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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Diet Dr. Pepper Vinaigrette

Here at the Lab, we* are sometimes seized by moments of what one might call psychotic inspiration. Tonight, an attack of such sodatori has led to what might be a discovery**.

I had just retrieved my emergency Diet Dr. Pepper from cold storage, and was headed down the corridor from the kitchen module to the media viewing module, when I passed the Kibbitzer-in-Chief comparing some sort of dark bottle with Neighsayer. This didn't strike me as particularly unusual, but then I happened to take a swig from my bottle while smelling what was in theirs.

I stopped dead in my tracks. As the volatile vapors of the Diet Dr. Pepper wafted through my nasal cavity, they joined with the heady aromas from the dark, mysterious bottle wielded by the Kibbitzer, launching a joint assault on my olfactory epithelium. Nerve signals were ricocheting around my brain, forming new connections and unearthing new possibilities.

"Where," I whispered, "did you put that balsamic vinegar?"

Perhaps it was the light of incipient discovery burning in my eyes. The K-i-C and Neighsayer simply indicated the cabinet in which they had sequestered the vinegar. I opened the cabinet, my mind a-bubble with inner visions.
Diet Dr. Pepper would go great with balsamic vinegar!

Truly, I can understand hearing a statement like that with some skepticism. If I hadn't had the combined smell experience, I wouldn't have thought of it. But what has been smelled...cannot be unsmelled. And now I had to know.

I poured about a teaspoon of balsamic vinegar into a cup, and filled it the rest of the way with Diet Dr. Pepper. There was a bit more foam than usual, but in the course of pursuing such a thing as a discovery, a Quaffmaster knows no fear. I took a sip.
I took another.
It wasn't wonderful...but it wasn't bad at all. And the longer it sat in my mouth, the more interesting it became. This had potential. This needed exploring.

"Okay, kids!" I shouted. "Who wants to try something new?"

Nazgul and Olorin, knowing who I am, were understandably somewhat reluctant to simply drink from a fizzing cup I offered, especially given that I wouldn't tell them what was in it (out of a desire for scientific rigor). However, they both agreed that it was actually pretty good. Even after I told them what it was.
The K-i-C and Neighsayer admitted (reluctantly) that it wasn't bad, and decided that I had effectively made a Dr. Pepper vinaigrette dressing. The Kibbitzer suggested that it might go well on sprouts, while Neighsayer demurred, but did feel that it would be better with regular Dr. Pepper.

As far as I'm concerned, these are questions of refinement. My job is simply to unearth the new--to expand the frontiers of Weirdness whenever possible. So let it be known that Diet Dr. Pepper and balsamic vinegar can combine into something new and unexpected and Weird.

The rest, I leave to you***.




*The rest of the Lab staff, out of concern for their reputations, insist that I clarify that here, by "we", I actually mean "I".

**The more usual result is either a trip to Urgent Care or a night spent on the couch.

***And here, by "you", I mean "you, the hypothetical person willing to try bizarre beverage combinations you read about on a blog written by a Lovecraft/soda/sci-fi geek."

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