Monday, June 22, 2009

Chickens in Hyattsville

This is an update on progress being made to change the current Hyattsville, Maryland, law which prohibits chicken coops within the city limits. So far I've found five other Hyattsville residents who are interested in raising chickens for eggs and I'm striving to find many more. David Hiles, my new Hyattsville Ward 2 city council representative tells me that it may be possible to bring this issue before the city council this coming fall or Spring 2010. He also says I will have to build more community support, then lobby the council for action. I'm beginning to compile material to illustrate how urban chicken coops have worked well in the D.C. area and other nearby, local jurisdictions.

So let's keep our talons crossed! To get you in the mood for starting your own chicken run, take a look at all the great things (I'm personally fond of the "Eglu") at
Photograph credit: National Archives and Records Administration, RG-83, Records of the Bureau of Agricultural Economics, 1876-1959. The photograph was taken in Shelby County, Iowa, in May 1941.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Perfect bourbon for a perfect mint julep

I've had a request for preparing bourbon for a mint julep. Though, this somewhat off topic for this blog, I think that because green it will be ok. Credit for this idea goes to my wife, Mrs. OSG, who had the idea initially when I started my mint julep kick back ca. 2002. I complained that the drink was only minty if the mint was properly crushed, and even then not as strong as I would like. Did I say that fresh mint is about my favorite flavor?

Mrs. OSG simply collected a bunch of fresh mint, crushed it well, then put it in a pitcher and poured in a whole bottle of Maker's Mark. M and M is my favorite bourbon pick, by the way, and I always order by asking for it specifically. I might raise the price of the drink, but its worth it.

Let the crushed mint steep in the pitcher of bourbon for several days. I think we've don as long as a week in the past. This does not harm the taste of the bourbon that we have found, and certainly doesn't mask the sweet bourbon flavor. The mint flavor is secondary, but delightful.

Last step is to strain the mint out of the bourbon and funnel it back into the Marker's Mark bottle. Mark that bottle with a big "MINT" on the label so you will know better before you pour a Bourbon 'n Coke, or ruin a Manhattan.

Mrs. OSG also came up the idea of infusing the simple syrup with crushed mint as well. Did I already say that I like mint? While the simple syrup is heating on the stove, add the crushed mint and let steep as the syrup cools off of the flame. I always opt for simple syrup over white sugar when making my juleps. This means no gritty texture from putting white sugar into a cold beverage.