So, You’re Saddled With: Too Much Kahlua
I’m not the sort to believe in the supernatural. I mean, I tell people that I swear to God I didn’t eat the last of the salt & vinegar chips; I become unnerved when the cat stares intently at an empty corner of the room, hisses quietly and then bolts out of the room; I refuse to watch Stephen King’s IT under any circumstances. As would any right-thinking person, I believe.
After all, there are certain unearthly phenomena that it makes sense to observe, out of prudence if nothing else, with the understanding that failure to do so may carry terrible consequences: Not casting your oath against God may put at risk more material assets, such as one’s thumb or Mother’s grave; inadequately respecting your feline’s instincts will inevitably lead you to ignoring an axe murderer who was standing right there that one time; and watching IT will… well…
Let’s not talk about IT any more.
Instead, let’s talk about a different magic, one that is perhaps a little less exotic but in no way less terrifying: The way any house or apartment, after a certain period of time, begins to spontaneously generate Kahlua. The exact gestation period is not precisely known, but it is an unmistakable pattern that occurs in every residence. You move in, get your stuff sorted out and maybe make it all the way to your first housewarming party — and then there it is.
How did it get there? Did you buy it? You can’t remember buying Kahlua, can you? It’s not really your thing. You don’t have any objection to it, really, but would you have really gotten a whole bottle of it, then? Did your sister-in-law leave it here? Was it during that one barbeque you had…? Oh well, it doesn’t hurt to have it. You’ll use it up eventually.
Okay seriously, where the hell did all of this Kahlua come from? How is it that every time you open your cabinet, there is even more Kahlua than the last time? Yes, it’s a very nice liqueur! That’s fine! But how is it that you never run out? How is it that no matter how much you use, there’s always more? WAS THAT WHAT THE GYPSY AT THE CARNIVAL MEANT WHEN SHE SAID SHE HOPED YOU ENJOYED YOUR COFFEE… FOREVER?
Whatever the case, it is indisputable proof that all houses are haunted a little, specifically by Mexican ghosts who for inscrutable reasons want you to enjoy the smooth, sweet flavor of coffee and rum. All you can do now is cope with that fact, and let us help you stay ahead of the problem. So with that in mind, why not…
1. Cook with it
Since Kahlua is basically an infused cane liqueur, it has a few very specific benefits that can shine through in the cooking process:
- Rum, after it’s been cooked, has a generally recognizable and pleasant flavor
- The coffee infusion also hangs tough in most marinades, which is always welcome on a white meat
- As a fairly sugary liqueur, it will make for a pleasantly sticky sauce to help finish any grilling
It’s important to keep in mind that, like you would with any liquor, the best way to make the most of it is to actually cook off the alcohol first. Lives will not be destroyed if you’d rather just chuck the meat in a bag with some seasoning and a 1/2 cup of Kahlua, but you’re then on the hook to make sure the pleasant, coffee-burned-sugar flavor doesn’t quickly turn into crispy, scorched alcohol taste.
Please, help this meat.
Hit the mark, though, and you’ve got the means to impress any crowd, even with meats that can really need some help in the flavor department (ahem, chicken).
2. Make dessert out of it
But what if you’ve already got dinner covered, you’re perhaps not feeling that adventurous, or you’re a vegetarian who really isn’t confident what would happen if you marinated tofu in Kahlua (and we would pay cash money to find out what would)? Well, that’s fair, so perhaps for the rest of you there is a much more conventional path that is open to you — one that happens to consume Kahlua half-bottles at a time.
It’s time for dessert! Oh, the cheesecakes!
(source: BBC GoodFood)
Not that big a fan of cheesecake, because perhaps you are an alien from outer space? Why not ice cream, then? SO MUCH ICE CREAM!
(Source: Mike’s Table; N.B. HOW IS THIS NOT AMAZING)
What’s that? Cheesecake is too bourgeois? Ice cream is too childish? Well then I guess you have no use for layered ice-cream-Kahlua-cake then? I am so sorry for you.
All effusive craziness aside, by now it should be evident that it is hard to go wrong with the combination of rum, coffee and chocolate. It’s a recipe that’s as old as the classic Rum Ball, and offers you any number of ways to get inventive in ways that your local cafe menu hasn’t thought of yet. The flavors are friendly, familiar and portable to any kind of dessert — baked, frozen or blended.
3. Make breakfast out of it
Man, it is just a beautiful morning outside. Just look at that.
Got all the stuff hauled up from the car last night, and the kids are going down to the lake this afternoon to swim. Exactly nothing to do today except, well, sit exactly where I am. Maybe read that book, I dunno, we’ll see how the spirit moves.
Still a little chilly, but that’ll soon change. Just need a little warmer, that’s all… and hey, you know what goes really well with coffee? Booze that tastes like coffee. Yes sir, it sure does. Now where’d I leave my muffi– ah, hell with it, I’m already settled in. This cup will do me just fine.
Ahhhhhhh, yes. It’s going to be a beautiful day.
Whatever your opinions about the spirit world, its Hispanic population, their stock of coffee-flavored-liqueur and motivations for transporting such into the cupboards of the living, one thing is clear: the supply of Kahlua in your particular earthly realm may always be more than its demand. It’s up to us to find as many ways as we can to creatively stay ahead of the flow, so that whatever manifests itself is consumed as enjoyably as possible.
Man cannot subsist on mudslides alone, after all, when there are so many more diverse ways to celebrate the sweet union of sugar cane and coffee!