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About Ryan

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  • Birthday 10/19/1969

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  1. It's great. And Diageo have great reach. They already own and distribute Guinness, Smirnoff, Tanqueray, J&B and Johnnie Walker. Some of the most available booze globally. Having said that, Pernod-Ricard are doing a great job with Havana Club. I can remember about 10 years ago, after my father-in-law's funeral, one of my South African brothers-in-law wanted mojitos. We were in Tipperary town and went around every shop and supermarket that sold booze. The only rum we could find was white Bacardi. Having said that, we couldn't find mint either, even at the garden centre! Uncomplicated eaters in Tipperary town. Starting about 5 years ago, basically every bottle shop in Ireland now has Havana Club 3 y/o, 7 y/o and Especial and many have Seleccción de Maestros. If we can get something similar with Santiago. Añejo, 11 and 12 would do for start. Fantastic. I would go to €80 a bottle for Santiago 11 year old here, which I would guess would be about the price.
  2. The Min Ron Nee book, when it was still in shops, about 2006 for about 80 euros.
  3. 2 luches Santy and La Corte del Principe 2 dinners El Del Frente and La Guarida.
  4. No (or at least very few) parents want their kids to be different, that is gay/lesbian, trans etc. Or a whole load of other things, disabled, autistic, bipolar, depressed, anorexic etc. I know I am including a few negative things in there and I don't mean to associate homosexuality with a negative state of being, I don't. But until recently, in most places, it was. And still is in many places. It meant bullying, shame, institutions, therapy, ostracization, celibacy, suicide. Because people were not allowed to be who they are. Possibly a lot of it was and is due to many countries legal codes around social issues being based on religious texts. If you base a legal and/or civic code on one group's religion, it make it easy to criminalize "the other". There was a same-sex marriage referendum here three years ago, to change to constitution to allow same-sex marriage. It passed with a large majority. The pro-same sex marriage groups ran a good campaign. Knowing that the "No" side would use the "what about the children?" debate, that is, what about children of gay couples or should gay couples be allowed to adopt children (they already were here). The pro same-sex side ran with the debate, "What about my gay child? Don't they deserve the same rights as everyone else?". They weren't talking about 3 year olds. They were talking about teenagers and older children. It was very effective and helped swing the vote. And I think that is largely what the debate on gender is. That people who were traditionally thought of as being different, now being allowed to be a part of the "normal". And if the definition of "normal" has to expand, then it must, as it always has. It's very important for parents of these people to know this too. That there is nothing "wrong" with their child. Simply that people are allowed to be who they are. The current difficulties we are having with gender and identification, I don't think will last too long, it is largely a language issue and language evolves much faster than we do. If you think it is bad in English, try Spanish or another language with gender-specific pronouns and adjectives. I was in Spain a few weeks ago and we had a "gender-unspecified" server in a bar. None of us knew or could figure out. I was reduced to "gracias" and "cuatro mas Cubatas por favor" but that person seemed very happy. Finally, I like Renton's (from Trainspotting) fairly simple take on it. "1,000 years from now, there'll be no guys, no girls. Just wankers" His prophecy may be coming true sooner than he thought!
  5. I have US friends regularly asking me about travel to Cuba. I tell them that currently the "Support for the Cuban People" license to travel is still available. They ask what does this mean, what do they have to do. I tell them that staying in a casa particular, eating at privately owned restaurants, and hiring private tour guides/drivers and seeing some events should cover them. I usually give them a contact for casas, a list of about 30 decent places to eat, drink and dance (most of which are privately owned or operated) and some tour guide contacts. My question is, what is currently required for the Support for the Cuban People License? That is, what is a "Full Itinerary"? How many hours per day should be taken up with "Support"? For example, I would guess that buying an issue of "Granma" from a street vendor counts as "Support" but how to prove that? What evidence/receipts should be kept (regardless of whether they are asked for or not), and how long should they be kept for? Has anyone here ever had this conversation with a US agent with responsibility for answering these questions? Thanks for any info.
  6. Then there's these guys, although currently sold out. https://www.shopcoffee.co.uk/product/buy-coffee-beans-online/coffee-green-beans/cuba-serrano-lavado-unroasted-green-coffee-beans/ Edit. On another look, these guys have 63 1kg bags in stock. Be careful to read the payment conditions. https://www.pennineteaandcoffee.co.uk/products/cuba-serrano-superior-aa-arabica-green-coffee-beans-1kg?variant=32184747466
  7. There is a cafe in Plaza Vieja in Havana called El Escorial https://www.facebook.com/Café-Escorial-1706510519568815/ They roast their own beans on site. I've heard they get their beans from the Escambray Mountains. I know they sell freshly roasted beans by the bag in that cafe. If they roast them on site they must have green beans there too. I haven't heard of anyone buying green beans from them before and they probably don't "officially" sell them. But, in my experience, Cuba is one of the easiest countries in the world for buying things not necessarily on a menu.
  8. The rrp on these in the UK is £50,000. The price in Cuba is to be $50,000 While not cheap, I've never seen a release to have so close a price between UK and Cuba. It's normally 2x - 3x
  9. I’m near Cadiz, Spain right now. On Saturday Stuart Fox is coming down to stay with us for a few days, then Sunday we’re heading down to Estepona to see a bullfight with a Gibraltarian retailer, in an arena designed by Salvador Dali. One of the best places in the world to have a cigar.
  10. This is what Prez had as his main course last Friday. Picture again courtesy of Prez. I first had these in Cuba last Christmas day. It was a great thing to see Cuban's reaction to these. Lamb like this cannot be bought in Cuba, a friend brought over a suitcase full of lamb racks from Fortnum and Mason in London, we made up the rub there. This is a good time of year for lamb in Ireland, as it's this year's lamb. Moroccan Chops, serves 4 Ingredients 2 tspn Garlic Powder 1 tspn Cayenne Pepper 1/2 teaspoon Ground Cumin 2 tspn Black Pepper 2 tspn Fennel Seeds 1/2 tspn Dried Sage 2 tspn mustard powder 2 tspn kosher salt (salt flakes) 1/2 tpsn ground nutmeg 1/2 cup olive oil, to make a rub of the spices. 2 baby lamb racks, 8 or 9 bones each, bones cleaned, as much of the fat as possible trimmed off. Cut the racks into “double chops”, two bones in each, they grill better this way. Procedure Put all ingredients except the lamb in a bowl and stir. Rub mixture all over lamb Set aside to marinate for 1 hour or overnight better. Get the barbeque hot. Grill over medium-high heat for 6-7 minutes each side, or until internal temp reaches 110 to 115 f (pink on the inside). Transfer to a clean dry surface and rest for 10-20 minutes. I serve these with dauphinoise potatoes and grilled asparagus. This was the second batch. We did 4 racks that night for 8 people. None left over.
  11. This following recipe is a bit involved but Prez asked! They are very very tasty. I've never made a dish that gets such positive reactions as this one. I first had them in Chili's in Chicago about 20 years ago. I've had the Chili's ones again since making these and the recipe below is better. SOUTHWEST EGG ROLLS (sauce optional, can use salsa and/or greek/natural yogurt) Ingredients: Yield: 16 rolls 5 large breasts chicken, cooked and cubed. I slice them into small (1 inch) pieces and season with salt, pepper and garlic powder and fry. 1 chopped red bell pepper 4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped fine 6 scallions (spring onions) chopped fine ½ medium onion, chopped fine 400g (12 oz) can cooked kernel corn, drained 400g (12 oz) can cooked black beans, drained (kidney beans will do). 350g (12 oz) pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained 2 tblspns. jalapeno peppers, drained, chopped fine 30 - 40g (1-1.5 oz) taco seasoning, see below ¾ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (mild white cheddar will do if Monterrey Jack not available) 16 each 8” soft flour tortillas Procedure: Heat some olive oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat. Add the red pepper, onion, scallions and garlic and saute until tender. Add the cooked chicken, corn, black beans, spinach, jalapenos, and taco seasoning to the pan. Cook for another 4 minutes, stirring so that the spinach becomes mixed evenly into the rest of the ingredients. Remove the mixture from the heat and stir in the cheese until it is melted. Wrap the tortillas (in batches of 4 - 6) in a moist cloth and microwave them on high for 1 minute or until they become hot and soft. Spoon about ½ c. of the mixture into the center of the tortilla. Dampen the edges of the tortilla slightly so that it will seal well, then fold in the ends and roll the tortilla up tightly. Secure the ends with a toothpick. Repeat the procedure with the remaining ingredients. Heat vegetable (rapeseed or similar) oil in a deep fat fryer to 375 F ,190 C. Lower the egg rolls a few at a time and deep-fry them until they are golden brown on the outside. Remove them with a slotted spoon from the oil and drain them on absorbent paper. To serve, slice each egg roll diagonally in half and serve on a plate. Taco Seasoning 4 tspn Chili powder 4 tspn Cumin 1 tspn Onion Powder 1 tspn Garlic Powder 3 tspn Paprika 1 tspn Salt ½ tspn Oregano ¼ tspn Cayenne ¼ tspn Ground Black Pepper Ingredients (most). It's one of those dishes where "Mise en Place" really helps. Picture courtesy of Pres.
  12. This is supposed to represent a Fox. I know it's a little hard to make out. It probably looks better in person.
  13. From what I've been told over the years. Freddie Fox (grandfather of the current Foxes) made quite a few trips to Cuba in the 40s and 50s. La Corona Policromias were made for JJ Fox starting around then. They were made with 3 different bands for the three sizes, Red, White and Blue, thus the name "Policromia" (multi-coloured). The sizes are shown In this catalogue from 1965. https://www.cubancigarwebsite.com/home/jjfoxpricelist1965 After the Cuban Revolution, at some time in the mid-60s, Fox were denied use of the La Corona factory name by the Cubans so they simply named the cigars "Policromia". There was a fourth colour/size added, purple, the logo stayed similar, the boxes were slightly different. I think they stopped production in the late 60s, at least I have never seen a box from the 70s or later.
  14. Great to see you here in Dublin, Rob, Mike, Di and Dana and great fun having you over on Friday night. You were lucky with the weather! Torrential rain here today and yesterday. Safe Travels.

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