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Berry Creamy Patties

February 1, 2023
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The Peppermint Patty deserves its well-earned place in the munchies hall of fame. Only problem is, it doesn't make much of a Valentine treat. Today we experiment with what you might call a more romantic hue!

Ingredients:
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 bag of powdered sugar
1/3 cup (infused!) Crisco
2-Pack Strawberry flavoring
Red food coloring
2 tsp vanilla or cream flavor
Melting Chocolates (Chips, wafers, etc)

Directions:
This one’s really quite simple. Mix the milk, sugar, Crisco, flavoring and coloring--using a mixer with a dough hook if you’ve got one. It’ll be ready when it looks wet and almost shiny (but will still be somewhat dry to the touch). I found it best to first mix by hand, then I put in a big resealable bag and continued to knead it.  

Dust your surface with spare powdered sugar. Roll the mixture out thin and use a small circular cutter or an old open pill bottle, shot glass, you name it. Re-roll your leftover dough and repeat until fully used up. Freeze the discs. Then, melt your chocolate and dip each. Chocolate chips and other types may require more refrigeration, chocolate with less additives holds up the best.

This recipe makes a heaping harvest of patties depending on size, so you’ll have more than enough to package in clear boxes and bows for Valentine’s day. Their dosage and thickness are up to you -- along with even the flavor or shape (you could change for each season). Want to take this recipe to the next level? Find a heart-shaped cutter.

Bon Appetit!   

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January 13 saw the 50th anniversary deluxe edition reissue of the excellent solo debut from Bob Weir, rhythm guitarist for the Grateful Dead. Originally released on ::checks calendar, acknowledges that those San Franciscans did a lot drugs:: May 1, 1972, Ace was a Dead album in all but name, and, well, the band usually rewarded fans for their patience and ambivalence towards concepts like mathematics. 

While technically a Weir solo effort, the backing musicians not so serendipitously happened to be the other five members of the Dead's prime '72-'74 lineup. Coming on the heels of 1970's Workingman's Dead and American Beauty, and recorded prior to the soon-to-be legendary Europe '72 tourAce slides in as an "almost but not quite" extension of those two highly acclaimed studio albums while showcasing seven tunes that would become concert staples for the jam legends.

A quick track-by-track rundown:

"Greatest Story Ever Told" – Still the finest ditty about Moses, quasars, and left-hand monkey wrenches ever penned.

"Black-Throated Wind" – Weir's chorus take here is tame compared to the live versions most fans listen to more frequently. Unfortunately unbefitting a song with the word "throat" in the title.

"Walk in the Sunshine" – Never played in concert by the Grateful Dead. Coincidence? Definitely not. 

"Playing in the Band" – Great song. Great jam for a studio album. Shades of what would become arguably second to only "Dark Star" in terms of the Dead's exploratory warhorses.

"Looks Like Rain" – Nice tune, especially with Jerry's pedal steel.

"Mexicali Blues" – Like many, my first exposure to this song was from Skeletons From The Closet, which has the subordinate title, The Best of Grateful Dead

"One More Saturday Night" – Debuted in concert on a Tuesday in Minneapolis in 1971. Frequently played on the day of the Jewish Sabbath thereafter. The studio version doesn't remotely capture the live energy, but always a treat.

"Cassidy" – A solid recording, but I'll always prefer the one on the glorious, acoustic Reckoning. Still, quintessential Bobby.

That's Ace. This belated 50th anniversary release also includes a bonus disc of the same songs from recent Bob Weir & Wolf Brothers shows. A decent selection of live cuts, the highlights are undoubedtly those with guest singers, giving the tunes, as anyone who has followed Bob this century can likely admit, a much needed oomph as tempos continue to decelerate. A solid, if unnecessary, tack-on. None of which takes away from Weir's unique songwriting abilities and that fine debut nearly 51 years ago.

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