a street fighter, even a boy hustler for a day, perhaps I could learn how to speak, punch the words out, strike for want of taste of blood, dirt and sweat.”

The uncarved beginning to the Grimm Generation song, “Kennedy Curse”. There, clear as day. It’s a surprise to me that someone asked about the back story to that song. And I wouldn’t have even thought about it were it not for that inquiry.

I wouldn’t have retained the foggiest notion.

The last line on the white, classroom loose-leafed paper is this:

“I can’t hear. I am off balance. I feel my mortality. I am numb in my arms and hands…”

Interestingly enough, I am not disappointed.

Reap what you Sow

80 degrees and no humidity, a few billowy clouds grace the brilliant blue sky.  It’s a perfect summer day in Hartford, and the destination is the Billings Forge Farmers Market.  The only thing better than taking in a local farmers market to load up on fresh produce and other sundries is getting the chance to entertain the crowd.  That’s what The Grimm Generation had the good fortune to do this week .  For along with area farmers, vendors and artists; local music is a part of the scene here too.  It’s a fine way to while away an afternoon and a prime destination for purchasing what’s in season.  Jason and I left with three grocery bags loaded with eggplant, pears, cantaloupe, coffee (ooh, coffee), onions, potatoes, zucchini, peppers and home made bread kindly donated by the market’s merchants.  When we returned home, I knew exactly what was for dinner.

Ratatouille (It’s not just a movie about rats)Ratatouille

  • 1 eggplant, cut into one inch pieces
  • 2 zucchini, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 cup green beans, stems removed
  • 1 1/2 onions, sliced
  • 1 green pepper, cut into one inch pieces
  • 1 red pepper, cut into one inch pieces
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 14.5 oz can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • teaspoon of dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • salt & pepper*
  • Parmesan cheese

*Make sure to remember to season each layer of vegetables that you saute.

  1. Let the eggplant and zucchini rest in a colander for 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture, blot dry.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute eggplant and zucchini in olive oil until golden, about 12 minutes.  Remove from pan.
  3. In same pan over medium heat, add green beans, onions, peppers and garlic and saute until softened but not brown.
  4. Return eggplant and zucchini to pan.
  5. Add can of tomatoes, bay leaf and thyme
  6. Reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes
  7. Stir in basil and serve with sprinkled Parmesan cheese and crusty bread.

Support Your Local Everything - http://www.thegrimmgeneration.com

The Drinkers Companion Guide to Your F***ed Up Summer – Week 6 Recipes

Slow Language is a beautifully aching love song written and sung by Jason P. Krug.  In his honor, I created the Slow Language Cocktail which includes Sambuca, the alcoholic beverage of choice on the rare occasion Jason does imbibe.  The sweet anise flavored liqueur is a great compliment to the smoky and mellow components of Cafe Patron.  Drink more than one of these and I assure you, your language will become slow.

Slow Language

Slow Language

  • 2 ounces Cafe Patron Tequila
  • 1 ounce Black Sambuca
  1. Fill low ball glass with ice.
  2. Add Cafe Patron and Sambuca and stir.

Your friends will wonder what’s in this delightfully sweet, tart and tangy inebriant.  It’s up to you whether or not you want to keep it to yourself or share.

Keep It (Like A Secret Recipe) Cocktail

Keep It (Like a Secret Recipe)

  • 1 1/2 ounce Dragon Berry Bacardi Rum
  • 1 ounce Fragoli Strawberry Liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Amaretto Liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Southern Comfort
  • splash of sour mix
  • splash of cranberry
  1. Add all ingredients to ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake and strain into martini glass.

Wonder why it was The Last Record Party?  These were being served.  The cupboards were cleaned out for this cocktail.  It sounds like an odd combination but makes for a really smooth and none too sugary beverage.  The shiny, black color is pure vinyl, baby.  “Shimmy and shake!  Stutter and break!  Leave it all on the dance floor!”

The Last Record Party Cocktail

The Last Record Party Cocktail

  • 1/4 ounce Stoli vodka
  • 1/4 ounce Bacardi rum
  • 1/4 ounce Tangueray gin
  • 1/4 ounce Sauza Tequila
  • 1/4 ounce Triple sec
  • 1/4 ounce Stoli Raspberry vodka
  • 1/4 ounce Southern Comfort bourbon
  • 1/4 ounce Amaretto liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Blue Curacao
  • 1/4 ounce Southern Comfort Peach liqueur
  • 1/4 ounce Chambord Raspberry Liqueur
  • Splash of brandy
  • Splash of sour mix
  • Splash of cola
  1. Add all ingredients to ice-filled cocktail shaker.
  2. Shake and strain into martini glass

Thanks for tuning in these last few weeks.  I’ve had a lot of fun coming up with all these cocktail creations.  Hope you have enjoyed making one or two.  Now, perhaps it’s time to give up drinking for six weeks.  Hey…isn’t that a song?

Remember Folks: Drink responsibly.  Listen responsibly.

http://www.thegrimmgeneration.com

The Drinkers Companion Guide to your F***ed Up Summer – Week 5 Recipes

“Don’t you worry about a thing, Baby.  I fall for everyone.  Everyone.”  So goes the chorus in the most ironic song I’ve ever written.  But if you do want to fall for everyone, tequila should be involved.  I would suggest using Intrigue Suave Rosa Tequila.  The pink hue (extracted from a Mexican bug, eew-ish) gives the impression of a harmless girlie drink.  However, going down, it’s a right smooth tequila.  Add a little Cointreau for a nice citrus kick.  Go easy on these or else you could end up just falling.

I Fall For Everyone ShooterI Fall For Everyone Shooter

  • 1 ounce Intrigue Suave Rosa Tequila
  • 1/4 ounce Cointreau
  1. Add ingredients to a shaker filled with ice, shake well.
  2. Strain into a shot glass.

Sweet coconut, tart apple and fruit juices are the elements for the next drink.  It’s fruity, yummy and goes down easy like any good Toy Girl should.

Toy Girl High BallToy Girl High Ball

  • 2 ounces Malibu Black Coconut Rum
  • 1/2 ounce Apple Pucker
  • 1/2 ounce cranberry juice
  • 1/4 ounce pineapple juice
  • 1/4 ounce sweetened lime juice
  1. Add all ingredients to an ice filled highball glass.
  2.  Stir.

This next shot was concocted by Special Guest Bartender and former owner of the much beloved Mayor Mike’s in Hartford, Christopher Peters.  When asked what he would drink if it were his last day on earth, this is what he came up with.  Bite into a red grape after downing a strong shot- for a nice sweet finish.  Not a bad way to go out.

End of the World Shooter

End of the World Shooter by Chris Peters

  • 1 ounce Jameson Irish Whiskey
  • 1/2 ounce Bailey’s Irish Creme
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 red grape
  1. Add whiskey and Irish Creme to shot glass
  2. Sprinkle with red pepper
  3. Throw in grape and shoot, careful to not swallow the grape.
  4. Bite into grape.

    Drink Responsibly. Listen Responsibly. http://www.thegrimmgeneration.com

The Drinkers Companion Guide to Your F***ed Up Summer – Week 4 Recipes

Week four is here and it’s time to talk about love.  And in my roundabout way, I shall get there.  But first, a little bit about me.  I’m really not a fan of any inquiry that starts off with, “what is your favorite blah, blah, blah.”  Questions such as, ‘What is your favorite song?’, ‘Who is your favorite actor?’ or ‘What is your favorite color?’  send me running in the opposite direction.  I don’t want to be held to any one answer.  There are so many choices out there, I don’t want to limit myself with just one.   If, however, I am forced to commit  myself to any one favorite thing, it is the pairing of chocolate and fruit.  And I’m not talking about a cake or confection, but the simple marriage of fruit dipped in melted chocolate.  That is a true love affair for me.   I will choose it any time it is offered.  Just don’t ask me what my favorite fruit is.

When I came across Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate flavored vodka, I knew exactly what to do.  This is The Definition of Love:

The Definition of LoveChocolate and Fruit is The Definition of Love

  • 1 1/2 ounce Absolut Mandarin
  • 1 ounce Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate
  • Seltzer Water
  • Orange slice
  1. Fill tall glass with ice.
  2. Pour in vodka and top off with seltzer.
  3. Garnish with orange slice.

SHUT YOUR EYES!  COVER YOUR EARS!  DON’T SAY ANOTHER WORD!  It’s the RELATIONSHIP that should have never happened!!  That did.  And surprisingly, left you a better person than ever you thought you could be.  Here’s to Science Fiction allegiances and all they can bring.

Hovering Shooter

  • 1 ounce Absolut Vanilla
  • 1/2 ounce Midori Liqueur
  • 1/2 ounce Coole Swan Irish Cream Liqueur
  1. Pour Absolut into a shot glass.
  2. Over a spoon, pour in Midori followed by Coole Swan.
  3. Look into the light.

Urban Dictionary defines Hipsters as “a subculture of men and women typically in their 20’s and 30’s that value independent thinking, counter-culture, progressive politics, an appreciation of art and indie-rock, creativity, intelligence, and witty banter.”  I’ve seen them.  They sometimes congregate in the diviest of bars, the young fellas sporting bushy beards and plaid shirts, the gals highlighting apathetic eyes beneath super deck eye frames.  Pabst Blue Ribbon keeps the snarky comments flowing.  But what happens to Hipsters when they are no longer in the aforementioned age group?  What do Hipsters go on to become?  Foodies, of course!  And while the Hipstervores may be dining out and in on local and sustainable,  they may still wash down their organic posh dinners with a PBR every now and again.  No one is exempt from nostalgia.

Hipster + 10Hipster + 10

  1. Prepare a meal using fresh, organic ingredients (shown here: Pan seared Chilean Sea Bass with a brown butter sauce, watermelon salsa and a potato and cheddar gallete)
  2. Serve with Pabst Blue Ribbon.
  3. Reminisce.

Drink Responsibly. Listen Responsibly. http://www.thegrimmgeneration.com

The Drinker’s Companion Guide To Your F***ed up Summer – Week 3 Recipes

“They say that a man has needs, but a woman has them too.”  I say, “Give that girl a drink!”  How about something with blood oranges from Provence and mango and passion fruit from Brazil? Mmm, yeah, that sounds right.  X-Rated Fusion Liquor promises hints of all these flavors. Now make it a martini!  Cuz the girl has really got it bad…

X-Rated Pull The Trigger Martini

X-Rated Pull The Trigger Martini


  • 1 ounce Grey Goose Vodka
  • 3/4 ounce X-Rated Fusion Liqueur
  • lime twist (optional)
  1. Chill martini glass with ice and water, drain.
  2. Add Grey Goose and X-Rated to an ice-filled shaker.
  3. Shake and strain into chilled martini glass.
  4. Garnish with lime twist if desired.

The lyrics to Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick insist upon reckless abandon.  The song, itself chugs forward at lightening speed.  Fast songs.  Fast relationships.  Fast drinks.  What else but a boiler maker?  I’ve created one using the summer flavors or watermelon and tequila.  GO!

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick Time Bomb

Tick, Tick, Tick, Tick Time Bomb

  • 1 bottle Thomas Hooker Watermelon Ale
  • 1 ounce Jose Ceurvo Tequila
  1. Fill tall glass three quarters of the way  full with beer.
  2. Fill shot glass with tequila
  3. Drop the shot glass into the beer glass and drink it all down immediately
  4. Boom.

It’s Friday,  five o’clock.  Punch the clock, workday is done.  The day was a hot one.  Hell, the whole week was like living in the tropics.  Might as well keep with the theme and drink something that has a little bit of tropical flare (along with little bits of coconut pulp!).  Loosen your tie.  Crack open a can of coconut water…and let the weekend begin.

Book of Day Job Week Ender

Book of Day Job Week Ender

  • 2 ounces  Ciroc Coconut Vodka
  • 1 can Goya Coconut Water
  1. Fill tall glass with ice
  2. Add vodka and top off with coconut water
  3. Stir.

Drink Responsibly. Listen Responsibly. http://www.thegrimmgeneration.com

The Drinkers Companion Guide to your F***ed Up Summer – Week 1 Recipes

Hi all!  I put myself to the task of creating some Grimm inspired cocktails and with that made a trip to the local package store (that’s “liquor store” for you non-Nutmeggers) and started browsing the selection of nip bottles to purchase and experiment with.  My eye was immediately drawn to two jewel-like bottles standing out among the rest of the nondescript wee bottles lining the shelves.  One was light blue and the other, a very light green.  Hpnotiq and Ty Ku liqueurs, the sales clerk informed me.  Hpnotiq is a blend of premium French vodka, exotic fruit juices and a touch of cognac (ooh, la, la!).  The  Ty Ku line of  Asian sake and spirits, it turns out, touts itself as being the “wiser way to drink”, 100% all-natural and free of gluten, sulfites and tannins.  Best of all, naturally low in calories. Yay!

My first three drinks incorporate one or the other.  Here are the results:

Have you had a “bad couple of weeks”?  This clean and simple drink is exactly what you need to let it all “slide, slide, slide” away:

The Forward Ho

The Forward Ho (giggle)

  • 2 ounces Ty Ku Liqueur
  • 6 ounces sparkling water
  • Lime wedge
  1. Fill high ball glass with ice.
  2. Add liqueur and sparkling water.
  3. Stir and garnish with lime.

Next up is the signature shot of The Grimm Generation; layered and rich, with many dimensions of flavor:

The Blue Eyed & Black Hearted Shooter

Blue Eyed & Black Hearted Shooter

  • ½ ounce blue curacao
  • ½ ounce Hypnotic Liqueur
  • ½ ounce Jaegermeister
  1. Add the blue curacao and Hpnotic liqueur to a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  2. Shake well and strain into a shot glass.
  3. Pour the Jaegermeister over the back of a spoon atop the blue mixture to create a second layer.

It wasn’t the heat.  It was the humidity that inspired this next concoction.  I opened up the fridge and peered in.  The watermelon made my mouth water, it looked so refreshing.  I grabbed it and remembered that I had a nip bottle of Hpnotiq in my freezer.  Well…why wouldn’t I?  Sublime.

Well, Why Wouldn't You? Watermelon Delight

Well, Why Wouldn’t You? Watermelon Delight

  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 1-2 ounces Hypnotic Liqueur
  • 2 mint leaves, finely chopped
  1. Place watermelon in a dessert cup.
  2. Pour chilled liqueur over watermelon.
  3. Garnish with mint.

Drink Responsibly. Listen Responsibly. http://www.thegrimmgeneration.com

The Drinker’s Companion Guide to the Soundtrack of your F***ed Up Summer

The Last Record Party available at http://www.thegrimmgeneration.com

If you’re going to make poor decisions, lower your inhibitions and have a full-fledged fucked up summer then you’re going to need cocktails. This makes the whole unseemly business much easier and really speeds up the whole process. With that in mind, I’ve created some recipes for some tasty libations for the season of excess.
Now, I don’t know about you but I try to keep my caloric intake on the low side when imbibing. This helps keep my weight down and keeps my options open with scoring with the more superficial cads out there. Also, I’d rather chew my calories than drink them. So you won’t find any recipes for ice cream drinks or over the top sugary concoctions. What you will find are interesting and unique drinks that will refresh you during the hot summer months.
So starting on Sunday, my six part series will bring you three different cocktail recipes weekly inspired and named after the songs on our CD, The Last Record Party. Along with the recipe, perhaps I’ll spin a tale or divulge a secret or two about the song. Join me, won’t you?
See you soon, and until then…cheers!