Sunday, July 31, 2011

Beachcombing from the Kitchen Counter

Sunday and no plans. What's a girl to do.........experiment with a new cocktail! Left to tidy the Metiki abode alone, I decided to make things interesting by mixing a new cocktail while doing my cleaning and laundry. I had obtained a vintage version 3rd printing of The Official Mixer's Manual circa 1956 several months ago from our favorite used bookseller, Al. He is located in Downtown Melbourne & has a fantastic selection of used books. If you can make it through his political ramblings and manage to agree with him on a few points, you'll have a great chance of getting a generous discount on his books. The 'Official Mixer's Manual has a small section of  rum cocktails. This is not surprising given that during the 1950's Rum had yet to enjoy it's heyday. By far the largest section in this book is for Gin drinks. I'll leave the gin for a future post. Today, my taste buds were craving a well-made rum drink. Secret Agent Man and myself went to a local chain steakhouse of down under fame last night and ordered their premium Margarita sans salt in a pitcher. Looking forward to the warm taste of Grand Marnier, I was sorely disappointed. We received a 'mini-pitcher' of a fruity orange juice flavored syrupy concoction that tasted nothing like a Margarita. It was two-thirds ice and barely provided us with 3 full on-the-rocks drinks.

Sad Aussie Margarita.....establishment unnamed.
Since my cocktail craving was left unfilled last night, I paged though my lovely drink book searching for something to satisfy and entertain me. It did not take long, on the first page of the rum section I found the Beachcomber. I love orange liquor and am always willing to try some thing new.I had recently purchase 03 by John DeKuper & Sons premium orange liquor. It is made from Brazil's exotic Pera Oranges. I'm all for an exotic moment while in my yoga pants swiffing the dog hair from the floor and washing Secret Agent Man;s Hawaiian shirts. You have to make your exotic moments even if you've not been whisked to Bali carrying only a bikini and a cocktail shaker by a handsome man with a British accent . Okay more on that fantasy in a later post also.Back to the Beachcomber. I gathered my ingredients and started mixing.

I substituted the 03 for the Cointreau even though I did have it sitting in the Metiki Bar. I also realized I did not have a proper cocktail glass, quell horrors! I will rectify that on my next thrift store run. I used a animal print martini glass instead - not good for photographs but thoroughly enjoyed by this Metiki Gal. This is a splendid easy to make cocktail with a great bang of orange liquor  flavor.
The blender did not do a satisfactory job of crushing the ice so I reverted to my vintage Ice-o-matic to chop the ice - it takes a little muscle but is worth the effort. Crushed ice makes a cocktail exponentially better. I cannot pinpoint why but I love it and will tear my rotator cuff to accomplish a pile of crushed ice for a cocktail.

This completed product of the Beachcomber was most yummy. So much so that I soon fixed my second one. Then the frenzied cleaning began - no room or corner was safe. I even vacuumed the tracks of my sliding glass doors. I think a new trend should start. Forget cocktail parties, we need to have cocktail cleaning sessions! I now have clean floors, four loads of laundry are done and dishwasher is loaded and running. But the best part is now I have time to enjoy a third Beachcomber with Secret Agent Man!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

A Return Trip to Out a Space!!!

Despite a very hot and humid morning Secret Agent Man & myself headed out early for a little thrift store shopping and a visit to my fav MCM Store locally - Out a Space in Eau Gallie, FL.
We hit several thrift stores first hoping for some good finds. The thrifting gods were not with me this morning though. I could not find anything not even a lonely tiki fork! Secret Agent Man made a few scores - a book about what to do in Maritime Emergencies on a Yacht & a vintage trivet from the Greek Isles. He has yet to obtain a yacht but it's good to be prepared and it did have how to communicate in semaphore. This is always handy.

We preceded into Out a Space in downtown Eau Gallie. The store is garnering a lot of local attention for it's funky selection of MCM furniture. The selection of vintage lamps is fantastic. However, I found the jewelry display case in the back of the store today, something I had overlooked on my earlier visit. I saw a cute vintage watch, several cute costume jewelry earring sets and a few bracelets. But it was the selection of cuff links that really caused excitement.

Secret Agent Man's Space Age Pic on Mirror find from Out a Space!

Lee West Stereo Egg Chair & Ottoman at Out a Space.

Cuff links were a staple in men's clothing for decades. A good suit was not complete without cuff links and a tie tack or tie pin. I remember my Grandfather had a large collection from his early days of working in Manhattan for Merrill Lynch. They have fallen out of fashion lately but even women can make use of cuff links in their wardrobe now. I've had a jeweler reset my favorite cuff link of my grandfathers into a necklace pendant. You can also have them made into earrings or put them into a ring mount. Anyway, with this in mind I found several beautiful sets of cuff links at Out a Space.

After much deliberation, I decided on the set of Jade Buddha Cuff links. I left the Tiki God set behind and even now I as type, I am debating on going back and buying those also. I think I'm going to have the jade cuff links made into earrings and the tie pin set into a ring. All were priced at great prices for quality vintage pieces.

After our shopping excursion we made one last stop at our local liquor store for some Metiki Bar Supplies. I have not blogged about my fantastic little home bar set-up called 'The Metiki Bar' yet. I'll save this for a future post - but above are the makings for Ti Punch & a few other bar goodies. I purchased a bottle of Boodle's Gin - this is what Travis McGee drinks aboard The Bused Flush While lounging on the yellow couch with Meyer. More about him in future posts also. Lastly is the Campari - this classic Italian Spirit is used to make Negronis. All in all it was a bountiful Saturday morning.

Until next time keep your tiki mugs filled with Ti Punch and be on the lookout for the Metiki Gal!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Micro Road Trip

This weekend I found myself passenger on a mini road trip to Flagler Beach about 2 hours north of Melbourne. This lovely beach town was definitely out of the Metikis driving range but I happily ensconced myself as passenger in the fully outfitted storm chasing vehicle of my friends George & Chris. We did not chase any storms but Chris' attention has constantly drawn away from the road and up to developing cloud cover. She was pining for a good lightning storm as we drove up I-95. Luckily, we had clear weather. Our first stop was at out friend Tom's home tiki bar - The Blowfish Bar. We enjoyed two different fabulous Mai-Tais Tom mixed  and wonderful food Pat, his wife, had cooked.

As the evening drew near, we relocated as a group to Juilian's for a little tiki atmosphere and dinner. This is a classic restaurant in cool vintage A-Frame style. 
While the tiki finds were very slim at Julian's, they do have one the most beautiful Hawaiian murals I've ever seen.
I also found an interesting Witco African Queen carving. Not exactly tiki but a cool find none the less.

This proved to be a great little road trip. Good friends, good drinks, good food & great tiki decor! Not bad for a Saturday night.

I promise the Metiki will be back on the road soon cruising Brevard County. The weather here in Florida has been a little warm and rain a bit too frequent to take the Metiki out. Until next time - keep your tiki mugs filled with Tiki Tom Mai Tais and be on the lookout for the Metiki Gal!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Collecting Kitsch - Giant Tiki Forks & Spoons

Several years ago I stumbled upon my first set of giant wooden tiki silverware. They were dumped in a corner of a dusty thrift shop and probably forgotten. I grabbed them and gladly paid my three dollars for the set. This was the start of my collection, I now have multiple sets and a number of odd forks. I try to never pay more than five dollars for the set. I wanted to display the entire collection on one wall but did not want to simply line them up row after row. I think I achieved an artistic display of a most kitschy item.

They reached their height of popularity in the late sixties and early seventies. No trip to Hawaii was complete without bringing a set of these babies back! The set below even has "Hawaii '73" carved into it. I can just imagine the fantastic vacation this set commemorated.

These giant implements are much maligned by serious tiki collectors. Many have extremely crude tikis carved into them. No great skill or talent was used to carve them. They are viewed as being the 'junk food' of tiki collecting. Tiki in look but not spirit. I disagree. They are a great large size item to use when decorating and can fill up a wall in a way tiki mugs cannot. I embrace them with a sense of humor. They serve no use or purpose other than a decorative role. I also love the hunt when walking into a thrift store to find them. We recently saw a set in an antique store for fifty dollars - talk about a profit margin! I think these classic items of decorative kitsch deserve to be respected and loved. So the next time you head into your local thrift store buy that silly silverware and hang it on your wall with pride right next to your favorite tiki mug.

Until next time, keep your tiki mugs filled and be on the look out for the Metiki Gal!!!