Gratitude Monday for the Big Week of Gratitude here in the United States, Thursday being the giorno di tutti giorni of gratitude. So I’ll ease into it.
I’m very fortunate to have been invited back for Thanksgiving dinner with friends. My contribution to the festivities will be a couple of pies. So, I’ve been frantically trawling the Interwebz for recipes, and then perusing my gleanings in search of something both traditional and interesting.
A couple of my finds required bourbon, which I do not have. So, on Friday, on a huntin’ trip to McLean (a community blessed with both old and new money, the operative term being “lots of money”) for suet (a story for perhaps another post), I went to the McLean ABC store.
(ABC, in case you do not live in a benighted state, stands for Alcoholic Beverage Control, which is the agency in the Commonwealth of Virginia that runs the only liquor stores in the state. Up until just a few decades ago, you couldn’t buy booze legally here at all. Because God. Then, once the legislature decided that, well, okay, maybe God—and the Baptists—was okay with spirits, they determined that the only appropriate outlet should be controlled by the state. Because revenues. And here we are, entirely at the mercy of what some centralized, Baptist-Methodist bureaucracy decides Virginians should drink, if they’re hell-bent on drinking anything by sweetened iced tea.)
Well, the McLean store moved across the street from where it used to be. Seems like a larger space, and the manager—in a considerable upgrade from the usual good ol’ boy reeking of tobacco exudates whose idea of likker is Virginia Gentleman with a Bud chaser. (Or the newer group, who appear to be from South Asia. And also have no notion of their merchandise.)
Okay, but I went in armed with a list of recommendations from my spiritous adviser. And the manager was very helpful indeed. Buffalo Trace, as it turns out, disappears off the shelves within a day of arrival, but choices two and three—Eagle Rare and Larceny—were available. The manager had a couple of comments on both, which indicates that he at least knew his stock.
I also splurged on a bottle of Calvados, which I have not had since a trip to France in the last century. I thought the holidays a good time to revisit that. Again, the manager was au fait with this—calva, too, disappears quickly, so I was glad to snag this one.
It remains to be seen whether I’ll particularly like either of the bourbons, but they’re good quality, and my guiding principle is that you don’t cook with anything you wouldn’t drink. And I’m grateful for the opportunity to venture out a little into the spirit world.
Let the baking commence!