First off, I’m going to North Carolina this Friday for a big gathering at Quail ridge books, and I’m really looking forward to meeting all the awesome folks of North Carolina, and the excellent crew responsible for the rising star (with good reason!) of the Speculative Fiction Magazine Marketplace: BULL SPEC. (www.bullspec.com)
Last night, my fiancee was off work, so we took the opportunity to take care of some pressing business. First, I tried my first Durien. Neither one of us had any idea what it would be like. We were at the Farmer’s Market in DeKalb County, buying fancy local honey, and we noticed some frozen Durian hiding in the back of the fruit section. We decided to give it a shot.
At her mom’s house, with no idea of how bad of an idea this was, we cracked it open and took a taste. The smell was just as bad as everyone says it is, and even worse: It lingers! The taste was like eating rancid custard, complete with strange fibrous skin-like things that were reminiscent of bacterial goo. Awful. Just awful. People eat that on purpose? WHY?
And the smell… We sealed up what we could not eat. We lit incense. We apologized to Angie’s mom, who walked in to her own house not expecting the release of such an awful thing unto the kitchen.
Angie liked the fruit a little, but not by itself. She thought it would need to be in a fruit salad, with pineapple and other bright, sweet things to cut the rotten egg flavor. Personally, I thought it was one of the most odious foods ever placed inside of my mouth and swallowed. The only good thing I can say is that it is clearly — surprisingly — edible, because what I tasted went down smooth and easy and never even made my stomach grumble a little. As bad as it was, it didn’t trigger a gag reflex, somehow, which most things that foul tasting would trigger. So, if you’re starving in a jungle and about to die, be sure to know what a durian is. It won’t kill you. It will just make you wish it wasn’t food. Other then that, avoid the durian whenever possible, and never let anyone convince you that’s a delicious treat. No. It is gross.
Second, I was going to go to a local writer’s group that meets up just to write, but we were running low on time to make mead, and we are hoping to make much of the alcohol for our wedding, so we need to get on that pretty quick! Alas, boiling the three gallons of water in the giant stainless steel pot after cleaning and sanitizing everything takes a while, and we were up until about eleven getting it all done. That’s another week where I mean to go to this writing group, and get dragged into another pressing project. Next week! Next week, I’ll try! I’m leading the busy life of a freelance writer/graduate student/soon-to-be-groom! Things just get crazier and crazier as I take on and complete projects. I don’t know why things never seem to settle down. I guess I’m just too much rock&roll to ever let anything settle down!
Third, we started our first mead! Hooray! We’re making a simple sack mead with local wildflower honey. We had the help of Angie’s mom, who used to make all kinds of wine and clearly knew what she was doing. We also had the help and recipe from this book for a basic sack mead: