the gourmet cartographer

bermuda sleighbells, groundhogs, and jerk sauce

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On Saturday night, Anthony and I threw our Bermuda Sleighbell Groundhog Day party. Bermuda Sleighbell refers to a drink recipe in which Jamaican ginger beer is mixed with whiskey or rum. The combination- warm, spicy, sweet, but above all, refreshing, was our drink of choice for this party. My favorite was the ginger beer mixed with the $4 champagne from the store around the corner. $4 champagne, when mixed with other, tastier beverages, is not that bad.

As for the food, we were quite ambitious, as usual. We wanted to make one baked good, and fortunately, I found these instructions for Groundhog Day Cupcakes, which I used as I guide to make the shining stars of the evening. They look slightly evil, but also pretty cute, so they fit in well with the mischief-merry mood of the party. I’ll post my decorating instructions below.

And finally, this picture illustrates our attempts at making the jerk sauce that we used to marinate vegetables before we roasted them, for our jerk-roasted vegetables side dish. We found a recipe for jerk sauce here, and after doubling it, followed it religiously. (Missing labels in the picture: thyme, black pepper, lime, rum; this picture was taken before we added those ingredients.) Of course, it was INSANELY spicy, just incredibly, painfully, spicy. And we had a whole blender full of it. So we bought some yogurt and mixed spoonfuls of the sauce into a much larger proportion of yogurt, and added some oil, and salt, and then used that sauce to marinate sweet potatoes, parsnips, onions, and regular potatoes. Once we toned down the insane heat, the sauce was pretty delicious; with so many scallions, it was bound to be good. I would recommend NOT doubling the recipe, perhaps adding a little oil to the ingredients before blending, and then mixing the blended paste with yogurt, because the paste will still be spicy. But if you store the paste in a separate container, and mix small quantities with yogurt when needed, you’ve got yourself a handy supply of very good marinade.

Elana and Janki’s instructions on how to make Groundhog Day Cupcakes, adapted from here. You can use any type of cupcake (chocolate, vanilla, coconut…) as your base, but it should taste good with the coconut filled Almond Joys.

Ingredients

• Baked cupcake
• Almond Joy candy
• White frosting
• White jelly beans
• Chocolate sprinkes
• Watermelon slice candy
• Chocolate chips

Cut out a piece of cake from the center of a baked cupcake. Set the Almond Joy upright in the hole, then spread white frosting on the cupcake.

For the groundhog’s eyes, cut a white jelly bean in half, use frosting to stick the pieces in place on the groundhog’s face, and then make pupils by sticking one chocolate sprinkle in the center of each halved jelly bean. For the nose, either cut a tiny triangle from a watermelon slice candy (which is difficult) or cut pink jelly beans in half, which is easier and works just as well. For the ears and cheeks, stick chocolate chips on with frosting. Sprinkle chocolate sprinkles around the partially emerged groundhog for dirt. After showing off your creation, eat, but beware of probable sugar highs. These cupcakes are extremely sweet.

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