Saturday, February 27, 2010

Pipes and hummingbirds

In my tobacco cellar I have a vacuum-sealed bag of a blend from C&D called Bayou Morning, which is basically another Virginia/Perique blend that is quite light on the Perique (compared to some others I have smoked/concocted). Anyway, I sealed this bag up, according to the blue Sharpie in my hand-printing on the bag, on June 6, 2007.

Well, I probably would have smoked it all up a long time ago, just like I did with all the rest of that particular batch, except that it got pushed to the back of the cabinet and I forgot about it for a while. I discovered it again last year sometime, but instead of whipping it open and having a bowl, I thoughtfully and not without some reluctance put it back. You see, some years ago someone told me that (in his opinion) storing tobacco in vacuum-sealed bags was bad because the tobacco oils would very slowly seep out through the pores in the plastic and it would go dry in storage. I have stored a lot of tobacco this way, but I have never kept it stored more than several months (say, 6 to 9 or 10 months) before opening it for smoking.. I intend to keep this bag until it is at least five years old before I cut it open. And then, we will see. It is not quite 3 years of age just now, but I am putting the temptation behind me and leaving it be.

So far, I have had good results with vacuum-sealing. The pressure of the bag sucking down against the tobacco also creates a kind of "pressing" effect, so that when opened the tobacco has to be torn off in chunks and rubbed out before smoking. I haven't sealed any up like this in a while because I haven't bought more than one pound at a time since, oh...a couple of years I guess (2007 for sure) but since I'm getting three pounds in this time I'll probably vacuum-seal at least half a pound of each blend and then put the rest in Pump-n-Sealed Mason jars.

I would like to order more in only 6 months, so that I begin to have a surplus supply on hand. But, we will have to wait and see about that.

BobG commented on my last pipe post that he enjoyed latakia back when he used to smoke the pipe. I used to enjoy latakia also. But I just don't, anymore. I had forgotten to mention in the previous post that I had a 1.5-ounce sample from a place that sent it to me so I could review it--fortunately they gave me a sort of multiple-choice form to fill out and I didn't have to come up with a real review. I had stored it away in a Mason jar and have recently been using it as my going-home smoke. I have nothing against latakia, except that I have completely lost my taste for blends based on latakia. A little smoky latakia in a blend to give it some spice is just fine, in fact my favorite Bayou Night has some in it, but as for blends that use latakia as their primary flavor--they just don't thrill me anymore like they once did. I used to count Pirate Kake as one of my favorites, and I just can't imagine smoking that stuff anymore. Pipe smokers take note: Pirate Kake from C&D is made up of 70% latakia with the remaining 30% mostly burley and I think a little Virginia. It is a palate-blasting wallop of latakia and if you like it then you should really give it a try. The last time I had Pirate Kake I ended up using small bits of it to flavor other blends--I had already started to lose my taste for it.

I have a tin of Maltese Falcon stashed in the cellar but I'm wondering if I should ever open it or just trade it for something I know I will like. I also have a tin of straight latakia but I'm saving it for blending experiments.

In other we moved the bird feeders & bath to a better vantage point so we can see them from more windows. We also put up the hummingbird feeder because it's getting about time for them to come through here. We also put out a new suet block to see if it draws anything. I think the ones we usually see here are the black-chinned hummingbirds; I think I have seen only one ruby-throated here in my whole life.

1 comment:

  1. I have to agree with the observation about blends based on latakia; most of them I didn't care for. I used to get pure latakia, and make my own blends.