City Gay and Country Gay

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Disney Cuisine

You can imagine how amazing the cuisine is at Disneyland. While the hot dog and chips in Toontown didn't exactly excite, they did help calm a growling stomach.

Other meals included kabobs from the Bengal something-or-other. This was a messy meal, but the asparagus wrapped in bacon helped make up for the messiness and tasteless bread. For dinner, City Gay and I found ourselves standing in line for ages at the French Market. The fried chicken and rice and beans was filling and plentiful. City Gay will have to fill you in, dear reader(s), on her meal.

Country Gay Fabulous

In sharp contrast to the French meal from a couple of weeks ago, I made something extremely down home for dinner tonight. I had to improvise slightly since I haven't been to the grocery store for about a month.

While Brad was enjoying cocktail hour with a gin and tonic, I was frying potatoes and a pork chop. The meal was easy and quick. The potato was fried in vegetable oil with some fresh garlic, minced onions, and salt and pepper. (I would have used a real onion, but I didn't have any.) After flattening the pork chop with the flat side of a meat tenderizer, the pork chop was coated in a generic meat breading (that can be used for pork, chicken, or beef) seasoned with garlic salt, minced onions, and paprika. After frying and removing the potatoes to drain on a paper towel, I added the pork chop to the skillet. The chop was fried on both sides for about four to five minutes (or until the meat was fully cooked).

The meal was, I'm sure, not the healthiest thing since it was all fried, but it certainly had a down home flavor to it. While the picture doesn't show it, this is a meal that is helped with the very country condiment: ketchup. There is nothing fancy about this dish, but it certainly screams country gay fabulousness.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More on the meal

I was sent the recipes for the rest of the French meal from Sunday. Try your hand at these tasty treats.

Apple and Truffle Salad
1. Combine 1 apple, peeled and diced, 1 large truffle, thinly sliced, 1 heart romaine lettuce, shredded, salt, pepper, and the juice of ½ lemon.
2. Mix: ½ cup sour cream and ¼ cup cream. Pour over the salad and toss lightly.

(This doesn't actually make much, so you would want to add to the recipe if making for more than a couple of people.)

Noisettes des Tournelles
(serves 4)

Onion Sauce
1. Mince: 4 large onions or enough to measure 2 cups. Cover with water, bring to a boil, and simmer for 3 minutes. Drain.
2. In a saucepan melt: 4 tablespoons butter. Add onions and cook slowly for 10 minutes without letting them brown.
3. Stir in: ¾ cup béchamel sauce, ¼ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon white pepper. Cover and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Blend in an electric blender on high speed for 15 seconds and strain through a fine sieve, or puree in a food mill.
4. Combine into a paste: 2 tablespoons flour, 2 tablespoons soft butter, and 2 egg yolks. Beat a little of the hot sauce into this mixture, then add mixture to sauce and cook, stirring rapidly, until thick and almost boiling.
5. Set aside.
Heat in simmering water: 8 cooked artichoke bottoms, fresh or canned.

1. preheat broiler.
2. remove bone and fat from 8 small rib lamb chops.
3. In a skillet heat: 1 tablespoon butter and in it sauté the chops over high heat for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until brown. Remove from skillet and keep hot.

Madeira sauce
Pour off fat remaining in skillet and add: ½ cup Madeira and ¼ chicken stock. Cook over high heat for 4 minutes, or until liquid is reduced by half. Swirl in 2 tablespoons butter and season with a little salt and pepper.

Arrange artichoke bottoms on a heat-proof platter and fill with onion sauce, reserving about ½ cup. Place a lamb noisette on top of each artichoke bottom, and top with 1 tablespoon of the onion sauce.

Put the dish under the broiler for a few minutes, or until sauce is hot and tinged with brown. Serve the Madeira sauce on the side.

Monday, September 17, 2007

A meal in three courses

The wine has worn off, so I think I can give a fuller review of my meal last night. The meal was originally supposed to be a Frenchie affair with a viewing of Jean de Florette, but it ended up just being a dinner and conversation kind of evening, which, peut-etre, was even better. The meal is best described broken down into the three courses, and all recipes come from Vincent Price's A Treasury of Great Recipes.

Course One - soupe a l'oignon
When I was first introduced to the menu for the evening and saw onion soup, I immediately flashed to the beefy, oniony, cheesy soup I had one evening in Paris. I absolutely adore onion soup, but I do find it difficult to eat sometimes because of the amount of cheese and onions found in just one small bowl. How interesting, then, to notice this onion soup wouldn't look anything like the typical onion soup.

There are a variety of steps to the soup, but it really wasn't too complicated. The recipe (magically found online) follows at the end of the post. We didn't follow the last steps exactly as written. Instead, we simply put a piece of French bread in a bowl, sprinkled parmesan cheese over it, and then added the soup. We could have done some broiling, but we opted to skip it.

Course Two - apple and truffle salad
While the soup was cooking, we made a simple salad that tasted much better than I anticipated. The salad is supposed to be made up of apples and truffles, but it's hard to find truffles in the country, so we used some kind of mushroom that was reddish and natural looking. I have no idea what kind of shroom it was, but it added the necessary earthy flavor to the salad. The salad basically contains: four apples peeled, cored, and diced; some mushrooms; chopped hearts of romaine. These ingredients are tossed together with salt and pepper and the juice of half of a lemon. The dressing is made up of cream and sour cream, but I have no idea how much of each. This is mixed and then tossed with the salad. Add salt and pepper to taste.

We paused to have these two parts of the meal before making the main course. (However, there were parts of the main course recipe we did in conjunction with the onion soup because we had to make an onion paste.) The soup was oniony but had a peppery garlic kick to it that helped tone down the onion. The parmesan and bread also help temper the onion. The beef broth of a typical French onion soup was certainly lacking but not necessarily missed. The salad was surprising. The sour cream dressing added some tang, the apples added tartness, the mushrooms added hardiness, and the lemon added some sourness. The combination of flavors basically made for a refreshing follow up to the onion soup.

Course Three - noisettes de something
I'm going to have to be fairly vague about some of the parts of the main course. The basic ingredient was lamb chops (boned with the fat trimmed). Side note: there was much giggling over the idea of boning the lamb. While the onion soup was cooking, two large, diced onions were put into a pot of simmering water. I don't know if anything was added to this because I was too busy boning the lamb chops. Also simmering on the back of the stove were the bottoms of artichokes. I had no idea these even existed, but they can be found in the canned food aisle at the grocery store.

The most time consuming part of this recipe is creating an onion sauce/paste that resembles mashed potatoes. While the onions were simmering, we made a bechamel sauce, which is basically a white sauce. A blender was used, egg yolks figured in somewhere, and then part of the bechamel sauce was combined with the drained onions and blended again. This was set aside to cook the lamb.

I had never cooked lamb before, and it's rare that I actually eat it. We fried the lamb in butter for about three minutes on each side then removed to a plate. The next step was to make a Madeira sauce, so we added port and a touch of butter to the pan we fried the lamb in and simmered and stirred until the sauce had reduced by half.

It was then time to put it all together. The final step is to layer ingredients and broil for a few minutes. We placed some of the onion sauce on one of the artichoke bottoms, then stacked lamb on the sauce, and finally topped the lamb with a little more sauce. This was a little challenging since the artichoke bottoms kept sliding around. At this point I was still slightly wary of the artichoke bottoms since I'm not a huge fan of artichokes. The pan went under the broiler for a few minutes or until the top sauce was slightly browned. To serve, we put each collection o' lamb on a plate and put a bit of Madeira sauce over the top.

The best part came next. With a slightly chilled chardonnay, we began the main course. There was a moment of silence followed by a round of "Ummmm, oh my God." The slight sauce on the lamb added sweetness to the distinct lamb taste, which was an amazing complement to the artichoke and onion flavors. Everything just melted in our mouths. I thought the petit serving wouldn't be enough, but it actually ended up being the perfect amount. We were satisfied but not overly stuffed.

What was so lovely about this meal was the time it took to make it all. We started at about 3:30 and were eating the main course at around 6:30. Delightful conversation peppered the time spent prepping or enjoying the early courses. Because the courses were slightly spread out, there was time to digest and enjoy and imbibe. So often I am looking for a quick meal because I don't have time to cook, but this was a prime example of what amazing food can be made by setting aside the time to make something.

Vincent Price's Soupe a l'oignon
1 hour 15 min prep

3 tablespoons bacon drippings (you can substitute butter, if you have no drippings)
4 large onions, chopped fine
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground pepper
1 clove garlic, smashed
1 sprig parsley
1 pinch thyme
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon cognac
6 slices toasted French bread

olive oil
1 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided, for garnish (or more, to taste or according to recipe see below)

  1. (Also needed: 6 oven-proof soup bowls.).
  2. Over medium temperature, heat a deep skillet with the bacon drippings or butter.
  3. Add the chopped onions and sauté until just soft.
  4. Add the flour, salt, pepper, and garlic and cook until it is golden brown (careful not to burn).
  5. Add the parsley sprig, thyme, chicken stock, wine, and simmer for 45 minutes, then remove from heat and add the Cognac.
  6. To serve: divide the servings between the six oven-proof bowls, placing the bowls on a baking sheet, with 1 slice of toasted French bread in each bowl.
  7. To make it Soupe à L'Oignon Gratinée: preheat your oven's broiler setting; you're going to make three layers of thinly sliced bread and Parmesan cheese in the bowl, pouring soup into the bowls, topping each layer with Parmesan and a little melted butter, then placing the bowls on a baking sheet under the broiler until the cheese melts and forms a golden brown crust.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

I love Vincent Price

I just got home from a small dinner party I helped with, and while I have drunk too much to put together a clear picture of the menu, I will say it was one of the best meals I've had... hands down. The recipes came from a 1965 cookbook Vincent Price put together with his wife. I'll give more details later, but the basic meal consisted of onion soup, an apple and mushroom salad, and lamb chops with an onion sauce and port gravy on an artichoke bottom. As the food was being made I really didn't think it would taste as good as it did, but everything literally melted in my mouth.

Plus, I helped polish off three bottles of wine, which complemented the meal nicely.

More to come when my fingers aren't numb.

Hors d'oeurves anyone?
Here, try my Tater Pig Puffs!

First, and most importantly, let's discuss the inspiration for this dish. While we all know that this site is inherently gay, it hasn't been nearly gay enough for me lately, so I thought I'd toss some sprinkles of fabulous on this bitch and tip my metaphorical hat to my personal deity:


For this challenge, I channeled not just any incarnation of Cher. I channeled Cher as Ms. Rachel Flax of the grossly under-appreciated film Mermaids.

If you've ever seen the movie, you may recall that Rachel Flax's sole cooking style consists of hors d'oeurves.

With that inspiration, I set forth to create the Tater Pig Puff.


1 package (consists of 2 sheets) of puff pastry
1 large (or 2 medium) Idaho russet potatoes
3 good sized sausage links (for you size queens)
1 cup medium or sharp shredded cheddar cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
3/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbs. butter
2 Tbs. finely chopped chives
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
Makes approximately 30 Tater Pig Puffs


Puff pastry needs to thaw for approximately 40 minutes on a counter top before you can start working with it, so prepare for that wait time accordingly. Then preheat your oven to 400 degrees, set some water up for boiling on the stove top and get ready to have an inappropriate amount of fun!

I started out by peeling the potato, chopping it into thick pieces and tossing them into a pot of boiling water. The idea here is to make a good, basic mashed potato. I didn't take a picture of this because I was drunk at the time.

After the potato gets going, chop up the sausage into fairly small pieces and throw into a skillet with a bit of salt and pepper. I used Falls Brand sausage to make this an extra authentic experience. Go Idaho! Anyhoo, fry the sausage bits on medium to medium-high heat for about 7 minutes. After it's done cooking, drain it on a paper towel-lined plate.

While the sausage is cooking, you can cut up your pieces of puff pastry to the desired size - about 1 1/2 inches square each. Put the puff pastry squares on an ungreased baking sheet and cook in a 400 degree oven for 8 minutes. They will come out of the oven looking comically puffy like this:

After letting those cool down for a minute, you can smoosh them down with your (clean) fingers.

Your potato should be done by now (about 18 minutes), so it's time to mash it up with 1 Tbsp. of butter, 1/2 cup of heavy cream and a lot of salt and pepper. Best to do this with a handheld mixer, but manually will work too.

After your potato is mashed and your sausage is cooked and drained, it's time to start piling the ingredients onto your smooshed down puff pastry squares. Like so:

You'll start with a sprinkling of cheese, then a tablespoon of mashed potato, then a sprinkling of little sausage bites. Put the baking sheet back into the 400 degree oven for another 4 to 5 minutes.

Top off with a dollop of sour cream and a few finely chopped chives and VOILA!

I have to say, I wasn't expecting these appetizers to actually be as good as they were. I was going for funny, but I accidentally ended up with delicious! And they look good too!

In closing, I would like to thank Cher. For everything. Amen.

Soy una patata del taco! Muy bueno!

This Tater Pig Challenge entry comes to us via a very Claymazing med student. He, like Country Gay, ran with the twice-baked potato idea, but gave it a Mexican flair. Olé!

Twice-Baked Taco Potatoes


5 baking potatoes

4 links of chorizo sausage (~1 lb)*

½ large white onion, diced

1 jalapeno, diced, seeds removed

1 poblano pepper, diced, seeds removed

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp garlic powder

1/8 tsp cinnamon

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 cup chicken broth

1 cup sour cream (I used light)

1 1/2 cups shredded cheese, divided (I used a Mexican blend)

Chives, chopped for garnish

* Chorizo is made with different amounts of spices depending on where you get it from. You may have to increase or decrease the suggested amounts of other spices for the taco mix to account for this.

Preheat oven to 400°. Scrub potatoes and place them on a baking sheet. Do not wrap in foil. Bake for about 1 hr 15 min, or until fork tender.

While potatoes are baking, prepare taco mixture. Brown chorizo in a skillet, then add onion, peppers, and spices. Once the onions have softened, add tomato paste and chicken broth. Mix well. Allow the mixture to simmer uncovered until it is the consistency of taco meat (i.e. not soupy). Set aside until potatoes are baked.

Remove baked potatoes from the oven. Let them cool for about 5 minutes, but slice them in half while still warm. Holding them with a towel works pretty well. Scoop out the insides of the potatoes into a bowl, leaving just enough on the outer skin for it to support being stuffed.

Set oven to 350°.

Mash the potatoes to desired consistency. Add taco mixture, sour cream, and 1 cup of shredded cheese. Mix well. Use a spoon to fill each of the potato halves with generous amounts of the taco stuffing. Place stuffed potatoes back on the baking sheet. Cover potatoes with remaining shredded cheese, and return to the oven for another 15 minutes or until heated through. Garnish with chives.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Eat me. I'm an Irish tater pig.

Because of my exceptionally busy social life, I'm not going to be home when the deadline hits, so I'm delivering my post now. (And I drafted this yesterday, so the post date makes it look like I'm super early.) Enjoy.

Before I went to the grocery store to buy ingredients for my reinvented tater pig, the biggest question in my mind was, "What kind of cheese should I use?"

It's no surprise that I am a fan of all cheeses, and for a moment I thought something like a bleu cheese or gorgonzola could be interesting. However, I quickly ruled these out because I feared the taste would be too overwhelming. While shopping the cheese area of Fred Meyer, I saw one of my new favorites: Dubliner. It has a sharp taste and a flaky consistency. It has just enough of a bite to make it interesting but not overpowering. I knew that would be what I needed for my cosmopolitanized - and slightly Irish - tater pig.

I had also made a decision to make the tater pig a twice-baked tater pig. In my family, twice-baked potatoes are a holiday favorite. They're rich and stuffed with sour cream, bacon, butter, and cheese. I decided to play off of my mom's recipe for twice-baked potatoes and hoped I'd come out with something more sophisticated than the fair's tater pig.

The beginning is simple: prepare a baked potato. Because I knew my week would be busy, I did this a couple of days ahead of time and refrigerated the potato until I was ready to use it. When I was ready, I split the potato down the middle and did my best to scoop out the innards. This is unlike a normal twice-baked potato where one would cut the potato in half, scoop out the inside, and then refill the halves. I liked that I was going to be putting the potato back into a full-sized potato; however, this also proved slightly difficult (but manageable).

After I had scooped out the insides, I mashed the potato with a spoon, shredded about 1/4 cup of cheese into it, and added a large dollop of sour cream. I also added just a bit of salt and pepper, though in retrospect I think there was enough seasoning in the sausage to take care of that.

As for the sausage, I went with an unexciting Jimmy Dean sausage patty for my sausage choice. Actually, I thought it would be unexciting, but there was a bit of a spicy kick to the sausage, which was a surprise in a good way. I fried four of the patties, knowing I'd only use two in the recipe. I used the other two as an appetizer, which made me excited to get to the sausage actually in the tater pig.

When the sausage was done, I simply patted the grease out with paper towels and tore one of the patties into the potato, sour cream, and cheese mixture. I placed one patty in the bottom of the potato and then stuffed the mixture back into the potato skin. This, again, was a bit challenging because I didn't want to tear the potato, and because of the added ingredients, the space wasn't really big enough for the filling. However, this allowed the filling to be piled high on the skin.

The potato went into a preheated 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes, just enough to heat everything through. In retrospect, I should have sprinkled some cheese on the top and let it bake a bit longer to give a crunchier top.

Brad eyed the potato, but I wasn't going to let that little gnome eat all of my hard work. Unfortunately, my digital camera has problems taking close-ups of food, so the photos of the finished product turned out terribly. You'll just have to look past Brad's head for an idea of the finished Irish tater pig.

The potato was tasty, and the Dubliner cheese added a different taste than what one gets with the regular spicy nacho cheese. The sour cream was a bit much, so I would probably put in a little bit less in the future. But the sour cream also causes the dish to be extremely rich, which helps makes this its own meal.

The most exciting part of my reinvented pig was the way the sausage was spread throughout the potato. At the fair, an eater gets one sausage link (which I'm sure is plenty for some). Because of the patty in the bottom of the potato and the sausage sprinkled throughout the mixture, there was a bit of sausage in every bite. This helped feed my love for the sausage.

The potato was filling on its own, but it is a time consuming concoction. Baking the potato takes about 80 minutes in a 350 degree oven, preparation time takes about 15 minutes (which is mostly cooking the sausage), and reheating time is about 35 minutes. While I might not make this often, I can see me using it as a side dish in the more traditional twice-baked potato way but with the reinvented filling.

The tater pig seems like such an Idaho county fair stand by, but by adding a bit of an Irish twist, the fair guilty pleasure becomes a slightly refined and filling meal. However, even with the refinement, there is still a very country feel to the new and improved pig.

City Gay, can you hear me?

I'm afraid this blog has turned into Country Gay. I'll just assume that City Gay has been busy experimenting with various tater pigs and is overwhelmed with planning for the Gayest Trip Ever.

Pita Pizazz

I ate at the Pita Pit for lunch today. Even though I'm completely broke and will be charging every aspect of The Gayest Trip Ever next week, I decided to spend $8 on a Black Forrest ham pita.

I hadn't eaten at a Pita Pit since I was in college, and I'm pretty sure the only reason I ate there is because I was walking home in a drunken stupor. The only thing I really remember from the Pita Pit college experience is that there were lots of vegetables on the pita, and there were large fiberglass vegetables smiling all over the restaurant. They kind of freaked me out, but again, I was drunk.

My experience at the local Pita Pit was good. While expensive, the pita was tasty, slightly warm, and I requested just enough fixin's to make it a nice, full meal. I also felt like it was a healthier option than stopping at Arby's for a roast beef and cheddar sandwich with curly fries and mozzarella sticks.

Challenge Countdown

In only 25 short hours, the first City Gay/Country Gay challenge will conclude. If you haven't bought your taters and slaughtered your pigs yet, get on it!

Oh wait. That's 25 hours in my time zone. If you are in City Gay's time zone, you have more time. Tricky!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Hello, sausage my old friend...

The challenge is on, bitches.

I made my new tater pig tonight, and it was tasty. Full details to come upon the deadline.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Banana Bread - Or How I Hope I Didn't Poison Myself

Dear City Gay,

I was inspired by your determination to make zucchini bread, so I thought I would try my hand at the bread business. I didn't have any zukes on hand, nor did I even have a bread loaf pan, but that didn't matter. I wanted to be just like you, except without the zucchini.

Quite awhile ago, I had bananas that started going bad, so I decided to freeze them with the intent of making banana bread. I honestly don't know when exactly I put them in the freezer, but I decided to put them in the fridge to thaw yesterday. I admit the bananas looks really gross when I took them out of the fridge this evening.

I decided to use a simple, Paula Deen recipe. Even though wary of the bananas I was using, I forged ahead. (Seriously, when I peeled the bananas, it looked a bit more like fly larvae or some sort of pupa.) There really isn't much to the recipe, which I can't find online but really is a basic banana bread recipe, I promise.*

My recipe book told me to bake the bread for 50 minutes, and I trusted my oven to not burn the bread. I was a fool. I know that things bake faster in my oven, but I apparently forgot that. The bread wasn't exactly burned, but it was darker than I would have liked. I tried to take a picture, but it looked less than appetizing. I decided I should put a slice with bread in front of Brad. I think he has a look of disgust on his face.

The bread tastes fine, but I am afraid the bananas were too old. This is probably all in my head, but if I throw up in awhile, I'm totally throwing the bread out. I can't say I'm truly pleased with the final product, but it was a nice foray into the bread baking business.

Country Gay

*For the readers, here is the recipe taken from Paula Deen's The Lady and Sons Too!
1/2 cup (one stick) butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon basking powder
3 ripe bananas

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. In a mixing bowl, combine the butter and sugar; mix well. (You don't need a hand mixer; just use your muscles and a spoon.) Add the salt, eggs, vanilla, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and bananas, and mix well. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes.

By the way, be careful with your eggs. I decided to waste one and throw it on the floor. Egg shell can fly quite far.

Challenge Numero Uno

In light of my recent devouring of a tater pig at the fair, City Gay and I have decided on the first challenge - for ourselves and our reader(s).

Your assignment, should you wish to accept it, is to put a new spin on the classic tater pig. For those still unschooled in what a classic tater pig is (or who are too lazy to scroll down and read what I said about it), a tater pig is simply a baked potato stuffed with a sausage link and cheese whiz. (There is a variation in which chili is used; this is something you might want to consider.) One usually adds butter and sour cream to the tater pig to finish it off.

Here are the guidelines:

  • You must use the main ingredients: potato, sausage, cheese (does not have to be "whizzy"), and sour cream.
  • The sausage does not necessarily have to be placed inside the potato, but it does need to be part of the dish.
  • If you are one of those vegetarian-types, you may use some sort of soy sausage
The deadline for this competition is Sunday, September 16 at 5:00 p.m. If you would like to participate, submit a photo/recipe to me ( or City Gay ( All submissions will be posted at the same time to thwart cheating. (Of course, City Gay and I could steal everyone's ideas, so take your chances.)

If you have any questions, ask... or make up your own answers.

Love always,
Country Gay

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Vive la Limonade!

Country Gay! Welcome back to our online home! Please see my email regarding our plans for world domination and cooking challenges. Meanwhile, feast your eyes on this bad boy:

Rième Blood Orange Limonade Artisanale
Rième Blood Orange Limonade Artisanale

I had seen these fantastic bottles of Frenchy beverage in Metropolitan Market for two or three weeks before finally caving. I don't know what the hell took me so long. I'm a sucker for fancy bottles and an even bigger sucker for Frenchy things.

There was a choice of classic limonade, pamplemousse (grapefruit) and blood orange. I know it seems like blasphemy that I didn't get the pamplemousse (to two of you reading at least), but I ended up walking away with the blood orange instead. Mostly because it seemed more exotic and I liked the color.

I'm trying to give up soda (and have been mostly successful for a month now) and I think I may have found a beautiful, fizzy replacement in the Rième. The tiny bubbles are delightful. Don Ho would be pleased. The flavor is subtle and not too sweet. It's a great summer drink in a delicate glass chock full of ice. But, most excitingly, the cap makes a big POPPING sound when you open it like a bottle of champagne. And not just the first time. EVERY time!

It's good on its own, but it's fantastic with pasta or rice dishes on days when you don't feel like drinking wine with dinner. I'm not sure what days those would be, but you get the idea.

If you want to try a bottle of your very own and you don't have a retailer that will deliver the goods, you can buy it online from some place called Bavaria Sausage. Or you can suck up to me and I'll send you a bottle.

Rieme Blood Orange Limonade Artisanale


- City Gay

Tater wha'?

Dear City Gay,

What is more country than the county fair? The carnies, the sheep with jackets, the people who come out of hiding twice a year - it's a beautiful event. But, as everyone knows, the real reason to go the fair isn't for the $30 unlimited ride pass, it's for the food.

I was camera-less at the fair, so I can't provide documentation of my food forays. I wish I could say I struck out and tried something new, but I stuck with the basics. The day started with a corn dog, that I snarfed so fast that the price probably came down to $1 per minute of enjoyment. After wandering through smelly barns and trying to escape the heat, it was time for the annual tater pig.

(Someone else's hands holding a random tater pig somewhere in the world)

Most people react with shock and disgust at the tater pig, but it is an Idaho specialty. I'm not sure what it is about a simple baked potato with a sausage link covered in spicy nacho cheese whiz that is appealing, but it is just ridiculously fair-y... yet most fairies wouldn't be caught eating it.

My goal some time soon is to make my own tater pig but "cosmopolitanize" it. There has got to be a better way to make a tater pig that tastes just as good but has a more sophisticated flavor.

Country Gay out.