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El Bloggo Torcido

("The Twisted Blog" - more or less)

Welcome to the new home of The Twisted Blog! If you are looking for older posts you can find them here. Have fun!

El Jefe
 
March 16, 2017 | El Jefe

A Corny Twisted Missive!

The Twisted Missive!
Issue #3

Slightly Irish Edition!

In This Missive

  • Something Corn-y
  • Something Rubbery This Way Comes
  • Something to Mark

The Great Chocolate Question!

...didn't produce a lot of responses, but the few that did respond were pretty passionate about it. Ward K., for example, reaches his "happy place" with a sip of a medium tannic red, followed by a nibble of 62% dark chocolate, a few dry roasted peanuts, and repeat. Dana M.'s favorite is a peanut butter cup chased by a great Sauternes (yike!), while Trudy H. from away up north keeps toasty with a flourless chocolate cake and Pig Stai. (Now we're talkin'!)

corned?corned... what???

But enough about that. This is Twisted Oak, and so you are expecting something corny.

As I am typing this it is the 14th of March, 3-14, aka "Pi Day". While I like pi, and pie, as much as anyone, at this time of year the denizens of Murphys, California gird themselves for the annual Irish Day celebration. (You should come! It's this Saturday!) And even though corned beef is not actually very Irish, it's a dish that has come to be associated with St Patrick's Day.

In our house, corned beef must be prepared in a traditional manner, and in this part of the world the tradition is to boil the snot out of that beef until tender, and then while the beef is resting, use the cooking liquid to boil potatoes and cabbage. This is served with butter for the veg, and mustard and horseradish for the beef.

Local tradition also holds that corned beef is served with beer, but surely there are wines that can stand up to the strong flavors of cured meat and cabbage. So, when I prepared a corned beef dinner recently I decided to try some wines with it to see what might work.

Rummaging around in my wine cabinet produced a 2013 Ol' Chumbucket and a 2014 Tempranillo, and the fridge coughed up a 2015 Albariño. At the outset, the Albariño proved to be a non-starter, that was set aside quickly. Both of the reds proved to be a decent match with the corned beef, but the fruit and spice of the Ol' Chumbucket just clicked for me. I suspect most any spicy and fruity red would be a worthy pairing - think Parcel 17, Graciano, or Torcido Garnacha.

So, this month's survey question is simply, what wine do you serve (or do you think you might serve) with corned beef? Just reply to this email with your response, and I will share the best responses in the next Missive.

Something Rubbery?

Coming up next month we have a brand new event happening at the winery! We're calling it "Rubber Chicken Appreciation Day," and you should too! Not only that, but in the days leading up to the event, there will be all sorts of fun online activities that everyone everywhere will have a chance to take part in. What kind of activities? That would be telling! So stay tuned! (We call this "building excitement"!)

Living in a free society, everyone has the right to appreciate their rubber chicken in their own way. What's yours?

2014 tempranillo

mmmm hash!
the real reason for corned beef - hash the next day!

We are still diligently working to confirm all of the dates for this year's Twisted Folk Concert Series at Twisted Oak Winery. But you can mark the dates we do have confirmed on your calendar right now: May 13th, June 24th, August 12th.

As always, do reply to this email with your thoughts on corned beef and/or rubber chickens. I will choose one reply at random to receive a $35 MasterCluck gift card. Just for fun! (Congratulations to Dale M for being last month's winner!)

That should do it for now. Have fun and stay Twisted! - el jefe

Time Posted: Mar 16, 2017 at 11:26 AM
El Jefe
 
July 11, 2012 | El Jefe

Private Chicken - On Mars?

"The Adventures of Private Chicken... as clucked to SGT F"

SGT F is now a team commander and is moving around a lot more, he says "things are going to get crazy around here... but I won't forget where I came from either...."

private chicken at the movies“Uh, Sergeant, why is the room so dark?”.

“Hush Private, no talking! I all ready told you we were going to the movies. After the work we have done the last two weeks, it’s time to relax a little bit“.

“Are we going to see Chicken Little? Such a brave chicken.”

“No, we are not going to see Chicken Little; we are going to watch John Carter."

“Is it a scary movie? You know I get scared easily.”

“No Private, it is not a scary movie; you’ll be fine”.

“Well, can we have popcorn or candy?”

“No Private, we can not have popcorn or candy. You will not have fancy reclining chairs or even a real theater. You will, however, enjoy the fact that occasionally we can go to the movies and kind of forget where we are for two hours (and enjoy the fact that they are fairly current releases).”

“Kind of like of when you put me in the closet Sergeant?”

“I told you Private to never discuss the closet. Now shut up and enjoy the movie..."

Catch up on previous dispatches here.

Time Posted: Jul 11, 2012 at 2:17 PM
El Jefe
 
June 23, 2012 | El Jefe

DROP AND GIVE ME TWENTY PRIVATE!

"The Adventures of Private Chicken... as clucked to SGT F"

You think you are the “Foster Imposter?” Your plumpness is not from working out!

Private Chicken has been putting on a few ounces (hey, when you only weigh a couple of pounds, ounces count!) Our motto here is simple; you either go home weighing three hundred pounds or you go home lifting three hundred pounds. And we prefer the latter over the former (actually, so does the US Army…)

Working out accomplishes several things. One, it relieves a lot of stress (deployed, no family, extremely long hours, dangerous environment etc.) Two, it breaks up the time you are here. As long as you stay busy, time will go by faster (“SGT F, what is this 'time' you talk about?” TIME?! I HAVE ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD!! KEEP PUSHING MAGGOT!!). Third, and probably most important, you are required to maintain physical readiness at all times. So the gym really helps in that regard.

Private Chicken has advised me that he sucks at push-ups (he has no arms, people…) but he has gotten really good at shooting hoops (as he says, “straight from the coop - to shoot some hoop” - I don’t know what has gotten into him lately…) What he really excels at is running - go figure. But now that he has worked it out, I will probably allow him some leisure activity - maybe say a movie…?

SGT F is a Twisted Few wine club member, serving in the US military someplace in Afghanistan, with his (t)rusty sidekick, Private Chicken. SGT F sends us periodic transcriptions of Private Chicken's tour of duty. (You can find previous installments here.) 

Time Posted: Jun 23, 2012 at 1:20 PM
El Jefe
 
June 12, 2012 | El Jefe

Have a Cigar!

"The Adventures of Private Chicken... as clucked to SGT F"

SGT F is a Twisted Few wine club member, serving in the US military someplace in Afghanistan, with his (t)rusty sidekick, Private Chicken. SGT F sends us periodic transcriptions of Private Chicken's tour of duty. (If you missed the first episode, here it is!) Your next installment...

Now, this is the life! Welcome to the third deck of the US National Support Element, or NSE for short. Here, we are able to relax (as much as possible) and enjoy the wonderfully crappy air. Every Tuesday night is cigar night (where we get to sit around smoking cigars - NOT drinking brandy and congratulating ourselves on being masters of the universe….). This is one of the few things we get to do that breaks up the monotony of being here (Private Chicken, you just got here - you don’t know about monotony yet - remember last week's theme…?)

No, the Private is not smoking his cigar - he has no way of holding a lit object. He is enjoying the camaraderie of the fellow soldiers and wondering why there are no chickens to be found anywhere (I just haven’t got the heart to tell him yet….) On some days, the view can be pretty nice but since they burn everything here (and I mean everything…) the air is downright awful - I did not know we were surrounded by the mountains till my second week here… [Actually, sounds just like growing up in LA - El Jefe]

The Private is missing California and his other family, but knows there is a mission to accomplish (embrace it, Private - embrace it…). He has been getting a little soft so next week we will show you where we go twice a day - the gym…..

Time Posted: Jun 12, 2012 at 12:25 PM
El Jefe
 
June 6, 2012 | El Jefe

Learning to Embrace the Suck

"The Adventures of Private Chicken... as clucked to SGT F"

SGT F is a Twisted Few wine club member, serving in the US military someplace in Afghanistan, with his (t)rusty sidekick, Private Chicken. SGT F will be sending us periodic transcriptions of Private Chicken's tour of duty. Here (such as it is) is the first installment...

private chickenGreetings from an undisclosed location in Afghanistan. I figured Tuesday would be a great day to blog about Private Chicken, as it is the only day we have off. Some complain about work weeks that are twelve hours long, six days a week. Personally I wonder, what else are you going to do? Travel outside the wire to do some shopping? I figured for the twenty-six weeks or so that we have left over here, I would try and enlighten the masses about what we do over here, our accommodations and what we do when we are not working.

private chickenPrivate Chicken and I work in communications and computer-system-network operations (funny thing since the net is really horrible here). The pictures here show our accommodations - and he is not happy since he allegedly is a “free range” chicken. Whatever - embrace the suck, Private….! Imagine if you will a “POD” system they deliver to your driveway (only longer). We are all of seven feet wide by twenty feet long (thank goodness my roommates are on my team). Showers and latrine are down the hall - the Private has been notified that he can not just crap wherever he wants. We gotta live here!

He is kind of upset that, coming from winery, there is no alcohol anywhere (hell, we don’t even have a vineyard...) Again, I told the Private to embrace the suck (a very common theme around here….) We stay very busy and with that being said, there may be a week or two where we won’t be around. But next week…….he gets to visit the cigar bar……… SGT F.

Well, THAT should be interesting! Stay tuned for next week's episode!

Time Posted: Jun 6, 2012 at 6:03 PM
El Jefe
 
April 28, 2012 | El Jefe

Have You Voted Yet?

Voting is now open for "Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner"!

Vote for your favorite rubber chicken here!

El Jefe
 
April 14, 2012 | El Jefe

Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner FAQ #3

Yes, out.

You don't have to go to a restaurant, you don't have to go to a fast food joint, you don't have to dress up, you don't have to go someplace and swing around on a pole...

But you do need to leave the house and go someplace. It can be a five-star restaurant, or it can be a friend's house.

Just *%#&@! GO!

Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner - How to enter!

(That's quite the swinging chicken there... photo by 2010 finalist Alissa Hartwig.)

El Jefe
 
April 4, 2012 | El Jefe

Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner FAQ #2

Your rubber chicken does not have to be rubber, but it does have to be a chicken, and it does have to look somewhat rubber-like. It does not have to be an Original Recipe Twisted Oak Rubber Chicken (though it wouldn't hurt either.) In a pinch you can even even use a flat cutout of a picture of a rubber chicken for your rubber chicken.

Just take it out to dinner and take a *%#&@! picture!

Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner Rules!

(We're not sure what this rubber chicken is actually made of... photo by 2011 finalist Danielle Dearing.)

Time Posted: Apr 4, 2012 at 11:47 AM
El Jefe
 
April 2, 2012 | El Jefe

Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner FAQ #1

fluffy guy gabriel iglesias....Dinner?

OK, we can't tell from your photo whether you are having breakfast for dinner (or dinner for breakfast, for that matter).

So... of course, it doesn't matter what the food is or what time of day. Take your rubber chicken out for a meal, take some pictures, and have fun. (And if you have this Fluffy Guy in your dinner party, be sure to bring extra cake.)

(Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner ends April 23rd! Details at www.twistedoak.com/tyrctd)

Time Posted: Apr 2, 2012 at 1:08 PM
El Jefe
 
March 29, 2012 | El Jefe

Announcing: Take Your Rubber Chicken to Dinner!

Take Your Rubber Chicken To Dinner starts now and ends April 23rd. This should give you plenty of time to visit Yelp and other web sites to determine which restaurants are rubber-chicken-friendly. Plenty of time.

(2011 Take Your Rubber Chicken to Work Week winning photo by Tina Caputo)

Ready to go? Just a few simple rules:

  1. Go to someplace to eat, not your own home, and take your rubber chicken with you. (This seems obvious, doesn't it?)
  2. The rubber chicken(s) (you may take more than one) must be made of some rubber-like compound (does it stretch a little? bingo!) and must look like a chicken (absolutely no *%#&@! duckies!) It does not have to be a Twisted Oak Original Recipe Rubber Chicken. But it wouldn't hurt either.
  3. Take pictures or video of your rubber chicken at dinner. Pro tip: One good picture is more likely to win than a bunch of average pictures. Please just send your best, we recommend sending six or less. (We also reserve the right to select a few of your many for the voting.) Another hint: FOCUS!
  4. Send us your high resolution photo(s) or video (email rubber@twistedoak.com), or post them up someplace and send us an email telling us where they are. (Hint: if you post them, make sure they are publicly accessible! You may even choose to post them on the wall of the Twisted Oak Facebook page.)
  5. You have until April 23rd (that's 11:59pm PDT if you MUST get technical) to send us your entry. We will acknowledge your entry. If you don't hear back from us in a day or two, panic.
  6. Fabulous compensation will be awarded for the best photos and videos submitted. The Twisted Judges will select a number of semifinalists, and the best entry will be chosen by public vote. If there is a tie in the final voting the best entry will be chosen by Twisted Oak Winery staff. (Hey, it could happen.)
  7. Submissions will be judged for humor, originality, humor, creativity, humor, and technique. Did we mention humor?
  8. You must be 21 years or older to enter.
  9. By sending your photos or videos to Twisted Oak Winery LLC, you agree to let us publish them to twistedoak.com and to our social media, and publish them in any printed matter. We don't expect this permission to be exclusive, and we can't and won't transfer that permission to anyone else without asking you first. And when we do publish your photos and/or videos, we will always give you full credit. That's forever.
  10. Twisted Oak Winery reserves the right to disqualify any entry that does not meet the spirit of the event, is a no-no where you live, or does not follow the rules. We also reserve the right to disqualify any votes that are determined to constitute ballot stuffing. Play nice!
  11. Twisted Oak Winery is not responsible for bad food, bad service, bad wine choices, overcooked meat, mushy peas, or the tab for dinner. That's on you. Besides, this is supposed to be fun!

And the compensation? All qualified entries will receive a $10 MasterCluck gift card, which can be used to order wine online at twistedoak.com. Finalists will receive a $75 MasterCluck gift card, and the best entry will receive a $250 MasterCluck gift card!

Questions? Email rubber@twistedoak.com

A little disclaimer: Twisted Oak Winery LLC compensates photographers for good work, for use in its marketing efforts. Compensation is in the form of "store credit". We hope that's clear enough.

[Updates] More info:

FAQ #1: It doesn't have to be dinner food.
FAQ #2: It just has to look like a rubber chicken.
FAQ #3: You do have to leave the house.

Time Posted: Mar 29, 2012 at 4:41 PM