Sunday, December 23, 2007

FAQ About Le Mixeur

note - this was originally written in September in anticipation of the first Mixeur.

Since extending the original invitation to Le Mixeur, a lot of people have approached me to say, "hey Ted, that sounds incredibly awesome, I just wish I knew a little more about Mixeurs...can you help me?"

Or something along those lines.

Well, you're all in luck, oh little inquisitive ones! For here we have...

Frequently Asked Questions about, Le Mixeur

Q: What makes a Mixeur so much cooler than a party?

A: The word Mixer is defined by the American Heritage dictionary as; “An informal dance or gathering arranged to give members of a group an opportunity to get acquainted.”

Party is defined as; “A social gathering especially for pleasure or amusement.”

Note the emphasis on interaction and communality in the definition of “Mixer,” and note further the emphasis on self-absorbed, hedonistic pursuit of personal pleasure implied in the definition of “party.”

Furthermore, other definitions of the word “party” include: An established political group organized to promote and support its principles and candidates; A person or group involved in a legal proceeding as a litigant; A selected group of soldiers.

Note the consistent themes of aggression, imperialism, and domination. None of these themes are present at Le Mixeur. From a linguistic standpoint, it is clear that parties=fascism . The hosts of Le Mixeur are not down with fascism.

Other definitions of “Mixer” include: a social person (“She's outgoing and a good Mixer!”); a device that blends or Mixes substances or ingredients; a nonalcoholic beverage used in Mixed drinks; one who Mixes the audio components of a recording; a device used to combine and adjust sounds from a variety of sources in order to create a final recorded audio product.

Note here the themes of integration, inclusiveness, and community. All of these themes are present at Le Mixeur. From a linguistic standpoint, Mixers=cuddly puppies and moonbeams. The hosts of Le Mixeur are down with puppies and moonbeams.

Q: I haven’t Mixed much in the past, will I feel silly trying to Mix with Mixers who are more experienced than me?

A: While it is helpful to have some skills in Mixing, Mixers are designed for all people to feel comfortable together. Those new to Mixing have the opportunity to learn from more advanced Mixers, and also Mix with those at a similar level to themselves in a non-judging, supportive environment.

Q: What are the basic Mixing procedures?

A: The Mixing procedures vary. However, there are several common basic rules. The fundamental rule is: “thou shalt never say 'no'" when asked to Mix. This rule is partially waived during certain procedures of Le Mixeur: if you have already Mixed with the person, you may smile to each other and skip that Mixer. The reasoning is that the basic purpose of the Mixeur — to make people Mix with many new friends — has the precedence. In some Mixing procedures, Mixers may get confused and miss another Mixer. Therefore, a "lost and found" place is designated where unmatched Mixers may find each other.

Q: If a Mixer Mixes in the forest, and no one is there to Mix, does the Mixer still Mix?

A: No

Q; How much Mix could a Mixer Mix if Le Mixeur's Mixers Mixed?

A: this post is over.

Glossary of Terms

Le Mixeur Glossary of Terms

Le Mixeur – this is our de facto brand name, or the name of the franchise, our company name, our corporate moniker.

Mixeur – this is the term used for any event put on by Le Mixeur. It can also refer to the person Mixing drinks at a Mixeur.

Mixers – this refers to the guests at any Mixeur. In earlier writings, Mixer was used to describe both the events and the guests. But to clarify, the events began to be called Mixeurs to distinguish them from those who Mix, the Mixers.

Mix – this can mean anything that dictionaries define as Mix. Within the context of Le Mixeur, it usually means to combine ingredients into a cocktail or to mingle and fraternize. No matter what the meaning, the word “Mix” will always be capitalized.

T. Mixeur – the stage name for Ted Munat, the central figure in the creation and implementation of Le Mixeur.

C. Mixeur – the stage name for Charles Munat, brother of T. Mixeur, creative consultant to Le Mixeur, contributor of tools and spirits, and, when needed, co-Mixeur.

Monday, December 17, 2007

You Too Can Fihimafihi!!!

Le Mixeur is strictly an open source program, and thus the process for making a Fihimafihi is no secret. Making a Fihimafihi requires multiple steps and preparation days in advance, and anyone willing to undertake such a craft and to exercise such patience deserves all the joy and pride that comes from imbibing a Fihimafihi of your own making. So without further adieu...

Making a Fihimafihi requires rosemary gin, ginger syrup, wine syrup, lemon juice, and egg white. We'll work our way backwards through this list.

Egg White
If you are concerned about potential food poisoning from consuming raw egg white, you can use pasteurized egg white. It usually takes about one tablespoon per drink. If you are willing to throw caution to the wind, though, a real egg white makes for much better texture and body to the drink, and provides a layer of foam across the top of the Fihimafihi that no rosemary garnish will ever sink through. I'll assume that all you Mixers know the technique for separating an egg white from its yolk. If not, ask a friend! And invite them to join you in the process too! It's fun to make Fihimafihis with pals!!

Lemon Juice
I am also going to assume that all you Mixers are aware of how to make fresh lemon juice. For making a Fihimafihi, the lemon juice should ideally be strained to rid it of pulp. A fine mesh metal strainer works best.

Wine Syrup
Wine syrup is made by cooking red wine with sugar. I use a 1:1 ratio of sugar to wine. It is often recommended that you use a fruity, light-bodied wine like a Merlot, but as Paul Giamatti said, "I am NOT drinking fucking Merlot!" I used a bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon that had been open for over a week and consequently was unappealing to drink. This seemed to make a very nice tasting syrup (specifically, it was 2004 Pike and Post and it was sitting in Lela's kitchen cabinet until she asked me if I could do anything with it). For sugar I used organic evaporated cane juice because, being finely granulated, it dissolves easily and it's not all icky like those refined white sugars.

Put the wine and sugar in a pot and cook over medium high heat, stirring from time to time. Get to just a light boil and then reduce the heat to simmer and let it go for about 10-15 minutes. The sugar should be completely dissolved and the wine should be slightly thickened. Let it cool in the pot for a while, then pour it into a jar or bottle with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate. It stays good for about 3 weeks, then it starts misbehaving - charging things on the internet with your credit card, eating all your condiments, combining proteins with carbs, voting Republican, etc.

Ginger Syrup
Thank god almighty for ginger syrup. So many wonderful things can be done with ginger syrup. I dump it into food I'm cooking when I don't no where else to go with it, I add it to failed drink experiments to salvage something at least drinkable, I smear it onto the door jams of my home so each time I come and go the fragrance is released, I sloppily apply it as lip balm so that some hardens to my upper lip and intoxicates me with its aroma all day...

And I make the world's greatest Fihimafihi with it too.

2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, a 3 inch piece of ginger peeled and cut into 6 pieces, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice. Putdat inna pot! Medium high heat, light boil, reduce to simmer...about 5 minutes. Spoon out the ginger - and for fun see if you can get all 6 pieces at once with a slotted spoon. Let it cool, putdat inna jar or bottle with a tight lid and refrigerate. Good for two weeks, then it will assassinate your Tamari sauce.

Rosemary Gin
This came about when I spaced out a recipe from Nick Mautone's book, Raising the Bar.

I came home with a bundle of rosemary and a bottle of gin, only to realize the recipe called for something called "vodka." I was not familiar with this spirit at the time, but apparently it is a neutral spirit that has as its primary goal to be without any flavor! What a novel concept! It seems we Americans just can't get enough of mass produced consumable goods without flavor, as evidenced by the fact that the stock at our local liquor stores is now approximately 95% vodka and 5% everything else in the world. The vodka options run from the $8 poor quality flavorless clear liquid to the $50 artisan crafted flavorless clear liquid. The choice is yours!

Anyway...It was kind of embarrassing to realize the recipe was for vodka because on the ride home I had kind of promised the gin that I was going to hook it up with the rosemary. In fact, I'd kind of been playing up the rosemary to the gin, and the gin had gotten pretty excited about it. I actually had started to worry that the gin would pop its cork before we even got home, but to its credit it held out.

So given this background there was no turning back, and I went ahead and made rosemary gin, and this here's how I done did it:

Take a 32 oz mason jar, put 4 branches of rosemary (each about 6 inches long) inside, add 2 ounces of boiling water, close the jar quickly, and shake. Let that sit for about 10 minutes, until the rosemary gets bright green and you can't stand to watch the poor little fellas suffer like that anymore. Open the jar, pour in about 4 ounces of ice cold water, listen for the sound of the rosemary saying "ahhhhh" then add 3 ounces dry vermouth and 1.5 ounces Pernod.

At this point the rosemary should be twitching its nose like a bunny rabbit and trying to place the herbal tones of the vermouth and Pernod, and the gin should be foaming at the mouth wondering when it gets its turn. Tell your gin its time has come and dump in as much as will fit in the jar. Close the jar and shake it all vigorously. Feel free to cackle maniacally at this stage, throwing your head back for added effect. Put the jar in a cool spot or in the fridge and let it steep for two days. After 48 hours, take out the rosemary, ask it if it has any last words. Assure it that it gave its life to a noble cause and that long after its body is gone it will continue to bring joy to a great many people. Call to it, "your essence had merged with the juniper, lavender, coriander, and whatever the fuck else they put in away rosemary, you are free at last!" Then toss it.

The rosemary gin will preserve longer if kept refrigerated - indefinitely in fact - but I like to Mix it at room temperature so its "melty action" (pardon the Mixological term) is the same as other spirits.

For gin, by the way, I used Broker's. Some have speculated that it would be worth it to spend 3 more dollars for Boodles, but I made it with Broker's and it worked with Broker's so I'm sticking guessed it...Broker's. The only problem is that I haven't figured out what I'm going to do with all those stupid little plastic derbies.

Mixing Your Fihimafihi

This is the easy part. Put a cup of ice into a cockail shaker and then add this:

2 1/4 ounces rosemary gin
3/4 ounce lemon juice
1/2 ounce ginger syrup
1 egg white

Shake that for about 10 seconds. Strain it into a cocktail glass.

Take a teaspoon of wine syrup and gently pour it into the center of the cocktail glass. It will nestle in the nook at the bottom.

Clip a small tuft of fresh rosemary and place it in the center of the glass. It should float on the layer of foam on top of your Fihimafihi. If your wine syrup floats on top of the foam and your rosemary tuft nestles in the glass's me, something has gone seriously wrong.

Then you drink it down. Contemplate this fine cocktail you have just prepared for yourself, and reach the inevitable conclusion - Fihimafihi (it is what it is).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Le Mixeur Deux Récapitulatif

Le mixeur Deux occurred without serious incident on Saturday, December 8, 2007. T. Mixeur employed several healing techniques in order to overcome a flu bug and rapidly create mystical drink potions for approximately 50 guests over a 4 hour period. C. Mixeur, elder brethren of T. Mixeur, wandered behind the bar to make himself a drink and ended up acting as co-conspirator for the duration of the evening's most intense hours. The demanding nature of the Mixing T. Mixeur and C. Mixeur undertook purged the remaining icky crummies from T. Mixeur's body, cemented T and C's Mixing bond, stirred up many revelations as to how to make Le Mixeur Trois more efficient and compelling, and most importantly made our honored Mixers happy and inebriated.

The Fihimafihi was once again a popular choice, and step by step instructions for how to make this drink will follow soon on this blog. Many Mixers conspired to derive enjoyment from L'amour en Fuite, an "off-menu" cocktail created by Jamie Boudreau of Vessel featuring the tantalizingly forbidden ingredient of Absinthe. An impromptu concoction featuring Schisandra berry vodka was also highly sought after. Woefully neglected were the drinks featuring Lillet and Dubonnet, which makes sense considering few of our Mixers had any reference as to what either of these are, and C. Mixeur and T. Mixeur had very little time to explain.

Above all else, the contributions of the Mixers to T. Mixeur's fund jar were of such generous nature that future Mixeurs are assured. At the very least there will be a Mixeur in April honoring the conclusion of Bastyr's winter term, and possibilities are strong that a Mixeur will visit you well before then. Momentum is galvanizing, this much we can feel in the air.

No photos? No. No photos. Where are the photos? I don't know. Do you have photos? Send us photos! Photos do not steal the soul, they simply prove that the soul existed in a certain form for one moment. This may damage the soul of those who claim the moment never existed and are then proven wrong by the photo, but such people need to endure such soul damage in order that they may learn from the mistakes and grow from the experience. So send photos so that all may benefit.

Soon To Come:

Fihimafihi From Start to Finish
FAQ about Le Mixeur
Glossary of Terms about Le Mixeur
How We Make Le Mixeur Happen

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Indicateur de Direction

Le Mixeur Deux is at 737 N. 80th St, Seattle, WA, 98103.

80th is a main artery running east/west in the Greenwood neighborhood.

Points of Orientation:

The house is located between Linden and Fremont Ave.
Linden is one long block west of Aurora Blvd/SR99
The house is on the South side of the street, to your left as you drive away from Aurora.

What You Will See:

There are a few houses in a row with tall wood fences. Le Mixeur Deux is the middle of these, the fence noticeably more worn, faded, and sloping (Japanese would call it "wabi") than the others.
The door to the fence of Le Mixeur will be ajar enough for you to pass through, and there will be a Mixeur hanging from it that looks like this:

Once inside the sanctum, follow your instincts as to how to enter the home. The answer should readily present itself to you.