Summer: If you’re not drinking outside, you’re doing it wrong

First, dear readers, I must warn you all that I am drunk. Hooray wine!

Second, tonight I made myself lamb chops. If any of you out there wish to seduce me at any point in the future, making me lamb chops is a good way to start. Figured I’d throw you all a bone on that one.

(Sorry if that was wildly inappropriate, but as I mentioned previously, WINE.)

Third, last weekend was really freaking awesome. You know why? Because I spent much of it outdoors and much of it drinking. And that’s really what summer is all about: drinking outdoors.

On Friday night I went to this super cool event at Gasworks Park called “Clips of Faith.” Hosted by New Belgium brewery, the event is basically a short-film screening (featuring 18 different short films made by New Belgium drinkers) and a beer festival (featuring 16 different New Belgium beers) all in one. And it was wonderful!

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I sat outside in the grass.

I watched some awesome short films.

And I drank some limited-release/collaboration New Belgium beers.

WHAT.

I think I win that round. (If you’re not playing the “drinking outside in summertime” game you should get on it pronto.)

[Note: I was just about to start my next awesome weekend story, but then I finished my wine and had to get a refill. So consider this a “commercial break.” Blah blah blah WINE IS FULL OF ANTIOXIDENTS YOU SHOULD DRINK MORE OF IT blah blah blah]

And now back to your regularly scheduled programming…

Saturday was pretty chill. I walked to Lake Washington, dipped my toes in the lake, sat in the sun, walked lots, ogled lots of puppies, and then headed home for what was supposed to be a quiet evening…

But THEN my friend texted to ask if I wanted to go out and get drinks, and I said yes (duh, I have a reputation to uphold). And I ended up right in the midst of Capitol Hill, where the Capitol Hill Block Party (a pretty sweet music festival) was just wrapping up. And so I wandered in through the sloppy, drunken crowd and spent an evening at the bars drinking, dancing, and debaucher-ing. Until 3am. Woop!

The best part of this whole experience was the part where I met up with a friend of mine whose other friend happened to have a spare ticket to the festival on Sunday. HOW LUCKY FOR ME.

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So I woke up Sunday exhausted and hungover, made myself a wonderful breakfast of biscuits and gravy, pretended to be an adult by going to the Farmer’s Market, and then dragged my ass over to the Block Party.

We spent the afternoon in a pretty great state of “chill,” wherein we absorbed some lovely music, ate some food, drank some beers, and really just enjoyed ourselves. And then we went and saw The Flaming Lips.

And I was afraid.

Because this happened.

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It probably doesn’t look that terrifying to you, but to me (and I swear, I was SOBER when this happened) it looked like thousands upon thousands of BATS being unleashed from the stage and it was fucking ridiculous.

RIDICULOUS.

Also there were flames.

And bright lights.

And lots of scary shit.

Basically, I’m really REALLY glad I wasn’t on some sort of hallucinogenic drugs (or high in any way) because I might have had a heart attack.

So…ok. I’m going to be honest here. I was going to make some big point about drinking/being outside/drinking outside in the summertime, but I think I’m too drunk to be coherent at this point. And I just spent the last few paragraphs talking about bats and fear.

So, regardless of whether this segue makes sense or not, you should drink outside in the summertime! There is really no other way to do it. If you fail to do any outdoor drinking this summer, well, you’re doing it wrong.

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Next time, on Christina’s drinking adventures: hopefully I will be more sober and can be coherent.

Also, I used the word “segue” even though I’m drunk! I am SO COOL right now.

My favorite pastime!

You would probably assume my favorite pastime is drinking. But that’s not true. My favorite hobby is drinking. There is a difference. Look it up.

To the point: my favorite pastime is drunk baking. The reason this is my favorite pastime is because I drink a lot, and I bake a lot, but I rarely think to do them together. It’s only at those totally I-have-nothing-else-to-do moments that I actually consider undertaking this amazing challenge.

And then the magic happens. (And “magic” is used very loosely here. Sometimes it can mean “utter disaster.” Hooray!)

Normally I would just tell you all about the wonders of my drunk-baking experience, but I’ve only just started and I’m afraid I will be too drunk by the end to put the entire story together. I’m already having trouble and it’s only 6:30pm.

So, without further adieu, here is the play-by-play of the most wonderful day (of this week…):

Sunday, September 30

[5:14pm] Christina determines it is time for drunk baking. She opens a bottle of Dogfish Head Punkin Ale (7% ABV) and begins to drink it. Quickly.

[5:18pm] Decisions are made. APPLE MUFFINS!

This is a picture of beer and apples. See?

[5:25pm] Batter mixed for apple muffins. Leftover apple pieces are consumed. Happiness abounds.

[5:30pm] Apple muffins go in the oven!

[Addendum to 5:30pm] Inebriation is setting in.

[Further addendum to 5:30pm] Shot of Kahlua consumed. Don’t judge.

[5:36pm] Dance party in the living room. Listening to White Panda. Waving at the neighbors in the apartment building across the street. Dancing like a maniac for their entertainment.

[5:49pm] APPLE MUFFINS ARE DONE!

See?

[5:58pm] Cleaning the dishes for Round 2. Laaaame.

[6:06pm] Further decisions are made. OATMEAL COOKIES!

[6:09pm] Batter for oatmeal cookies is started. In an attempt to make the butter soften faster, butter is placed on the stove top.

[6:10pm] There is melted butter all over the stove top.

[6:11pm] Sponges are awesome!

[6:19pm] WET INGREDIENTS MIXED. That sounds dirty. Immaturity abounds.

[6:25pm] There is no more beer. This is a problem.

[6:26pm] Cookie batter is complete!

[6:27pm] Disturbing realization sets in that chocolate chips have been forgotten. And there are none in the house. OH GOD.

[6:30pm] Frantic dance party ensues.

[6:42pm] Trip to the grocery store is imminent.

[6:47pm] Wallet forgotten. Quick return to the apartment remedies the situation. Wallet retrieved!

[7:01pm] THERE IS MORE BEER! (And chocolate chips, of course.)

The day is saved! (With New Belgium Red Hoptober Ale, of course.)

[7:09pm] Time is wasted while the cookie batter softens. It was in the fridge. What a stupid idea. More beer is consumed to make everything ok again.

[7:28pm] First batch in the oven!

[Addendum to 7:28pm] Oh god, the kitchen.

[Further addendum to 7:28pm] DANCE PARTIES FIX EVERYTHING!

[7:35pm] The cookies were too big.

So sad.

[7:39pm] While waiting for cookies to cool, second beer is finished.

[7:41pm] New Belgium Belgo saves the day!

[7:42pm] Non-stick cookies sheets are the bomb.

[7:44pm] Who needs dinner when you have cookies??

[7:51pm] Second batch in the oven!

[7:52pm] Pre-prepping next batch because waiting sucks.

[8:04pm] Second batch done! And not too big, hooray!

[Addendum to 8:04pm] Cookie on the floor. Oh no.

[8:07pm] Third batch in the oven!

[8:21pm] Third batch done!

[8:25pm] Final batch in the oven!

Note to reader: Most of that in-between time has been spent either dancing or lying on the kitchen floor.

[8:36pm] ALL THE COOKIES ARE DONE!

Woo!

[Addendum to 8:36pm] I’m drunk.

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And so, dear readers, that’s how drunk baking is done. I invite you all to share your own drunk baking stories.

Also, cookies are delicious. Om nom nom.

Memoirs of a hole in the wall: the untold story of seafood and potatoes

Suppose that you and I were sitting in a quiet room overlooking the city, chatting and sipping at our glasses of beer while we talked about something that had happened a long while ago, and I said to you, “That afternoon when I ate at Pike Street Fish Fry…was the very best afternoon of my life, and also the very worst afternoon.”

Oh wait, I just stole that from Memoirs of a Geisha.

And oh wait, this post is about fish and chips.

The following statement is wildly important, and if you choose not to finish reading this post, at least read this: If you ever happen upon a dingy/sketchy/kitschy-looking hole-in-the-wall that you have never seen before…ALWAYS GO INSIDE.

I will swear by that statement for the rest of my life, and if it costs me my life, well, at least I died in a cool way. (Side note: I have made it my mission to die in the coolest way possible. It’s my life plan.) (Side note #2: If I die by means of hole-in-the-wall, it must be because said hole-in-the-wall was inhabited by zombies.)

Now on to the point of the story. Pike Street Fish Fry is my new favorite food spot in Seattle. It’s not actually replacing anything, since until now I didn’t have a favorite food spot in Seattle. But it should be proud, because it is my FIRST favorite spot. Congratulations, PSFF.

Anyway, the point of the story is, I happened upon this place by accident. It looked a little weird, out of place, perhaps not totally legit. But it said FISH & CHIPS in such gigantic letters that I was drawn to it like a fish to bait.

Best. Decision. Ever. Hands down the best fish and chips I have ever had. AND, to top it off, they have really good beer!

I am used to this thing (i.e. life in Chicago) where you discover an awesome hole-in-the-wall food spot, or a food truck, or something like that, and you can’t drink beer because no one serves beer except for huge established places because the liquor laws are ridiculous.

But NOT SO in Seattle. They actually serve beer (GOOD beer!) in tiny run-down food spots. Seattle, you get a giant thumbs-up in my book. (This is a big deal, because until now, I have been skeptical of the food & drink scene around here. Chicago is pretty hard to beat. But perhaps I can be won over after all.)

At any rate, I enjoyed a meal of fish and chips, cooked by hilariously-clad moustachioed hipsters, along with a cold glass of New Belgium Mothership Wit. Nothing, absolutely nothing, could have possibly satisfied me more.

That’s right. “Hot fish now.” They’re not kidding.

P.S. Their website is like a blog, and they have an entire post about whales!!! It is seriously the coolest thing ever!!

P.P.S. Yes, I am that weird.