Monday, February 07, 2005

Squash and Scotch

The delicata turned out nice — a little different from what we expected, but nice. I don't know if it was the variety of delicata (I think it was var. Sweet Dumpling) or what, but it didn't turn out as sweet as I'd thought it might. It also was a bit drier than I expected; Evelin and I thought the stuffing might have drawn some moisture out of the squash or something. In either case, the stuffing itself was pretty good: the portobella, onion, sage, and cranberry was a nice combination. There is some room for personalization, however; bread cubes or at least not as crumbed bread crumbs would have been nice, and I think it could have been moister going into the squash.

Karen suggested in the comments that I try delicata plain instead of in a recipe; if they have them at the market next week, maybe we will ...

After cooking dinner, I opened up and had the last dram or so of a 10-year-old Edradour "un-chillfiltered" scotch (bottle number 292 of 902, from cask number 743; distilled on 14 July 1992; bottled on 20 September 2002). It was a bittersweet drink, being the last of the bottle that Evelin and I bought at the distillery during our trip through the Highlands in October 2002. It was very nice, a bit peppery with a smooth finish. A splash of water would bring up vanilla and some spice and, because it wasn't chillfiltered, ice would cause it to cloud up.

I actually lost my wedding ring for a day because of that bottle of whisky. We'd left the bottle in my suitcase in the car overnight and it had gotten below freezing. While hanging out in the parking lot at Castle Urquhart waiting for the site to open when I decided to check the bottle to see if the overnight chill had caused the whisky to cloud.* It had, so I made a note to try to find out if this was just a cosmetic change or it if affected the taste, too.

Back in the car, Evelin and I were talking when I suddenly noticed my ring was gone. I wasn't sure where I'd last had it, so I started rummaging through the car, my suitcase, the trunk of the car (which was pretty small considering we were driving a Daewoo Matiz), the parking lot, ... — all to no avail. We then went back to the B&B we'd stayed in the night before (Urquhart Villa in Drumnadrochit, which was nice), and asked the owner to look through the room — again, no luck. We also stopped back by the TIC where we'd paused before heading to the castle — nada.

Long story short: It had slipped off my ring finger into my suitcase. I found it that night in Edinburgh while repacking things in preparation for the next morning's train ride back to London and the flight back to the States.

*Most whiskies have oils and substances in them that cause the whisky to haze or cloud when chilled to near or below 0°C. chillfiltering helps fine out those substances. Many believe it also strips out some taste; others argue it helps ensure consistency. I've had both chillfiltered and unchillfiltered whiskies and will have both again in the future.

It's just cosmetic.

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