Posts Tagged: John Ore

Hollywood, Stop Botching Your Third Movies

Ewoks. Tina Turner. Religious space prisoners. Sofia Coppola. Here is where we sit for a moment and gravely reflect on all the horrific things that can go wrong when an otherwise amazing trilogy hits its third installment.

I'm not the first to notice that Hollywood has trouble with third acts—although I refuse to believe Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome clocks in at 81% on the Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer. Return of the Jedi brings up the rear of the Star Wars trilogy with a startling 79% (A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back easily top 90%, I think we can all agree that it's Empire or GTFO). The Godfather [...]


Things To Drink This Fall: Sorel Cocktails

When the weather turns cold/apocalyptic, your cocktails need to step it up a notch, and your bitter aperitifs are no exception. Lucky for you, there's Sorel. Full disclosure: Sorel is an artisanal, handcrafted twee little liqueur made in—of COURSE—Brooklyn. So that makes this recipe something of a trend piece! And trend pieces should go with summer drinks (see Aperol!), not fall ones, right? But resisting Sorel is futile because it's good. Really good. Billed as a hibiscus liqueur, Sorel wraps up classic fall flavors like cinnamon, clove, ginger and rhubarb and is versatile enough to both complement or supplement things like sweet vermouth, Campari or other aperitifs.

Another [...]


Hiking The Grand Canyon In A Day

Signs posted at the rim of the Grand Canyon warn you not to attempt to hike to the river and back in one day: it's too strenuous, and you need to be prepared with food and a gallon of water per person. Apparently, there are several deaths (especially in the summer months) and 250 rescues made each year, so the National Park Service is serious about this. Typical warnings exhort: "DO NOT attempt to hike from the rim to the river and back in one day, especially May to September."

I arrived at the Grand Canyon in late March. It was Spring Break, 1990.


Beach House Dinner: Shrimp On The Grill

A series on things to make, eat and imbibe this summer.

In New York, some people mark the beginning of summer as the day the MTA turns on the air conditioning in the subway cars. For me, summer starts that first Saturday when everyone flees to their summer shares and the city empties out giving the remaining few a blissful On The Beach-type moment.

But if you're one of the lucky ones who are actually on the beach, at some point you're going to need to eat. With that in mind, here’s an easy menu for a weekend at your summer share. This menu strives to meld the [...]


A Drynuary Diary: Week Four, The Wettening

John Ore: Hey, Jolie! We're in the home stretch now, only a couple of days to go and we can close the books on another successful January of not drinking. A little solidarity and we can get through this final weekend.


John: [long, unblinking stare] You know I'm happy for you. I really am. Like when Andy Dufresne busted out of Shawshank. You're happy for him, you miss him, and you hope to join him one day. But you're also a little scared for him out there, facing the world alone. You don't want him to end [...]


A Drynuary Diary: Week One

Jolie Kerr: Bon L’(h)iver, John! I’ve actually been looking forward to this Drynuary! I know, I’m as surprised as you are! But it’s because, unlike last year, I don’t see this month as a desperate attempt to dry out… despite the fact that December basically looked like the picture above, taken by you, at a certain holiday party.

This go-round, my attitude is that this is an opportunity and that feels pretty cool and exciting. When we last chatted, I mentioned that 2011 had started out as a teenaged butthole of a year, and it sort of ended that way too. But! There were some awesome [...]


Everything I Ate At The Minnesota State Fair

I was indoctrinated into the cult of the Minnesota State Fair six years ago. At the time, it was sort of a goof with my then-girlfriend, now-wife: we were dating long distance between San Francisco and New York, so it was an excuse to meet halfway and in her hometown. Twelve hours, two orders of fried cheese curds, several Leinie’s and a live taping of "A Prairie Home Companion" later, I was hooked for good. I've only missed it twice since. (Once, for my wedding, and then last year, because my very-expectant wife was grounded.) Now, the Fair is as much of a Labor Day tradition to me as [...]


Two "Black"-Hearted Drinks From Cold, Dark, Faraway Places

A good friend of mine insists that having a nice meal while you're traveling is considered sightseeing. Since I've had the privileges of accompanying him at nice meals in places like Moscow, Prague and Budapest, I tend to agree: food's as important an entry point to any new place as art or architecture. As a corollary, though, I'd submit that another essential part of experiencing a foreign culture is getting drunk on the local hooch. Now, I don't want to come off all Anthony Bourdain-y here—hey, look at me! I travel! I drink!—especially since Bourdain is a huge wimp for claiming that hakarl was "the single worst, most disgusting [...]


A Flank Steak For The End of Summer

A series on things to make, eat and imbibe this summer.

The almanac says we've got a few weeks left of summer. But if you're like me, Labor Day is the bookend that marks summer’s close and the beginning of all things fall—that pivot point when the the state fair shuts down and college football starts up. While I can't get my head around summer ending just yet, I love the transition to fall, when grilling moves from the backyard to the tailgate. If you’re planning one final blowout of the summer in observance of our favorite socialist holiday, don't bore your guests with [...]


Ribs, For Their Pleasure

A series on things to make, eat and imbibe this summer.

My favorite summer moments involve impromptu gatherings, especially those where you find yourself hosting on relatively short notice. I know, it's tough being that popular! Whether because you have spontaneous friends, a grill, or a really great, fireworks-proximate roof deck, you may find yourself unexpectedly entertaining this summer. Sometimes these friends will bring beer; sometimes they'll just show up. No need to panic. Here's an excellent menu that easily feeds a group of six to eight without trotting out the tired cliche of burgers and dogs. (Fair warning: this will just encourage people to keep converging on your place [...]


Spanish Jambalaya Casserole

With spring officially here, we've reached the two final installments of this series of favorite casserole recipes (with crockery recommendations) from The Awl and The Hairpin. But before you go full fair-weather grill-out, a recipe for jambalaya.

One of my first post-collegiate single-guy attempts at "cooking"—outside of warming a can of Goya black beans in a saucepan—was for a Mardi Gras-themed party in the mid-90s. I'd gone to my first Jazz Fest in 1993 with some friends/co-workers (synonymous in those days for me), and I listened to a lot of Dash Rip Rock and The Radiators. The next year, a creole-themed party emerged as the perfect [...]


A Drynuary Diary: Week Three, The Bargaining

Jolie Kerr: Merry Everythingisterriblenuary, John! Three weeks in. Are you as despondent as I am?

John Ore: It's the Doldrums of Drynuary. Adrift in the middle of the month, coping mechanisms running low, no land in sight, wind out of your sails. Brings up all sorts of existential questions. Also, I keep seeing an albatross for some reason.

Jolie: Week Three is basically the March of Drynuary. Oh but! Speaking of coping mechanisms, I have a question for you: why do I feel like bringing O'Doul's to a party is cheating? Rationally I know it's not, but I feel like it is? #feeeeelings

John: (My birthday is in March, so [...]


Four Cocktails To Get You Through The Holidays

With the holidays upon us, everyone seems to crave booze a little more than usual. Either you’re hosting, party-hopping or catching a drink with a friend. The temperatures are cold. It's dark by three in the afternoon. Drynuary lurks ahead. And, after it turns out your Christmas Bonus is a subscription to the Jelly of the Month Club, you could use a little pick me up.

This is the time of year I turn to The Artistry Of Mixing Drinks for guidance. This classic was written by Frank Meier, the purported inventor of the Sidecar, who, in the 1920s and '30s, presided over the bar at [...]


Mastering The Art Of Urban Grilling

New York City has a 24-hour-subway system, gay marriage and David Chang. What we don't have are rolling suburban lawns on which to accommodate Charbroil Offset Smokers when we want to char the hell out of some animal flesh. With Labor Day fast approaching, 4th floor walkups and a lust for a perfectly grilled ribeye will soon collide, and an urban grillmaster will have to adapt. Here’s how (with bonus Beer Can Chicken recipe)!


Grenadian Sorrel Drink

A series on actually good nonalcoholic drinks to serve abstaining friends or make for yourself.

I'm really boring in January. Oh, sure, in the Fall I can invent fun drinks, but come Drynuary, I hibernate with club soda and lime and my Bible. That all changed when I discovered sorrel. No, the other one. If you recall, last year, I discovered Sorel, a delicious hibiscus liqueur. Little did I know that there’s also a native Caribbean concoction known as sorrel drink, popular in places like Jamaica and Grenada.

Brought to my attention by a close family friend from Grenada—the Spice Island!—sorrel drink is traditionally served during [...]


T-Bone, For Two

A series on things to make, eat and imbibe this summer.

You know what? Forget about groups and gatherings. Enough with the ever-faithful host to the hordes, the slaving over the hot grill for others just to watch them bogart all of your ribs. Deep into the dog days of summer, it's time to slow down and relax with a somewhat indulgent meal. Save it for one of those summer Saturday nights when you have nothing planned and nowhere particular to go. Sometimes a delightful summer evening requires nothing more than you and your sweetheart. And a huge hunk of beef.

Main: T-Bone Fiorentina Sides: Grilled ramps and [...]


A Breezy Summertime Guide To Picnicking In The City

Sometimes, the curses of living in NYC turn out to be its blessings. When you can stretch your arms out and touch both walls of your bedroom—or, both roommates—the great outdoors becomes less an escape and more of a living room. Luckily, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux had your back even before you moved in with your "boyfriend." New Yorkers have long enjoyed recreational use of open public spaces. I like to uphold that tradition with the classic picnic in the park. And sure, grabbing a slice and flopping down on someone's sweatshirt in Washington Square can be perfectly nice—and easy. But with a little more effort, [...]


A Drynuary Diary: The Frothy Aftermath

John Ore: Oh, Jolie! I just had the strangest dream! And you were there and everyone here and…Kurt Loder?…And I remember that some of it wasn't very nice… but most of it was beautiful. But just the same, all I kept saying to everybody was, I want to go home. And they sent me home.

Jolie Kerr: Well you know what they say—there's no place like etc.! So hey, old friend, it feels like it's been years. Where ya been? How ya been? (Oh God, my head hurts so badly.)

John: Oh, you know, the usual: celebrating my wife's birthday with drinks at the Waldorf, celebrating [...]


A Drynuary Diary: Week Two

John Ore: Hey Jolie, welcome to our second installment of Ask A Temporarily Sober Person! Wasn’t the moon beautiful this weekend?

Jolie Kerr: You know? Usually I don’t support the anti-moon agenda put forth by this’n here website, but I do think it was awfully cruel of the universe to deliver unto us a full moon in convergence with our first full weekend of Drynuary, so I’ll bellow a hearty I DESPISE YOU, MOON in solidarity with our Alcoholic Overlords.

Right then, with that out of the way, we’ve just made it through our first, and arguably most challenging, sober weekend. Last week you said something [...]


A Tale Of Two Chilis

John Ore and Ben Choi used to face each other across the line of scrimmage during high-school football practice. Now they face each other across the country, pitting recipes for America’s greatest dish—chili—against each other. Who wins? You do!

John Ore: Hey, guess what time it is.

Ben Choi: What time is it, John? Did I miss Indigenous People’s Day again?

John: Well, it's Chili Season™. It's that time of year when the air gets a little crisper, college football conferences start realigning—and tourists switch from Crocs to Uggs. Perfect for whipping up buckets upon buckets of chili. And hoo-boy, do I have a recipe for chili. You?