Sunday, 15 January 2017

Borsao Bole

Medium purple with rich aromas of ripe cherries and black plums, followed by a little vanilla, baking spices, and earthiness. The taste is ripe blackberry and cherry with some spice and a medium acidity. The finish is mirrors the taste but tends towards the blackberry. A well balanced wine for stews, pork, or sipping, and a great value.

$15.95 at LCBO

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Clifford porter

Opaque bark brown with a very lively medium brown head. The aroma is chocolate and coffee liqueur with a touch of ash. Nice clean taste very closely following the aromas.

$2.95 at the LCBO

5.9% alcohol

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

Dungeons and Dragons Table Configuration

This is a just a simple thing, but many people seemed to think it was such a great idea I though I'd post it here.

I regularly host a tabletop D&D game, and space is always at a premium. Players these days generally use laptops, tablets, or other devices, occasionally have books, and we frequently eat before (or during) the game. For all the devices, there are cables and power bars. There are bowls for snacks. All of this takes up table space, leaving very little space for maps, which  really do add a lot to the game, and are important for those big battles.

I'd made 'leg extenders' for one of our collapsing tables so that Sheena could work on quilts more easily, as many tasks would otherwise require bending over a table of normal height. The extenders are just sections of PVC pipe with tennis balls hot-glued on the ends to keep the floor from getting scratched.

With this elevated table in the middle, the other two tables inset nicely, allowing maps and other important game stuff to sit on top, while still allowing room for laptops, food, etc. Cables, etc, can come up underneath as well which really helps keep them out of the way. This way the players get a nice clear view of the maps without reaching through a sea of laptop screens and wine glasses.

The wooden table you see at the other end is where the Dungeon Master typically sits. If you need more space, more tables can be added of course,  including just adding another folding table across the end facing towards you in this picture. The two outer tables in this picture are these from Canadian Tire. I think the other may be an older model from there as well. Ideally, the centre table will have as little space between the top part of the legs as possible so that the outer tables inset well.

The next step will be to put a couple of screws on the underside of the centre table so that the power bars can be slipped onto them using their mounting holes. Ideally I'll be able to do this so the screws can stay in without affecting the way the tables fold.

I'm sure this will help out for board games of some kinds as well. Hope this helps someone find more space for your tabletop gaming!

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Lazy Sunday Dinner - Couscous, Chicken and Wine

It was a busy day in our house so dinner was a quick toss together. It was well received.

Couscous with lemon, mushrooms and spinach and oven roasted chicken thighs, paired with a Casas Del Bosque Reserva Sauvignon Blanc (available at your local LCBO).

Wine Notes: Paper white with wonderful aromas of lime, gooseberry, canned green beans, tropical fruit, especially mango, and lemon. Zippy acidity and flavours of lime and gooseberry.  The aromas seem especially affected by temperature. As the temperature rose from our serving temperature of 8 degrees Celsius, the vegetal aromas were replaced by more of a tropical fruit aroma. All were quite wonderful, but keep this in mind when serving.

Recipe (of sorts) for the couscous:

In a medium saucepan, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil. Toss in 1 cup medium couscous, heat a couple of minutes until it smells nutty. Then pour in 2 cups water (or broth if you prefer). Bring to boil, remove from heat and set aside.

While couscous is absorbing the water, saute half a dozen or so sliced cremini mushrooms in a tablespoon or two of olive oil. Part way through the saute, add one clove garlic, finely minced or through a garlic press.  Toss in a couple of handfuls of washed, baby spinach. Cook until wilted. Season with black pepper.

Fluff the couscous with fork after water is absorbed. With a rasp, grate the zest from one lemon into the couscous. Fluff again and add to pan with sauteed mushrooms and spinach. Toss together and you are ready to serve. Slice your zested lemon into sections and serve with the couscous. A fresh squeeze of lemon juice really makes this couscous pop.

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Bowmore Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky

Happy New Year!

This year Santa once again spoiled one of us with a lovely bottle of Scotch - this time it is the Bowmore Darkest 15 Year Old Islay Single Malt Scotch (available at your local LCBO).

Dark, as advertised, with aromas of caramel, orange, raisins, sherry, and smoke. Very smooth on the palate with flavours of butter, chocolate, raisins, and oranges.