Jan. 25th, 2009

jacktellslies: (crow)
Timing her arrival with a marvellously dramatic sunset, the amazing [livejournal.com profile] westlinwind found me at the train station and stole me away to a whiskey tasting. The event was a fund raiser for the Colonial, a theatre that hosted Houdini when it was a vaudville venue, and later, as a cinema, was featured in the film The Blob.

Our whiskey expert, Riannon Walsh, began distilling at the age of six. We were provided with excellent cheeses and breads and chocolates; I'm not often fond of dark chocolate, but apparently I do seem to enjoy it when it is combined with citrus, ginger, or whiskey. We were given six kinds of whiskey to try. One was an American variation produced in the same way as it would have been made in the West in the nineteenth century. (I didn't entirely approve. Cowboys: they're doing it wrong.) Some smelled of vanilla, caramel, the oak in which they soaked, and, some claimed, the sea. The best was a Scotch that tasted of peat. All six were better than anything I deserved to touch. Unopened, the bottles from which all six came were as like to be investments as they were to be a toast. I'm not often permitted to taste investments, so I enjoyed the experience a great deal. Several of the gentlemen in my life are whiskey drinkers. My father was one, too. So it always tastes a bit sentimental, even, especially, when it's kicking me in the teeth.

Earlier in the day I'd found a magnificent little bakery in Old City called Tartes. One couldn't go inside, but would instead appraise the offerings from a window. Beyond the window there was a small group of women making little cakes. After a moment one noticed that I was watching them and walked over to work the register. It was perfectly small and charming, and their deserts were beautiful things. It's difficult for me to resist a pretty girl wielding a cupcake. I also like supporting local businesses. And, most importantly, I like pastries. So I ordered two of their signature dishes: one with apples and cranberries, and one with sweet potatoes and pecans. They were quite good, but perhaps more important than that is the fact that, as Krys noted, yes, I am Jack, and sometimes I do arrive with tarts. (I tend to think of myself as the Jack of spades, actually, but so far as I know, the Jack of spades doesn't concern himself with dessert nearly as often as I do.)

Before going home we went to visit Bernie and Linda and Loki. We admired vultures and planned knitting and dreadlocks. And then, with very little time to spare, Krys delivered me safely unto my train.


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