The New York Times ran an interesting snippet on this day in 1995.
Using one of the world's largest radiotelescopes, British scientists have analyzed an interstellar gas cloud and calculated that it contains enough alcohol to make 400 trillion trillion pints of beer.
This is the sort of factoid that begs too many questoids. How many of these interstellar booze-clouds are there? An approximately Infinite number? (Is ‘Infinite’ a number? ) How can the alcohol be harvested? Is it a renewable resource? Can these clouds be seeded to make it rain beer? Would that be 400 trillion pints of low alcohol beer, or high? Presumably, as they were British scientists, they mean British trillions (18 zeros) and not US trillions (12 zeros) – which means that for those of you in the
If there is an Astronomer Reader following this blog, please contact me and offer to do a guest blog post (all the best blogs do this guest-blog thing) and give us some more information on this massive untapped resource.
As for my own thoughts on reading this little article, all I can say is, if I was the Supreme Celestial Cook, I would use some (well, most) of that alcohol to make champagne. I mean, how many beer-drinkers does one Universe really need?
Even with my brave champagne-drinking friends to help (you know who you are), there would surely be much alcohol of all sorts left over to use in cooking. I seem to have posted a number of historic recipes using booze since this blog started (I’m not sure what this says about me). We have had, for example, Foie Gras Souvarov (brandy), Rum Pudding, and Whisky Apples (on the Companion site).
Clearly however, once that Astronomer Reader contacts me and gives us the information we want, that will be an insufficient number of recipes. Here are a few more, all from the 1870’s.
Beer Soup (German Method)
Simmer two quarts of milk beer (it should not be bitter) with the thin rind of a lemon, a few cloves, and a stick of cinnamon, sweeten with sugar, and add it through a sieve to the yolks of sx well-beaten eggs and half a pint of cream. Whilst pouring into the tureen, stir it to a froth with a wire whisk. The beer should be very hot, without boiling, before it is stirred with the eggs. Serve hot with toast.
Beat the yolks of five eggs very thoroughly, and add by degrees some finely-pounded white sugar, sufficient to make it stiff and firm. Then add a bottle of champagne, keep on stirring till it is all mixed. Last of all, put in a tablespoon of brandy. Put the cream in a glass jug, and serve it in champagne glasses.
Beat three eggs in a bowl, and add a very small pinch of salt, a tea-spoonful of finely-powdered sugar, a slice of butter, and a tablespoonful of rum. Fry the omelette in the usual way. Lay it on a hot dish, and pour round it half a tumblerful of rum which has been warmed in a saucepan. Set light to this, and take the omelette to table with the flame rising round it.
This cordial should be made when white currants are in season. Take the thin rind of a large fresh lemon entirely free from the bitter white part. Put it into a jar with half a pint of ripe white currants stripped from the stalks, and a piece of whole ginger the size of a bean. Pour over the ingredients a quart of whisky, and let them infuse for twenty-four hours. Strain the liquor, sweeten it with half a pound of loaf sugar, let it stand twelve hours longer, and bottle for use. Cork securely.
Tomorrow’s Story …
On Worcestershire Sauce.
This Day, Last Year …
We looked at an ocean liner menu.
Quotation for the Day …
Whiskey - I like it, I always did, and that is the reason I never use it. Robert E. Lee