ANDY FISH is a comic book artist, writer, painter, pop culture archaeologist and film historian. He has written and drawn numerous How To Art Books, Graphic Novels, Screenplays and Comic Books.
He lectures on art related subjects and even has a painting in the collection of the National Gallery in Washington DC.
This blog will attempt to focus on all manner of art, film and pop culture but don't hold much hope that it will stay focused.
He lives 40 miles outside of Boston MA with his artist wife Veronica Lane Fish.
Wednesday, March 12, 2014
But for the most part my rules on a good cup of coffee are simple;
1. HOT (unless I'm drinking Iced Coffee of course)
3. Fresh Fat Free Cream
You'd think with these simple requirements getting a decent cup of coffee would be simple eh?
Not so. In fact pouring boiling water through the fresh ground beans seems to be the thing places that have Coffee in their name can't seem to do right. I realized I spend close to $1000/year buying cups of coffee on the road and probably 2/3 of them are undrinkable and of the other 1/3 maybe 1/3 of those are what I'd call good.
Let me explain the rules a bit further.
1. HOT should be MMmmm HOT! Not AAGGGHH! Hot! That means the water SHOULDN'T be boiling-- it should be just shy of boiling. I bought a cup of coffee at Burger King once (ONCE!) and drove from Massachusetts to the New York border before I could take my first sip.
2. FRESH-- that means it has to have a rich, somewhat nutty smell and taste. Like these beans fell off the tree (or came out of the ground-- wherever the hell coffee comes from I don't care) raced to a sack on a high speed donkey to a charter plane and dropped on my doorstep fresh. Coffee cannot be brewed and then allowed to sit. It has 10 minutes of life-- after that dump out the pot.
3. The Cream is an important element. Skim Milk makes the coffee turn puke brown. Cream should be added either first or slowly so it doesn't burn and it should not curdle!! Is that so hard?
I've had some great coffee experiences that eventually go bad: Culpepper's on Southbridge Street makes the best cup as long as you get there at a busy time. When it slows down the girls start pouring old pots into new ones and that is a HUGE no no. Dunkin Donuts everywhere is a mixed bag. I had a girl put my coffee lid on after she'd rubbed her hand with some kind of cream and the lid smelled flowery. Dunkin's is NOTORIOUS for letting the coffee sit.
Enter the Melitta Single Cup Coffee Brewer and a simple recipe I learned from a diner and I give you the perfect cup of coffee, ladies and gentlemen.
You grind the beans fresh-- or as I do so I'm not making that much noise first thing-- I grind them the night before and put them in a vacuum container. I have a coffee measuring devise that specifically scoops the grounds (2 scoops for every cup) placed in a #2 filter in that Melitta Cone now placed on your mug of choice-- add a half an eggshell into the grounds (learned from a great diner that eventually had to stop because the board of health said no, but you're pouring 200 degree water over it so what's the harm?) to reduce the acid content.
You boil your water in a teapot but you stop JUST before it whistles-- you'll hear it. There's a change in the sound of the water. You want to grab it just before boiling. Pour water on top of the beans just to wet them. Let that sit for 30 seconds, it releases the aroma and unlocks the grounds. Then add water to fill the cone and let it drip through.
When it's done, remove the cone, add your cream (or you can put the cream in the coffee cup before for richer results) and enjoy. You have an amazing cup of coffee.
Should you need to make more than one cup, CHEMIX makes this beautiful coffee decanter that works the same way.
So there you have it. Toss out your Mister Coffee, your K-Cups (sorry-- tried it-- overrated) and get yourself the absolute best way to make coffee anywhere.
There's a huge mural that adorns the wall of the Boys and Girls Club, an institution regular readers know I hold in high esteem, that features the Hall Of Fame of Alumni-- people of importance who have made a difference in their communities-- I am stunned and honored to be asked to be included in the 2014 ceremony. My face will be up on the wall!
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
DOMINO'S PIZZA is running an ad campaign right now where a group of people are on hidden camera griping about how they think the pizza isn't "made by people" or "made with real ingredients" to which the wall slides out and we learn that the pizza IS indeed both made by people and with ingredients from a real farm.
The thing that strikes me is that they are totally missing the point. The people are saying your pizza is terrible. It doesn't make a whit of difference if they're wrong about it being machine made with plastic tomatoes, all the reveal says is that the people making the pizza need to go back to school and the farmer may want to rethink the quality of his product.
It's as if you and your co-workers were sitting around the breakroom complaining about a new hire who smells terribly-- someone remarks that they should wear deodorant and then suddenly the walls slide out and you're in this new hire's bathroom where it is revealed that they do indeed wear deodorant!
The problem is they still smell bad.
Obviously, the deodorant they are using isn't working, or there is some other problem with hygiene, but just because that person was wrong about them using deodorant doesn't address the problem.
I tried Domino's ONCE about ten years ago and thought it tasted like cardboard. In fact, I thought it was worse than Celeste's Microwave Pizza which essentially is cardboard with a little bit of cheese on it. Domino's was awful.
When they announced a change in the recipe I gave them another shot. Nope. Now it tastes like cardboard with a little bit of garlic on it. I will say this-- it's better than Papa John's, but that's like saying breaking your leg in an automobile accident is better than breaking your leg in a skiing accident.
So Domino's-- continue to reveal that your lousy pizza is made by real people who would be better served at Jiffy Lube in the grease pit with ingredients by farmers who should probably take a class in Agriculture, but until you face the real problem your sales will continue to slide.
Monday, March 10, 2014
Sunday, March 9, 2014
Saturday, March 8, 2014
Back at the end of January I PREDICTED;
1. Snowfall under 10" for February-- sounds like a lot to those of you in Hawaii, trust me, it's not. Last year we got 100".
Okay missed this one by about thirty miles. We got hammered with eight snowstorms in February. I hate Winter.
2. AMERICAN HUSTLE would win the Oscar for Best Picture. I probably should have looked up when the Oscars were before I made that one.
12 Years a Slave won, and I only knew this because I googled it-- I didn't watch the Oscars, and I didn't even know 12 Years a Slave was a movie so maybe I wasn't the best predictor here.
I PREDICT I forgot to update this!
Ha! I can't win for losing-- I was even wrong about this, although I almost forgot.