I love my coworkers: giant trophy edition

My boss messaged me about a month ago as he was editing one of my reports to tell me that he had “completed the most complex formatting feat of all time” in Microsoft Word, as he probably felt his talents were going unnoticed.

Naturally, I then e-mailed most of the people that report to him (subject line: “best idea ever”) and got them all to pitch in for a giant custom trophy in recognition of his feat. Yes, that is a golden computer on top.

Trophy
Photo_14
We had to assemble the trophy in secret and then hide it under a sheet in the storage closet. This was weeks ago.

We were finally able to take this bad boy out of hiding today as our boss walked away from his desk. He came back to me blaring “Eye of the Tiger” and all of us slow-clapping. He said it was the highlight of his career so far and eventually laugh-cried into a nearby hoodie. Then he left abruptly and sent a thank you e-mail:

“Gotta leave early to compose myself…thanks! 12 years of formatting pays off!”

Valuable lessons from today that I will teach my future children or cats:
  1. Sometimes it takes 12 years to get recognized for something.
  2. Always take jokes as far as possible.
  3. People love trophies. Three feet max though. Let’s not be ridiculous here.

 

Making mead!

Adding to the list of things I can blame on Skyrim, Kevin convinced me to help him make mead tonight. We watched a few videos and then mostly relied on this recipe: http://www.stormthecastle.com/mead/fast-cheap-mead-making.htm. It was one of the few recipes that made it sound okay to use regular active dry yeast. Otherwise we would have had to order special mead/wine yeast online, and our mead-making needs were too urgent for that.

The most annoying but necessary part of the whole process was sanitizing all of the equipment with bleach. Apparently the guideline is 1 tablespoon of bleach per gallon of water, but who can keep track and since when did bleach ever hurt anybody? We used a glass carboy (new word!) and a giant bucket, so the bath tub had to get involved.

Img_1593

We started by mixing together about 1.5 gallons of spring water, 4.5 pounds of honey, one sliced orange, and some orange peels.

Img_1592

We added about 50 disgusting raisins* and then finally a half an ounce of active dry yeast that I first activated in warm water. The final amount of liquid was about 2 gallons.

Img_1595

After everything was combined, it had to be mixed pretty aggressively for aeration. This is definitely Kevin’s hand.

Img_1604

Once we mixed everything, we had to transfer it to a glass carboy with an airlock (or fermentation lock) that would allow the carbon dioxide to be released.

Img_1605

The transfer was taking so long that I could feel myself aging, so we got crafty with a nearby basket to avoid holding the carboy up the whole time.

Img_1606

We put some vodka in the airlock to prevent contamination (or something) and then placed the mead in its rightful place in the living room.

Img_1607

After about two weeks we’ll need to transfer the mead to smaller jugs and then let it sit and develop flavor over the course of several months. Right now it’s just blooping as bubbles are being produced, which will be fun to listen to until it starts driving us insane.

The whole process has been fun so far but I’m going to be devastated if I wait six months and end up with yeasty honey water. I’ll also be pretty upset if I poison my friends with it, but I’ll cross that manslaughter bridge when I get there. I’ll keep you posted.

 

 

*As some of you may already know, raisins are my arch-nemeses, as they ruin the flavor and texture of many things I love to eat. However, the recipe was very serious about including raisins to feed the yeast, so I gave in.

Tiny Kitchen Improvements

I have slowly been changing things around in my kitchen because I love it and want to spend all my time in there and once took a day off of work to make chili.

These things are absolutely essential to my kitchen-related happiness:

  • Mason jars of various sizes for dry goods, nuts, etc.

Jars

I’ve also used a half-pint mason jar to make a shaker for this delicious popcorn seasoning recipe I took from the Seventh Day Adventist Church (http://lads.t1005.com/popcorn.asp). Just take a screwdriver (or knife) and a hammer and violently poke holes in the lid of the jar.

  • A lazy susan reserved for hot sauce.

Photo-4

  • A sweet spice rack, preferably an imperfect one that you’ve made yourself. 

Photo-3

Or you can just buy a magnetic spice rack. I had fun making one, but the difference in cost is negligible.

    • A good collection of rarely-used cookbooks, making sure to have a few funny ones

    Book

    • A stuffed animal of unknown origin sitting on a shelf reserved for alcohol

    Monkey

     

    I’m sure there’s more but I’ll stop there for now.