The Hungover Gourmet


Oh Lady, Can I Have Some More Coffee?!

[Ed. Note: The column that follows was written shortly before going on an all-night bender last Friday evening, complete with a punk cover band, lots of red wine, and much River Horse Ale on tap. While that doesn't explain the week-long wait in the column getting uploaded, it does explain why I woke up Saturday morning with nail polish on.]

The summer season is jam-packed with holidays to celebrate. Of course, the official kick-off accompanies the Memorial Day holiday, where t-shirts are stripped off and the fish white underbelly of eight long fall and winter months is exposed to the gleaming sun of a new season.

Next up is Flag Day, which is one of those "pesky" holidays, you know, like Columbus Day or Washington's Birthday. When someone mentions it, a faint look of recognition crosses your face until a spark lights up somewhere near those brain cells that got killed during that Freshman Finals kegger. But, since we normally don't get a day off on those holidays who really cares?

July 4th rolls around just in time for all manner of mindless inebriated behavior. Light off a couple fireworks after that 13th brewski of the day? Sure. Slam down yet another hot dog on top of the artery-clogging cornucopia of undercooked animal flesh served up by your incompetent sister-in-law? Why the hell not.

And then, just as quickly as it started, the summer's gone. August slips by with nary a holiday to speak of (except for we Scots that still hold the Summer Bank Holiday near and dear to our hearts!), and Labor Day comes up and kicks us in the ass like nobody's business!

The Hungover Gourmet enjoys a little Jerry LewisBut why the long face buckaroo? Sure, maybe it means going back to school. Or, perhaps, no more weekend tanning sessions for the teenage minx next door. But Labor Day always brings a smile to yours truly's face...'cause Labor Day means Jerry, and I ain't talkin' Springer.

For as long as I can remember, the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon has been a holiday of sorts in my household. The Elder Nitrates turned me on to the festivities as a wee buck, and I was there for great moments like the Deano/Jerry reunion at the hands of the Chairman of the Board. Or how about any of Sammy Davis Jr.'s legendary performances? And who can forget the timing of last year's broadcast with the death of Princess Di? Jerry's tear-jerking, heartstring-tugging tribute brought the house down, in one way or another.

Sure, I miss the surly, caustic Jerry as Host. The Jerry as Host who'd belt a few backstage between breaks, loosen up the ol' bowtie, and come out swingin' for the fences, baby! This man was Austin Powers before Mike Meyers was a gleam in his daddy's eye. Jerry was ripe for a party, and it was gonna be one swingin' shindig baby.

Alas, members of Jerry's inner circle keep droppin' like flies. Dean's gone, but not forgotten. Sammy, well, there'll never be another like him. And this year I'm sure we'll get a fitting tribute to Francis Albert. But Jerry's outlived 'em all, despite the drugs, the booze and the broads, he's turned it around and could ride this sucker out for another ten or twenty years.

Who knows if I'll keep watching once Jerry swings in a different plane. Who knows if the telethon can even go on...who's gonna host, Ed? Kevin Meeny? But when that day comes, it'll be the saddest Labor Day I've ever known.

Coffee Concoctions for a Weekend with Jerry

There once was a time when I could drink and party all night while watching the MDA Telethon. Those days, like Dean and Sammy, are long gone. Nowadays I need the caffeinated jolt of strong coffee concoctions to prime the pump for 36 hours with the King of Comedy...

Turkish Coffee

A common method making coffee throughout the Middle East, I picked this up from a former landlord. If you have access to 8 O'Clock brand coffee in your area, pick some up. He said it came the closest to the coffee he was familiar with in Croatia. He was also a total asshole, so...

1 tbsp. extremely fine ground or powdered coffee
1/2 to 2 tsps. sugar (it's your call)
2 oz. cold water

Stir all the ingredients together in a small saucepan or jezve (a Turkish coffee pot). Place over low heat and slowly bring the mixture to a boil without stirring. At the boiling point, remove from the heat and pour into a demitasse. Let the grounds settle before drinking.

Viennese Coffee

This might seem unimaginative, but sometimes it's just what the doctor ordered.

2 cups dark roast coffee
1/2 cup whipped cream
ground cinnamon

Pour the coffee into 2 cups, top with the whipped cream and sprinkle with the cinnamon.

Jack O'Daniels Coffee

Irish coffee is a swishy favorite around the world. We've taken out the whiskey and added Jack Daniels in its place for a decidedly different kick.

1 tsp. sugar
1 shot Jack Daniels
2/3 cup coffee
Whipped Cream

Place the sugar and the Jack in a large coffee cup. Top with the coffee and stir. Add a dollop of whipped cream and you're good to go.

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