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Hielo del Diablo

My buddy and frequent co-conspirator Dr. Jones came out to the lake for a couple days. We mostly relaxed on a hot and sunny weekend, but there was some formidable work to do. The Dr. needed to prepare a special summer cocktail for an annual family competition. His entry last year was a yummy-looking Gin Smoothie, and it was clear he'd need a similarly inspired entry this year if he had any hopes of holding his own.

After fueling up on a Huevos Rancheros brunch, and a long bracing swim, we set to work. We were somewhat unprepared, and constrained by our remote location, thirty minutes drive from any shopping. We set up a makeshift with what we had on-hand. We had no way of knowing when we began, but the absence of pineapple would prove especially troublesome. We initially intended to perform a number of small iterative experiments, but after engaging in some some speculative and spirited theoretical discussions our work concentrated into three significant and distinct phases.

Round One: Zombie-ish. One part each of rum, gin, and tequila. Large glass filled with ice, juice of a lime, top up with orange juice, garnish with frozen blueberries.

Round Two: Mango Plátano Tequila. For two large drinks... 3 oz Tequila. 5 tblsp coconut milk, 1 cup frozen mangoes, half a banana, a spoonful of honey, 2 cups of ice in a blender. Delicioso! This was a keeper! But I think we reached the highest level with...

Round Three: Hielo del Diablo ("The Devil's Ice"). [Seen above.] This was based on an appetizer in the cookbook Jump Up and Kiss Me. This one takes some time, overnight is best.

1) Mix two limes, one cup of frozen mango, one cup of orange juice in a blender. Pour into a freezer-proof container, freeze for two hours (so it is just starting to freeze).
2) Stem, seed, and finely mince one or two large jalapeños (or serranos if you are a little bolder) and stir them into the semi-frozen mixture.
3) Freeze mixture overnight. It will then be rock hard. (if you can't do it overnight, you probably need at least two more hours of freezing before serving.) When you are ready to consume The Devil's Ice, let it thaw for an hour or so, and mix it with a fork until it has firm slushy texture.
4) Fill a martini (or equivalent) glass with Hielo del Diablo, and add a shot (or so…) of tequila. I'm sure this would also work with many other liquors -- we need to perform more experiments! Mix and enjoy. Optional garnish: frozen blueberries (seen in photo).

Hielo del Diablo is literally a cool thing to use as a cocktail mix, or serve as a unique appetizer or inter-course palate cleanser. Could probably be combined with all sorts of things. Perfect on a hot day.

My first, and probably only Banksy spotting in the wild

I was walking to an anti-Iraq War march in London, I think late September 2002, and remember thinking, "wow, the British anti-war marches are way bigger, and even their graffiti is amazing!" I had no idea who Banksy was at this point, and even when I started seeing his stuff it took me a while to make the connection back to this photo.

Four pounds of heart

It took a while to cut down, but I felt a deep sense of satisfaction, knowing there are few things I can do that Dexter will appreciate more.