Category Archives: The Capers of Solomon Lox

Food & Travel missives, inspired by the adventures of a mythical Vietnamese electrical engineer-turned-chef.

The Immortal Iron List of Ilya Repin’s Masterpieces

The Immortal Iron List exists to emphasize those things which stand out among their peers. Those things which are a little different in a huge way. Like the hero The List is named for, it stands as a testament to the immortality of ideas. The List might be ranked, it might not. It might be humorous, or it might not. The only thing The List always is, is Iron, definitive and everlasting.

Self Portrait: 1878

Art has a place in society similar to Literature, yet it is not taken quite as seriously as a means of social and societal change. The Communist Manifesto sparked a movement that shook the entire globe for a hundred years, its effects have surely not been full felt. For the rest of human history, those in charge will see such works as a warning, they will be forced to use it for themselves as a method of control. In much the same way Fine Art, specifically paintings, can have a similar result. Ilya Repin sent shivers through the Russian art world when he first gained recognition for the painting Barge Haulers on the Volgaa haunting yet bright portrayal of the ways in which the rulers were stomping on the throats of the poor. Repin was warning the elite to look upon the faces of these men and see one thing, while most of them are broken, a few are looking right back, plotting a violent revenge. Art is most visible to the rich and ruling, for they have the luxury of time and money. Repin wanted them to know that what they were doing would have consequences. He painted a “manifesto.” This list exists to show that the power of such an idea has not subsided, though the standing of Fine Art has seemed to change.

Continue reading The Immortal Iron List of Ilya Repin’s Masterpieces

Dine with Tyrion: Rosemary Garlic Rack of Lamb

Tyrion is still Catelyn’s prisoner, and he’s currently being held at the Vale, yeah? Well, Mord, the gross jailer, offers him some food…

    “You want eat?” Mord asked, glowering. He had a plate of boiled beans in one thick, stub-fingered hand.
    Tyrion Lannister was starved, but he refused to let this brute see him cringe. “A leg of lamb would be pleasant,” he said, from the heap of soiled straw in the corner of his cell. “Perhaps a dish of peas and onions, some fresh baked bread with butter, and a flagon of mulled wine to wash it down. Or beer, if that’s easier. I try not to be overly particular.”
    “Is beans,” Mord said. “Here.” He held out the plate.
Idle Timers agree with Tyrion— a nice lamb dish with a side of peas and onions sounds splendid. I whipped up an easy recipe for rack of lamb that is simple, yet satisying.

Continue reading Dine with Tyrion: Rosemary Garlic Rack of Lamb

(Don’t) Dine with Tyrion

This week’s segment will be a little different. After Tyrion is captured by Catelyn and her men, on their way up North, Tyrion has to sit and watch his horse being butchered.

“None of us will go hungry tonight,” Bronn said. He was near a shadow himself; bone thin and bone hard, with black eyes and black hair and a stubble of beard.
“Some of us may,” Tyrion told him. “I am not fond of eating horse. Particularly my horse.”
“Meat is meat,” Bronn said with a shrug. “The Dothraki like horse more than beef or pork…”
Chiggen grinned, showing yellow teeth, and swallowed the raw meat in two bites. “Tastes well bred.”
“Better if you fry it up with onions,” Bronn put in.
Because I don’t have a scrumptious horse recipe lying around, let’s skip dining with Tyrion this week. Let’s talk about what to drink instead.

Continue reading (Don’t) Dine with Tyrion

Dine with Tyrion: Herb-Roasted Chicken

Let’s pick up where we left off, shall we. When Tyrion is journeying back down from the Wall, he runs into Catelyn at an inn at the Crossroads, while she is secretly traveling back to Winterfell from King’s Landing.

Lannister glanced at the nearest tables. “My men will have whatever you’re serving these people. Double portions, we’ve had a long hard ride. I’ll take roast fowl – chicken, duck, pigeon, it makes no matter. And send a flagon of your best wine…”
This week Tyrion recommends a roasted chicken. Pair with a flagon of your favorite Chianti.

Continue reading Dine with Tyrion: Herb-Roasted Chicken

Dine with Tyrion: Garlic & Butter Crab

A new episode is upon us. Although we aren’t sure who will die tonight (no one from team Limb-itless, that’s for sure), we can be sure Tyrion will have drink in hand. “That’s what I do. I drink and know things.”

Brought to you by Tyrion himself, or at least what I think he would say, is a new segment: Dine with Tyrion. Each week he will bring you a new culinary pairing from his adventures. This week his recommendation comes from his visit to the wall.

Mormont picked up a crab claw and cracked it in his fist. Old as he was, the Lord Commander still had the strength of a bear. “You’re a cunning man, Tyrion. We have need of men of your sort on the Wall.”
Tyrion grinned. “Then I shall scour the Seven Kingdoms for dwarfs and ship them to you, Lord Mormont.” As they laughed, he sucked the meat from a crab leg and reached for another. The crabs had arrived from Eastwatch only this morning, packed in a barrel of snow, and they were succulent.

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The Dublin

It is no secret that my family has a taste for the drink. My grandfather, Walter, owned a couple of bars in Sacramento, one of them, Goeman’s, still stands today on Franklin boulevard. Though I never personally saw the old guy overindulge, he never turned down a good cocktail. Whenever we would have family dinners, all of the adults would imbibe at least one of his signature drink: The Manhattan.

In honor of the late Walt Goeman, and to celebrate this St. Patrick’s Day, I tried whipping up an Irish version of this classic cocktail. They say on St. Paddy’s Day everyone is honorary Irish, and in the spirit of the holiday, the Manhattan is relocating 3,172 miles (5,104 km) to Ireland’s metropolis, Dublin.
The Manhattan is a really great drink because there is a simple way to remember how to make them. The area code to Manhattan is 212, which translates to:
2 shots of Whiskey
1 Shot of Sweet Vermouth
2 dashes of bitters
Pour those into an iced shaker, give it a couple whirls, then pour out into a glass. Martini glasses are traditional, but on St. Patrick’s day, any ship will do, ya feel me?
Add a maraschino cherry, and 1 tsp. of the cherry juice, and you got yourself a good beverage.
Now, here’s what you’ll need to make a delicious Dublin:

Continue reading The Dublin

That’s the (cheap) spirit!

In the above clip from Frank Capra’s It’s a Wonderful Life (1946),  I feel like my drinking habits are perfectly summed up. Part of me just wants a straight simple whiskey and the other half wants something a little more exotic . All of this becomes irrelevant when my gut (played by the bartender in the clip)  tells me “get the cheapest, strongest drink because you are broke.”

So yes, all of this has conditioned me to become a little connoisseur of the cheap whiskey. While I do love a nice whiskey or bourbon (I will always remember my time with you Pappy Van Winkle), my conscience has helped me find my cheap medium. This  guide will show you what to avoid and  guide to you to an easy, cheap, drinkable whiskey.



When I was young, I thought a whiskey with a name based on a joke must be catered to those with an economic taste in mind. Sadly, I was terribly wrong. The only positive is that if you drink it with Trader Joe’s shitty beer, Simpler Times, you can reminisce about the past where you didn’t buy those things. Continue reading That’s the (cheap) spirit!

An Introduction to Irish Whiskey

Irish Whiskey. The Water of Life. Sunshine held together by water. In gaelic, “uisce beatha” (WEE-sak BAH-ha.) Though it may have much in common with Scotch & Bourbon, this whiskey is quite uniquely Irish.

The legal distinction is simple: It must be distilled from malted cereal grains at or above 94.8%, and barrel aged in Ireland in wooden casks for not less than three years.

Beyond the legal definition, the jargon used to describe whiskey in general is a confusing tangle of historical definitions and colloquial references. Phrases such as “pot still” and “single malt” are commonly used and may lead to confusion, even among Scotch and Bourbon lovers. A thorough discussion of such vocabulary is probably beyond the scope of this essay.

pot stillIrish whiskey is fermented and distilled from a combination of one of more grains, most typically barley. The shape of the still resembles a pot, thus its name. That’s probably because calling it a Hershey’s Kiss Still doesn’t have the same ring to it.

When only one type of grain is used in the pot (typically malted barley) the result is a Single Malt. When a combination of malted and un-malted barley is used, the result is known as a Pure Pot Still. If the distillates from one or more pots are combined, the resultant liquor is a Blend. Red Breast is a noteworthy Pure Pot Still Whiskey, Tyrconnell a favorite Single Malt, and Jameson, Powers and Paddy are some of my favorite “every day” blends. Continue reading An Introduction to Irish Whiskey

Oscar-worthy Snacks: Part 2

Well, there you have it folks. It finally happened for Leo. As you celebrate his win, we have a few more snack options for you.

5. Furiosa GuacamoleDSC00670


  • 4 avocados, halved & pitted.  Leave in skin. Reserve one pit.
  • 1 lime
  • 1 medium sweet yellow or red onion, diced
  • 2 tomatoes, seeded & diced
  • 2 serrano or jalapeño chiles (red or green,) seeded and minced
  • 1 large clove garlic, crushed or minced

Spices are to taste. A good starting point is 1/4 tsp.

  • Salt (Consider going easy on this, as chips are usually already salty enough.)
  • Ground black pepper
  • Ground cumin
  • Ground cayenne
  • Epazote flakes (1/2 tsp is a good place to start.)

It’s fun to mix up the spiciness and colorfulness of this recipe by using different combinations of the chilis, onions, and cayenne.  Serranos are on the mild side, and jalapeños more spicy.

Epazote is usually found in Latino food markets on those spice racks where everything is in a cellophane envelope.  It’s usually necessary to process it at home to get all the twigs and stems out, but IMO this “secret” ingredient is worth the effort.


  1. Drag the tines of a fork lengthwise through each avocado half to “shred” it.
  2. Scoop out the avocados with a spoon into a large bowl.  This will give a uniform consistency, and allow the guacamole to remain chunky.  When adding ingredients, try not to over-stir.
  3. Squeeze the lime onto the avocados to combine.  This not only adds flavor, it retards oxidation.
  4. Add the garlic & chiles to combine.
  5. Add most of the onion & tomato to combine.  Add more according to taste & presentation.
  6. Add spices to combine.  Add more according to taste.
  7. Add one avocado pit.
  8. May be chilled for 1 hour before serving, but this is another taste choice.

-recipe courtesy of kbentubo Continue reading Oscar-worthy Snacks: Part 2