Archive for January, 2015

PAWSI am a great admirer of service dogs. There is a special place in heaven for service dogs and those who train and support them. We can all help provide service dogs to those in need by supporting organizations like 4 Paws for Ability, who are committed to “Providing Service Dogs to Children Worldwide.”

About 4 Paws for Ability: “4 Paws for Ability enriches the lives of children with disabilities by training and placing quality, task-trained service dogs. This provides increased independence for the children, and assistance to their families. And 4 Paws also works with veterans from recent conflicts who’ve lost the use of their limbs or their hearing while in active combat. In all cases, the results speak for themselves.”

Learn more about 4 Paws for Ability and how you can support them here.

FF: The Wood & Faulk Official Camp Stool

CAMPI love the simplicity of the classic camp stool. The best stools are made by hand with a few sticks and some canvas for the seat. But if you want to go full on luxury – I guarantee you can’t do better than the Wood & Faulk Official Camp Stool I found from the fine folks at Wolves Within.

About the Wood & Faulk Official Camp Stool from Wolves Within: “A tripod camping stool that’s destined to become a modern classic. Constructed of ash hardwood and English bridle leather, this item is as beautiful as it is useful. Comes with leather carrying strap. Made in USA.”

See all the great products from Wolves Within here.

FF: The Classic Sourdough Bread mix from Soberdough Brew Bread

SOBERI love making bread but not really from scratch. My bread baking machine is one of my most used kitchen appliances and I will try any shortcut to bake bread fresh at home. Occasionally I find a mix that I just need to rave about – as is the case with the Classic Sourdough Bread mix I found from the fine folks at Nashville-based Soberdough Brew Bread.

About the Classic Sourdough Bread mix from Soberdough Brew Bread: “This is the mix that started it all. A comfort bread. The Original packs the perfect balance of contrast between sweet and salty. A moist, dense texture to enjoy with any meal. Have fun baking this bread with any variety of beer you desire.”

Learn more about Soberdough Brew Bread and see all their fine products here.

AspenWhen I am a house guest at my dear friend Lynda’s house I feel right at home. She is a great hostess and I love staying in her charming home. One of my favorite things about staying at her house is how perfectly curated her guest room is. There are always freshly cut flowers on the bureau and a stack of specially picked books on the nightstand.

Also on the nightstand is a wonderful water carafe and glass set – which is the perfect bedside accessory for any guest room and I love it. I have been on the search for my own bedside water set to bring a little of Lynda’s charm into my own home. I think I may be close now that I found the Aspen Carafe and Tumblers from Bambeco.

About the Aspen Carafe and Tumblers from Bambeco: “Pour yourself a drink! Our Aspen Carafe Large is handcrafted with recycled glass bottles from a certain famous Atlanta-based cola company. Look closely and you’ll see a hint of its former life in the slight greenish tint of these clear glass carafes. The mouth of the carafe is sized just right to hold our Aspen Tumbler. Each piece is handmade by skilled artisans in a fair trade environment and will hold 40 ounces of your favorite beverage.”

See all the fine “sustainable living” products of Bambeco here.

tcfMy admiration for Winston Churchill is well documented in my posts here over the years. I have talked about visiting various Churchill-related sites and landmarks on my visits to London, a visit the Churchill Museum in Missouri, and the many books I have read on the man. Now comes a new book about Churchill, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by the charismatic mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

There are more books about Churchill than just about any other subject from the 20th century and I thought that maybe I was not up for reading another one. However, I was intrigued by how someone like Mayor Johnson would present his subject as a leading politician in the land that Churchill ruled and arguably saved. My curiosity paid off as Mr. Johnson does indeed present us with a view of the great man from his unique perspective.

About The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson: “From London’s inimitable mayor, Boris Johnson, the story of how Churchill’s eccentric genius shaped not only his world but our own. On the fiftieth anniversary of Churchill’s death, Boris Johnson celebrates the singular brilliance of one of the most important leaders of the twentieth century. Taking on the myths and misconceptions along with the outsized reality, he portrays—with characteristic wit and passion—a man of contagious bravery, breathtaking eloquence, matchless strategizing, and deep humanity. Fearless on the battlefield, Churchill had to be ordered by the king to stay out of action on D-Day; he pioneered aerial bombing and few could match his experience in organizing violence on a colossal scale, yet he hated war and scorned politicians who had not experienced its horrors. He was the most famous journalist of his time and perhaps the greatest orator of all time, despite a lisp and chronic depression he kept at bay by painting. His maneuvering positioned America for entry into World War II, even as it ushered in England’s post-war decline.”

One of the most fascinating things about Churchill that comes out in this book, is how much he accomplished in his life. He managed to do all the things we know about – like being Prime Minister during World War II – and managed to publish scores of books and other treatises at the same time. Likewise, I am amazed that Mr. Johnson can run one of the world’s greatest cities in the world and still find the time to write a book like this – and I don’t seem to be able to find the time to change my sheets.

The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History by Boris Johnson is available from Amazon and other fine booksellers.

PENAlthough much of the nation is covered in a lot snow, the thought of spring is in the air as baseball’s spring training is only a few weeks away.

I love baseball and can’t wait for the season to start. In the meantime, I am really geeking out on some vintage baseball-inspired items I found from the fine folks at the Huntington Baseball Co.

Like this vintage-look Boston pennant

About the Boston pennant from Huntington Baseball Co.: “Whether on the ground at Bunker Hill, or on the world’s most beautiful diamond, the flags won in Boston are hard-fought. Our carmine tribute to the Hub is 100% wool, hand cut and hand sewn in the USA.”

PEN2…and their like their signature vegetable tanned leather baseballs.

About the Huntington Baseball Co.’s signature vegetable tanned leather baseballs: “A backyard classic, crafted from American vegetable tanned leather which we hand cut and hand sew in-house in Massachusetts. All leather gets better with age, and this is particularly true of vegetable tanned leather. The more you use it, and please do, the better it looks, feels, and smells (admit it, it’s the first thing you do). Our vegetable tanned baseballs feature hand dyed and oiled hides sewn with grey waxed linen thread. To complete the look and feel, we took our new 1930s inspired Official League stampings and had a brass embossing die created in place of the typical ink stamps. Available in Natural or Tobacco colored leathers hand sewn with grey waxed linen thread.”

Learn more about the Huntington Baseball Co. here.

Shop the fine products of the Huntington Baseball Co. here.

MCWOne of the great trends in the fine spirits world these days is all the great small batch and artisan distilleries that are producing great bourbons and whiskeys all over the country – like McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey from Portland, OR-based Clear Creek Distillery.

About McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey: “McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is of the Islay tradition of Scotch whisky. Of well-known single malts from Scotland, it resembles the Lagavulin whisky. It is very peat-y. Made from 100% peat-malted barley brought in from Scotland, our whiskey would be a single malt Scotch if Oregon were Scotland. We distill in our Holstein pot stills using one pass distillation, but make a small ‘heads’ cut and a fairly large “tails” cut and put about 4 liters of tails into the next still run. The proof at time of distillation is about 150 (75% abv). Then we reduce in proof and barrel-age the rough distillate in barrels made from air-dried Oregon Oak. The present bottling is aged 3 year but we think it is remarkably smooth for such a young whiskey. The result is a smooth, peat-y whiskey with a surprisingly clean finish. Production is very limited because what we put in the barrel doesn’t come out for years.”

McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey is a product of Clear Creek Distillery: “A genuine artisan distillery reflects the best of the natural and agricultural resources of its region. Clear Creek Distillery has succeeded in doing this, making world-class eau de vie and grappa since 1985. At Clear Creek we have married European traditional brandy-making techniques with the finest fruit from Pacific Northwest orchards to produce fruit eaux de vie, grappas, and wine brandy. We use the traditional European pot still along with techniques learned in Alsace and Switzerland. No colors or flavors are ever added to our brandies. The distinctive “nose”, or initial smell of the brandy in a snifter, is the result of careful fermentation and distillation of perfectly ripe fruit. You will taste only the clear and fiery essence of the Pacific Northwests finest fruits.”

From where I sit (in relatively mild Kansas City) I think a nice bottle of whiskey like this is the perfect antidote to the big blizzard facing all my friends back in New England.  Cheers and be safe y’all!

Learn more about McCarthy’s Oregon Single Malt Whiskey and find a distributor near you here.

Learn more about Clear Creek Distillery here.

BBSI found the perfect treat to make on a Sunday afternoon in winter – this recipe for bourbon balls I found from Garden & Gun magazine.

As the tag line in the magazine says: “What’s not to love about bourbon, chocolate, and pecans?”

Bourbon Balls are a Southern Classic and Garden & Gun’s recipe comes from Rhonda Ruckman, executive pastry chef of Herbsaint, Cochon Butcher, Calcasieu, and Pêche in New Orleans.

These bourbon balls are sure to please just about anyone in your life and you may be tempted to bring a tray of them to your favorite seaside stationery store proprietor.

Find the recipe for Bourbon Balls from Garden & Gun here.

Find all the awesomeness that is Garden & Gun magazine here.

Winter is in full swing for most of the US with cold weather and snow in the forecast. I can’t think of a better way than spending a cold winter’s night than by sitting near the fireplace drinking whiskey and making s’mores.

FF: Troy & Sons Oak Reserve: “America’s Finest Aged Moonshine Whiskey”

TROYThe fine folks at the Ashville Distilling Company call their Troy & Sons Oak Reserve “America’s Finest Aged Moonshine Whiskey.” Who am I to disagree?

About Troy & Sons Oak Reserve from the Ashville Distilling Company: “Our Oak Reserve is mellowed in bourbon barrels, bringing forth flavors of caramel and sweet white oak and further enhancing the trademark smoothness you expect from Troy & Sons. Like our Troy & Sons Platinum, our Oak Reserve is made with heirloom white corn and pure Appalachian spring water, and the charred oak barrel lends a tawny gold color, warm and comforting as our Reserve itself.”

Learn more about Troy & Sons Oak Reserve here.

Visit the Ashville Distilling Company online here.

FF: The S’mores Kit from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery

SMOREOK, everybody likes making s’mores even if they don’t like eating them. If you are like me, you are on a lifelong quest to make that elusive perfect s’more. Well, the fine folks at from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery have at least made the gathering of quality ingredients easier with their S’mores Kit.

About S’mores Kit from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery: “You know we fully and proudly represent our home the NW. This awesome kit is an homage to both the Girl Scouts and the many, many camping trips we’ve been on in the smoky, drippy Northwest forest! We’ve taken the classic backwoods treat and turned it into an elegant dessert made with high-quality, organic ingredients. Inside the kit is 12 homemade graham crackers, a bar of sophisticated smoked chocolate (for the full campfire effect,) and 6 corn syrup-free homemade marshmallows.”

Find the Smoked Chocolate Chips from Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery here.

Learn more about Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery here.

VSOUPI love soup! I guess that is not surprise to my loyal Lost Cowboy readers as I have featured many soup recipes over the years. There is nothing like making a nice soup on a chilly day. However, sometimes I don’t want to do all the work. When this happens I turn to my favorite soup mix – the Vegetable Soup Mix from Bob’s Red Mill.

About the Vegetable Soup Mix from Bob’s Red Mill: “Our Vegi Soup Mix is made from an exceptional blend of delicious ingredients. We combine wholesome green and yellow split peas, barley, lentils and flavorful alphabet vegetable pasta bits made from wheat flour, spinach and tomato. As the soup cooks, the lentils and split peas break down a bit, giving this soup a thick, hearty consistency perfect for a meatless meal any day of the week.”

Bob’s Red Mill’s Vegetable Soup Mix is super easy to make and is absolutely delicious. I make the soup using chicken stock instead of the water the directions call for and it makes for a nice hearty soup. This soup is best when made fresh – but I have made large batches and put meal-sized portions in the freezer and it comes back to life really well.

I am a big fan Bob’s Red Mill’s products and the Vegetable Soup Mix is right up there.

Learn more about Bob’s Red Mill here.

CHESTChristmas is long past now, but there is still plenty of reasons to roast chestnuts – the perfect pastime for a winter’s night by the fire.

I just love the smell of roasting chestnuts and have often just placed a few on the fire or on top of the hot wood stove just to get the aroma. But there is a better way to roast chestnuts – with the Signature Chestnut Roaster from Jacob Bromwell.

About the Signature Chestnut Roaster from Jacob Bromwell: “Carefully constructed in small batches and with authentic materials, our handmade chestnut roaster provides even heat distribution to easily cook savory chestnuts over a fireplace or campfire. Chestnuts are known to have a buttery, meaty flavor, and our chestnut roaster was designed to create a nostalgic chestnut roasting experience for fun lovers of all ages. Recapture the magic of years gone by with this American classic, and start a new holiday family tradition.”

See all the cool products – signature and otherwise – of Jacob Bromwell here.