Tuesday, 31 October 2017

A Grave Affair

Last weekend My Rare One and I donned our spookiest black rags, our biggest witch's hats, hopped on our brooms and flew down to southern Alberta for a couple of fabulous Halloween events! A Grave Affair was held on Friday night and Lost in Transylvania took place on Saturday night.


Our favourite vampiress of graveyard pallor, Lynne of Insomniac's Attic, created the perfect macabre, gothic ambiance for both events. The two hosting restaurants each provided an array of delicious food and special drinks to fatten up our skeletal frames. A fun psychic/fortune teller graced both evenings and we met some great new people too!

Lynne created an absinthe bar for the first event, A Grave Affair. At one time, absinthe was the infamously evil alcohol of fin-de-siΓ¨cle Paris, beloved of poets, artists and bohemians. Distilled from anise, fennel, wormwood and other botanicals, its unique colour resulted in its nickname, "the green fairy." By World War I, absinthe was banned throughout Europe and the USA as a "dangerously addictive psychoactive drug and hallucinogen" (Wikipedia) although its effects appear to have been greatly exaggerated by the fearful bourgeoisie. However, it does have a high alcohol content, so it should only be taken in moderation.

Serving absinthe requires a fascinating ritual of preparation, which Lynne expertly performed. First, the green absinthe is poured into the bottom of a "reservoir" glass. A special, flat absinthe spoon is then placed to rest horizontally on top of the glass.


A long, rectangular sugar cube is put on top of the spoon. Here's the bowlful of special absinthe sugar cubes that Lynne used --


Then the glass, spoon and sugar cube are placed under one of two long silver spouts on an "absinthe fountain," seen in this next photo. The fountain slowly, oh so slowly, drips ice-cold water onto the sugar cube, dissolving it through the perforations of the spoon into the absinthe below. Adding sugar water in this way to the absinthe both sweetens it a little, taking the edge off its natural bitterness, and dilutes the absinthe, so it's not as potent when the alcohol hits your system.


Here's a photo that My Rare One took of one of the two absinthe fountains at the event. Oh, that eerie glow! I am so thrilled to have had the opportunity to drink absinthe prepared in the traditional manner! It's a rare experience and a special treat indeed.


And speaking of treats, the Rockyview Hotel served up a staggering assortment of delicious appetizers, prepared by their charming young Chilean chef who popped out of the kitchen to greet everyone later in the evening. His artistry culminated in this chocolate coffin brownie in blood-red cherry sauce. Mmmmm! It was, of course, to die for!



Thursday's post -- Lost in Transylvania! And here's a little teaser . . . ALL WILL BE REVEALED! So don't miss it!

[Photos #1 and #4 by Insomniac's Attic Facebook, photo #2 from Wikipedia, photos #3, #5 and #6  © My Rare One, October 2017]

42 comments:

anne marie in philly said...

interesting history lesson here about absinthe; looks like a great party!

mistress maddie said...

Two great and fun events I could get behind.....but absininth makes me do the craziest things...we'll leave that there.

Happy Halloween πŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒπŸŽƒ

John Gray said...

I adore that glass

strangelynaked.com said...

I got exhausted half way through reading the absinthe ritual. It seems to me absinthe drinkers just want to drink candy. No judgement, but absinthe better get you real good and drunk if it requires patience (I have none). Hold on, is the one restaurant called "Papa Luigi's"? Gross. Can we as a society agree on stop using "Papa" and "Daddy" in our business names?

Mitchell is Moving said...

Such amazingly delicious creativity! And great photos to display it.

Rosemary said...

I have visited Dracula's castle in Transylvania and been to Whitby too where his coffin supposedly washed up - both had a spooky aura surrounding them.
I was very tempted to buy an absinthe fountain last time I was in Paris but would I use it?

Bob Slatten said...

I'm not sure I could drink neon green ,,,,,

jaz@octoberfarm said...

what fun! i held an absinthe party years ago. happy halloween!

The Happy Whisk said...

SUPER SPOOKY FUN. I'VE NEVER HAD THE DRINK. NOT SURE, EVEN WATERED DOWN THAT I COULD HANDLE IT. I GET TIPSY AFTER ONE TOO MANY PUMPKIN SPICE STEAMERS.

HAPPY HALLOWEEN - MUWHAHAHAHAHA πŸŽƒ

lady M said...

Oh you lucky Devils - what an amazing event. Lynne is indeed a talented hostess. I would love to drink some absinthe. The presentation is beautiful. How were the green fairies? Did you see them??

Jeanne said...

Oh, how fun! I do hope you didn't drink and fly....

Glad you tried the absinthe. Youngest son gave us an absinthe 'kit' several years ago. Quite the drink!

Happy Halloween!

DEZMOND said...

you really shouldn't drink and broomfly. When you drink you need to call Baba Yaga to come and pick you up in her chicken legged pot.

brewella deville said...

There's a fantastic scene in one episode of Penny Dreadful in which one of the characters prepares absinthe. By the by Debra, have you seen that show? Victorian Gothic fabulousness, although they are a bit hard on the witches ;)

Jono said...

What a spooktacular post! I would love to try some absinthe, but I doubt they sell it at the local municipal liquor store.

Kirk said...

Happy Halloween, Debra

Fundy Blue said...

Happy Halloween, Debra! What fun you and your Rare One had! I've never had absinthe, although I'm aware of it as a drink, but not of its protocol for serving. It's worse than a proper pour of Guinness! I like sambuca and ouzo (although I swear ouzo crawls up the side of my glass), so I think I'd enjoy absinthe. Enjoy the day!

Adam said...

Happy Halloween

e said...

My mom had a small collection of absinthe spoons. They're very pretty! Mind you, she didn't drink AT ALL, so the spoons were purely aesthetic.

Willym said...

Lynne is quite the party planner - it all sounds wonderful. There is a distillery here that makes absinthe - it's rather expensive so I've been a bit leery of purchasing a bottle but ....

Leeanna Henderson said...

Such an eerie antique look in those pictures. I bet it was so cool.

Birdie said...

I am so jealous! I love that there are people that go to all this work for friends. What a cool evening. :-)

Barbara said...

Sounds like a really fun time. I may have to plan something special like this for next year.

Jenn said...

That looks like a great time!! That absinthe fountain is gorgeous!

Susan said...

I have always been an absinthe fan but, alas! I have just slugged it down while in the company of artists. Who knew? Sounds like SO much fun!

Insomniac's Attic said...

It was so wonderful you and your Rare One were able up make it all the way to southern Alberta on your brooms - and without running into any snow, too! Loved seeing you both!!! πŸ’š

bj said...

OMG...how FUN ! !
this is a great post...Over the years, I've gone to some awesome Halloween parties and had so much fun.

Rawknrobyn.blogspot.com said...

That's very interesting about absinthe. Even though it scares me, seeing it presented that way, and knowing all the rituals were appropriately attended to, I'd be tempted to taste a (very) tiny bit. Did you try and enjoy?

PS I'd die for that brownie. Mmmm.
Fun, fun.
Happy Halloween to you and Rare One!

Marie Smith said...

Love it! What a treat, in every way!

Rain said...

Blessed Samhain to you and yours dear Debra :) xx
Oh my gosh...I am SO envious of that absynthe bar! wowsie. Alex and I shopped around for all the absynthe ware last year and it was a little over budget, we do have some, but would really love to drink it as it's meant to be drunk! One of these days. Sounds like you had a great time!

Debra She Who Seeks said...

@ Rawknrobyn -- Did I try and enjoy the absinthe? Hell yeah, girl! I knocked back an entire glassful! My Rare One had the tiniest sip and that's all, though, because she was the designated broomstick driver for the evening. Absinthe does have a slightly bitter taste but it's not bad. Of course, if absinthe were a true CANADIAN alcohol, we'd drink it with Coke for mix, LOL. I shudder a little to think of that, actually.

MrsDuncanMahogany said...

WOW, WOW, WOW!!! What an experience! I have only ever had absinthe mixed in with something else. Sadly not the fantastic experience you had. Cannot wait for more!!

JACKIESUE said...

holyshit..wish I had been there for that one.

Jamie Meyers said...

I would have been more interested in the Arcane Entertainment. Perhaps it became more arcane after the absinthe started flowing?

Janie Junebug said...

The chocolate coffin brownie looks yummy. I'm happy that you and your Rare One had a fun weekend.

Love,
Janie

Magic Love Crow said...

This is so cool! I would have loved to go to this event!!! I am mesmerized with the absinthe!! How did it taste? Love the pictures! Everything looks amazing! Did you save us any of the chocolate coffin brownie??? LOL! Happy Halloween and a Blessed Samhain to you and your Rare One! Big Hugs!

Syl (There's Bats In My Coffee) said...

Mmmm... Absinthe...drewls

NanaDiana said...

Well, this post was not only fun but interesting and a 'lesson'really! I love the history/story of the absinthe. Amazing!!! That dessert looks decadent and delightful.
Happy Halloween to you this night- xo Diana

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Sounds like such a great time! That chocolate coffin brownie...squeeee...looks so good.

Fearsome Beard said...

Hallo Happyween!

Magaly Guerrero said...

My jealously is in tears. I sooo wanted to go... *sobs*

Lynn said...

Oh my - absininth is the DEVIL! :)

baili said...

Elegantly taken photos Dear Debra!

glad you enjoyed the event with your dear friend!