When Archie went to New York I was desperately worried about him. Desperately worried because he was an 18-year old male who was and still is impulsive, who acts now then thinks later and has a strong belief that he is invincible. And adolescent males like this can sometimes end up in a lot of trouble so my major concern was that there was going to be drama.
Interestingly, we had sent Archie to New York to study drama. He attended the Summer Conservatory Program at the Stella Adler Studio of Acting. We organised student accommodation for Archie in Brooklyn in the St George Weller building. The accommodation certainly wasn’t five-star. He was in a triple-share room and like a bad joke the three rooming together were a black rap artist who played his music continuously and at full volume at any time of the day or night, a tiny Chinese-American studying graphic design who was quiet and said nothing, and a loud Australian with a guitar and didgeridoo who liked folk music.
The room had two beds in it with a third in a loft arrangement and as Archie was the last of the three to check-in, he scored the bed in the loft. There wasn’t much more to the accommodation, there certainly wasn’t room for much else but there was a bar fridge. Archie had nothing in the fridge but the Chinese guy had one of those jugs that filters water. And he was very particular about it. And he didn’t want anyone to touch it. But Archie had just done six years of boarding school where anything in the communal fridge was up for grabs. The little Chinese guy finally relented and said, ‘You can have some water, but you need to use a glass. You cannot drink from the jug. And you have to fill it up after you’ve used it’.
A few days later it was Archie’s orientation day at Stellar Adler. At the end of the orientation he suggested to some of the other acting students (he’d only just met), that they go out that night to celebrate.
Archie prepared well for the night by going into a bottle shop. When he was there he couldn’t believe how cheap everything was compared with Australian prices. Not wanting to pass up an opportunity for a fantastic bargain, he bought a 1.75ltr bottle of scotch that was like Jake Daniels but much, much lower in quality.
He brought the boys back to his Brooklyn digs where they sat in the recreation room and sampled Archie’s bargain. At about 1am when the bottle was looking close to empty Archie jumped up and said, ‘Hey everyone, I’ve got an idea. Let’s walk across the Brooklyn bridge’. So they all got up and walked to the bridge. When they were walking across Archie decided to climb the bridge. And that’s not only illegal, it’s dangerous because if you fall, there’s nothing below you but six lanes of traffic. So Archie climbed the bridge and was really enjoying the view when the other boys became alarmed for his safety and encouraged him to climb back down. Archie couldn’t understand the fuss. They said to him, ‘Climbing bridges is illegal here, man, for a reason, what if you fall?’ They weren’t too sure what to make of their new Aussie friend.
Archie made it back to his accommodation at 4am. He stood outside his door and realised he didn’t have a key. He banged on the door until the poor little Asian boy was woken and let him in. And Archie pushed straight past him, opened the door of the fridge, pulled out the water jug and without using a glass drank the contents until it was all gone then climbed into the loft. The poor Asian took his jug, sterilised it somewhere, re-filled it and put it neatly back into the fridge.
And for obvious reasons, Archie didn’t tell me this story until quite a few months after this event. If there’s anything to celebrate it’s that he did apologise to the Asian for defiling his water jug. And they ended up being good friends and the Asian has said when Archie records his music and puts out a CD, he will design the cover for him. For free. Everything works out for Archie.
Here’s the way I like to enjoy whiskey. With the alcohol cooked out of it and used as an ingredient to flavour food:
Chicken Wings with Blue Cheese Sauce
Serves: 4-6 (depending on what you serve with them)
Degree of Difficult: 2/5
Cost: Very inexpensive. Chicken wings are very affordable.
- 2kgs chicken wings
- 1/2 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup wiskey
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- 2 tspns ground cumin
- 1 tbspn tabasco sauce
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
Blue Cheese Sauce:
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 160g soft blue cheese, crumbled
- 1 tbspn lemon juice
- 1 clove garlic, crushed
Remove and discard the tips from each wing. Cut the wings in half at the joint and place in a single layer in a shallow ovenproof dish.
Combine the maple syrup, whiskey, Tabasco sauce, garlic, cumin and cayenne pepper in a jug. Pour over the chicken and turn to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for 6 hours to marinate.
Preheat oven to 200C. Remove the wrap. Bake in oven, turning occasionally, for 1 hr and 10 mins or until chicken is golden.
Meanwhile, to make the blue cheese sauce, place the sour cream, mayonnaise, blue cheese, lemon juice and garlic in a jug and blend until smooth.
Transfer chicken to a serving platter and serve with the sauce.
This recipe has been adapted from Taste.