Issue #10 June 9th - June 22nd, 2006

Minty Fresh Mushrooms

Pirates of the Blackened Grill

It’s difficult to find trust in the world, for all things are destined to break on one level or another it seems. It is with heavy heart we greet you; huddled around a dilapidated window A/C, attempting to scribe this to the good folks @ NONZINE via text message. We’ve lost a great mate of the grill, Mr. 1267, the $30.00 laptop that dutifully spoke for us to you gentry. You will be missed, Dog. (Presario 1997-2006)

As pirates, we like to think of ourselves as the manliest of types, the type that can take anything that life throws at us with little or no complaint… but there are some things that even pirates do not take lightly. We work hard, we celebrate harder, and we sleep well, most of the time… okay sometimes. Our sleep is interrupted worst and most often by work, and the heat.

The life of a scalawag calls for the constant change of duty shifts, as well as scattered chances for recreation. There’s always something to be done when you’re one of the Black Grill Marauders. Work mornings always seems to come too soon after the wooing of a girl, or the toasting of whatever it was that seemed worth toasting; “To Hedonism,” or “To Roger Miller, the original gansta’,” or maybe just to toast.

As hard as these mornings can be, there seems a purpose to this sort of insomnia. A day of bottled water and Tums, and sadly, day without the happy-go-lucky heavy pounding of Gwar. A day of servitude and sweat for a wage that seems both unimportant and somehow insultingly small at the same time. But at least being tired was worth it, and your choice.

The heat, however, not high temperatures per se, but the humid, sticky, miserable feeling that crawls into your room sometime between the euphoric entrance to the ether, and the hellishly shrill scream of the morning bells, this is the tired feeling that dogs you all day and seems completely undeserved, unearned and unwelcome.

There are few things worse than trying to sleep in a hundred and fifteen degree room while boiling in your own juices.

Many people find refuge from this with the aid of air conditioning, only having to feel the heat on that short journey from the front door to their car. The problem that men of our nature seem to find is that, due to our lifestyle, we simply cannot rely on anything. Waking up with no electricity, or running water, or a working telephone can happen.

Air conditioning is not the type of thing that one should count on. You can pay the electric bill, but Freon is there or it isn’t. Like lovers, sports teams and favorite fox shows, no amount of TLC can keep ‘the Little Compressor that could’ cooling the expanses of our pirate compound. Instead trust in one of the many medicinal qualities of alcohol...

This is a slight twist on the mint julep recipe. Traditionally you would pour a mint simple syrup over ice with bourbon. Ice is just useless water in a cocktail.

So to cut out the middle man here is a drink to keep you cool.

Mint Julep Cubes

Here’s what we use:

• 1 ½ oz fresh mint.
• 1 ½ cups sugar.
• ½ gallon of water.

Here’s what we do:

Remove mint leaves from stems, and combine with water and sugar in a large saucepan. Boil until leaves soften and become dark, and then crush them. Reduce heat, and simmer until syrup begins to thicken. Allow time to cool, then pour into ice trays, and allow to set. Place three cubes in a highball glass and cover with bourbon, swirl a couple of times and enjoy.

Of course a swanky drink is worth naught without an enticing hors d’oeuvres fresh off the grill. This is classy with a capital K kinda taste, and a boon to any function.

Crab Stuffed Mushrooms

Here’s what we used:

• 38oz whole mushrooms
• 12oz bacon
• 8oz feta (crumbled)
• 6oz. Crab meat
• 1-2 whole garlic
(experiment for preference)
• ½ cup red wine
• ½ cup olive oil
• ½ oz. fresh rosemary
• 1tbsp salt

Here’s what we did:

Remove all of the stems from the mushrooms, leaving the caps whole, a slight twist at the base should free most stems easily. Combine the mushroom stems, garlic, salt, rosemary, wine and a tbsp of olive oil in food processor and puree. In a large bowl mix ½ the feta with crab meat, add pureed mix. Fill the caps with the crab/stem/herb combination then place in pan. Crumble remaining feta over the mushrooms. Cut the bacon into small pieces and lay over the top. Sprinkle remaining oil over the mushrooms and cook until they soften and the cheese melts. This makes a large batch, bat you’ll be surprised at how fast they disappear.

Technology may be a crutch, but pirates are known for wooden legs, and therefore not necessarily opposed to such support. It is only when your crutch is broken that you realize how much you can stand on your own and how much you are supported by your mates.

As the late Ronald Reagan was fond of saying,”Stay cool, babies.”

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