The Shape of Things – #SoCS

It’s Saturday, and despite the fact that is snowed yesterday, spring is marching in like a warrior horde. You and I feel a little guilty for knocking off the yard work early, but this it the best time to visit the bar – before the crowd. We are ready to toast the passing of another week, and wrestle with Linda G. Hill’s fun Stream of Consciousness Saturday prompt.

“Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is ‘mash.’ Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!”

If we were having a beer, Skippy would be struggling with your bourbon.

“Hi Dan. Have a seat. I haven’t seen Cheryl yet.”

“And, you’re not going to see her – surprise, David!”

“Hello Skippy. To what do we owe the honor of your service?”

“Wow, you guys really talk weird. If you’re wondering what happened to Cheryl, she’s watching her grandchildren or something.”

“Lucky them. Maybe next time, you could watch her grandchildren and she could work her normal shift.”

“That’s funny, David. I actually suggested that, I do some babysitting on the side. She said something about not letting me walk her dog. In any case, what’ll it be gents?”

“Wait, ‘what’ll it be gents?’ And you say we talk funny, Skippy.”

“I heard one of the other bartenders say that, Dan. I thought it sounded, well, to use a term you might understand, cool.”

“Perhaps from the other bartender. In any case, I’d like a Corona.”

“And David, I assume you want the curious collection known as the John Howell’s Special?”

“Indeed I do, Skippy.”

“Maybe you should update your slang, Dan. Apparently, cool is making you look old.”

“I’ll stick with what I know, David. I thought the new word was ‘lit’ but I can’t see myself using it.”

“Here’s your Corona, Dan. Lit was in, then out, then back in, but yeah, you should probably stick with cool.”

“Um, Skippy?”

“David, unfortunately, I spilled your bourbon. I have to get another bottle from the basement unless you’d care for something in a normal bottle?”

“Pot Still Bourbon, Skippy, Pot Still.”

“You know he doesn’t understand that, David.”

“He doesn’t understand anything, Dan. It’s why Cheryl won’t let him walk her dog.”

“Okay, David. Here’s your bourbon, your snifter full of seltzer and your glass of ice. I have to get some new cherries.”

“Thank you, Skippy. Why do you have to get new cherries?”

“Cause that’s where I spilled the bourbon.”

“I’ll take those.”

“Fine.”

“You want him to pour the juice in a separate glass, David? It looks like he spilled a bunch of bourbon in there.”

“Here you go, six bourbon-soaked cherries on a plate. Put them wherever you want.”

“How did you spill so much bourbon, Skippy?”

“It’s this stupid bottle. It’s unwieldy. The bottom is so heavy, it’s hard to know where I’m pointing the top. Where did they come up with this ridiculous shape, anyway?”

“Pot still, Skippy.”

“You said that before, David. Is that supposed to mean something, or is that some boomer expression that I’ve never heard?”

“The bottle is the shape of the copper pot still in which the mash is cooked, and the bourbon distilled.”

“Huh? Mash? Like mashed potatoes?”

“No, like sour mash. It’s the stuff bourbon is made from.”

“So, this stuff is sour? I don’t know, I prefer vodka.”

“No, Skippy. Bourbon isn’t sour. Sour mash refers to the mixture of grain, water, and yeast that is initially fermented to produce alcohol.”

“They mix it in a thing that looks like this bottle?”

“Sigh…no Skippy. The bottle is a scale replica of the still.”

“What’s a still?”

“Dan, you explain this to him. I can’t stand the frustration.”

“So you want me to suffer, David.”

“Suffer? Hardly, Dan. You love explaining things that the rest of the world is comfortable not knowing. It’s like your happy place.”

“You do have a point. Skippy, do you understand what distilled water is?”

“Yeah, it’s the stuff my mother puts in her iron.”

“Do you know how they make it?”

“They make water? I thought water just is.”

“Yes, but the reason your mother doesn’t want to put tap water in her iron, is because all the dissolved salts will accumulate inside and clog up the steam holes.”

“I don’t know much about irons, Dan.”

“Yes, I’m not surprised, I see your shirt. Anyway, to make distilled water, they boil regular water, run it through a pipe, for lack of a better term, and condense it back into pure water.”

“Okay. But what does that have to do with bourbon?”

“To make bourbon, they boil sour mash in a copper pot, one that looks like that bottle, only much bigger, and they condense the vapor. The condensed vapor, is collected and aged and becomes bourbon.”

“No kidding?”

“Would I lie to you Skippy?”

71 comments

  1. I never knew that there were such things as black squirrels until I started following your blog. Native UK red squirrels are now confined to a few remote areas of Scotland, Wales & northern England and a few islands here and there, including the Isle of Wight off the south coast of England. Only a couple of hundred thousand of them left compared to umpteen million greys that were imported from the US in the 19th century.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Black squirrels have been on the move in the US, They are well established in southern New England now, certainly well established in our yard ;-) We still have tons of gray squirrels, too.

      Liked by 1 person

          1. We’ve chopped that sucker down to two feet. By the end of the growing season it’s back up to the roofline. And don’t get me started on the roots and baby shoots you can not pull up.
            😡

            Liked by 1 person

  2. SNOW?! Snow?! We usually get much the same weather you do, I hope this day is not going to be like yours. I despair of the education system. I know that some of this information is not vital to living a productive life but where did curiosity go? Why do people not care how things work? I am afraid curiosity is being bred out. And that would be a mistake. Love the squirrels!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are warming back up, Pam. I think this was a fluke blowing through from the west. I agree that we need to be curious. Why wouldn’t you want to know stuff? I hope you have a good weekend.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’m still not getting notifications, but I have Steffie working for me. You can run, but you can’t hide. Gorgeous photos, as always, of sky, blooms, and critters. Plus talk about Bourbon. This blog is MY happy place.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I can identify with Skippy. Sometimes that bottle lets loose of way too much bourbon, and then there is nothing left to do but drink it—great use of the prompt, Dan. I loved the photos, and it is nice to know Smokey is not alone. Thanks for the mention and explanation of the pot still bottle. I love this bar.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you liked this one, John. Sorry about the extra bourbon, but please don’t let it go to waste. Smokey has a bunch of friends now. Black, gray, blue (jays) and bunny. They all get along, as long as I don’t run out of peanuts.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I must confess, Dan, that I might have been in the same boat as Skippy about the distillation process if I had not gotten caught up watching a number of episodes of Moonshiners on television, which gave me a good introduction to stills and mash. It is great to see shots of New England in bloom–my Mom really loved forsythia and transplanted some from Massachusetts to Maine when my parent retired. I loved seeing so many Smokies, including two together. I chuckled when I saw the shot of Jinx in the “outfood”–perhaps it is a typo or maybe you have coined a new word for restaurants who have a special section of the menu for take-out. :)

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Happy Saturday, Dan. It’s always good to meet up with the gang here at the No Facilities Bar. Wow, spring really has sprung there, even with the snow. Beautiful shots. I’m still infatuated with that blue dome. Even though I know it’s the least important thing about this post, but I can’t help it — Holy cow! You PhotoShopped the label on the bourbon bottle? That had to be difficult. Nice work. Hugs on the wing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha. I did that last fall when John visited the bar. That did tax my photoshop abilities. I’m guessing you understand when working on an image takes longer than writing the post.

      I do like the Colt Dome. There are people around here who pick on me for using it so often, bug I don’t care. I’m glad you like it.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh, Dan….I could not imagine what the conversation would be like between Skippy and David if you were not there to referee. So nice of Skippy to use a word that you know: cool. ‘Lit?’ Never heard it. Mashed potatoes?! Let the good times roll!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. The next round is for Cheryl and not letting Skippy walk her dog. So where did you go to get that shot of the top of the whiskey barrel ? The bourbon trail ? Either that or a very very well stocked bar…

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I think Skippy is finally breaking through David’s hard shell, but you’ll always have the position of mediator between them. Lol.

    The pic of Smokey and the Bunny is really cute. The Smokin’ Twins…..what can I say? Love ’em. Good thing Maddie has her couch to relax on after inspecting all the forsythia making sure they are being properly cared for!

    Flowering Quince. What idiot developed this plant? What idiot would buy this plant and then be stupid enough to actually plant it? Oooo, that would be me! Loved them in the beginning years when “I” was in control of them. And then I lost control. I pruned it almost into extinction last fall, hoping it would walk away and be someone else’s problem. No such luck. Apparently it’s so embarrassed because it looks like a Sherman Tank ran over it, it’s producing more than usual flowers trying to cover itself up! I’m with Rivergirl. It’s definitely the bush from hell!

    Have a great weekend Dan.
    Ginger

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Maddie, the Smokeys and the bunny all say hi Ginger.

      One of the quince ran over and popped up a shoot in our neighbor’s yard. He was 94, so I had to remove it. What a pain. Then I butchered the three that we have. But, they are all blooming and they’re promising to grow back to where they were. I’m going to move any shoots that pop up into a line between us and the neighbors.

      I hope you’re staying warm this weekend.

      Like

  10. Brr snow to in April. We had a cool snap here, temps in the 60s today. Very nice and breezy. Made for good walking weather this morning. I must say bourbon soaked cherries sound delish. I still need to try that some time.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Splendid take on the prompt, Dan! Well, done. Love how David drew you into explaining things for those who aren’t in the know of important things like how bourbon is made. The lovely spring blooms will take the snow away. So I hear anyhow. I’m still waiting for blooms to arrive to prove that snow won’t come our way again. Cheers to another week of anticipating Spring!

    Liked by 1 person

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