Food and Drink

Chopped Veterans

My friend, AF veteran Ellen Adams, will be on a special episode of Chopped tonight.  Please tune in to cheer her, and the other veteran participants, on what looks to be quite a challenge! 

Premiering Tuesday, November 10th at 10pm – “Military Vets”
Veterans of the Air Force, Army, Coast Guard and Navy face off in the Chopped kitchen. In the first round, one of the chefs stumbles upon a brilliant way to treat scalloped potatoes. Precooked meatloaf is the big challenge in the second round. The two final chefs go all out in the dessert round, making very clever sweet treats from a crispy snack and a sweet and tart drink.
Host: Ted Allen Judges: Maneet Chauhan, Marc Murphy, Chris Santos

In Time for Father's Day! - BlackFive readers get 10% off on MuzzleShot glasses


Now this is cool...shot glasses and rocks glasses crafted in the form of an A2 Flash Hider. We don't really need an excuse to drink, but our friends at have offered us one anyway - Blackfive readers get 10% off everything for the Father's Day holiday. The Muzzleshot Shot Glass and Middy Rocks Glass are hardcoat anodized, aluminum ballistic barware so head over to and check it out.

Use promo code BLACKFIVE10 for 10% off through Father's Day!!!

Thank you,!

Cigar Event Invitation

Not a joke this day:  If you are in or near the Indianapolis area, you are cordially invited to The Pipe Puffer  (cigars and pipes, one of the best selections in the area) across from Greenwood Mall on County Line Road, on Saturday 11 April from 1-5.  Master Cigar Roller Leo Peraza will be rolling a limited edition La Gloria Cubana Serie R Esteli.  The Pipe Puffer is veteran friendly, troop supporting, and even has been involved with both Cigars for Warriors and Pipes for Warriors.  So, come on by. 

How About Instead We Just "Enjoy The Day...."

Many of us have "carpe diem" 'ed plenty in our lives; between the early morning PT, 2,000 meter swims, being checked by the jumpmaster for the 22nd time while waiting to get on the bird, or stepping off the bird into another combat zone (sometimes, same zone 3rd or 4th time), some of us have "seized" plenty.

Not to mention all of the "seizing" we did during TA-50 layouts, PMCS on every vehicle in the motorpool, and counting back all the ammo that some other turd-neck unit didn't shoot at the range (who does that?)

So getting something besides a retirement check or disability payment warms my heart some on this day, more than most, so head here and check out what is available for veterans today and tomorrow to enjoy, and please visit a couple of these fine establishments and partake of their wares.  Make sure to thank them right back when they thank you for your service.

Have a Joyous Veterans Day vets, especially those that are on duty or facing danger somewhere in the world today.  I have always appreciated that we serve not only because we can and chose to, but because there are those that cannot and choose not to.

I am going to take Mrs. Deebow (a vet herself) and Little Deebow for some good free grub tonight and explain to Little Deebow once again why it is that his mommy and me hear "Thanks for your Service" wherever we go and why we are offered something free on this day.

And like every year, I say because what we and millions like us gave and continue to give for what we have here in the country wasn't and isn't free.

Chateau Breuil & Calvados

Growing up in the 60s and 70s, my first exposure to Calvados -- apple brandy from France -- involved a bottle with an apple in it, or a pale astringent substance that could have been used as a substitute for paint thinner.  The choices were limited, and for most of America what was available is something that the people of Normandy consider only fit for cooking, not consumption. 

My trip to Normandy was not all bunkers and memorials.  I had the chance to try a good bit of cuisine, and best of all I was able to visit two different Calvados distilleries.  There, I learned about the process and was introduced to products to rival fine cognacs -- aged Calvados that combined the smooth texture of cognac with sweet buttery apple and more. 

As a special treat for you, I arranged with Chateau du Breuil to do a video tour of their facility.  I regret that the camera didn't come on quite fast enough a couple of times, but I think you will enjoy this virtual tour:



If you go to Normandy, I highly recommend a visit. Not only do you get to sample some of their wares, but the grounds are beautiful and if you have a group and make arrangements in advance, they can even provide your group with a Norman culinary experience at the facility.  The guided tour is good, and staff I met very friendly and helpful. Also, if you don't have a group, there is a nice meat market/gourmet grocery nearby where you can find things to make a most excellent picnic meal. 

As for a bit of what is missing in the video, most of it had to do with discussion of the unusually cold weather.  Spring was in many ways just arriving at the time of my visit, so you get to see blooming apple trees and flowers you would not normally see that time of year.  As some of you know from previous posts, it was indeed quite cold this year. 

I've got more photos of the grounds and such up at Laughing Wolf for your viewing pleasure.  I will also add that when I go back to Normandy, I will be going back to visit Chateau du Breuil again.  In addition, I plan to buy several large bottles of their 20-year-old Calvados.  While the video talks about the 15-year-old, which is excellent, the 20 takes things to a whole different level.  The richness of taste and aroma, the spice and edge of sweet apple, and the way it fills the mouth show the best of what Calvados can be.  If you can find it, it is well worth the try. 

I want to thank Bénédicte Baude-Vattier, and Chateau du Breuil, for their time and outstanding hospitality.  The willingness not just to have me come visit, but to give you a personalized tour of the facility, is very much appreciated. 


This trip and other embeds sponsored by MilitaryLuggage.Com and B.N. Shape Clothing.  My thanks to them and to everyone who has contributed to make this and other trips possible. Be sure to check out my Facebook Page and Laughing Wolf for other photos, stories, and more. 

A variety of advertising sponsorships are available, and you can contribute to this trip and other embeds at GoFundMe

Cakebread Cellars Tasting

The wines to be tasted

Recently, I was invited to Marietta Wine Market for a tasting of Cakebread Cellars wines.  Located just a block off the square in downtown Marietta, the Wine Market has a very nice selection of wines, along with local beers, a variety of cheeses, and more.  They do wine tours, and in fact the owners had just gotten back from conducting a port tour in Portugal.  Their tasting events are also built around having the participants make a donation to go to a local charity. 

Continue reading "Cakebread Cellars Tasting" »

A Partnership with Lock-N-Load Java


It has been a true pleasure in doing my recent product reviews to point out that Lock-n-Load Java not only seeks to provide good coffee to the troops, but that it also donates $1 on every order to a military charity.  To help get good coffee out to the troops, they also make it easy for you to buy and ship coffee to the troops. 

For many companies, just one part of that would be enough, but not Lock-n-Load Java.  I am pleased to announce that any unit I embed with for more than two weeks will be getting coffee sent to them by Lock-n-Load.  It's a way of supporting the embeds and giving a reward to a unit that is willing to have me embed with them. 

Good coffee, with a company doing good things for good people -- our troops.  You can't ask for more.  Check them out.


A Different Tasting

Recently, I had the chance to attend a Whisky tasting hosted by the new Savi Provisions in Atlanta.  Savi Provisions is the latest venture from the owners of Savi Urban Markets, and the new venue is off to a great start with a very nice tasting room and a well-stocked wine and spirit store, which will soon be joined by a gourmet market.

Continue reading "A Different Tasting" »

Lock-N-Load Java A Pureed Review


If you get a variety of sample packets (a great and cost-effective way to explore without having to buy whole bags) of Lock-N-Load Java, and the measure for the coffee maker you are using is more than half but less than all, what do you get?  For me, it was a chance to play coffee blender on my own. 

I will start with my favorite, which was about 90 percent New Guinea and 10 percent Ethiopian.  My hosts favorite was (I think) a blend of Double Barrel and Smooth Operator, though we both very much enjoyed a blend of Double Tap and Charlie Don't Surf

Me, Monday I am placing an order, and just waiting to see how large an order I place.  Good coffee from good people, and the troops benefit.  Not bad.